Recruiters – What Base Salary Are YOU Worth?

It’s the million dollar question, one I get asked daily by candidates and also clients want my guidance on what they should pay given the current market

To be fair to clients they all normally say “we’ll pay what we need, so long as there is a business case” which is kind of what my answer is here

I know it sounds a bit grey and underwhelming as you prob wanted a lovely chart or formula to say x number of years experience with yearly billing level of £x = £x base salary but it just doesn’t work like that i’m afraid

Yes we can say:

Trainees / Grads normally 16k-22k
Consultant normally 20k-25k
Senior Consultant normally 25k-30k
Principle Consultant / Team Leader normally 30k-40k
Manager normally 35k-45k
Senior Mgr / Associate Director 45k+

BUT these are so general and for example I have placed a trainee on 26k before, I’ve heard of others coming in closer to 30k

I have placed candidates who have been in the industry for 10 years+ on 25k base salaries and yet my last placement was a lady who had 2 years specific rec experience and my client offered her 35k base! She is well worth it btw

So look it really is not black and white and that’s not me trying to skim over a specific and important question. Recruitment really is a meritocratic industry and you will be judged on your ability and potential rather than years experience.  It’s what we say to people at the very start of their recruitment career and it’s 100% true. It’s why young, ambitious sales professionals want to work in the sector and why we do have people who are just a few years out of University or higher education earning six figures (this is not the norm by the way! 1st year OTE for a trainee is more 30k-35k)

Another huge factor is timing and like any “purchase” if you can look at it like that? Supply and demand. You will all know that recruitment to recruitment is considered a VERY “Candidate Driven” market which is why a lot of people who start in rec to rec think they will be millionaires at the start because everyone is hiring! Job are easy to come by BUT you need to find the very best people at all levels and this is not easy and clients know that. So if they see someone they really like culturally for them, have the right prev exp, be that a trainee or specific recruitment sector, then you are in a strong position. If they have a desk which is warm and empty then they will be very keen to get someone in ASAP. Throw in the fact you are also wanted by others and your value could rocket

That being said to come back to what my clients say at the start of this blog “…so long as there is a business case”

If you are on say 25k base and billing 120k and you are asking for 30k+ base plus of course commission on top then you will struggle. If you are on a normal commission structure (i’ll write a blog on commission structure soon if you want) so you get £1,000 for billing 10k in a month then you will earn 12k commission for doing 120k on top of your 30k base so 42k for doing 120k. Looks like you will still be making the company some decent £ but it’s very risky and top end for a client paying this level when for that level of billing they can prob get someone much cheaper on the base

There are loads of examples I can quote for people getting high or even lower than norm base salaries but this blog would go on for ever so let’s have a discussion below or over on LinkedIn on your thoughts.

My conclusion is unfortunately it’s not black and white and it’s also VERY random depending on fit and timing. What we and any decent recruiter can do is give honest guidance, communication and manage both client and candidate expectations through out a process so that it’s not a deal breaker at the end of a 4+ stage interview process, which can and does still happen as we are dealing with people and things do change, again me being very on the fence haha

Let me know your thoughts, be good to get some other opinions