Yesterday I saw a crazy headline claiming that lowering your fees would lead to more money. My initial instinct was that this must be another fluff piece from some recruiter who focuses on high-volume, low-margin deals. And then I thought it must be the latest “how to save your business in the pandemic” advice. I’m a firm believer that fee integrity is really important, so I wasn’t going to give this piece the time of day. Later I saw the same article with a slightly-different version of the headline. When I saw it was written by our recruitment friend Greg Savage I decided to give it a look. Turns out, what he was REALLY talking about is the value of exclusive job orders.
Greg’s premise is that contingent jobs widely distributed among multiple agencies are a bad deal for clients, candidates, and recruiters alike. Exclusive job orders (with or without a retainer component) are what lead to the best outcomes. This is because (a) the client is committed to success, (b) recruiters provide better service when they know they are the ONLY one working a job, and (c) this frees up time for the recruiter to communicate with candidates so they don’t fall through the cracks.
Overly-shared jobs force recruiters to focus on speed instead of quality. If you’re one of a half-dozen people working the same opening, the recruiter who responds the fastest is likely the one who will get paid. In order to be the fastest, you may have to skip parts of your process. Perhaps you don’t have time to find the BEST candidate. Since you need to work MORE openings in order to increase your odds of success, you’re creating a situation where candidates can’t get the proper care and attention they deserve.
It’s famously said that time kills all deals. I think a case can be made that speed also kills deals. When speed is the most important aspect of your process, corners inevitably get cut. Greg points out that no one expects other services to work this way. You don’t farm out your taxes to 6 different accountants and pay the one who finishes first. Ask your clients for exclusive job orders. You may find you can work on fewer jobs while filling a higher percentage of them. And you’ll have more time to spend cultivating candidates. Even better, you probably don’t need to reduce your fees.
Greg’s post (and the accompanying 10-minute video) are worth your time.