An attempt to discourage commission based recruiting

Since starting this business I’ve set out to try and change the traditional recruitment model from a commission based one to a partnership consultancy based one. In summary – instead of charging a commission per hire, we work with companies to build teams at a monthly cost far reduced from normal commission based work. Usually in the region of a third the cost to the hiring company (you can read more about our approach here).

The problem I’ve come up against though, is we’re getting more and more commission based work as people hear about what we have delivered for other clients, but can’t subscribe for one reason or another to the business model that created the results. Dealing with these enquiries eats into our time, and to do a good job we need to meet with hiring companies and teams to assess their culture and our ability to help them. Doing this for one off roles and working against 5 or 10 other agencies is a waste of our time, and if left unchecked will start to eat away at what we’ve built until we become a high numbers low quality traditional recruitment agency. I won’t let that happen.

So: from this point onwards we will only be working at 25% commission and as the exclusive partner on the roles or team we are assisting with, no negotiation.

“Wait, you’ve just made yourselves one of the highest commission recruitment firms – and woah, ONLY exclusive, srsly?! No-one will hire you!”

Why would I do that?

I want to cut down the amount of commission based requests we get and being 5-10% more expensive than a traditional agency will do that. I also want to stop Team Prime being viewed as a traditional recruitment agency. It’s not what we want to do, we want to make recruitment better for everyone and to do that we need to work as partners (literally, part of the teams we’re building) not “preferred suppliers”. We don’t “supply human resources”, we build teams of charming, smart and highly awesome people.

Our new rates will hopefully make the decision to work with us on a retained partnership without commission an easier and more attractive proposition. And if companies still wish to employ us more traditionally, only those who really are committed to working with us to expand or build their team will hire us.

This change won’t affect any of our current clients, who will remain on terms already agreed.

Fingers crossed my thinking works but if it doesn’t, I’m not afraid to fail fast and blog about that should it happen. Agile recruitment FTW.