Fast Track Recruitment

How to deal with clients who try to lowball you.

Posted by Mitch on 9th March 2017


Hiring companies regularly try to lowball agency recruiters.

I think it’s because they think we just hit F5 on our computer to pull up a list of suitable candidates who are all dying to work for that particular company.

Next time a prospective client asks why your fees are so high, tell them; “Because recruiting can be a really shitty job. If you don’t believe me, try doing it yourself.”

If they ask why you do it, tell them; “Because I have a high threshold for pain. Plus, it can pay reasonably well.”

Then, if you’re both still talking, offer them this price list;

I do all the recruiting – 20%

I do all the recruiting and you advise me – 25%

I do some of the recruiting and you help me – 15%

You do all the recruiting and I advise you – 10%

You do all the recruiting and I do nothing – Free

You ought to be having fun when negotiating with clients. It’s important.

BTW…this blog didn’t make it into my book.

Have I mentioned that I’ve got a book out?


By Duncan Hart on Monday, 03 April 2017

The fact that anyone, either you or them, has to endure any kind of shitty job or pain just goes to show how screwed up the processes have become. The system is just simply broken…

By Mitch on Tuesday, 17 October 2017

I think it’s broken partly because success, especially in the agency sector, is defined by the amount of failure that has to be endured.

By Jim Durbin on Sunday, 19 November 2017

Recruiter: The fee is 25%

HR: That’s too high. We never pay more than 20%.

R: Oh my! What would you overpay like that?

HR: What?

R: If you’re paying 20%, you should be paying 10%. The people who go to 20% are just throwing resumes over to see what sticks. If you can get them to 20%, you should keep pushing them down to 10%.

HR: Well, we pay 20%, so we can get a higher quality of recruiting.

R: Do you?

HR: Yes.

R: But do you?

HR: I, think so.

R: Do you?

HR: I, but, see…

R: Do you?

HR: Look, we pay 20%. 

R: I’d never take 20%. How could I charge you so much for so little work?

HR: Are you saying you’d do it for 10%?

R: Oh, not at all. I charge 25%.

HR: That’s more than 20%. Aren’t you overcharging?

R: Maybe. Also, I don’t offer a 6 month guarantee.

HR: You don’t offer a guarantee?

R: I guarantee my work. When you hire someone and they accept the offer, you’re saying I did my job. If they leave or you fire them, you’re saying you didn’t do your job, but you want me to pay for it.

HR: But it’s standard.

R: I think I understand now. You pay 20% for work that is only worth 10% because you’re expecting that 50% of the time, you make bad hiring decisions.

HR: So you’ll do 20?

R: Not at all.

HR: Can you recommend someone?

R: Recommend someone when half of their people are going to get fired? I respect you too much for that.

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Recruitment Delivery Consultant | Stoke-on-Trent | £30-40K plus commission »

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