Targets, Commission & Bonuses • Life in Recruitment Interviews

However, if your only aim is to get rich quick, then you may run the risk of overlooking other attributes that would otherwise add to your longevity as a trusted, respected and recommended recruitment consultant. That said, obsessive attention to P’s and Q’s, and ensuring that each and every task is completed with the same care and consideration, would likely result in timescales neglected and targets missed. Priority management is key!

Recruitment is a very target driven job and if you are willing to work long hours, and have the ability to exceed targets, it can be a lucrative industry. Generally speaking, you’re measured by the number of people that you place into jobs. The best recruitment consultants are driven by hitting targets, which ultimately translates into more commission. To continue to meet these targets, they must be respected by their clients and trusted by their candidates.

Commission can work in a number of different ways, depending on the schemes on offer and your position within the company. Some companies offer a fixed payment per placement (when you get someone a new job), e.g. a £150 payment. Other commission structures are calculated as a percentage of what you bring in for the company, e.g. if you get a fee from a client that works out at £10,000 for the company, they may reward you with a 10% cut of this money (i.e. £1,000 commission).

This commission is paid on top of your basic salary, so if you continue to smash your targets you can make a lot of money. Bonuses can be awarded in many forms too, and can range from shopping vouchers to holidays. These are usually given as a reward for being one of the top performers in any given month, quarter or year.

Targets are often useful because it gives you a goal to aim for every month and you can use this as a yardstick to measure performance. There are also downsides to working in target-driven environments. Recruitment consultants are often under high amounts of pressure to perform. If targets aren’t achieved, you can risk losing your job. There are also many variables that can prevent you from achieving these targets and often these are out of your control, e.g. poor market conditions, unreliable candidates, or no feedback from clients.

Commission and bonuses are beneficial because they can add a much-needed boost to often low salaries. If the schemes are good, they have the potential to double or triple a consultant’s earning potential; and if not, they can still add a decent percentage on top of the basic salary.

Although it seems hard to believe, there are downsides to commissions and bonuses. You can never be sure of how much you’re going to earn and this can make budgeting difficult; one month you may take home £1,000 commission, compared to £100 the next. This can also have an impact on things like mortgage applications, where only your basic salary can be taken into consideration, as commission and bonuses aren’t guaranteed and are performance related.

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