One of my clients called me with a pretty common problem yesterday. She had made a great presentation of a candidate AND the prospect needed somebody with that skill set. Yeah, some are still hiring!
Anyway, the hiring manager said, before I give you the opening you need to clear your fee with HR. This is where she made a small error in judgement that I see as sooooooooooooooo common, especially in times like these. So she gets off the phone with a living, breathing, person with a defined need and goes to HR. She is sent a looooong one-sided fee agreement at 15%.
Her question to me is how to negotiate with HR. I explained she was in “recruiter purgatory”. In a down economy HR has one goal as it relates to recruiters–cut costs! PERIOD. This was one position and, bluntly, she was entering sounding like any other recruiter.
Solution? I recommended she call back the person with the need. She then needed him to define the urgency and “pain” of the ramifications of that position remaining open.
Additionally, she needed to sell her process spell out in finite detail all the things she would do to fill the position with great talent and within two to three weeks.
If the prospect was comfortable, my instructions were for her to tell the prospect to work with his HR department to help negotiate a fair fee based her commitments. If the prospect did not want to be bothered I suggested she move on.
Either way, the tone and approach of this conversation would differentiate her from the rest of the “herd”. If the position remains open in a month after she walked away, she is now set up to be the savior on it. Additionally, she’ll have a lot more leverage.
What do you think? Add a comment below!!