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Meet Jon Brooks, the UK-based Founder and Pricing Consultant of The Value Advantage

Are you curious to discover new ways on how you can secure a fairer price for your recruitment services? Meet Jon Brooks, the UK-based pricing consultant who can help transform your business model for greater profitability and efficiency.

Tell us a little about yourself, the work you do at Value Advantage, and any business milestones or favourite achievements?

I've been in the recruitment industry for over 15 years, including four years as Head of Pricing at Reed Recruitment (possibly the only Head of Pricing in the industry so far!).

I set up my own pricing consultancy because I had seen the impact that professional pricing can make on a recruitment agency and wanted to help more recruiters to enjoy those benefits.

In the beginning, I only worked with mid-large recruitment agencies, but lockdown gave me the time to distil that work into a 'DIY' guide that smaller recruiters and startups could use to develop their own pricing strategies.

2020 was a tough year, but I'm pleased it gave me the opportunity to work with a wider range of recruiters - including some real experts in their niche and some really ambitious new agencies.

Talk us through your career and how it led to where you are today? Follow up, what keeps you hungry about the industry?

I setup the executive search service for Reed almost a decade ago now. We needed to be innovative to stand out in the market, so I learnt a lot about understanding what clients value and how to develop services.

After that I used those lessons to create other differentiated recruitment services. I did a lot of customer research, which gave me a great view of the industry and what clients wanted from recruiters.

The recruitment industry is all about people, which always keeps things interesting. Every CEO says their success is based on having good people around them, and we make that happen!

Can you describe a time where you saw a clear gap in the sector and how you (or in collaboration with others), addressed it for the better?

Having seen the benefits of retainers in executive search, I created a service that helped consultants take up-front deposits on mid-salary roles.

The fill rate on these roles tripled, clients were happy with the benefits they got from the service, and consultants were delighted to get part of the fee up-front!

What about some trends and themes from the front-line, and how your expert insights can support other recruitment professionals to achieve?

Progressive recruiters are questioning why we've always priced our services in the same way, and realising that 'payment on success' is a really challenging model.

Many recruiters are trying to develop retained services, but often forget to think about what their clients are willing to pay for.

I help recruiters to understand the value they create for their clients, and how they can create a pricing approach that focuses on that value.

When you focus on what clients value, negotiating prices and winning retainers becomes a lot easier!

What is ‘professional pricing’ in the content of industry and your webinar?

Pricing in recruitment has been the same for decades. As a result, our prices have been pushed down by clients who have figured out how to negotiate better.

Professional pricing means learning from other industries and adapting proven pricing strategies that successfully lead to higher prices and better business.

What are the key areas you’ll address as part of your webinar discussion?

I'll talk about the importance of price and how it can significantly boost revenue and profitability; how recruiters can apply key pricing theories to their business; and why being able to justify your price is key to negotiating a fair fee.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given that could help other professionals with their everyday business?

When negotiating, always try to survive the first push. You might have to continue negotiating with cost-focused clients, but some people stop negotiating if you show that you're willing to hold your ground.

What is your vision for the future of the sector?

I want recruiters to be more valued by their clients! I think there's a clear path to this, which involves working in partnership with companies, offering more consultative services, and adding more value.

This should lead to recruiters getting paid fair prices for their work and working with fewer contingent roles.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Always try to understand what your clients value. The best way to do this is to ask them!

Want to hear more from Jon on professional pricing? Sign up to his seminar, here.

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