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Free Tips for Recruiters

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Tips for Recruiters
Table of Contents

Strategy & Tactics
w Make Placements -- FAST!
w Voice Mail & E-mail: Eight Simple Rules
w Job Orders -- Better, Faster, Smarter
w How to Switch Desk Specialties
w Who Makes the Most Money?
w Retainers: Look Before You Leap
w How to Add Value, Not Redundancy
w Intelligent Online Recruiting

Skill Building
w Counteroffers: Can You Spot the Signs?
w Resume Makeovers: Quick Tips
w Is There a MAGIC to Closing?
w Finding the Right Recruiting Script
w Storyboarding for Maximum Impact
w How to Stimulate Candidate Referrals
w Expand the Supply of Candidates

Candidate Management
w Playing Softball with Your Candidates?
w The Power of Interview Preparation
w Control: The Key to Recruiter Success
w How to Fight the Counteroffer Bug

Employer Relationships
w You’re Worth the Money You Charge!
w Negotiate for Higher Recruiting Fees
w Anti-Discount Tactics for Recruiters

For Candidates & Employers
w Graceful Exits for Job-Changers
w Advice for Engineering Candidates
w What’s Your Capture Strategy?

Q & A for Recruiters
w Answers to Your E-mail Questions
Bill Radin answers letters from recruiters around the world.

Negotiate for Higher Recruiting Fees
By Bill Radin

The term “negotiating” usually conjures up images of tense hostage situations, striking auto workers or sports agents representing highly-paid athletes.

But in reality, all recruiters participate in varying forms of negotiation a hundred times a day; in our family and social lives, among our co-workers, and in our business relationships. Negotiating is simply the process of helping people get what they want. And a skillful negotiator is someone who achieves a settlement in which everyone is happy.

An effective negotiator (or selling professional) can improve the quality of his life through using common sense and a little ingenuity.

The Recruiter as Negotiator

In our business, it’s surprising to learn how many of us make needless concessions on a regular basis. These concessions can appear as discounted fees, low-quality job orders, or the unwillingness to preclose (or disqualify) reluctant or counteroffer-prone applicants. Such unnecessary sacrifices are usually made in the spirit of “negotiating.”

But making others happy at our own expense isn’t negotiating; it’s simply a way of avoiding the discomfort that comes from a potential disagreement, or the fear of “turning away business.” Not surprisingly, we all have a very strong tendency to “go along,” even if the result is counter-productive. And sadly, the cost to us in terms of lost billings, increased anxiety, and weakened business credibility is enormous.

We have so much to gain and so little to lose by improving our negotiating skills. And the good news is that negotiating is neither painful nor difficult, once a few simple techniques have been mastered.

“We Have Met the Enemy”
My high school history teacher fought in the South Pacific during World War II. He explained that during his basic military training, the U.S. soldiers were told countless stories of the savagery and courage of their Japanese opponents. The type of combat our troops were to expect would be fierce, relentless, and suicidal.

“Evidently, the Japanese were given the exact same speech by their drill sergeants,” my teacher said. “Because the first time I came face to face with a Japanese soldier, we both practically jumped out of our skins!”

I like to relate this story to negotiating, because the “savagery” or “courage” of the other side is usually either overestimated or irrelevant. The important issues are your factual preparations, your mental attitude, and the way in which you deal with new information. Walt Kelly’s cartoon character Pogo probably describes most negotiators when he says, “We have met the enemy, and it is us!”

So before you pull up a chair at the bargaining table, get a grip on your own needs, and what you think is at stake. In terms of fees, a good way to begin a discussion is to examine the arithmetic behind your own fee structure, and how unseen nuances allow many of us to “negotiate” away chunks of money we’re not even aware of.

For example, I was in the recruiting business for over two years before I realized that a reduction in fee from 30 percent to 25 percent represented a discount of nearly seventeen percent, not five percent. Translated into real money, on a placement of a $50,000 position, the difference is $2,500. In retrospect, I probably could have bought a new car with all the money I gave away to employers as little “five percent” discounts early in my career.

A firm grasp of the numbers is fundamental to any successful settlement. Remember, too, that the “funny money” syndromegiving away bits and pieces of moneycan cost us dearly over the long haul. After all, a thousand dollars here and a thousand dollars there can really start to add up.

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