Last week we answered the question, “What can a recruiter do for me?” We outlined the time constraints placed upon job seekers and employers both, and discussed how recruiters have access to hidden job sources to which many people do not have access.

There is a third reason for seeking the services of a recruiter: salary and benefit negotiations.

Part of my job as a recruiter is to negotiate salary and benefits for my clients. Companies obviously want the person with the highest qualifications at the lowest price. However, that is not realistic. Companies understand that candidates come in all levels of skills and talents, and that generally speaking, the more qualified a candidate is, the more money a company will have to pay to that person to obtain those skills and qualifications.

And then there is the recruiter – sitting between the parties, trying to balance two competing interests. That is when we begin to put our negotiating skills and techniques to use. Of course, I will not outline those strategies here, but suffice it to say we take a lot of pride in these skills. The better our skills at negotiation, the better we are as professionals.

Often times, recruiters have access to knowledge that the job candidate does not: the employer’s top line salary range. For instance, my client employers will tell me their salary range for a certain position is £20,000 – £30,000, and that they are willing to pay no more than £32,000 for even the best candidate out there. I seek out a candidate for the position under the advertised guideline and the candidate never knows that the company is willing to pay an extra £2,000 to a superior candidate if they must.

Let’s say I then find the perfect candidate for the position, and that their minimum salary requirement is only £27,000. With my knowledge in place, I can get the candidate significantly more than they expected would be offered. Everyone is happy: The candidate gets more money than they dreamed; the company gets the perfect match within their salary requirements; I get the satisfaction of a job well done!

As a second example, let’s say the same perfect candidate requires a minimum of £34,000 instead and will not budge. As a recruiter, I can also negotiate other benefits as compensation. For instance, perhaps the company is not willing to meet the £34,000, but is willing to offer extra holiday pay in lieu of salary. Or perhaps a company car or mileage considerations can be negotiated. One very hot incentive in the labour market right now is virtual work. This is where an employee is allowed to work from their home office at least part of the work week as opposed to coming into an office every day.

The bottom line is that recruiters have access to knowledge that many people do not. A recruiter’s aim is to make the best placement at the best rate that pleases all parties involved. Best of all – a recruiter’s services are free to job hunters!