Is uncapped commission a myth?

Okay so a £20k salary is a lot less than what your friends might be earning in their graduate jobs outside of recruitment, so how realistic is earning a lot of commission, is it just a myth?

In my final year at university, naturally preparing myself to enter the job market, I scanned graduate jobs and schemes countless times to get a flavour of what career I would not only enjoy the most but also have the best chance in pursuing. Having taken a gap year, a lot of my friends were earning some good money when I was in my final year within the big four financial services firms, working on their graduate schemes, I wanted to know that I could earn as much as them and even have the opportunity to earn more!  I noticed Recruitment Consultancy and the attractive OTE’S (on target earnings), job boards would be flooded with graduate recruitment roles advertising the high earning potential and in honesty I was very sceptical of the feasibility.


I saw enough in recruitment consultancy to know that the day to day activity would contain my interest for the long haul. I enjoy and relish the challenge of using communication to influence and persuade and have always had an intrinsically competitive nature. In my interviews, I was grilled heavily on why money was important to me, what I would spend my commission on and why does the prospect of controlling my earnings motivate me. It was at this point that I realised commission must be real and achievable.

Now working in the Rec2Rec market, I am in a position where I can compare commission structures. Commission is designed to incentivise consultants, companies offer a structure that isn’t just accessible to only the very high achievers, it is triggered if you hit your targets, and even some months when you don’t! Each company will have their own structure, constructed in a way that is relative to the commercial worth of a placement/deal. For instance, a finance recruitment company may have a higher average placement fee than a property recruitment company that specialises in recruiting estate agents. The thresholds in the commission structures are tailored to the market, meaning the commission threshold within the estate agency recruitment company would be lower than the finance recruitment company. Commission in most cases is individual and accessible on a monthly basis and some structures go up to as high as 45%, BUT it is also uncapped. There is no ceiling in the way of the scope of earnings, no maximum amount of commission you can make in one month or a year. On average graduates do truly make between £30,000 and £40,000 in their first year. When catching up with graduates I have placed, one of them earned £9,000 in commission in one month alone! It is real and not too good to be true!


Finally I can vouch directly as I have earned commission myself and have been able to realise one of my life long dreams, going to America with my mates and living it up in Las Vegas! I had the best holiday of my life and was able to embrace Vegas and most of what it had to offer, not all of course! Aside from that as the centre piece, commission has brought excitement to my lifestyle, finally giving me the chance to go to the nicest restaurants and roof top bars London has to offer and not feel too guilty when the bill comes.

Whatever you’re motivated by and whatever your financial goals are, commission is there for the taking and IS REAL!

Posted on July 24, 2015 in Blog

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About the Author

James worked within the insurance industry before pursuing a career in recruitment after university and initially spent a brief period in IT recruitment. At Vine Consulting James specialises in helping graduates and sales professionals enter the recruitment industry in London focusing on the IT, Finance, Legal and Pharmaceutical recruitment markets. +44(0)203 440 3561 or 0770 290 7792
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