How to discuss the issue with the recruiter
Raise it with the recruiter in a professional manner.
- Set out that you are not happy with their proposed salary range
- Outline the research you have done and why you think you are worth that
- Be prepared to get some push back from the recruiter.
At the end of the day they are expecting this sort of push back from candidates, and they have just put out the groundwork for any future negotiations.
Stand up for your position on your salary
You should also be prepared that the recruiter will decide not to proceed with the process, and you should be ready to accept that eventuality.
How recruiters work
When dealing with recruiters it’s important to remember that they work for the company, not for you. As such they can have different incentives to you.
There are generally three ways recruiters get paid
- Fixed upfront fee (up to 50% of the expected salary of a given hire)
- Commission (usually 25% of the first years salary after hired)
- Combination of 1 & 2
Each of these remuneration structures provide different incentives for the recruiter when dealing with a candidate.
Fixed Upfront Fee
This is usually an exclusive arrangement with a given recruiter/recruitment firm. The recruiter has also already been paid for the service. As a result the recruiter is incentivised to find the right candidate at a lower cost than the going market rate (basically their incentives are much more inline with the internal HR department).
Typically these recruiters can afford to take longer with their recruitment.
Their remuneration is directly linked to the candidates pay packet. As a result this should incentivise them to try and get the candidate a higher salary. This, however is not always the case.
These types of recruiters/recruitment arrangements will generally not be exclusive. Thus they will be competing to get the right candidate in front of HR with the HR department and other recruiters. A lower expected salary from the candidate can do that.
If we take an example rate of 25% commission and a standard salary of £30,000.
If the recruiter is successful with a candidate of standard salary then they get £7,500.
If instead they are successful with a candidate of 75% of the standard salary (£22,500) they will get £5,625.
While this may seem like a big difference between the two positions, it’s not necessarily the comparison they will be making. What they might actually doing is weighing up not filling the position, but doing a lot of work, (and getting £0) and filling the position with a small amount of work, due to the lowballed salary getting the candidate under consideration (and getting £5,625).
Sure once the salary negotiations start they may work to raise the candidates salary a bit, but probably not by too much.
Take Home Message
You are the only person who will work in your best interests. Stand up for what you think is a fair remuneration.