... Most likely outcome: the agent, whose entire compensation is based on separating me from as much cash as possible, manages to take more than that difference and I get screwed while thinking I got a good deal ...
If you are of the top 1% talent you wouldn't be feeling so butthurt over how much that "agent" skims over what you take
Look, I've been in the industry even before Al Gore started his "information superhighway" stump
I worked as a grunt in research labs, buried deep within the big corporate behemoths, I started my own joints, one after the other (they were not known as "startups" back then), sold some, re-invest the $$ by help funding other startups, and so on ... and along the ways I got acquainted with many legendary talents, some still with me, some parted ways, but I never stop searching for talents
Back then there were no "agencies". Heck! Back then there was no linkedin or anything like that, but when we needed talents we went crowdsourcing (no, that phrase wasn't invented either) and via our network of friends and/or acquaintances we got what we want
And yes, I do pay those who helped find me the talent I need, and no, I do not count the money I paid to those (so-called) agents as part of the money I am willing to pay the talent
What we have are business opportunities. What we want is to make money. And to make money we are willing to hire the right person to do the job, and we are willing to pay.
If you are really good, you will be paid what you are worth. Whatever those "agent" skims from you will not eat into your worth
This ain't a zero sum game, man !