Over the last few years, I have seen an increasing number of blogs and social media posts from Recruiters and Search Consultants lambasting Recruitment Companies who offer low fee placements, reduced flat fees or seasonal discounts. The last one I saw made me think about the reasoning behind it and why a professional recruiter may get annoyed/upset. The usual cry is that “you are devaluing the industry”, but I’m not sure they are. Is it about time, choice, demand and personal preference?
If you look at any qualified profession these days you can almost certainly find a cheap, satisfactory alternative.
Do you need a bunch of flowers for a poorly neighbour? Pop to Morrisons (other Supermarkets are available) and there are plenty of superbly arranged, off the shelf bouquets to suit the moderate budget. Do you want flowers for a Wedding or special occasion? Then I am fairly certain you will go to a trained, qualified florist who specialises in offering a bespoke service. It’s going to cost you a lot more, but they will work with you to ensure you get what you really want.
You need a new kitchen. You can easily pop to Wicks, B&Q, IKEA and order everything you could possibly need and it will look good, do the job and be perfectly functional, however, you may also wish to appoint a professional manufacturer who will design to your exact specifications, offer professional advice on what products and materials are available, run the manufacturing and installation process, co-ordinate craftsmen and tradesmen and then be long after the installation to ensure you are 100% happy with the job.
Want to sell you house? Appoint an agent with huge amounts of market knowledge, contacts and advertising budget or do it online for a nominal flat fee.
The same principle applies to beauticians, butchers, bakers, fishmongers, accountants, financial advisors, builders, wine merchants, party planners, dressmakers, bankers, marketeers…you see where I am going with this? It applies in every profession. There will always be a cheaper alternative, but not everyone wants the cheaper alternative. Not everyone wants the expensive alternative either. Why are recruiters any different?
We don’t offer a massively discounted service due to time spent per assignment, industry experience and the service offered to all parties, but I don’t think that those that do are offering a devalued product. They just offer something very different.
I would be interested to hear thoughts on this.