Why Flat Fees?
My fees are flat (unrelated to salary) and the fee amount is set in our agreement before searches begin. When a search is completed successfully, there are no surprises for clients when an invoice arrives.
Most agency recruiting firms charge fees based on starting salary or total compensation for a new hire, and most agency recruiters are paid commissions based on their billings (fees charged to clients). This creates an obvious conflict of interest for the recruiter.
The hiring company is the recruiter's client and the one paying the bill, yet the recruiter has an incentive to maximize the total cost (salary + fee) of any hire in order to maximize their own fees and commissions. When a recruiter contacts their client during negotiations and requests a higher salary for their candidate, it leaves the hiring firm to wonder whether the recruiter is negotiating a higher salary to close the deal or to increase the recruiter's own earnings.
Flat fees take that temptation off the table and add transparency to an industry (recruiting) that needs it. If I request more compensation for my candidate, my clients know that my request does not benefit me personally.