Recruiting  Fees

We took a very informal survey from our customer base of executive-staffing recruiters asking what fees they were charging and how they the fee or commission was structured.  Here is a sampling of some:

Company Fee Guarantee
1 20-25% none
2 20-25% 1-6 months
3 25%  100 days
4 20-30% 30-90 days
5 20-25% 90 days
6 20-25% 30 days
7 20-25% none
8 15-30% 90-180 days


Sample fee agreement forms

Best tips on Recruiting Fees

There is no “magic bullet” when it comes to fee's or fee negotiations. First ask yourself if you are good negotiator.  If your answer is "yes"  then the tips below have just come naturally to you. If you are not confident in negotiation skills then do something about improving them.  However the one thread that runs through all recruiting skills including fee negotiations is learning to be quite when you feel the need to add conversation to silence.

  • Always have a signed fee agreement before you start an assignment.
  • If the client wants to negotiate start by decreasing your percentage by 1% and no more than 2%
  • Some say stand firm and never negotiate fees. This idea is great on bravery and principles but short on revenues.
  • Always be willing to negotiate but do a little home work first.
  • Don’t be so quick to respond, waiting before filling the void with words will only weaken your position.
  • Measure what the other side wants.
  • Qualify the negotiation make sure you have a real job order. Probe for pertinent information.
  • Assess the situation. How much do you need this employer’s business? What are your success chances?
  • Finally! Always, always be prepared to explain the work you do and the value you add. This explanation should be practiced and practiced as if you were giving a "State of the Union" speech.