Why is that we recruiters do so much work for free? Or should I say, how is it that we are always expected to do so much for nothing? Is it because of the seemingly large fees we charge when a placement does eventually come off?
It’s kind of funny how we in the recruitment industry have gotten ourselves so bent and twisted off the course of sensible commercial pricing models that it has become almost expected we will do something for nothing. This is not a blog post about contingent versus retained recruitment though. Rather it’s an observation formed from an email I received earlier this week. An email that I have been informed, in no uncertain terms, must be replied to by close of business today:
Good morning Jonathan,
We are currently completing our annual Remuneration Benchmarking exercise.
Your organisation has been identified as a specialist provider of recruiters in your market and thus best positioned to assist us market testing our remuneration model for 360 Recruitment Consultants.
In support of this, can you please complete the table below and return via email to me, by COB Friday 1st November 2013. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
The email then outlines a fairly comprehensive table to be filled in, including average salaries, highs, lows and different commission structures… And in case you wondered, the bold text was not embellished by me, that’s how it was written. What’s more, whilst I have indeed made a couple of placements with this client over the past few years, and actually enjoy recruiting for them, I’ve never spoken to the person who sent me this email before.
Part of me wonders whether I’m being a bit precious about how I spend my time here. But then I think back to another client who, a couple of months ago, asked me to produce a similar one-pager on average recruiter salaries at the more senior end, to be taken into a board meeting the following week. Their insistence that I send them an invoice for $500 for the couple of hours work was greatly appreciated and obviously leaves a totally different impression to the one generated by the above email. Interesting how they actually do more work on a retained basis than the ones who emailed this week too.
I guess that if you value your own time as a recruiter more, it changes your expectations around the value of your suppliers’ times too, even if that supplier happens to also be a recruitment firm like me. So, will I get it done today? Maybe. Maybe not. I’ll see how my day goes.
It does also raise the value of salary surveys produced by recruiters though. This particular firm want the market intel for their own internal purposes. This is a useful benchmarking exercise although I’m not sure how accurate their feedback will be. But what about the recruitment firms out there still producing the same tired old salary surveys, compiled by pressurised recruiters forced into coughing up salary ranges, and bound up in snazzy marketing material and glossy brochures to use as levers to prise open new client visits. Does this still happen? Surely they’re nothing more than collections of recruiters licking the fingers and holding them aloft to the wind of undulating salaries.
I’ve seen a couple of different types of salary surveys in the market that would seem to be far more compelling than these. I remember Greg Savage talking last year about Firebrand Talent getting candidates themselves to contribute to an on-going salary survey, inputting their current role and salary online, to generate what would surely be more useful and interesting data. Over here absoluteIT do the same thing with now over 30,000 contributions.
Are you an agency still producing salary surveys to use for PR or marketing material? And all you corporate recruiters out there, what’s your impression of these pieces of literature when proffered by sweaty-palmed recruiters on their first client visits?