When you're in the final phase of a recruiting process, you enter the negotiation phase. I'm not writing this post to talk about negotiations per se, but rather to demystify something I've heard a lot:
It's in the interest of recruiters to push for higher salaries for the offers they're managing. They get a chunk — usually 13-20% — out of it, so if I make more money, so do they.
Technically, this is true. However, negotiations are time-consuming. Doing back-of-the-napkin math, assuming a 15% rate, we can see that the difference between 48 vs. 52k is ~600€. That's money. But considering how hot the market is, what do you think recruiters prefer?
a) Maximizing the salary for a given candidate, aiming for a 300-1.000€ increase in their commission;
b) Closing the deal and moving on to the next candidate that will bring them the next 10.000€
This is similar to what happens in the real estate market. Sellers tend to think that agents will fight for every penny, so they maximize their gains. The reality is that they will do it up until a certain point, where they don't care much because there's an opportunity cost.
Oh my God! We can't trust recruiters! What should I do?
First, you should definitely trust recruiters. Especially if they're in-house. They'll advocate for you as a candidate and spend time selling you to the hiring managers. Nevertheless, you are the one interested in the outcome of this negotiation.
I always recommend this blog post written by Patrick McKenzie. It's long, but I feel it made more for tech job seekers than anything else I've read or heard so far.
Remember: the salary you'll get when you change jobs is critical. It's challenging to get 10-20% bumps once you're in. Make sure you're valued!