The cost of sink-or-swim recruiters

I ran a poll on LinkedIn and found that around 60% of new recruiters are expected to find new business and negotiate fees in their first 6 months.

So what’s the cost of throwing price and negotiation in a sink-or-swim strategy for new recruits?

Let’s do the maths…

Your target price is 20%, but your “sink-or-swim” newbies get 15% for an average fee of £4.5k. You get them billing from day 1, and they make one placement a month.

12 placements in the first year at £4.5k = £54k.

What if you trained your consultants for the first 3 months and start them billing in month 4. They make the same number of placements a month.

Thanks to the training they’re hitting your target price of 20%. 9 placements in their first year at a higher fee of £6k = £54k.

So both approaches get the same outcome.

What happens next?

Let’s say they both make 18 placements in year 2. The sink-or-swim consultant makes £81k. The wait-and-learn consultant makes £108k.

How do you think year 3 goes?

Meanwhile in the real world…

Of course I’ve used hypothetical examples and rounded the numbers to keep things simple for us.

But if we were to look at this in real life, I think we’d see an even bigger difference between the two approaches.

A well-trained consultant would come across as more confident – and their successes would lead to even greater (justifiable) confidence.

Clients buy confidence, so I’d expect a higher win rate, more engagement through retainers and exclusive roles, a better fill rate (due to better job control), and more repeat business.

All at higher fees, of course.