College Grads Complete Recruiters Handbook
So, you're about to graduate and are in the process of sending your re'sume' out to several jobs. Well, it just so happens that one of the ads you applied to is through a recruiter. Besides being an online media consultant, I run a recruiting firm which deals with executive level job seekers. That means our company only places jobs which are $100,000 base salary or above. For several reasons, including ethics, we do not place recent college graduates.
Coming out of college, I strongly suggest that you do not use a recruiter for your first job. There are exceptions such as Heidrich and Struggles as well as ManPower, though there are not many. Actually, I wish most colleges would stop letting recruiters post 3rd party employment openings. If it is directly for that recruiting firm and the position offers compensation, then it is an exception. We'll get into what it is like to work for a staffing firm later in this article.
Personally, before I graduated from college, I had no idea what a recruiter was. That is, until I got staffed by one in a job which I would leave in 4 months to, ironically, start my own recruitment company.
How do recruiters get paid:
Recruiters get paid two different ways :
1. Contingency contracts; a contingency contract is when a company pays a recruiter (typically 15% - 25% of the base salary) to find them an employee. With a contingency contract, the recruiter only gets paid if somebody is placed for that particular position.
Therefore, if your base salary is $35,000, the recruiter would get $7,000 in commission once you officially became employed with the organization. Actually, the $7,000 would go to the recruiting company and, depending on what the firm's commission policies were, the recruiter would get a certain % of that money.
2. Retained contracts these days; recruiters are less likely to obtain these contracts, however it is when a company pays a recruiting firm up front or in stages regardless of if they make the placement. It is unlikely that a firm would be retained to get recent college graduates.
3. Guarantees recruiters almost always give their clients guarantees. These guarantees, more or less, are a form of risk management so the employer does not have a job applicant leave and is left with a hefty bill. The industry standard guarantee is 90 days prorated on a 30/60/90 days basis. Prorated guarantee explained:
Let's assume, to make it easy mathematically, that the recruiter is charging 20% of the base salary and is working on a 30/60/90 pro-rated guarantee. So, if your base salary is $30,000, then the total fee the recruiter would receive is $6,000. With the aforementioned guarantee, the payment schedule would be as follows: $2,000 after you were at the company for 30 days, the second $2,000 after you were at the company for 60 days, and the final $2,000 after you were at the company for 90 days.
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