I am a different spot on this issue because I work on a retained basis at the executive level. I encourage my clients to link in with me. It is another way to add value to the relationship. We work hard at managing these relationships -- 80 percent of our business is from returning clients -- so the issue of losing work to internal recruiters or the risk of another recruiter picking off a client is not a major issue. Our biggest risk to the client relationship is when, after seven years and 12 searches, the CEO we originally placed with the organization takes another position and the Board decides to engage another recruiter to get a fresh perspective. That all but two our candidates were still with the organization and performing well was not even a factor.

When this happens, you deal with it and remember that in healthcare, no good deed goes unpunished.

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