The Case for Transparency in Engineering Consultancy

Throughout industry, engineers’ salaries (both permanent and freelance) are a secret as closely guarded as the Crown Jewels. This ‘cloak and daggers’ approach is keenly observed in the sphere of freelance recruitment – with recruiters often displaying the hallmarks of a back-street garage; with an audible intake of breath as dentures are whistled over at the very suggestion of an increase in the proposed daily fee.

They ‘do their best’ with the client and ‘try to negotiate a better deal for you’ – knowing full well that their only consideration is whether they’ll eat into their profit margin. Simultaneously, clients are told that the engineer is ‘the perfect fit’ and as they have a good relationship with the engineer they should be able to negotiate a better price ‘as a favour’.

I have had the privilege of contracting through some very fair, honest and reputable recruitment agencies. What galls most however is the use of a network of multiple-tiers of recruiters to place an engineer with a client – ALL taking a cut from what the client is prepared to pay.

I have no issue with mark-ups as everyone needs to make a profit – without it we couldn’t exist as a business; and everyone loves a deal – the warm glow from getting a bargain engulfs us all in a comfort blanket of satisfaction. If you don’t believe me just look out for that special deal (ending soon) you can get on a sofa!

This satisfaction comes at a cost, however. The client rarely knows how much they are paying the engineer and in considering the recruiter’s mark-up may not feel like they are getting value for money. The engineer wonders how much the client is being charged for their services; and may wonder why their expertise isn’t held in high-enough regard.

Why not tell the client how much the engineer will be paid? Why not tell the engineer how much the client is being charged?

At The Furious Engineer, we believe that transparency will maximise the effectiveness of relationships; as it will make the value proposition clear, encourage openness, increase loyalty (to the client and the provider), and will give the client a warm glow from the knowledge that their hard-earned money is buying the best engineering service available. Additionally, the engineer will work harder and smarter – being loyal to a client that values their worth; derived from many years working at the top of their game.

This is the drive behind The 555 Plan – transparency, simplicity and the best deal for all.


Mandy Walker February 13, 2015

Matt ~ are we transparent with you?

Matt Osborne June 20, 2015

I can think of no one else who espouses transparency and honesty more than you, Mandy.


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