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The Littlest Placement

I have been given a gift. Well – not given, necessarily. It was earned. Those are the best anyway, aren’t they?

We’ve been recruiting for a junior level IT role with a client for the past 3 weeks or so. Not much in the way of qualifications – college degree, some sort of “paid” IT experience combined with a nice personality and enthusiastic attitude. Salaries at this level aren’t really that high as we all know but I’m not one that takes searches based only on what the fee might be in the end.

We had an interesting discussion going over on RecruitingBlogs just yesterday about fees in fact. I’m a stickler for having a minimum percentage. There is a line I have never and (hopefully) will never cross. But that’s a different discussion – feel free to jump in over there.

The client called earlier this week. “Is there a fee if we just want to hire Zach for a summer internship?” Hmmm…..I’ve never placed an intern. Should I not charge anything and hope my goodwill will be remembered down the road? What about putting it together as a temp assignment with a reasonable markup? I wasn’t quite sure which way to go.

Then it hit me. My fee is based on the annual income of the person I place. In the past this amount has always been a year-long salaried role – not a 12 week internship. Why should I come up with some other way to charge for my service?

My fee is $1152 and it might quite possibly be the most rewarding placement I’ve made in quite a while. It has reminded me to take every opportunity in this crazy world to appreciate the way I provide for my family. In fact I’ve earmarked this as my beer budget for the rest of 2010. Each time I crack open a coldie I will celebrate My Littlest Placement!

So this gift is more of a reminder of sorts. I’ve been reminded that ALL placements are to be loved. Each and every placement is as unique as a snowflake: Big ones, tough ones, easy ones, “surprise” placements, the placements that seemingly need to be “remade” several times along the way. Every. Single. One!

Enjoy your work friends. Be thankful for each opportunity no matter how big or small they may be!

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It’s Time to Talk About Your Fee

Fee negotiations. Fun stuff, eh?

You finally connect with a manager that seems to need your help. You think you’ve done a good job “not” sounding like an idiot. Though the position was a little outside of your comfort zone you held on nicely. Your questions seemed to spark quite a dialogue: What projects will this person work on? How big is the team? Tell me about your company………why do you LOVE working there? What are the types of companies that seem to have the best candidates? You know – all the questions you think will help you establish your credibility BEFORE you let them know your fee is………..(drum roll please……..)

30%. Or maybe you start at 25%. Either way – you think you’ve executed your work flawlessly and hope they’ll say “OK”.

But that doesn’t usually happen, does it? Not from what I see and hear.

“We have a policy of 18%”. Or “All our vendors have agreed to a cap of 15%”

Damn! And you were so close!

So what do you do? How do you reply to this one? This is one of the 60 second periods of your day or week that GREATLY impact your income for the year.

Rather than suggest a canned reply (there are hundreds – and I’ve heard them – and tried them – all) let me ask you something: What makes you believe you should charge more than the others who have come before you? You might think “Well – must be the other agencies aren’t providing the right candidates. They NEED me!”

But guess what? No they don’t. The other agencies ARE getting it done. Turns out – you’re just asking if you can play too! So now what? You better change your thinking on this one. You aren’t the best. You don’t have the greatest candidates. You have no “secret stash” of top talent. The guy in your inbox is also on your competitors desk. Know it. Live it. Deal with it.

What service do you provide which you think commands a higher fee? Have you spent much time thinking about this? If so – have you DONE anything about it? If you haven’t – I’ve got news for you – you don’t deserve a higher fee……..

Since this is my blog I’m going to tell you what I do that is different. Very different. I know with certainty that NONE of my competitors provides the service I do. When I introduce someone to my client there is a play button on top of each resume. When they click it they get to LISTEN TO THE CANDIDATE describe their background and skills for the job. Their own words. Their own voice. Not the recruiter paraphrasing what the candidate said. No “sales pitch” added. Just the candidate. Right there on the play button. Nothing to download. No passwords. Nothing. Just the resume AND a play button. Here’s an example. This tool saves my clients time. It gives them a far greater idea of WHO the person is – far beyond buzzwords on a resume. I deserve a higher fee – because I provide a higher level of service.

Yes my service is different. Very different. If you would like to see how Verbal Summary works – I’d love to show you. It doesn’t cost much – and gives you an entirely new discussion to have the next time a client says NO to your higher fee……