Originally Posted by faustian bargain
your new employer basically paid them a chunk of change to find an employee. don't take the 'percentage of salary' thing too literally - it wasn't ever going to be your money. although you can take some heart in the fact that they needed you enough to have paid someone to find you. it's not much of a bargaining chip at salary review time, though.
Yes, they don't take your money literally - it is just a means by which their fee is being calculated.
In my experience it does help that your employer had to pay someone to find you. To quote Jerry Weinberg: "The more they pay you, the more they repect you". One big advantage I had getting my jobs through headhunters was that the headhunters could advise me about the maximum I could ask for salary, I know now that that gave me an extra 10%.