The 3 Ways to Grow Your Recruitment Desk


Big Billers work extremely hard — but they also work smart.  

If you want to increase your income, it pays to analyze your desk and look for the fulcrum points where you can apply leverage.  In other words, where can you get the maximum results with the least effort?

There are only 3 fundamental ways to grow your recruitment desk:

  1. Generate more job orders
  2. Convert more job orders into placements
  3. Increase the average value of each placement


Assuming a consultant deals with 100 job orders in a year, and turns 25% of them into placements worth £5,000 on average, she will produce £125,000.

100 x 25% x £5,000 = £125,000
Job Orders Conversion Avg. Fee Revenue

Note: If you run a temp or contract desk, the formula’s a little different but the principle is exactly the same.  For temps, your average fee value = [average weekly margin] x [average number of weeks the contract lasts].

Big Results from Small Improvements

A small 10% improvement in any one of these factors produces a £12,000 increase in billings. This example shows a 10% increase in conversion of job orders into placements:

100 x 27.5% x £5,000 = £137,000
Job Orders Conversion Avg. Fee Revenue

The Secret of Exponential Growth

A 10% improvement in all three factors produces a massive 33.1% increase, or £41,375.

110 x 27.5% x £5,500 = £166,375
Job Orders Conversion Avg. Fee Revenue

Give Yourself a Pay Raise

How much more could YOU earn by making marginal, 10% improvements in each of the three key areas?  Do this quick exercise to find out:

a) Fill in your own numbers below:

x x =
Job Orders Conversion Avg. Fee Revenue

NB: If you don’t know your exact numbers, just estimate for now.  But make a point of finding out – Big Billers know their numbers and ratios!

b) Now increase each of your numbers by 10% and see what happens to your total billings:

x x =
Job Orders Conversion Avg. Fee Revenue

Pretty cool, huh?

By the way, a 10% increase is very conservative.  Some of our coaching clients have achieved increases of 25%-100% and more!

How to Double Your Billings

As you can see from the above examples, if you want to double your billings you do NOT need to work twice as hard.  All you need is a 26% increase in each of the three areas.  And the increase doesn’t need to be equal in each area.  There are lots of ways to double your billings.  For example, you could simply double your average fee value!

Your homework:

  1. Decide which of the three areas to focus on first.  In which area can you get the most leverage?  Where can you get the biggest returns with the least effort?  Is it generating more job orders, improving your conversion (job order to placement ratio), or getting bigger fees and margins?
  2. Brainstorm with your team and come up with an Action Plan to increase that number by 10% or more.  For example, to increase your average fee you could target roles with higher salaries, improve your negotiation skills, or both!

If you’re not exactly sure HOW to increase your number of job orders, placement ratio, or average invoice value, then we can help!  Please get in touch to find out more about our coaching and training programs.

Managers: There is a fourth dimension to this model – you can also increase your firm’s billings by hiring more recruitment consultants.  Of course, it’s critical that you hire the RIGHT people.  If you’d like advice on how to build a team of high-performing recruitment consultants, contact us today.

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About the Author


Mark Whitby is one of the world's leading coaches for the recruitment industry. Since 2001, he has trained over 10,000 recruiters in 34 countries. Mark has helped recruiters to double or triple their billings and owners to increase their team's sales by 67% in 90 days.

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