5 Simple Tactics to Help Increase Your Recruiting Earnings

5 Simple Tactics to Help Increase Your Recruiting Earnings

Blog Posts
Will McGhee
5 min

In recruiting, it's essential to know your worth and be able to charge accordingly. Unfortunately, many independent recruiters are often afraid to confidently navigate the murky waters of fee discussions –either because they don't think they're worth it or they're afraid of rejection. But if you want your recruiting agency to be more successful, you need to learn how to navigate agreements like a pro.

Asking for higher fees may seem like a daunting task, but there are a few simple tactics you can use to help increase your earnings without creating too much friction. In this article, we'll discuss 5 of the best strategies for charging commensurate with your value.

Know Your Worth

It's important to know your worth before you start negotiating a deal. This means doing your research and understanding what other recruiters and agencies are charging in your niche. You don't want to ask for too much or too little, but rather find a rate that's fair and reasonable for the work you are going to put in.

There are a few different ways to go about researching. One is to simply look online for average rates, both for your specific recruiting niche and for related niche. You can also reach out to other independent recruiters in your industry and ask them what they charge. You'd be surprised at how many of us are willing to help. This can give you a good idea of the market rate and help you come up with a figure that's appropriate for your skills and experience.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn't always charge the same amount for every job. Sometimes it makes sense to charge more for more complex or time-consuming recruiting projects, or to adjust your rate based on the client's salary budget. It's important to be flexible and willing to negotiate so that you can get the best deal possible.

But ultimately, you need to remember that you're worth something, and you should never be afraid to ask for what you're worth.

Provide More Value in Your Offering

When it comes to charging more for your recruiting services, one of the best ways to make more money is to provide more value in your offering. This means going above and beyond what's expected and providing extra benefits or features that the client can't get anywhere else.

One way to do this is to offer additional services at no extra charge. For example, you could offer recruiting process consulting services, Q&A sessions, or additional support after onboarding your candidates. By providing more value upfront, you're showing the client that they're getting a lot of bang for their buck.

Another way to provide more value is to specialize in a particular area or niche. This can help you stand out from the competition and demonstrate your expertise in a particular field. It also allows you to focus on areas that you're passionate about and know inside out.

Finally, make sure you stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in talent acquisition. This will help you stay ahead of the curve and provide valuable insights to your clients.

Ask For Referrals

Referrals are one of the best ways to increase your sales and grow your business. Yet, I am often shocked by how few recruiters have a solid referral program in place. When someone refers you to a potential client, it builds trust and credibility. This can not just help you earn more business in the long run, but also give you more leverage to negotiate higher fees.

There are a few different strategies to get referrals, but the key to every successful referral strategy is to actually write it out and systematize it.

Check out this video by Antoine Dupont to help get the creative juices flowing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7IlAQ-aXOo

Negotiate More Effectively

I know, "what a revelation!" but hear me out.

There are plenty of tips and tricks about negotiating more effectively. They'll tell you to be assertive, don't speak first and a lot of other tactics that aren't going to actually help you. The key to negotiating is listening and actually making it about the other side's best interest. As recruiters, this skill should come naturally to us, however so many of us falter on this because we insert ourselves into the deal. We make it about winning and losing when in reality it's about making the client and candidate feel like they are the ones winning.

That doesn't mean giving in to everything they request, but making your preferred outcome their idea. 

If you really want to up your negotiation game, I highly recommend the book "Never Split the Difference" by Chris Voss. He also has a Masterclass course that is one of the best I've ever taken.

Leveling up your negotiation skills will help on both the client and candidate side of the job, so make this skill a priority.

Meeting in the Middle

Many recruiters fall into the trap of charging the exact same 20%, 25% and 30% fees that everyone else does. These big leaps in fee percentages might be difficult for a new client to grasp when they are used to lower fees. Don't be afraid to meet in the middle.

Charging as little as an additional 1-3 percentage points can increase your revenue by more than $5k for some senior level positions. And if you close just 1 senior role per month that is an additional $60k a year. This also goes for fractional increases, like 22.5% fees.

Don't block additional revenue by only focusing on round numbers in your agreement increases.


If you're looking to make more money as an independent recruiter, it's important to focus on providing more value in your offering. This means going above and beyond what's expected and providing extra benefits or features that the client can't get anywhere else. You can also charge more for your services by being flexible and willing to negotiate outside of the traditional norms.

With Headrace as your partner, you can actually add more value to your clients for free. Our client management and back office solution allows you to not just focus on delivering for your clients but also gives you a more professional look and feel with job portals.

Lastly, Headrace is here to help in the negotiation process. Our team provides back end support and can act as your liaison during the negotiation process.

Will McGhee

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