QUESTION: We have a client that has upgraded a position that we have been providing candidates for this past month.  I see that to successfully place a candidate for this niche position, they’ll need to increase not only the salary, altering their comp plan, but also amend the money and staff forecast through year end. It looks like we will be providing even more consultation in our client relationship. Are there any thoughts on how we can adapt a client from a candidate search-based contract into a mixed search and staff consultation-based contract?Al in Las Vegas, NV

ANSWER: I do not know the size of this client for you. When I did this for clients, I did it for free.  And I did it for free with companies I was on retainer with. And we were doing $100,000-300,000 per year and I would do written reports.

My instinct says give them the consultation because, what are you going to charge? $5,000, $8,000, $10,000? Unless it is a huge research project where you have got to start investigating all this stuff.  There is so much more leverage because you can say “If you brought in a consulting company, they would charge you $25,000 for this. Because you have been such a great client, we want to help you through this.”

When I did that with clients, they forgot about this during the next recession.  They will remember it as long as business stays okay. And some of them will remember it in the next recession.

The only other thing you can do is price it out. If it is a deep research project where you really have to go in and do a salary survey to what these people are making and how to alter it, you know?  I would come up with a project price, but not charge hourly. $5,000; $10,000; $15,000; $20,000 and then you just have a scope of work. “For this, we will provide bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. We will do onsite consulting and training or interviewing, etc.” And that would be totally and completely separate from the search work that you’re doing. So, that is kind of a spin on it.