07 March 2011

So Mr Barista, how much margin are you making on my cafe latte?

What did the Myer sales assistant say when you asked her what the wholesale price was of the designer pair of trousers you were thinking of buying?
How about your dentist; what did he say when you politely enquired  what hourly rate he was charging himself out at?
Maybe it was during your most recent meal at your local Italian restaurant, where you pressed the waiter to tell you the cost of all the ingredients in the spaghetti marinara, before you decided whether to order it.
What? What’s that I hear you say? You didn’t ask any such questions? Oh. You’re telling me you NEVER ask such questions.
Why not?
As a temp or contract recruiter you are asked the equivalent of these questions all the time.
You know … those clients who ask ‘what rate is the temp getting?’, and YOU TELL THEM.
What’s the candidate’s rate got to do with them?
Either the hourly/daily rate you charge is acceptable to the client, or it’s not.
Revealing the rate you are paying your employee (temp or contractor) is a gross breach of both their privacy and the confidentiality of their employment relationship with you, their employer.
Next time a client asks ‘what are you paying the temp’, reply politely by enquiring when they last asked their favourite barista what margin he’s making on their cafĂ© latte.
Then tell them what you pay your employees is confidential information and none of their business.

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