Talent Acquisition

A Recruitment Referendum: A Vote for Independence

Would you vote “yes” or “no” for independence? Allowing recruiters to run their own P+L desk?

We are all glued to our screens at the moment as to whether Scotland will vote in favor of becoming an independent nation on Thursday 18th September (those reading this after the vote will realize I am writing this before the result). I understand the arguments in favor of Scotland becoming independent of Westminster, given Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it wants to manage its own money.

Those who are vehemently in favor of Scotland remaining in the Union as they have done for 300 yrs+, fear the loss of commercial investment, and the thousands of jobs those employers will relocate into England; the inevitable problems of being part of the shared NHS and the list goes on.

This blog is not actually intended as a political debate- you will be pleased to know……

Indeed, the analogy of the Scottish referendum leads me on to the topic:

In other words, should recruitment consultants be encouraged to run their desks independently as a P+L that they are responsible for?

Should recruiters be given the vote of independence to manage their own desks themselves- from agreeing on fees, chasing payments, deciding how to run it profitably?

All too often, I meet recruiters who are frustrated by the limitations put on them. I understand that for commercial reasons, there has to be a defined area you partition per consultant, for example, Qualified finance into the industry in Manchester at 30-60k basic. I get that bit.

The bit I struggle with is not allowing recruiters to run their desks like their own P+L. If you allow the recruiter to be responsible for their terms, rates, charge outs, chosen clients/candidates, chase invoices, you breed a workforce of accountable professionals.

I am representing a candidate at the moment who is a fearless, credible, agile headhunter- capable of identifying, calling, and winning over really hard to find people. Yet they are so frustrated that they are not allowed to know the clients’ charge out rate- they are targeted on the number of deals, not the value. And guess what, I will place them into an environment where they will be treated like a grown-up and be in charge of their own desk. Company 1’s loss and my client’s gain.

So my suggestion: all recruitment consultants should run their desks with a full view of their own P+L.

Your basic, your tax and NI cost, your desk rent, phone and broadband, advertising versus your income. And at the end of each quarter (I believe commission should be quarterly as it encourages consistent performance, in my opinion!) they gain a good percentage of the profit. So no more moaning about needing more ads for job boards unless they too can see the ROI.

You allow the recruiter to progress chase the invoices they generate themselves- guess what, they will make sure their terms of business are concrete and watertight- they will make sure that client pays on time or they won’t get the call about the next candidate!

Result: An increase in revenue, a motivator to improve your profit margin/rates.

Conclusion: the employer generates more revenue and profit, happy days. The recruiter feels valued and responsible and will earn a better OTE and stay loyal.

What do you think? As business owners, can you allow this level of responsibility? Should recruiters be accountable for clients paying? Or should recruiters just sell and not be bothered by profits?

As ever, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

And you want my prediction? Better get my passport ready for my next visit up to Edinburgh… Am I right?

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.