Tuesday, May 17, 2016

An Interesting Conflict

Any time you’re talking to an agency recruiter about either a specific job or what recruiters generically call “opportunities”, just remember who’s buttering their bread.

All recruiters are paid by the company doing the hiring.

So when you’re given some version of “the more you make, the more I make” regarding what your new salary would be if you change jobs, be reminded the recruiter has the hiring manager in their other ear telling them they would want to hire you at the most prudent salary.  

That is the way it works- EVERY TIME. The recruiter gets a percentage of your first years’ salary while the hiring company cuts the check.

You almost certainly already know this- or maybe you don’t. 

Inherently, there is nothing wrong or dishonest about any of this. But it very quickly can become a slippery slope if everyone is not on the up and up.

Ask the recruiter, if they break out that old line about The More You Make to you.., if the hiring company would like to know you’re throwing around such language. Of course they wouldn’t and you deserve a straight answer. It’s true, the recruiter WOULD LOVE for your salary to be elevated…but not as much as getting the deal done AND having a very happy hiring client.

You’re not seeking conflict by asking the question. You just want all the cards face up. It’s important you know how the process works.

Personally, I’ve never once used that phrase with a candidate re: salary expectations, I think it’s just a little misleading. If I’m asked how a client/hiring company feels about what your salary should be, here’s my answer:

“As you likely know, XYZ Company will pay me if I find the person they want to hire. That person may or may not be you. Either way, they’re in business to make a profit- just like your employer. That said, they hope to pay market value.  Part of my job is to come to a number that both parties are agreeable to”.

What exactly Market Value is can be a little fuzzy and hiring companies, to a degree, listen to what agency recruiters say about what the market is yielding on salaries. A competent and principled agency recruiter knows A HELLUVA LOT more about current salaries than, say, Salary.com, GlassDoor etc.

Virtually everything in life and especially business, when put under the microscope, has some form of conflict of interest in play. When any form of need, want or desire is in play, people are hardwired to safeguard their own and their loved ones. Often if not always, if one doesn’t protect their self-interest, things become unraveled. If everyone on the planet lived a purely altruistic life, this would be a non-issue.  Until then, much of life and most of business is a negotiation. Do your homework, gather all the facts and proceed from there.