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What’s Stopping Recruiters Moving?

By July 9, 2021No Comments

Cards on the table, I’m a little half cut from England’s historic triumph catapulting them to their first final in 55 years. Papa Walters is icing his loins in Ohakune after successfully impregnating his spouse, which we are thrilled by! For too long JR has had to deal with ol mate’s parenting tips from a position of zero authority. I shed a tear for those England supporters who got up super early and then had to attend RCSA awards last night. Having to sit through 90+ minutes of tense viewing with the decision ultimately decided a self-appointed and money-grabbing governing body, then of course, there was the footy! Like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover on the cover of Lethal Weapon I’m doing the blog; back-to-back. Because of this, it’s going to be a bit introspective this week and focused entirely on the current recruitment market, for recruiters.

The vast majority of my LinkedIn connections are recruiters so my ‘congratulate x and 2 others for starting new positions’ is quite telling. Recently, it’s been a lot of promotions. As oppose to consultants moving from one agency to another. There’s been a bit of a slow down in the internal movement within the market. The old first one in/last one out fear isn’t as much of a concern anymore with the modern consultant, it’s a little less on the nose. Most consultants have had a stonking start to the financial year! With what little sunshine they’ve had they’ve made hay and are well inclined to harvest said hay. However, the nature of agency recruitment is that you will often be paid your commission the following month or at the end of a quarter. That creates a golden handcuff situation of sorts, albeit for a short amount of time. In some cases, agencies have even retained the juicy fruits of consultant’s labor. I’ve always thought that’s a bit sly. Like when you see people buy a dog together in a relationship. As soon as it’s over the embodiment of their joint efforts and shared ambition is withheld from one party.

Then of course there’s the old restraint of trade. In principle, it’s a just and understood rule of thumb. Usually, it’s 3 months but I’ve seen 6 months and, in some cases, even a year. Some even relate to territory rather than length of time; not being able to do business with clients in a 5k radius. That last one is as enforceable as it is reasonable considering most people’s clients will be based in the CBD if not a large portion. You’ll often get something in the post from the desk of a law firm reminding you of your previous obligations. It’s sort of like when you used to get letters about your TV license back in the UK, pretty toothless. ROT’s should always be honored, it’s a courtesy to your previous employer and a token of respect. It does kind of expose an untold truth about agency recruitment; that relationships are really between consultant and client as opposed to agency and client. The bottom line is it’s very hard to stop someone from earning a living but it’s also hard to work in a small market if you aren’t courteous and grateful to those that invested in you.

How to relieve the consultant of some of these worries? I think it’s important to emphasize you appreciate how moving agencies could be a daunting prospect. Empathize with their current employer and ensure that you won’t do anything that conflicts with their restraint. A position that is perhaps more candidate-focused in the interim or working on legacy accounts far removed from their previous. In terms of picking those golden handcuffs, I’ve seen a few options. There’s the guarantee of commission by providing a higher base salary for the first few months, perhaps starting on $100K+ for 3 months and then dropping down the intended salary. Removing the threshold is a popular choice, this is usually done when there are accounts for the consultant to work on and importantly, hit the ground running. The internal recruitment market is like a Jenga tower, those easy central blocks have been removed early doors. The more load baring ones require a more considered approach. Oh, and before I forget…It’s only bloody coming home isn’t it! ⚽🏡