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Contingent recruitment – the age-old issue!
This is a debate happening in agencies across the world. In fact, it was Greg Savage who really got us going with his video on the three questions you must ask when taking a vacancy.
So let’s say we are asking these five questions and the answers are giving us a clear picture of intentions and we are going ahead to work on the role:
- How long have you been looking to fill this position?
- How many people have you interviewed for this position?
- What are the consequences of this position remaining unfilled?
- If I found you the perfect candidate today, could you interview him tomorrow and have him start on Monday? If not – what are your timescales?
- How many companies are currently submitting CVs for this position? What is your pipeline looking like right now?
This job is now the recruiter’s priority and we have a deadline to work to. So we spend on advertising, designing adverts, shortlisting from our database, interviewing applicants, and sending the best three Cv’s to the enthusiastic hiring manager.
What happens next…………….
Silence. We call the client several times and the timescales move so we call each candidate and let them know the new timeline. The next deadline passes and nothing.
After some time we finally receive an email saying thank you for all your hard work but we’ve decided not to go ahead with this position.
We now have to call the candidates and tell them we have wasted their time and their application won’t be progressed.
So what do we charge for our work……..
Nothing. Not a penny. We have done our job, qualified the role, kept everyone informed, and followed the client’s instructions and deadlines. For this, we do not charge.
In what other industries do consultants not charge for their time?
Currently, I am looking at a clause to charge a nominal amount for “work done and costs incurred” when roles are later withdrawn. The level of recruitment we provide isn’t relevant for retained fees and is usually urgent so gaining up front payments slows everything down.
Sometimes we work alongside another agency or two so we take this as part of our prioritising and investment decisions and if we don’t result in a fee that’s ok as we know our place in the process.
Advertising costs are going through the roof and preparing a candidate for submission is at least an hour with interviewing, CV preparation, digital right-to-work checks, and briefing.
Should recruiters charge for time and costs incurred?
I would love to know your thoughts as a recruiter, a client or an observer.
Were always happy to hear from you!
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