Its not often I experience a first these days – I am after all the wrong side of 40! However, yesterday I was stunned into silence (This does not happen very often with me!) At our weekly ops meeting my colleague wanted to read out an email she had received from a client with whom we are on formal preferred supplier arrangement, regarding fees.

I have to confess that the prospect of listening to yet another set of excuses for driving down the fee was almost too much to bear so my mind immediately started to wonder onto more pressing matters like how is listening to this helping me get through the mountain of work I have this week.

But wait! I’m brought back to earth with a bang when I hear her say that the client is INCREASING our fee! And by a significant amount to boot. I’m talking up to an amount that features heavily on our standard terms but which rarely makes it into the realms of reality.

Great news, right? Well, lets not be hasty. First, it was for a ‘limited time’ – in this case 2 weeks. Yes, that’s right, 2 weeks. Apparently, they are having difficulty finding a certain strain of human being and in an attempt to increase their chances they have upped the anti with the supplier population.

Now I cant blame them for that. It is genuinely tough to find people at the moment despite what some might think. Few are taking the risk of a move so soon after the recession. And I applaud the fact that they are actually prepared to be flexible and change the dynamics in order to re energise the process.

But I was soon asking myself what this actually says about the organisation and their approach to working with third party recruiters:

  • Firstly, by offering the chance of a higher fee, are they not acknowledging the fact that some recruiters may be ‘holding back’ candidates, preferring instead to field them to other clients who are prepared to pay better fees?
(Yes it does happen. No we dont do that)

  • If that’s the case, then they must realise that most of the time they are compromising on candidate quality by paying such low fees normally.

In these times of talent shortages, why the hell would you do that? Answers on a postcard please! Or alternatively you could leave a comment – I'd be interested to hear your views!

Views: 129

Comment by Robb Norris on May 17, 2010 at 12:01pm
I also have a client that does this from time to time. They perceive it is an incentive to get us to work harder on their roles. Does it work? I have no data that demonstrates that it does work on a consistent basis.


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