Last week we discussed the fact that most Australian recruiters are being paid on a "Contingency" basis when ...s, ie: they are putting forward a number of suited candidates for the client to choose from, but the client doesn't end up picking any and therefore doesn't pay ANY fees to the recruiter.


In reality you have already done the work! You have already screened the candidates, understood their experience, skills and suitability for the client. If the client then decides that suitable candidates are not for them, that is at the discretion of the client, but doesn't diminish your work. The problem is that some recruiters are putting forward any candidates without screening them first. In this case, yes I can understand the client being reluctant to pay for the service, BUT in reality if you are certain that you know your candidates are well suited to the clients specific requirements, you should indeed be charging for this service!
So here comes the interesting part - how many of you are charging retainer fees?? I would be willing to bet no where near enough Australian recruiters are doing so!
What holds us back from charging retainers
Many recruiters have been conditioned to think that the screening and understanding candidates and their strengths and abilities are part of the "pre-work" before you engage clients - and yes it certainly is BUT once you engage your client you need to be reimbursing yourself for this hard work in equal measure to the service you are providing to them. So if you know you have 6 PERFECT candidates for them, you would charge a premium retainer; if you have 5 sort of ok maybe lacking a bit of experience candidates, well you adjust your retainer down accordingly.
How do you get ok with charing correctly?
As I mentioned above - the first thing is to be sure of the service you are offering! Do you know for sure your candidate has the experience, qualifications and personality to suit the role and the environment? If you know that your candidates are suitable, why shouldn't you be charging for that service?
Secondly, make sure that your client KNOWS that they are paying for your expertise - you have whittled down hundreds (maybe thousands) of not so suitable applicants, you have determined who is best for them so they are not wasting their time sorting through the chaff!
Lastly, be bold and be confident - YOU are the expert - you have been engaged to save your client time and money in sorting out the candidates who are not a match. Your fee is irrespective of if the client "likes" or "dislikes" who you put forward, your fee is for your service, not your clients final decision!
Tell us your stories, are you uncomfortable charging as you should? Have you had any good or bad experiences standing up for yourself? How do you approach your clients for payment?
We'd love to hear any tips or questions you have!

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