Recruitment is a nuanced sector, with many variables coming into play when it comes to commission management. A smooth, streamlined recruitment commission management system is in the best interest of everyone involved – offering better operational efficiency internally, and a more motivating and consistent working environment for your recruiters.


Often, commission management systems are inherited – they’ve evolved overtime in the attempt to fix issues and find workable solutions “on the fly.” While these adaptations might solve problems in the short term, stepping back to take a more holistic “foundation-based” view of the way you calculate and manage recruitment commission can set your business up for a more dependable and efficient future process.


Getting to the bottom of your recruitment commission management problems presents the opportunity to create a more competitive offering – but it’s also wise to remember the importance of continuously reassessing to make incremental improvements as your competition evolves and the industry changes.


In this article, we’ll explore five key areas of recruitment commission management that can prove problematic, and suggest a few ways you can problem solve to ensure future success.


1. Siloed Data – No Clarity To Power Your Recruitment Commission Structure


Many see the management of day to day business calculations as a straightforward operational necessity. Of course, commission calculations and management are an essential part of the practical running of a recruitment business – but they offer value beyond this, in the form of the actionable insight that can be drawn from the data their handling produces.


For many recruitment businesses, struggling with poorly structured commission management, it can be extremely difficult (or even impossible) to gain any kind of clarity from their commission data. What trends, patterns or emerging problems are being overlooked? And by extension, what potential opportunities for improvement are being missed?


A carefully considered tech stack can be the answer to this problem. By linking a digital commission recruitment management system with strong integrations to your recruitment CRM, you’re able to obtain a 360 degree view of recruiter performance. Commissionly leverages strong CRM integrations to Bullhorn and Crelate, as well as your accounting software via Zapier to get rid of data silos and give you access to the fullest control and most complete view of the valuable data your operations generate day by day.


2. Problems With Clawbacks 


With so many variables impacting success and lasting suitability within the recruitment process, the need to reassess and adjust commission payments can represent a significant consideration (and often, headache) for those calculating recruitment commission. Clawback agreements are ubiquitous within the world of recruitment, and as a result, investing in a dependable, scalable process for their ongoing management makes good business sense.


At the heart of a strong clawback strategy lies the need for transparency and flexibility. Recruiters need to be able to see the specifics of their clawback adjustments, and requests for clarity here can become a significant drain on your operational resources overtime – especially if reliance on overly complex spreadsheets makes it hard to communicate or illustrate individual examples.


Working with an automated commission management system can be highly advantageous in this instance, adding accuracy and dexterity of clawback calculation, but also giving recruiters better visibility and predictability when it comes to the adjustments that they can expect to experience.


To learn more about ways to improve the management and outcomes of your own recruitment commission clawback procedure, read our recent article, 5 Tips For Efficient Recruitment Commission Claw Back.


3. Recruitment Commission Structure Setting The Wrong Incentives 


So often, when recruitment commission management procedure is assessed, the view taken is one of practicality and operational efficiency. While this is, of course, incredibly important, it’s also vital that businesses take time to review the underlying structure of the commission model, to ensure that the practices they’re putting in place are fully aligned with the ongoing goals and values of the business in question.


It’s important to design a recruitment commission structure that properly incentivises the behaviors that you’d like to see within your team, going beyond shorter sighted outcomes. Ask questions – what could this look like for the long term of your business?


Commissionly helps you implement more adaptive and flexible commission structures, by giving easier access to quick adjustments and changes, giving you the ability to get more from your team. Variables that would quickly become difficult to track, change or implement via spreadsheet are easily incorporated into your workflows. Meanwhile, automations free your team to focus on applying their insight to ongoing improvement, as opposed to the implementation of practical changes.


Looking for more information on ways to create an impactful recruitment commission structure? We’ve covered the topic here.


4. Time Consuming Manual Tracking, Prone To Error 


As previously mentioned, many commission management systems have evolved over a business’s lifespan in a reaction, as opposed to a proactive, manner. This means that adaptations are made in order to “work around” emerging issues or changing requirements, but little thought has been given into the long term efficiency of structures that have grown up over time.


Managing recruitment commission via spreadsheets necessitates a great deal of manual input and effort – and even with the most diligent and experienced of staff, all methods of this kind involve an inevitable degree of human error. How long can spreadsheets serve you? How costly and disruptive are the errors made through manual calculations?


Commissionly brings an instant solution into play, with dependable automations specifically designed to take all of the heavy lifting out of your recruitment commission management. Errors can be eliminated, freeing your team to put their experience to better and more productive use elsewhere.


5. Lack Of Recruiter Loyalty and Motivation


When we consider improvements to recruitment commission management, it’s easy to focus on the benefits that this brings to a business’s own internal operations. It’s also important to remember the positive, even transformative, experience that these kinds of improvements can have upon your recruiter experience.


We all know the value of keeping your recruiters engaged and motivated – how are you currently incentivizing their loyalty? Retaining experience will always trump the expense and time required to acquire new talent, but all too often, the recruitment agency relies on short-term incentives and flash bonuses, as opposed to looking at the bigger picture of their offer – the overall management and relationship building that they dedicate to their recruitment team.


When it comes to creating an appealing working environment for your recruiters, don’t underestimate the importance of transparency when it comes to their earnings. Giving individual recruiters access to their commission payment data, in real time, as well as a chance to see where clawbacks have come from enables them to remain engaged and self-motivated.


Again, ensuring that your CRM is integrated with your commission software can be a huge help in this capacity – performance is much easier to track, so you can make sure you’re acting responsively to ensure your recruiters feel recognised and rewarded. With Commissionly, it’s easy to grant user access and enhance visibility – and with the time saved via automation, you’ll be able to invest more effort in learning about their underlying frustrations.


Ready to solve your recruitment commission problems, once and for all?


The complex accelerated world of today’s recruitment sector demands modern, intelligent working practices that can match its pace. From efficiency through to competitiveness, Commissionly brings much needed clarity, dexterity and nuance to the way businesses are able to handle their recruitment commission management. With easy implementation, expansive connectivity with your existing tech solutions and intuitive ongoing use, it offers a scalable, seamless solution to error-prone tracking through manual spreadsheets.


Transform your recruitment commission management: book a demo to learn how Commissionly can help today.

With up to 20% growth for recruitment companies predicted in 2022, the importance of an appealing commission structure has never been higher. If you’re looking to succeed within this highly competitive sector, you’ll live and die by your recruitment commission structure. Get this right, and you’ll attract the best, motivate them to deliver their best results and retain their services. Get it wrong – and you’ll soon know about it.


The importance of creating a competitive recruitment commission structure cannot be overstated. Of course, this process is not without its challenges – the need for extreme market awareness and sensitivity, as well as a dependable method of communicating and managing your ever evolving scheme – but the opportunities unlocked once a winning model has been outlined are undeniable.


In this article we’ll explore a few of the ways in which you can successfully create a truly impactful recruitment structure.


1. Get Familiar With The Different Recruitment Commission Structures


When defining your recruitment commission structure, your first order of business will be to assess the various standardized models, and select the best fit for your organization’s goals and objectives. There’s no perfect formula when it comes to making this decision – different structures hold various advantages, and the ideal solution will be dependent on a range of factors unique to every business. 


In the broadest terms, you’re likely to be selecting from three core structures: contingency, retainer and container. Whichever you select, within recruitment your model is likely to be non-discretionary. This means that your offer will be completely transparent and predictable to those who are signing up – your agents will know exactly what they can expect to earn in relation to the results that they achieve. 


When formulating the ideal recruitment commission structure, it is important to spend a little time thinking through the various different models and considering the way that they might apply to your business as it scales. How much flexibility will you need to build into your system, and how will this be implemented in the way that your commission payments are calculated and managed? How will you know when the time is right to switch things up and make a different offer?


2. Consider The Competition 


Once you’ve armed yourself with a good degree of knowledge regarding the various recruitment commission structures that you might wish to implement, it’s time to start looking at the way your competition is playing the game.


A commission-based payment structure is, of course, designed to promote a performance-based culture – but ironically, it will also place a greater pressure on your business to be competitive in the incentives that it offers. What benchmarks will you set for competitiveness? Your structure needs to work internally, but external appeal is also going to form a crucial part of its ongoing success, if top recruiting talent is going to stay engaged and loyal.


Key aspects to consider include the balance of salary vs commission that you decide to offer. You’ll also need to pay close attention to the breakpoints for percentage tiers, and crucially, think about how often you will revisit and assess these to ensure you’re remaining an appealing prospect to recruiters. Will they be based on revenue (most common) or discretionary (and if so, what metrics will you be valuing?)


3. Focus On Positive Reinforcement 


With so many detailed performance elements to factor in, recruitment commission structures can quickly become overly complicated – and if you suspect that this is starting to be the case, it’s worth returning to the most basic principals, remembering that at its heart, your scheme simply needs to reward the behaviors you’d like to see established and perfected.


It sounds reductionary – but keeping positive reinforcement front of mind as you craft and refine your recruitment commission structure is absolutely essential to your success. Take time to ensure that your scheme encourages the strategies and values that you truly want to see reflected within your business.


Look at the metrics that you’re choosing to reward, and carefully consider the conflicts that you might be creating as a result. If your leads are remunerated based on their own billings, but also expected to coach, where will their interest and true application be likely to lie? Ask yourself if you’ve achieved the right internal balance of competition and collaboration – a truly supportive and productive working environment will achieve this. 


4. Prioritize Recruiter Relationship Through Better Commission Management 


As previously mentioned, it’s very easy for recruitment commission structure to quickly become overcomplicated. This can do much more than impacting the efficiency of your own internal operations. Consider the importance of the clear communication of your scheme. If you’re going to leverage maximum motivation, your recruiters should have complete clarity on their incentives and expectations at all times – especially as your scheme evolves and improves.


Your ability to manage your commission scheme effectively behind the scenes to get sharable insight and see when your recruiters might be struggling is also important. Better visibility and control of your payouts can be highly advantageous in terms of future forecasting. Not only does this help in terms of internal revenue predictions, you’ll also be able to better incentivize your recruiters with a clear view of what’s possible and the likely trajectory they could be following in terms of their own earnings.


Similarly, it’s important to have a dependable process in place for clawbacks. When it comes to reclaiming commission linked to placements that didn’t work out, nothing should feel unexpected or poorly timed to your valued recruiters.


5. Consider Your Payment Cadence 


Finally, when designing the ideal recruitment structure, you’ll also want to consider the cadence of payment that you implement. Within the sector, monthly pay-outs are commonplace, but it’s still worth thinking about whether this represents the best fit for your business’s unique objectives.


There are certain advantages to be gained from a longer (for example quarterly) payment cycle, as some argue that this encourages “bigger picture” thinking, enabling recruiters to plan for the longer term instead of seeking quick results within smaller timeframes, that may not necessarily facilitate the best outcomes. By creating a longer window, candidates can be ethically and reliably placed (i.e. into the best roles, not the role that needs to be filled that particular month to make the billing.) It’s also argued that longer payment cadences can help to avoid fraudulent “back out” situations (where a candidate only says a few days after commission has been paid.)


Ready To Create A Winning Recruitment Commission Structure?


Creating an impactful recruitment commission structure is essential – but it’s important to remember that it should be seen as mutable – being in a constant state of improvement and evolution.


Keep lines of communication open. Talk to your recruiters – regularly survey them and finetune your offerings accordingly. Show your respect and commitment to serving them with a dependable, optimized opportunity by investing in commission management tools that can help you better manage their ongoing experience and ability to earn.


Finetune your practice: 5 Tips For Efficient Recruitment Commission Claw Back