The past decade was an incredible time of change, not all of it positive. I’m confident most of us would have chosen different changes or circumstances instead of two recessions, two wars, multiple natural disasters, and terrorist attacks across the globe.

None of us has the ultimate power to change global events. We can, however, make changes in our businesses to make these our best years ever.


So, here are a few changes I suggest you make right away:


1. Start quoting higher rates or fees, even if it’s just a little bit more. Some people may just say yes. You can always negotiate down from there, knowing you did not leave any money on the table.


2. Hold yourself, your colleagues, and your team to a higher standard. For example, the biggest money earners in our business spend at least half of their day reaching out to clients and candidates through conversations and messages. Yet, more than 70 percent of people in our business spend less than two hours daily in these activities. Step it up! Make more calls. Visit more clients. Spend more time with your best candidates.


3. Stop booking bad business and don’t waste time with unqualified and unwilling candidates. This starts with taking better, more thoroughly vetted orders and digging deeper in candidate interviews. Decide today which of these and other changes you will make this year and next. Then, take a few minutes each week to monitor the progress.


“Change is inevitable―except from a vending machine.” – Robert C. Gallagher

Views: 132

Comment by pam claughton on September 26, 2010 at 12:42pm
Scott,
Great post! All of it is so true, especially now as our market is shifting back to a more candidate driven market.
~Pam
Comment by Mike Hard on September 28, 2010 at 9:29am
Even despite the recession, great recruiters are having success holding the line on rates. Although in this day of internet transparency it's rare to see 30% rates anymore, on BountyJobs 20% or 25% fees are still the most popular for critical positions and have held steady at that level throughout the recession.

All 3 points great advice.
Comment by Scott Wintrip on September 28, 2010 at 4:43pm
Mike, thank you for your comments. I've helped dozens of recruiters get 30 and even 35% fee. The key has been that they sell value and no-risk. Since contingent recruiters get paid to perform, value-based selling that stresses the no-risk in interviewing our candidates enrolls more customers at those higher fees. As long as the recruiter can produce good talent, it's a win-win for all.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 29, 2010 at 1:03pm
I certainly agree with 2 and 3. As to increasing rates when we are just coming out of a recession all i can say is that you must be Democrat who wants to raise taxes when the economy is still in the ditch. I don't advocate quoting lower rates but in my opinion the time to raise rates is when companies are making money, don't have budget constraints and are having a more difficult time finding hireable candidates. In some verticals with difficult to find skill sets i can justify a 5% higher fee but raising rates to prove i am worth something discounts the fact that the companies who are making money are those who offer value at a reasonable, competetive rate.

The feedback i am getting from several clients is that they have dropped some recruiters off the radar due to them asking for higher fees. The attitude seems to be that the recruiter must be struggling and trying to get more for each placement because they are not making as many placements.
Comment by Scott Wintrip on September 29, 2010 at 1:20pm
Sandra, thanks for you candor. And I disagree. Your premise insinuates that we need to set boundaries for our customers as to what they can afford to pay. Since I don't have ESP or a crystal ball, I choose not to go there.

It all comes down to value. If you sell value and deliver value, many customers will pay full fees. And they will keep coming back because the value is well worth the investment.
Comment by James Todd on September 29, 2010 at 2:05pm
Scott, I agree it comes down to value. Value = Quality / Price. I don't see how you can increase price without a corresponding increase in quality and not cause customers to perceive lower value. I attribute some of our success during the recession to the loyalty we earned during the boom times in years past when we did not hold-up our customers as was done by some of our competitors.
Comment by Scott Wintrip on September 29, 2010 at 2:58pm
James, Iike the formula. Yes, perceived value must increase when we increase our fees. The key there is "perceived value." The job of recruiters is to engage clients in a conversation that creates an opportunity where the customer feels and perceives they are getting a lot for their money.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 29, 2010 at 4:21pm
Absolutely not setting boundaries for my clients, just accepting theirs, partners in tough times remain partners in good times. I do not advocate cutting fees. A full fee to me is 20 to 25%. Many of my clients pay a bonus in significant amounts for hard to find or fast fill situations. I agree with James. I had consistant business with clients during the recession because i did not jack up fees to 30 % or even try to. Making something more expensive does not create more value. Nor does bullshitting with clients to convince them they should pay above market. But hey, go for it , i love the fall out.

I bet you want to raise taxes on the rich cause they can afford it.
Comment by Scott Wintrip on September 30, 2010 at 6:23pm
Sandra, you are clearly passionate about your position on this. Good for you. If you are content with your current fees that's your business.

My challenge in this post is for those who believe that the value of their service is worth a 30 to 35% fee. And to begin asking for that while delivering such great value that the client still feels they got a bargain.

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