Price is usually a pretty straight forward concept. We know the prices of a lot of things. The price of a candy bar, the price of a car, the price of a song download. We have the ability to compare those things because we are familiar with them. We even have a way to predict what a price is based on experience. Candy bars and cars are familiar items. We know how much a song is worth to us, and we even have a way to compare those prices to see if they are fair. But modern technology has blurred the pricing lines somewhat.
Now we are learning to understand things like prices for data downloads, prices for apps, prices for licenses. These new things can sometimes create complications because the things being purchased aren’t all that familiar to us. Take the pricing for Basecamp, a popular web based project management tool, as an example. If you visit their pricing page you will see that their prices are primarily based on the number of projects you need. Well, what if you have no idea? What is a project worth? What do I get from a project? They do a wonderful job of explaining what a project is, but the point is this is a new unit, and an unfamiliar one.
This same situation arises for staffing agencies when they price online timesheet applications. Everything is priced per user. But what is a user? Does that refer to the internal staff, or is it everyone that tracks time? If my client has access to approve timesheets is she a user? How many users do I have anyway?
Staffing companies by nature put a lot of new people to work every week. If over the course of a month you averaged about 100 employees, it doesn’t necessarily mean you had 100 employees. The first week perhaps 10 people were hired by the client, and the next week 20 new people were put to work. Now how many users or employees is that? The point is it is hard to track, difficult to predict and it is not a metric staffing companies are used to. I know you don’t send reports to your recruiters telling them how many users they need to have.