I’ve seen a lot of unhappy candidates on LinkedIn recently and a pretty vociferous debate around the role that recruiters play in the hiring process. 

One of the most contentious areas that never seem to go away is the matter of salary disclosure.

Salary disclosure is that point during the initial conversation when your recruiter pops the question and wants to understand your current salary and any additional extras that you might receive as part of your remuneration.

There is a logic behind why we do this, so I wanted to take the opportunity to provide a little insight into why we ask this question and how the terms we actually have in place with our clients mean we’re highly incentivised to help you.

  • We’re paid a percentage fee by our clients, which relates to your first salary

One of the common negative opinions about recruiters is that we’re only concerned about the commission. It’s an upside to doing the job that we do, but far from the first or only priority that we have.

However, if our client terms are related to your first-year salary it means that if we're able to secure you a higher salary, we'll also secure ourselves a higher fee. In simple terms, we’re incentivised to help you.

  • We provide clients with a free replacement if you leave within the guarantee period.

The most common rebuttal we see to my first point is that ‘any fee is better than no fee’. However, our terms of business mean we actually guarantee your placement for a period of time after you start a position.

If you feel like you’ve been ‘mis-sold’ or you feel underpaid / undervalued, you probably won’t stick around and we’ll be obliged to conduct the same search over without any additional fee.

  • We find a lot of our best candidates from referrals.

There’s nothing better than a happy candidate when it comes to our line of work. It’s great PR for us with the hiring company and from our experience candidates love to talk about a positive hiring experience to other candidates.

As agency recruiters, we put in long and anti-social hours at times, so we love nothing better than working smart. If we have the choice between conducting a search from scratch or talking to a candidate with the right skillset that’s been pre-vouched for by someone we’ve already helped into a role – it’s a win-win situation for us.

  • We’re not in the business of wasting your time or our clients time.

In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be financial constraints. We’d all have limitless resources and hiring companies wouldn’t have budgets and you could name your price. Unfortunately, the reality is slightly different

Corporates often have salaries that are tied to job grades and/or budgets often have a pre-prescribed allocation where salary costs are concerned.

An interview process is a substantial investment of time. It’s an investment of your time, a hiring manager's time and our time. Out of respect, the last thing we want is for everyone to invest a month or longer into a process only to be disappointed by the outcome.

In light of all the negativity that seems to be out there, I hope that the above offers an honest perspective on why we’re ultimately on your side as a candidate.