How much is the Temp Agency that I work for getting paid for my services?
I used to work in the HQ of a big temp agency. Typical markup for clerical work is anywhere from 30-40% depending on the volume of jobs the client does with the agency or how well they negotiate. Often there is a finder’s fee, but at my old company they would often offer to convert the temp to perm for no fee after a certain amount of time had elapsed, say six months.
They were paying the temp agency for HR services, payroll, staffing, convenience, not having to pay benefits, etc. If they still needed and valued those services, they would stick with the temp agency, which was likely marking you up by 25-75%. You’re better off countering with research about what the position is worth, not what they were paying a temp agency. Point out that you already know the job and team. Focus on what you can do for them.
In my experience, the markup is about 40% for clerical/administrative work. Nthing everyone else that they will not pay you as much as they paid the temp agency — they were paying the temp agency for your services as well as the temp agency’s services. (Not defending the markup. Resisting the urge to post off-topic stories.
There’s not really any way to find out unless you can find someone to tell you (and that person probably should not tell you if they are following the rules). Temps are not supposed to know what is being paid for their services. Being as how the fee being paid for your services is probably considered private business information that you are not supposed to have by your employer, trying to leverage the information in a salary negotiation would probably be a bad idea. The issue that the total cost of employing you versus your wage that others have raised is a valid issue as well, and makes it harder to compare the two. Stick with conventional research (salary surveys etc.) and conventional negotiation to get the best salary you can manage.
One more thought, I’m pretty sure that you don’t have leverage at all, regardless. I think I recall signing something that the company had to work with the agency to officially hire me. The agency would be responsible for negotiating my salary – I was out of the equation. I think the thought was that clearly the agency would try to negotiate for a high salary, since they get a cut. I might be wrong in this, or maybe it was unique to the firm I worked with, but it just popped up from my memory. It may be useful to find out if this is the case in your agency.