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Is it not possible to do some sort of "phased" payment to recruiters? So instead of giving 10% of the employees salary if actually employed (or employed for at least 3 months or other variations), how about giving increased percentages depending on actual time employed. So maybe 1% of salary if employed, then 5% is the employee stays for more than 3 months, then 1% every 3 months thereafter until it reaches 10-15% or some other amount.

I would imagine that this would encourage recruiters to not do a shotgun approach (i.e. do any employee you can) as only the actually good employees will be profitable, and the others will probably end up costing the recruiter more than the first 5% he could get.

Of course I have no experience doing this and all figures are made up, but are there any obvious reasons of why this would not work? Maybe in the end the final percentage is higher than the typical market rate for recruiters (i.e. >10% maybe) but extended over a longer period so the recruiter would have to actually cherry-pick the candidates.

This sounds a bit like contract to hire, but it's an interesting idea. It's the counterpoint to how recruiters debate the issue of guarantees.

Companies want long guarantee periods, meaning if they use a recruiter and pay 25% of salary, they want a refund if the candidate leaves quickly. Most guarantees I see are 90 days.

When a company wants asks for a six month or one year guarantee, recruiters may use the rebuttal "Well if my candidate stays for 20 years, are you going to pay me a 50% fee instead of 25%?"

It's an interesting concept to reward recruiters who provide candidates that stay for a long time. I've never seen any data to suggest that new hires that come from agencies have any longer or shorter tenures than those found through other means, so I'm not sure how a phased payment system would really help change much (other than recruiters having a vested interest in their hires staying at a job for as long as possible, which is the object of contract recruiting).

having a vested interest in their hires staying at a job for as long as possible

Exactly what I was thinking, but of course as I'm not experienced with this I thought there could be some glaring issues with it.

I would love to see some data (even if anecdotal) from someone that tried something similar. Imagine that you can even treat some of your older, most successful employees as "passive income"; as a recruiter you made a really really good effort locating, training and making the best fit for someone, and then that someone is netting you, say, 1% of their salary every 6 months or something, for the next 5 years (haven't worked through the numbers so that might not even make sense), but replace 1% and 5 years with X and Y.

In general terms, I would like to have a recruiter in more "closer" terms. So maybe this recruiter got me a job at company A, then 3 or 4 years from now, since they really did their job and know me well, they can put me in a much better job, for say the next 3 or 4 years again, and so forth. That would mean both he and I could have continued income due to the effort we both made. He made his effort picking a really good candidate and so did I, doing my job.

Kind of like an investor. Successful traders are usually the ones that make their due diligence and thus are rewarded with the most handsome payouts. Isn't that what a recruiter should do? invest in a particular candidate and find the best place where his "investment" can payback handsomely?

You're looking for an agent essentially who will be getting a portion of your earnings, though you won't be truly paying for the service the agent provided (the company will). I've written about this twice (1,2), inspired by a piece here on HN, as a potential solution for the problems in contingency recruiting, but with fees being paid by candidates. That is the key differentiator to that agent model - the job seeker, not the company, foots the bill.

Would you pay say 2-5% of your annual salary to a recruiter/agent every year? Even in years that you aren't actively looking for a job?

These are interesting questions if you think the recruiter can find you good jobs that you might not find on your own, can provide solid career advice, and negotiate salaries that are higher than what you might receive otherwise. If I can negotiate a 5% higher salary than you every time, paying me 2% every year is a pretty easy decision. Most technologists probably trust that they are as good at (or even better) negotiators than most recruiters, and in many cases they may be correct.

(1) http://jobtipsforgeeks.com/2012/09/17/disrupt/ (2) http://jobtipsforgeeks.com/2012/09/26/disruptii/

Awesome! thanks for sharing. I'll be sure to read those articles.

Great to see I'm not alone with this crazy idea. When writing the previous comment I actually started thinking if I would pay someone to actively look for the best job I can get at any given moment, and that I would probably pay for that happily. Of course, you make a serious point about considering that same payment after X years in a stable job (e.g. I've been with Google for the past 3 years... I'm not planning on changing jobs.. why should I pay this guy every year?) very interesting things to ponder over.

Again, thanks for sharing!

In Australia, it is not uncommon that the employee has to stay with the company for 3 months, for a reward to be given to the recruiter.

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