Why You Should Separate Recruiting Fees from Ongoing Consultant Rates

Asher Black

Uncertainty in market conditions puts executives in a bind between retaining a capable workforce and adjusting to fluctuating customer demands. This is why having workforce flexibility is crucial in today’s business landscape. However, the default solution is to retain a permanent full-time workforce, which is the most inflexible option.

An open market for consulting talent is necessary to achieve workforce flexibility. Although we don’t have that yet, LinkedIn is a powerful tool to find talent. Unfortunately, traditional staffing agencies and consulting firms are inserting themselves as the gatekeeper between businesses and consulting talent, charging excessive fees and bundling recruiting fees into ongoing hourly rates.

The problem is that these agencies don’t add value, and they are not the only ones who can find talent. As soon as your request is received, traditional firms search where you or anyone else can search: LinkedIn, Indeed, and other publicly searchable databases. Moreover, the value comes from the talent acquisition professional connecting talent with your business, not the staffing agency or consulting firm itself.

To address this issue, it’s time to renegotiate the terms of service so that the cost of recruiting is separated from the cost of ongoing consulting rates. The recruiting job is a one-time event and should be a fixed cost, not variable. You should pay recruiting fees based on the recruiting effort itself, not how long the engagement lasts.

If your staffing agency or consulting firm refuses to unbundle fees, it’s a red flag that they are hiding information from you. You should engage an independent recruiter to ensure that there is no gatekeeper in the middle to extract a toll. By doing this, you can get the talent you need without paying excessive fees.

Asher Black

Asher Black

Asher Black is a co-founder of Free Agent Source and its Corporate Storyteller. As a consultant, his practice areas are Sales Effectiveness & Engagement, Education Program Implementation, Brand Story and Corporate Messaging. He often serves as a fractional leader, is a frequent public speaker, and media talent. He also lives in Brooklyn, plays guitar, writes fiction, and practices the martial arts.

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