Top billers are responsible for generating a large chunk of revenue for recruitment agencies and when you lose one, you will feel it!
If a consultant is a top biller, they’re doing a great job delivering the best talent for their clients. If that consultant moves on, that client is highly likely to move with that recruiter in the future, of course assuming no non-compete rules are broken in the short-term.
But why, if they’re doing so well in your agency, do top billers leave to other agencies? Here are the top 5 reasons we hear from some of the industry’s best billers in Asia.
There’s no one to learn from
The top performers are always hungry to increase their performance and learn more. If they get to a stage however where they become the top biller in the agency, they may feel that they have learnt all they can.
This could be in the form of recruiting processes, such as best practices and advanced recruiting techniques, or perhaps specific to the market the recruiter is specialising, such as niche areas like Quant Trading Technology.
The latter is quite common, especially if the recruiter is working in a large generalist agency. They may see moving to a brand that is only known for their market segment as a good move for them as they can surround themselves with more recruiters in the same market they can learn from.
In these situations, we see some recruiters who are in the SGD $600 – 700k range, who are at the top of their game in their current agency but they want to become a million dollar biller to take the next step up, so they move to an agency who have recruiters billing more than them.
As recruitment becomes more competitive by the hour, especially with the current economy, I can foresee this to become more important over time as a recruiter’s intricate market knowledge becomes more important to differentiate.
They’ve reached a ceiling for career progression
As a recruiter climbs the ranks, they might get to a certain level where there is no more progression, especially if that person is managing a team.
If there is someone above them with some coverage within the consultant’s market who has been there for 10 years and is unlikely to leave, the recruiter may be more receptive to opportunities that would offer them a larger scope.
They are only however receptive at a stage where they’ve been in that position for a while, so generally the recruiter would have served a commendable tenure in the agency.
They’re not keen on the management and get pushed into it
A classic one! Naturally if a recruiter is doing exceptionally well, the agency will want to expand that team in an attempt to generate more revenue. The issue is that, if your top biller is moved into management and as the team expands, the biller has less time to bill, and hence decreases earnings, which leads to dissatisfaction as they lose one of their major motivators.
They may also have no interest in managing at all, and forcing someone into that route could be a recipe for disaster. They will either leave, or not manage well, leading to turnover within the team.
A good strategy in this case is to either hire a peer with clearly defined market segments, or a manager who wants to manage and can bring external experience, however structural changes like this could be very sensitive should be discussed openly and transparently to reduce the chances of someone becoming unhappy.
Your commission scheme isn’t competitive enough for their appetite
An obvious one, but this is one of the top reasons. Recruiters are money motivated and if they hear through the market that other agencies pay more on commission, you’re already at risk of losing them.
This is most prevalent when a recruiter is moving from boutique to boutique, because more often than in global players, in a boutique, a recruiter needs to build their market with fewer relationships and less infrastructure or support from a platform.
The recruiter should always of course consider the platform offered by their current agency that has enabled them to develop into a top biller, but if they get to a point where they no longer need that support, they might make the jump to another agency that pays more.
They’re not happy with the way deals are split
Less common, as the the top billers generally have a good foothold in their market to get 100% revenue recognition for their deals, however some firms have certain structures where the consultant loses a good portion of revenue due to a split structure.
This is a tricky one to get right and it really depends on the structure of your agency. Do you operate 360? 270? 180? Or all? Some agencies offer a 30% split for candidates who are referred internally to other consultants, some offer 0%. Some go up as high as 50%!
Experiencing any of these frustrations?
As an agency specialised in the Rec2Rec market, if we look back at most of our top biller placements over the past year, a majority of them are due to one of these frustrations.
If you’re a recruiter facing some of these frustrations, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn for a confidential chat about your situation and different ways we can help to resolve it.