No recruiter should put up with…..

non negWhen I started out in recruitment, agencies were essentially carbon copies of each other. Some small differences aside, they mostly offered the same service to clients. …and  little difference in what they offered their employees. You could throw a beige blanket of ‘sameness’ over them all.

Things are different nowadays. The wonderful world of recruitment agency land is as varied and diverse as it has ever been. As the industry has grown up, and a new generation of recruitment leaders have stepped up with their own ideas, so has the variety of recruitment agencies changed.…from how they work with clients and source candidates, through to their internal structure, how they pay their staff and everything else. The recruitment landscape now resembles more of a multi-coloured quilt.

It begs the question – what is a good gig in recruitment these days? We attempted to tackle this at our regular weekly team meeting. But even in our small team of four (and a half) it was difficult to get consensus. There was a wide variety of  answers and that’s not surprising. One recruiter’s meat is another’s murder and at the end of the day, it is mostly subjective. Money, work/life balance, an established brand, a good boss… comes down to the individual and what is important to them.

However, we all agreed that there are some things that are just non-negotiable. Things that, in this day and age, no recruiter should put up with:

1. Commission model that has a deficitI own my business so I really do appreciate the agency point of view in this, and the importance of managing budgets and consistent performance. But still….no.

2. Having a KPI around cold calling. I am not talking about selling per se, or having objectives around business development. Of course that is part of the job. I am talking about the glorified telesales model of “make 50 cold calls a week….tick the boxes on your weekly report…repeat”. It’s cheap, nasty, largely pointless …..and you could be doing better things with your time. Like recruiting.

3. Continuing professional development. It will mean different things to different people, and different agencies will be able to offer different things depending on their size and budget. But the alternative (i.e. doing nothing) says volumes about the lack of interest in you.

4. Demand that you compromise your ethics and morals. We are all commercial folk and none of us holier-than-thou. But we all have our own moral compass too. Being forced to compromise that to get a deal across the line, or for some other reason, is not something any employer has a right to demand.

What about you? Would you put up with any of the above? What are your non-negotiables?


Luke Collard


3 thoughts on “No recruiter should put up with…..

  1. Mat Gollop on Reply

    My addition to the list would be ‘transparency’. My biggest frustration in a larger firm was the lack of insight and understanding into the business model and strategy. In our business we have worked hard on open communication (and can always improve further) with great results.

    I disagree on deficits though. We run a deficit model – we have a very reasonable lead in period and open discussion around targets to wipe deficits when needed. The model enables commercial understanding from all staff and also ensures there is no ‘stockpiling’ of fees from quarter to quarter. It also removes any hard feelings from more consistent billers when they see someone earning more from peaks and troughs. Again – communication and transparency is key.

  2. Mark on Reply

    Hi Guys

    I am over in the UK so to some extent a different market place but the term deficit model is a new one on me what are you referring to.



    1. Craig Watson on Reply

      Hi Mark,
      A deficit model is as follows.
      Most recruitment companies have their consultants on a thresh hold (an amount of money you have to bill each month before you qualify for commissions – it’s usually 3x salary). Deficit model is when if you don’t bill your thresh hold in that month it carries over to the next… eg.
      If your thresh hold is $20k per month and you bill $12k for a month… next month your thresh hold is $28k… Hope that makes sense!
      Cheers Craig

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