Have you ever thought about bringing split fee agreements into your recruitment business model? The idea of collaborating with other agencies and splitting the fee might seem risky, but in reality, it’s healthy recruitment practice – and works particularly well for smaller agencies.
Teaming up with other agencies so you can compete against larger firms for new business might be the best move you make all year!
Why do split fees?
In case you need some convincing, here are reasons why a split fee agreement could really benefit your strategy:
- Helps you fill gaps in your recruitment offering to better serve clients
- Allows you to retain clients and continue working with them even when their recruitment needs fall outside of your specialism
- Nurtures a positive referral environment that will lead to more jobs for everyone involved
- Allows you to join forces to pitch against larger firms for bigger recruitment tenders.
Here’s how to use the split fee model in a way that will increase profit for your recruitment agency.
Join a split fee network
Finding split fee opportunities can be the hardest part of the process, and this is certainly the case in job-short markets like we’re seeing now.
Joining a split fee network like TEAM (for UK agencies) will expose you to lots of new fee opportunities in an space where recruiters are encouraged to support each other and collaborate in an environment of trust.
There’s over £1 million in split fee opportunities available through the TEAM website at one time, so this is definitely worth looking into if you’re a UK-based agency.
Choose a type of split that will fill gaps in your offering
There are so many different types of collaboration opportunities that will extend your reach in terms of the roles you can take on.
Use a split fee arrangement to team up with other recruiters or agencies that offer services that you can’t. For example, if you’re presented with an opportunity that involves recruiting temps or staffing, but you don’t have access to a staffing software that can do payroll because you normally recruit perm, this is the perfect time to consider splitting fees.
Reach out to someone who you know runs an excellent temp desk in your sector and ask them to take on the role on a split fee basis.
Refer other recruiters
If you have a client or prospect who is looking for a hire outside of your specialism, take the lead in referring the best recruiter you know in this area in return for a percentage of the fee.
If you have a good relationship with this recruiter, it’s likely they’ll provide you with a thank-you fee. But to ensure you never go empty-handed, you should agree a fee before you pass the business onto them.
Referring other recruiters like this works well because it keeps business with the smaller specialist agencies rather than losing out to the larger generalist firms. It also demonstrates that you take pride in staying within your recruitment niche but want to help your client too by referring them to the best man for the job.
Refer a candidate
As well as referring jobs on to recruiters who work within niches more suited to a role, you should also consider referring candidates too.
If you’re speaking with a candidate who you know would be a great fit for a role another recruiter you know is currently working, you could refer the candidate on and agree a split if the candidate is successfully placed.
Just be sure to get a solid split fee agreement in place before you hand over your candidate!
Have a fail-proof split fee agreement in place
The key to ensuring your fee splits always work out well for all involved is to ensure you have all the documentation in place so that all expectations are on the table from the beginning.
To help you with this, we’ve put together a split fee agreement template for you to use each time you have the opportunity to split a fee.
Katie once headed up the Firefish blog and marketing team. She now works as a freelance copywriter and continues to contribute to our award-winning blog.