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Bounty Jobs: Friend or Foe? (For Sourcers)

14 May. 2012 Posted by Jeff Madison in recruiter, Recruiting, Sourcing, staffing

In a previous post I talked about Bounty Jobs from a recruiter's point of view.  Here I'm speaking strictly as a Sourcer with a Sourcer's point of view.  

There are Recruiters and There are Sourcers. 

Ignoring for now the obviously overused, misplaced "headhunter" dysphemism and substituting "sourcer" we can then begin to examine how BJobs might just be a fairly decent deal for sourcers.  This does not mean it's a good deal for recruiters.  That's an entirely different post, but as you know there are Recruiters and there are Sourcers.  Now there are certainly those who do fulfill both roles but it's highly probable that they have a set of strengths and possibly an outright preference for work that lands in either of the two camps.

If you hate phone work, cold calling new clients and basically any other aspect that would traditionally be called 'selling' you're probably a Sourcer at heart.  Now that does not mean that you can't or that you don't perform those tasks and functions every working day of your life but if you like the search, love the hunt, have a bit of 'geek' in you that's expressed in your love of tools, app's, smart phones, computers, search engines and Boolean strings; you're a Sourcer. 

Sourcers benefit when a system eliminates the advantages of a strong Recruiter.

BJobs is a system that profits from the commoditization of the sourcing & recruitment industry.  It is a system marginalizes and eliminates the impact and influence of recruiters while placing the value on sourcing aspect of the "recruitment process."  In short it's an equalizer.  The strengths of great recruiters are minimized so that they have the same offerings and benefits of the weakest recruiters in their system.  Little interaction with no real ability to impact the sell automatically places recruiters at a disadvantage as compared to a sourcer. 

Sourcers tend to be cherry pickers and potato farmers, metaphorically speaking.

Recruiters typically are not the best sourcers.  They go for the low hanging fruit found on job boards and career pages.  Sourcers tend to be cherry pickers and potato farmers, metaphorically speaking.  Sourcing is sometimes looking for and picking the best and brightest of the bunch.  At other times sourcers have to get their hands dirty and do some serious digging to find the right person.  In a system where the normal recruiter advantages are all but eliminated, the savvy, right-minded independent sourcer could thrive and make a pretty decent living.  So if you're a sourcer, who hates the sales end of the business.  BJobs may just be the thing for you. 

Pay 25% of your fee and you get a system where there is a bare minimum of client side sales required.

What does it cost and how can a sourcer benefit?  Glad you asked!  In the BJobs system you need to pass their screening and agree to their fee which is set at 25% of whatever fee you collect. It does not matter how much, how large or how little the fee; they take 25% off the top for the use of their portal and the ability to work on all the different positions they have.  If you hate dealing with the client side sales, appointment setting, agreements, negotiations and collections then 25% of your fee may just be a fairly reasonable tradeoff because BJobs handles all that.  You simply need to source the right candidates.  And for a newly independent or even an established sourcer the BJobs system can provide access to some decent positions and fees with a minimal amount of overhead.

Pro's, Cons & Ex-Cons.

So the BJobs pros are pretty simple – all source, little sales, make placement, get paid in 90 days, rinse, repeat.  Now the Cons. The BJobs portal has limited functionality. It's basically nothing more than a glorified search & sort interface.  If you're serious about trying to work within their system you'll need to devise your own methods for tracking and matching positions outside of their portal.  Not a big deal but it creates administrative work that a system like this should minimize.  It should put you in a position to source, search and source some more.  It's not the end of the world but I want to spend my time working to make placements, not creating and updating spreadsheets, especially when I'm paying 25% of my fee.  And finally the Ex-Cons.  In the 5+ years since BJobs launched they've made some improvements to their portal, expanded it's still limited functionality and given us insight into the hiring behavior of the various employers using the interface. While there is still much room for improvement there is some good stuff done there.

BJobs will pay a 75% fee for your Sloppy Seconds.

Does BJobs offer, do, provide enough benefit that it is worth playing in their space?  That's for you to decide.  Right now the BJobs system is probably best used as a secondary market for your existing work.   I'm not sure I would recommend working on any position for them where you do not already have a stable of candidates, unless you're running short of work or unless there is something so intriguing or fun that you don't mind potentially spinning your wheels.  But if you're already working an assignment and they've got something pretty similar posted it might be a good place to pick up some extra funds without too much trouble.  Just don't go looking for quick feedback, open communication or timely payment i.e. payment within the same quarter the hire was made.  'Cause it ain't gonna happen.  Right now BJobs is a pretty good secondary market for your existing candidates but if it wants to move into top tier status it has to make some changes.

Dance with them that brung ya.

Having said that an area where I'd like to see BJobs improve is in rewarding or valuing the partnership of sourcers.  There is a model to be had where their fee percentage drops as both incentive and reward for sourcers who are experiencing some success in their system, however with 20.5M in funding from Venture Capital firms I wouldn't hold my breath for this.  But there's a saying from way back when that BJobs should adhere to "Dance with them that brung ya."  Respect and Partnership are always good additions to a business model.  If BJobs learns that, they'll do just fine.  If not, well it really doesn't matter 'cause that's not a company with which you should want to do business. 

About the Author:

Jeff Madison (aka TheJeffMadison) has been in Staffing, Sourcing & Recruiting for longer than he can remember.  He is a founding member of nothing in particular and fancies himself a principal of principled principles.  He calls Shally Steckerl a friend and has no idea why Shally calls him at all.  He has delusions, amongst other things, of fighting for Truth, Justice & the American way; but really just goes off on the occasional tangent.  When he comes down from his soapbox he hopes to be a good husband and father.  And occasionally he just might be.