Sales Staff – Recruiters shy away when they are commission-driven only

sales staff

Sales Staff – Recruiters shy away when they are commission-driven only

Sales staff live for commission!

When I started my career in Recruitment, I was offered a decent salary and a lucrative commission in the professional recruiters stable. Accepting this offer would have made me comfortable, but would never give me what I wanted in life. I knew I needed to earn a decent income and I knew I was a good salesman.  So, I did what most salespeople would think unspeakable. I countered the offer of a decent salary and a lucrative commission with no basic and a very high commission structure. This was the best decision I could have ever made; it literally changed my life forever.

Having read this, I am sure you thinking, he is right, why are there not more people like you, who are willing to prove their worth and be rewarded tremendously in a sales commission scheme.

I am sure there are and it is my job to find those stars who are willing to work for a basic small enough to cover expenses and kill it on the commission, or even just earn big money on a commission-only basis.


For this to be a reality, there needs to be a REAL opportunity.   There needs to be numbers and data to prove this (i.e. turnover, margins and history).

Why do recruiters hate hiring your sales staff for you?

Well, here is the answer. Most recruiters won’t even touch a commission only job.  And, sales staff live for commission.

We bill on an annual cost to company which includes basic, benefits and commission x 12. (+ 13 cheque x 15% to 18% = x + vat)

If we work out this formula based on basic only, you are looking at a pretty low commission for the recruiter.

What you are asking for to get the best sales staff out there, willing to prove themselves by earning high commission only and pay the least you can for it. This is literally the hardest find for a recruiter and you offer the lowest reward. 


Sometimes employment agencies only want to pay the recruiter on the basic and benefits and not even pay commission on a commission-based salesperson. This is harder to find than a Full Stack Software Developer with more than 6yrs experience for R35 000 pm. 

How do you get Recruiters to find you these commission-driven gems that can turn your business around?

It’s quite simple.  Reward/pay them for good salespeople. Do this with lower or no basics.  Instead of trying to pass them off as low-income people to save on the fee.

Negotiate the probable lowest commission and the highest commission that someone can earn.  Divide it by 2 to reach an average. That is the fee you will pay( R x 12 months x 15%-18% + VAT).

You know your number, margins and the real potential. Reward your recruiter for finding gems and you will get gems.

Author – Anthony Kettle

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