This was a couple of years back. Searched and successfully placed a presales consultant with hard to find technical skills. This was for an Asia Pacific role and the candidate got a nice sign- on bonus along with a 15% hike over his previous salary (which incidentally had just been increased). Because the client was in a very niche space, they also offered to fly the candidate to Europe where he underwent two and – a- half months training. I guess you can all see where this is going…..After the training, the candidate comes back and resigns. (Incidentally, just barely under my 3 month guarantee period! Damn!) He had evidently received an offer from his “dream company”. Nothing personal, I like this company, but that company is better…..So he’s used my client company as a springboard to increase his salary and hone his skills, and now wants to quit.

In the meantime, the Head of APAC in my client company has been replaced in an internal shuffle so I no longer have the same client relationship I had earlier to help me manage things when the **** hits the fan. The new Head now blames me for finding “this irresponsible candidate” and all of it is somehow my fault that the company agreed to send the candidate for such an extended training without making him sign a bond or something similar to ensure ROI. Lots of head banging later, have to work hard to find a replacement for the client. (New Hiring manager, so most of the parameters change). Plus client is extremely cheesed off with my firm, so nothing I can do is “good enough”. Was sooo relieved when that damn search got over!

P.s. Yeah…stellar references for that candidate from ex-employers!

Lessons learned

  1. Even if you’ve done everything on your part to ensure things are in place….it’ll still be your head on the stake if anything falls apart. Maybe if the client had remained the same, it wouldn’t have hit so hard, but the client did change, so ....
  2. Work hard and deliver what you promise. Even if you don’t want to. It’s a small world out there and reputation counts. The (new) client was one of the most difficult ones to work for, and I was literally in tears at times when he would reject a candidate even though the candidate ticked all the boxes. But I finished it, closed the case successfully and then walked out with my head held high. And swore never to work with that client again! (Turns out he referred my firm to someone a couple of months later…guess he cooled down )
  3. It ain’t over until it’s over….no celebrations until the guarantee period is over!  You cannot predict anything….


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Yeah, I deplore being used in that fashion, however, karma usually comes home to "roost!" Reputation trumps all the rest, however, we are talking about people with their own agenda's emotions, etc~~

It's a risky business we are in. People are the most unpredictable spicies on the planet. I guess you are informing the client of all the risks associated with dealing with candidates when you take on a new client.

Hi John, yes we do inform clients and try and cover all the risks. However, due to competition, we are also giving a "guarantee" wherein we give them a free replacement if our placed candidate leaves / does not work out within a stipulated time. Thus even if the client is pre-warned, and is mentally prepared, if the candidate decides to leave (for any reason what-so ever), we still have to make good and present new candidates. 

Susan, you won't believe the amount of times I wished Karma to bite that candidate in the backside...hope he paid for what he did! lol!

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