Talent Acquisition

Should we be Charging Candidates in Skill Short Markets to Find Them Their Next Role?

Since the worldwide recession of 2008-2011 most markets and sectors have tended to be very candidate short and therefore there is an undercurrent of sought after candidates knowing they are king or queen; to some it can cause a real headache to their recruiters who often reach the end of a lengthy interview/recruitment process to find that they gain no financial reward for their efforts….

Now if this is the case in your market, how many fees have crashed off your radar in the last few years because of these attractive candidates being bought back by their current employer- the dreaded counteroffer- , or being offered more money/better package elsewhere; how many times do these rare unicorns use your offer to leverage a better deal where they are without even resigning to get a counteroffer or accepted at a surprise ‘own application’ you knew nothing about until the last minute despite your astute and incredible candidate management skills.

Have you ever considered how would the permanent recruitment world work IF the candidates were to pay for the recruiter to search for the right role for them? Now obviously we are not allowed to do this currently however there have been many occasions over the years where I have pondered and hypothesized what the advantages would be should this have been the scenario of the first-ever recruitment trade… we will come on to this shortly.

I write this as someone who has run an R2R for the last 14 years in a largely candidate short market- the demand for strong, consistent, committed recruiters has never been higher and this is similar to a lot of skill short markets such as digital, technology, life sciences, and engineering.

So let’s imagine that we turn the clock back to the beginning of the recruitment industry clock. That first recruiter who decided to fill a vacancy for a client and find them a suitable candidate.

FREEZE there

The candidate is quoted a fee of $x for the privilege of the recruiter finding them a new role……

The client pays a finders fee to the recruiter once the candidate has started their role.

Thoughts? Do you think that if this had been the case from day one, there would be ANY counteroffers accepted or mystery last minute offers taken from elsewhere?

I am suggesting that if every applicant via a recruitment agency had to pay for the services upfront of the recruiter then there would be fewer tyre kickers, time wasters and ego-trippers.

I guess the downside is those who are taken advantage of and the fact that no process is guaranteed.

So I have answered my own argument as I know full well this could and would never take off for ethical reasons….. however, some days it would be nice to be able to do that…… don’t you think?

By Lysha Holmes

Lysha Holmes is founding director of Qui Recruitment established in 2005 to completely challenge the traditionally poorly perceived service offered by other Rec 2 Rec providers. Lysha as Qui Recruitment is dedicated to representing the best talent to the best suited roles, focussing on placing recruiters of all levels in a candidate led service across the NW.