Have you ever visited a theme park, arrived at opening time, only to see the huge queue of people restlessly waiting at the ticket booth? Not quite the start you’d hope to your great day out thrill-seeking.

"Why didn't I just buy the ticket online a couple of weeks ago when I checked?" You think to yourself. Especially when the deal online offered free fast track tickets and fizzy drink vouchers, for the same price. All you had to do was pay upfront and not when you arrived on the day.

The theme park is much happier if you do it this way because:

1) There’s a 90% chance that you’ll turn up on the day

2) You’ll tell your friends about how great the day was and the super saver deal you saw online

3) They will have more customers and therefore, more money in their pot.

It's a win, win – the riders are in quicker, get more time on the rides and had to spend less money to do so.

“How is this anything to do with digital recruitment?!” I hear you ask…. OK, let me tell you…

The theme park’s deal, I would say, is very similar to a lot of successful placements I have made this year by offering our "Committed Spend" service, you may already know this as a Retainer (there is a difference!). This solution is where my client would pay a proportion of the success fee upfront.

When my clients pay for our services upfront. I’m happy because:

1) I know they're committed to making this hire.

2) I know my efforts and time are well spent

3) My boss is happy with me for making the business money

4) I have made myself some commission

5) I’m working exclusively with this client meaning I am building upon the existing relationship and trust we have – which also means I have an excuse to pop out of the office for a swanky lunch to meet my client.

When my client pays for our services upfront. My Client is happy because:

1) They have saved substantial cost

2) They have saved time to make this hire

3) They get 100% of my time.

4) They are now my priority which means they receive higher quality of service

5) They can be more efficient with their own time, not having to respond to numerous agencies.

6) It is great for their brand as there is one consistent message going to the market about their company and the role, and it shows they’re serious about hiring, very important to jobseekers.

7) Their new employee has enough time to settle into the business in time for the busiest quarter of the year

As with the theme park scenario, it creates a win, win solution.

Recruitment is an unusual industry whereby we can often have a zero ROI despite putting significant time and effort into a search, so what this solution enables us to do is guarantee an ROI via an up-front payment, and de-risk our investment of time. This reduction of risk enables us to reduce our reward, i.e. our fee…

The question that always comes up when I’m discussing this option with my client is:

“What happens if I pay you upfront, and you don’t fill the role?”

I completely understand why this question is asked as it may feel like a bit of a risk to the business if they’ve never tried out a solution like this before. Reputation is key, especially in a small city like Dubai. It takes a long time to build a good reputation, and seconds to tarnish one. I’ve seen it before with my own eyes. The last thing I want to do is run off with someone’s money and deal with the anxiety of mine or Salt’s name being spoken of around the market as a cowboy recruiter!

Secondly, I’m a sales person. That small part of the commission that I received for the upfront payment, will not pay for my holiday to Florida or Bali. I need the rest of that fee to pay for those 😉

The key point is this: When my client has financial skin in the game it instils a feeling of trust inside me that they’re serious about making this hire, just like the theme park trusting the person will arrive on the day by buying a ticket in advance. This trust means I’m willing to be more flexible, jump through more hoops and work that bit harder and smarter to ensure I provide the best service I can, I’ll also throw in a fizzy drink and a queue jump along the way!

I know this blog, that you’ve probably stumbled across while having a lunch-time scroll on LinkedIn, may not be enough to convince you to try the option, but hopefully, it has put to bed a few misunderstandings of paying recruiters up-front. I’m always up for networking and meeting new people in the digital space; so if you do want to know more about me or Salt then let’s have a coffee, lunch or wine sometime soon! 😊