Sorry about the title, I usually like to think of a wee pithy pun but I’m a tad dusty from last night’s Pow Wow. I’m pretty sure everyone enjoyed themselves at Auckland’s sexiest recruitment meet and greet. A big thanks to the lovely Gemma Richardson for her time and interesting insights, check out www.seek.co.nz/loa for some mind-blowing data, and of course a huge thanks to Seek for putting a substantial amount of money behind the bar. It felt like some recruiters were on a mission to put a dent in Seeks budget after years of advertising spend. Funny enough, I don’t think recruiters are short of a few bob recently especially after a few chats last night. Internal movement in the market has slowed down a little and that’s for a few reasons. One being that a lot of recruiters are making a lot of money, a billing recruiter is a happy recruiter and happy recruiters don’t tend to look for other jobs. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t moving, but it seems to be for silly money as of late.

Just last week, I was speaking to a recruiter with 3 months of recruitment experience and due to circumstances out of their control was made redundant. After a week of interviewing, they secured three offers, and one of them, I shit you not, was for $75K! A couple of years ago that was Senior Rec Con money! I had another client who told me that their candidate manager who has been with the business for just shy of a year was offered the same position but for $80K. Cards on the table, that’s not that far off what I’m on and I’ve been doing the bare minimum for going on 9 years! The first candidate did something that can be a bit of a rarity in my line of work, they actually listened to me and took an offer that was at $65K instead. As all offers were through me, I was sending an invoice regardless. The more jaded section of our readership would automatically assume that I would push for the offer that was going to generate the bigger fee. Fulfilling the prophecy of an agency recruiter etched out in the propaganda touted by internal recruiters worldwide. What I told them is what I would tell any consultant who is moving for big money. You had better hit the ground running. Considering this freshman had under 90 days to their name that kind of pressure would’ve probably been the end of them as a recruiter.

I often use the example of Andy Carroll who joined Liverpool for a club record fee of 35m, it has about a 50% hit rate but I persevere. For those who don’t know Big Andy was a spectacular failure and with what was a breathtaking fee at the time it was no wonder. It’s a lot of pressure to perform. The thing is, there are going to be a lot of recruiters out there with over-the-top salaries and big targets on their backs. Soon enough the market will open up with people coming from overseas who are willing to work for beer and vape juice. That’s when the bubble will burst on these inflated salaries. Do you know what the biggest factor is when it comes to deciding your next salary? It’s not your performance, it’s not your achievements, it’s how much you were paid in your previous role. That’s the un/fortunate truth but people don’t realise that they are pricing themselves out of the market. It’s counterintuitive to not aim for the biggest number but if you are ever out of work your options are going to be limited to roles that pay at least 6 figures.

We’re in a very unique climate, not only is the UK on fire but the local job market is in a very precarious position. As everyone and their dog is providing flexibility and progression the only hot button left to push is money. I’m all for people backing themselves but if you ask for/accept a high salary just be aware that a pound of flesh is the expectation. It’s also worth mentioning that the higher the base the higher the threshold. Of course, agency owners are going to be a little biased when it comes to the subject of base salary but usually, when a person is pushing for the higher end of the scale it can be seen as a lack of confidence in their billing ability. As the market is cyclical the good times will come back as will the bad times and so on and so forth so, it’s important not to be caught out when the market does swing. Like ol mate who heeded some quality advice, it’s about thinking long-term and not making too big a rod for your own back.

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