In the last blog post, we talked about using the trigger of re-opening a job order in COATS, even if the client has used your services a few months ago, as an opportunity to ensure you are paying your associate top dollar to fill your client’s role. At the same time, ensuring you as the service provider are charging enough to cover worker’s compensation, unemployment, the new higher cost of recruiting to find a qualified candidate, overhead and profit.
It is an interesting dance you must do, with your client. You want to ensure the pay is high enough to find a quality employee, ensure the bill rate will cover costs and make a profit, while at the same time you have to be competitive on your bill rate and charge a fair price. There are a few ways to accomplish a good and fair pay rate for your employee, and bill rate for your firm.
First, if the open role is a “temp to hire” position, consider a lower, but acceptable rate by the employee to receive while working on a temporary basis. During the “contract to hire” period your candidate is being trained and learning the role and therefore should understand receiving one rate during this period, while knowing an increase will be obtained when offered a permanent role. If the employee won’t accept the offer having to wait the entire period for a higher pay rate, for example 640 hours or 16 weeks, consider a set raise schedule based on performance such as at 30, 60 and/or 90 days. At each of these increments, ensure the employee and the client understand what the resulting increase in pay and bill will be.
Another way to ensure the employee and client will be satisfied with rates, is to schedule interviews first. The client will be much more apt to pay a higher rate for a candidate they really want to see working for their firm. And, often the client and employee will discuss the pay rate desired, making it easier to move forward and get the desired employee started without further rate discussion.
Third, review your firm’s guarantee. Most staffing firms have a guarantee, but it’s typically not discussed in detail, or at all. Industry standard is a 4-hour guarantee. Let the client know that if they are not satisfied, they will not be billed when they notify you during the first 4 hours of the employee’s assignment. You can note this policy, or agree to not billing the client for the first day worked if they are not happy. Risk free is a great way to get the employee started without a lot of rate negotiation.