Employment Agency offer

Monday, July 20th, 2009 - economics, Employment, Job Advert, Job Application, Job Interview, Job Interview Questions, job search, salary, salary negotiation

Employment Agency offer


Sharon asks: I saw an interesting permanent job online and applied for it. The agency gave me a call and asked me if the salary would be a problem. I said no but why? They say that they offered the job to another candidate and he refused it because of the low salary offered by the agency. By precaution, I asked for the job specification, and the employer is offering up to twice the agency offered salary!! They are both giving a salary range. Can I ask for more money?

In answer:
First, cards on the table – I run an employment agency. The poor quality of CV’s (2/3rds of candidates are rejected because they apply for the wrong jobs OR can not communicate their skills), and the present poor level of knowledge of the job application process, was why I started this service and website.

Secondly, a simple answer: you can negotiate any job offer, permanent or temporary/contract. You just have to recognise what you can and can not negotiate, and how to.

Employment Agencies

There are a couple of pieces of legislature which affect Employment Agencies, but when advertising jobs they are also come under the Advertising Standards Agency. Advertising a job at one salary and offering a distinctly lower salary for no given reason (eg: you don’t have the full skills package), is illegal.

Most agencies will be dealing with jobs where there is fair supply into the market; we deal in candidate-short sectors. There will be negotiation between the employer and the agency about fee level (normally a percentage of salary of total package – always ask how they are paid), and well as appropriate salary level for the right candidate.

Now, some agencies agree a total cost package with an employer, and this sounds like the job you have applied for is being fulfilled under. In this arrangement, the employer defines a whole cost of employee salary plus agency fee – therefore, the cheaper the employee, the more the agency fee.

This agency is being very greedy from what you suggest, but also very dumb: leaving the target salary on the job specification: Doh!

Here is how I would handle this one in your position. As you know the salary range the employer is offering, you are playing a very safe game, and just letting the job application process flow to its natural conclusion:

  • Let the agency put your CV forward – note they will probably remove your name and contact details
  • See what they say the employer says
  • If the employer asks you to interview, then one of your three questions becomes: “I am a bit confused about the salary. For a job of this grade and unusual skills requirements I would have thought the salary should have been in the region of (insert number 5% above upper number the employer entered in the job specification). On reading the job specification, I see that this suggests a similar level. Yet the agency insist that the maximum salary level is (the level they offered). Can you clarify this for me?” At this point, expect to see the hiring manager fume, the HR manager grimace, and the agency person take it in the neck for breaking confidentiality!

Before applying for any job, you must know what it is worth in the market, with good examples of similar jobs/salaries. If you know the target area you want to work in, then you know what this is. Use this knowledge to negotiate a suitable and agreeable package for each party – including, if appropriate, the agency.

Good Luck!


If you need an interview winning solution, sign-up for our Professional CV service

If you want to check the suitability of your existing CV, then get a FREE CV review


Be Sociable, Share!

One Response to “Employment Agency offer”

  1. Sharon Wright Says:

    Thank You! I had this dilemma this week, and this has resolved my thoughts to take the suggested action

Recent Posts



Review cv4.biz on alexa.com