As an Employer:

  1. Saying the job needs to be filled asap when the following week your closing the order (Wait till you call me next time with a really urgent request).
  2. Giving the same job to 5 or more other search firms (Everyones’ going to try so hard).
  3. Not allowing the recruiter to talk to the hiring manager (What are we in kindergarten).
  4. Trying to haggle me down to bottom feeder status (Working for peanuts does not work for me or for you).
  5. Not providing me with a proper job spec, information or the right understanding of the political and internal sensitivities of this search (When I get crapped on so will you. So man up).

As a Candidate:

  1. Not calling me back during the offer process (Do you really want the job or where you lying earlier?)
  2. Fudging your credentials, especially late in the process (Did you think I would’nt find out?)
  3. Not telling me about competing offers while leading me on about this opportunity being exactly what you want (I am here to help you, so why shoot me in the back).
  4. Not taking my advice during an interview (Do you really think I am trying to sabotage you).
  5. Telling your friends you found the job on Twitter (Right as if anyone believes you).

For more on Francois Guay and AttackDefendDisrupt:

Linked in -

Blog -

Twitter -!/GuayFrancois

Views: 2548

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on October 4, 2011 at 11:38am

Can I just divert the discussion for a moment?

Why do so many experienced contingency recruiters continue to allow their book to be dominated by an ad-hoc, success-only recruitment approach?

If you take a retainer, you get to do a proper search that works all the channels and enables you to benchmark a wide choice of candidates.  The client will be happier, as will the candidates because you can reveal the client's identity much earlier.

And your chances of earning money out of working the vacancy rises from around 15% to over 90%.

Or am I missing something?

Comment by Amber on October 4, 2011 at 11:48am

@ Mitch - not all company's will pay a retainer. Although we do a lot of our business on retainer, we do contingency as well. You must just be better at getting clients who all sign on for retainer only searches than the majority of recruiters and angencies out there that work on contingency. Maybe you should post some practical ways that they can transform their business into retainer only clients.


Comment by Darryl Dioso on October 4, 2011 at 11:53am
I'd like to add "Going dark". Our HR contact at one of our clients doesn't reply to any forwarded candidates nor update requests. I've gone to the point that I have to copy the hiring VP on all messages for her to get moving. Lovely. What did Aretha Franklin say again?
Comment by Mitch Sullivan on October 4, 2011 at 11:54am

More companies will pay a retainer if it's sold properly.

Amber, why should I do that?

Comment by Amber on October 4, 2011 at 11:59am

@ Mitch - to expound on your philosophy of retainers being the way recruiters should do business. I thought you were trying to make a statement about the inferiority of contingency fees, so I also thought maybe you had some specific insights to what has made you so sucessful in adopting a retainer only model. You know, share your knowledge and maybe make a positive impact on others.

So, back at you - why shouldn't you?

Comment by Bill Schultz on October 4, 2011 at 12:22pm
@ Mitch- There are down sides to a retainer.  Frankly I prefer an exclusive arrangement to a retainer.  With a 45 day review.  In this way, we can get to know each other and see if the partnership works.  Without the customer feeling as if he "owns" you.  When they start asking for daily pipeline reports and for us to be in house twice a week, I begin to shake.  I prefer the pay for performance model.  It keeps it cleaner.  If I want to work on retainer, I might as well go (gulp) in house.
Comment by Mitch Sullivan on October 4, 2011 at 12:41pm

Sure Bill, I appreciate it can depend on the level of client intimacy you might already enjoy and if you even want to take ownership of a vacancy you think may prove especially problematical.

But broadly, much of the average recruiters sales pipeline would improve dramatically if half of it was retained, if only because the client has already put themselves in a buying mindset - and that has an big impact on how the candidate delivery is perceived.  Everybody wins - even the candidates.


Amber, I'm still not sure why you think I would have the time (and inclination) to write-up a training manuel to post online.  I assumed that recruiters would see it as natural evolution.  It's not a question of contingency fees being inferior - just that there is a lot of wasted activity in contingency recruitment.  And the true cost of contingency recruitment can only be really measured when clients whose jobs you haven't filled don't come back.

Here is a little more thinking on the subject here:

Comment by Loni Spratt on October 4, 2011 at 12:46pm
Love this! What a great morning chuckle!
Comment by Bill Schultz on October 4, 2011 at 12:54pm

You make good points, Mitch.   I think it takes some confidence to ask for a retainer.  But surprisingly, some clients are happy to engage.  Even if they don't, they take you more seriously for asking.

As far as contingency activity being wasted..If you stay in your circle of activity, then A begets B.

Comment by Amber on October 4, 2011 at 1:14pm

@ Mitch - I'm not sure I said to write a manual. You have a strong viewpoint, I assumed because you have been successful with the retainer model. Sharing some info on how you became successful at it would probably be of great value to a lot of recruiters that aren't sure on how to get going in that direction. Your inclination to do such a thing would be because it's usually one of the main reasons to be involved with various groups and "communities" - to connect and learn from others.

(Thanks for the link to your blog, the article was well written.)


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