Movemeon: jobs, insight, events and career tips for (ex-)consultants, accountants and freelancers. Click here to create a free account and access all our opportunities.

You’re coming to the end of a freelance consulting project, it’s been fun – great team, challenging work, key milestones reached. You found the project through a recruitment agency. The client pulls you aside one day and asks if you’d be willing to lower your day rate and extend for some follow-on work. You take a minute, consider the request and push back to say that you’re working at the lowest possible rate…

 

…in the meantime, you’re crunching the numbers in your head, trying to rationalise the request. Realising the conversation has taken a slightly awkward turn – to date, it’s only been about project success and Friday beers; not about the money – you muster up the courage and ask the client why you can’t continue at your current day rate. After a brief pause, they say, ‘because every day I keep you on site, it’s costing me X, you certainly don’t come cheap!’. You’re now slightly embarrassed and taken aback by the figure and you suddenly realise what your total cost to the client really is. After a moment to collect your thoughts, you work out that a large portion of that total cost is going to the recruitment agency that placed you. Frankly, you feel a bit robbed.

 

‘What is the mark-up a recruitment agency is charging on me’?

 

Unfortunately, the conversation above happens to many of the freelancers I speak to far too often . They often overlook one of the key questions that should be in every freelancer’s arsenal when negotiating day rate – ‘what is the mark-up a recruitment agency is charging on me’? The answer is often a surprise and a shock too many – to hear that a recruitment agent is taking anywhere up to 100% of the value of your day rate for each day you work is not only unfair, it’s plain wrong. Naturally, there is an ongoing facilitation fee for the service a recruitment agent has provided – but, like with so many other areas of recruitment today, the lack of transparency around the total mark-up simply enhances the unease many candidates feel when working through an agency.

 

Transparency first

 

That’s why here at movemeon we are insistent on providing full transparency around what our fees are, helping you avoid awkward conversations like the one above! Firstly, through movemeon you will negotiate and agree your day rate directly with the client. There is no middle man involved and movemeon has no influence. Movemeon then charges commission, which is paid by the employer, rather than being taken off the rate you agreed. So, you get a day rate you’ve negotiated and are happy with. Everyone knows what’s going on. And the client saves up to 75% compared to commission paid to recruitment agencies.

So remember, every time you get a call from a recruiter with a new project – don’t be scared to ask what mark-up they’ll be charging on you. Here you can read how to set yourself up as a freelance consultant.