The flat fee was around £500 to £750 per placing. It was usually based on exclusivity.
However now the recession is easing the greedy agencies are back to the percentages game.
By the way the amount of fee wont refelect on the candidates as the employer will employ who they want, not the best of a bad lot.
The reason an employer might use a recruiter is because they would hope to get a few hand picked cv's of people who'd been interviewed prior to being put forward.
If you agree to pay £250, £500 or £750 you're probably going to just get loads of unvetted crap cv's, so you may as well have just advertised the vacancy yourself and done the vetting personally.
That's what you expect to avoid by paying someone a few £k to do it for you.
Doesn't always work and as a past defender of recruiters I too seem to be losing hope in terms of the service offered these days.
So are there any recruiters reading these boards who'd like to put their neck on the block as it were? I'm sure I'd do a good job, the thing is, it's not my job!