Seven Reasons Why Recruiters Shouldn’t Negotiate on Rate

You’ve heard it all before. Take a hit on this job with a promise for many more jobs to follow in the near future. Talking rates is always the tricky part of a new client relationship. Neither party wants to offend but neither party wants to feel like they are being taken advantage of either.

1. Know What You’re Worth

If you believe you’re worth a certain price then don’t go below it. If you take one job at a reduced price it may be difficult to lift your rates for future jobs with this client or the next client that asks for a discounted rate. Decide what you’re worth and stick to it.

2. Process of Recruitment

Some clients simply don’t understand what goes into the recruitment process. They might think you change the company name on a template ad, place it online and watch the applications flow in. You give the applications a quick sift and pull out a few you think most closely match the amazing brief the client thinks they provided and you have your perfect candidate.

You and I both know that’s not how it plays out. If you don’t think the client truly appreciates what is involved in the recruitment process you undertake, make a point of educating them. Explain that the scenario above may be how it plays out in some recruitment agencies but it isn’t the level of service they’ll receive when they place a vacancy with you. Explain how you personally meet with each candidate, you undertake stringent reference checks and stake your reputation on finding the very best candidate possible. You don’t cut any corners in the process so you can’t cut the rate either. The benefit of the process you undertake is in the quality of the final candidates.

3. Paying for your Contacts

Your Customer Relationship Management program is built into the rate a client pays. A CRM takes time to manage, update and search for the right candidate. The client doesn’t have access to this amazing database and they know it otherwise they probably wouldn’t have made contact with you in the first place.

4. Industry Expert

If you have spent years specialising in an industry or field, you have built up knowledge that a client must pay for. Knowing the intricacies of the industry, competitors, threats and opportunities the industry faces makes you a better consultant. The client knows you are an authority in their industry and that is no doubt the reason why they want you to take the job so they should be willing to pay the asking price too.

5. Your Experience

If your career has spanned a decade or more then you’ve possibly spent thousands of hours perfecting your craft. You’ve spent this time honing your people skills, communication and industry knowledge. You know the questions to ask to get to the truth about a candidate’s past experience, you can weed out the shonky references and enhanced CV’s. All this on top of a degree and more unpaid hours of networking than you care to think about. If all these hours of experience are added up, your client might realise the fee you’re quoting is more than reasonable.

6. A Better Calibre of Candidate

Explain to your client that paying a higher rate for a better service by a recruiter will pay dividends in the long-run. By securing better candidates for the role and ultimately a better employee the client could potentially be rewarded for years to come with a more productive, better experienced and trained employee.

Ask your client what it cost the organisation when the last poor employee was recruited. Even better find out this information in the initial meeting by asking how many recruits taken on in the last 12 months have been good versus poor and you then have this information to counter any rate negotiations that may arise when contract time comes. Most clients would agree that a higher recruitment fee can be made up in a few months if a consultancy finds them the perfect recruit.

7.Negotiate on Something Other than this Rate

If you’re keen to secure a new client because of the potential for future work, suggest they pay your rate for this vacancy to experience the level of service you provide and then you can negotiate a rate for multiple placements. Ask to be placed on their preferred supplier list and that you are introduced to internal departments or organisations that partner with your client.

Recruiters need to be strong and know that their rate is worth it. Remind clients they get what they pay for. If you don’t have the strength to not negotiate with a client and cave in to their price reduction requests often, you should consider sales training and role-playing to ensure you get the full fee you quote a client in future. And if not, don’t be afraid to politely turn down the job. There will always be another client who can see the value you offer and is willing to pay your rate.