How to Avoid the Pay Rate Switcheroo

money talkIf you have been working in the staffing industry for any length of time, you have probably encountered what I like to call the old “pay-rate switcheroo.” We are all familiar with this scenario: You lock up a candidate at a specific pay rate, you confirm this rate several times via phone calls, an email, a text and maybe even a smoke signal or fax. The next thing you know, though, the candidate has a great interview elsewhere or gets another offer and suddenly he or she desires/needs/requires/“deserves” a higher rate. This undoubtedly puts you in a very awkward position with your client.

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After countless conversations with candidates as to why it is just a terrible idea to ask for more money on the back end and various lectures on the importance of making sure they are comfortable with the rate they are submitted at on the front end, it finally hit me — the perfect analogy to make them see just exactly why changing their rate is all too often a suicide move as far as their offer is concerned!

Ask your candidate the following question:

“If you (aka the client) went car shopping and found the car you wanted to purchase and told the sales clerk (aka the candidate) you were willing to pay full sticker price for the car, what would you do if the sales clerk turned around and said you the they would actually like to charge more than full price?”

The answer of course is that is a ridiculous request on any level and furthermore puts the integrity of the sales clerk (aka candidate) in question. This analogy is an easy way to help candidates understand that they are submitted as a “total package” and offers don’t only come as a result of skills and experience but also value for the money. Any offer is a request to buy the candidate’s services at the price listed in the submittal, and to counter for more money at that stage can — and likely will — negate the sale.

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So, fellow members of the staffing industry, I urge you to push back on your candidates. I hope that this little analogy will be a valuable tool to help your candidates understand the detrimental effect of raising their price after submittal.  Let’s not let these guys push us around anymore — we have to set a standard that submittal rate is final.

** Note: I am a huge advocate of paying a candidate a fair rate for their skills and services and am not in any way, shape or form suggesting that we low-ball them. I just think there is a time and a place for everything and the time for rate conversations, suggestions and concerns is PRE-submittal.


Annabel Pickens

Annabel Pickens
Annabel Pickens is associate director of client relations at Spectraforce Technologies. She can be reached at annabel.pickens (at) spectraforce (dot) com.

Annabel Pickens

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