Sometimes it is good to be disruptive...

As a doting father of two small children, a little girl that is 4 years old and little boy who is 2, I am enjoying the fact that I am starting to see a lot of my traits present themselves in both of them. They both make me laugh on a daily basis but Josh is a little hurricane like I was when I was little. The fact that if people were naughty in my class at primary school were told to stand in ‘Tommy’s corner’, should tell you that I have probably always had a strong propensity for being disruptive. It is not widely acknowledged to be a good trait but sometimes it can be…

When I set up Fetch Recruitment with my business partner Yasmin, we wanted to do something different in recruitment. Sometimes when you start with a blank sheet of paper, it is easy to step back and see that sometimes the standard industry approach to business just does not make any sense.

If you look at many of the successful businesses that we turn to today, many offer commercial approaches that started out by making things uncomfortable for those operating in the markets that they live in. Comet famously became the showroom for any electronic goods bought on Amazon and we all know what happened to Blockbuster and their failure to embrace video on demand technology.

The recruitment market in general has not really changed that much for years. There are a few recruitment businesses that offer different commercial propositions but the reason a lot of businesses are now trying to recruit people directly is that they no longer see the value in working with recruitment agencies. Paying 25% of a basic salary for punting a few CVs across does not represent good value in a lot of people’s eyes. Rightly so.

Our business model focuses on offering lower fees in return for varying levels of exclusivity on a role. Some clients ask us to sign up to their terms but our fee structure is transparent (you can see it on our website) and we only charge different fees when clients ask us to. These rates are normally higher than our standard ones but only because clients want us to fit their structure which is fine.

The fact is that where we charge fees of 10% of basic salary with a retainer of £500 or fees of 12.5% with no retainer, our biggest challenge is making it clear that we are not cheap and cheerful. We actually do a lot more work and where most agencies have one recruiter working on a role, we have two.

The reason our fees are lower is not because we take shortcuts, far from it. We spend a lot more time on every aspect of our work for clients. Our fees are lower because most of our roles are handled on an exclusive basis. The result is that rather than the conversion rate of 1 placement for every 6 job briefs taken that a lot of recruitment agencies have, we fill around 75% of the jobs that we work on. The simple fact is that we charge lower fees because we are not billing clients for wasted effort on roles that we are unsuccessful with for other clients.

I have been asked why other businesses do not take this approach. It is quite simple really, they are wedded to their fee structures. The same way that Comet and Blockbuster were wedded to their business models. We are not intending to be disruptive really, we just want to offer great value to our clients. Our approach does not reinvent the wheel, we are just trying to give clients what they expect without charging them unreasonable fees.

I am really pleased that whenever I meet with a potential new client we generally always end up recruiting for them as they like our approach and can see that we offer great quality.

If you need help recruiting into HR or Finance and would like to hear more about our approach you can contact me by email on anytime, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

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