Exec recruitment

In a Competitive Market, Only You Define Your Value

In a Competitive Market, Only You Define Your Value

BWP, Recruitment, Jobs...

Recruitment fees have been experiencing various downward pressures for years now. 

Technology and social media are making a recruiter’s job easier, so why pay so much? Swathes of competitors are entering the market, so price is bound to be a competitive advantage. With retention remaining such an issue, why overpay a recruiter for someone who is fairly likely to leave after 12-18 months?

“It simply seems to be a lot of money for a simple introduction and a few rudimentary insights. I am not sure what I am paying for anymore.”

We all know that recruitment is changing and some recruiters are bowing to the pressures, slimming down their operations and reducing their fees accordingly. When your local market is experiencing economic challenges (as with the Middle East currently), this is entirely understandable.

However, it is not an attitude that we are adopting at BWP.

We have had to walk away from more clients than I would like to think about this year. They were insisting that we reduce our fees for all the above reasons (and many more). They weren’t wrong. All the factors above are weighing on our industry, but we have made a conscious decision to react to the external pressures in an entirely different way. Rather than letting them wear our business down, we are working with them to make ourselves stronger. Happily, many of our clients understand what we are doing and we are growing even closer to them as a result.

Let me give one small example:

It is undeniable that technology will take much of the “grunt” out of the sourcing (and eventually selection) process. Rather than take this as a business win and shave a few percentage points off our fees, we have worked hard to reinvest this time in what truly matters – spending time talking to our candidates and clients. Rather than track a load of admin stuff, we are starting to track conversations, insights and relationships. This for me is where the true value of a recruiter lies anyway, and the technological changes are aiding this rather than hindering it. In many ways, technology is making our contribution more valuable, not less.

However, such “human” wins are far harder to measure, and that is why the lowest-common-denominator clients tend to prefer the 2 -5% cheaper fees. Good for them, but that is not what we are about, that’s for sure. Great recruitment is about matching insights with opportunity and if you are only being paid 10% and handling 25 simultaneous contingency assignments, your understanding will be superficial at best.

I am incredibly proud about our track record at BWP, and while certain opportunities have come and gone because we are not willing to move our fees down to a level that is not commercially viable, we are definitely seeing that our pride in the quality of the delivery is retaining those clients who still recognize the value and work with us to reach mutually agreeable frameworks. 

A recruiter’s true value lies in the strength of their relationships, and that is something that money can’t buy.

If you offer an awesome service, take some pride in what you do.