There are two polar opposites on the ‘How To Fill A Job’ spectrum.

At Point A you have the scenario where you have to do a lot of work, from defining the brief, getting the comms done, speaking to lots of candidates, interviewing, organising the admin and managing the offer.

At Point Z you have the scenario where you submit a candidate you’ve never met, for a job they’re not great for, and who ends up getting offered a different job, by the same company, at a higher salary.

As an external recruitment supplier I’ve done both – although in my Point Z scenario (that I can remember, there was probably more than one) I did actually interview the candidate.

But the free £15K really came in handy.

And that’s what it felt like – free money.

Those are the two broad extremes of the recruitment services industry and I think it’s probably fair to suggest that most recruitment agencies sit in some large grey area between Point Q and Point Z.

I think it's the unexpected that is the biggest attraction of the job for many agency recruiters. They rarely articulate it like that when you ask them though.

It’s the adrenalin rush of what I sometimes call the “easy placement”.

Adrenalin rushes are easy things to get addicted to.

You might argue that placements made this way are payback for all that other work that didn’t result in a placement fee.

But that’s not the point.

The point is that you love the high of not knowing exactly where your money is going to come from.

The high that’s made more pleasurable by the previously endured crushing blows of your best candidates not getting an interview or turning down an offer. Or the torment you felt those times when all the candidates you called had already been pitched the same job by other agencies.

It’s that familiar euphoria and depression cycle that seems to grip most gamblers and drug addicts.

And I know, because I’ve been there. It is exciting.

But…

 

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Tags: Agency Recruiting

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 21, 2014 at 12:52pm

Thanks, Mitch. If I may ask, what is the typical fee-percentage in the UK?

Here in the US it 's mainly between 15-25%, with some  high-level contingency and much retained search at 30%

Cheers,

Keith

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on February 21, 2014 at 2:06pm

It's similar here, Keith.  Maybe 15-20% for most contingency operators and 25% for some of the harder to fill stuff.

I think the days of 30% are largely over in the UK.

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 21, 2014 at 3:50pm

Thanks, Mitch. It's pretty much gone here too, except maybe for retained..

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on February 22, 2014 at 3:08am

Interestingly, there are some UK contingency businesses are often prepared to offer a lower rate in exchange for a retained assignment.

Their rationale is that what they're losing in the 2.5 - 5% they're giving away they're gaining in having better quality work to do and having fees that are almost guaranteed.

One of the battles I've been waging over the past 5 years is for retained to not automatically be associated only with executive search.  I was once paid a retainer to fill a £22k Accounts Assistant job.

Only downside was there was no "rush" when I filled it.

:)

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 24, 2014 at 12:13pm

@ Mitch. I know a NZ recruiter who offers the similar "lower for retained" option, though I haven't heard of it used much here in the US of A.

-kh

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