recently heard a client's in-house recruiter make a comment that gave me pause for thought. Luckily, I'm a mature, seasoned recruiter, because in my earlier years, I may have paused only long enough to grab a weapon. Not to say I didn't consider a smart-ass retort, but sometimes a little clarification goes a lot further. And it's not as if I hadn't heard similar comments before.

The premise for the comment came from an assignment in which I had presented no more than three candidates, all qualified and in very short order. While I was working with the CFO on an exclusive basis, the company's recruiter was working very hard to find his own pool of candidates to present. All very well - can't blame him for trying! As we quickly wound down the process with one of my candidates, the in-house recruiter suggested I didn't work very hard for my fee.

Well, as you can imagine, it's all too easy to take umbrage at such a suggestion. But since I have heard similar comments in the past, I think it's something I'd like to address here. The view after all from without sees only the top layer of a very time consuming process.

Clients pay big fees for results. If the executive recruiter, quickly, professionally and efficiently brings the hire to the table, does it really matter the effort behind the result? And what may appear seamless to the client, is usually anything but.

There's two components here. When a recruiter has invested years of time in a certain niche or market, creating a reputation & building relationships, she has a lot of goodwill in the marketplace. In my case, all my searches are exclusive and/or retained; with top shelf companies who have great reputations, compensate well and offer career mobility. So, when I place a call, candidates listen. And since those calls are strategically placed to candidates whose preferences, qualifications and career goals I know, more often than not, they have interest. But most importantly, they have trust. So the first component that the client benefits from is the many years I have invested in my practice, building a candidate pool, knowing my market, market trends and who's affected by them . So let's not mistake efficiency for luck or worse, not working hard enough.

The second component is the extensive interplay going on behind the scenes with the candidates that the client isn't often aware of. It's never as simple as making a call, presenting a resume and crossing your fingers that everyone will just 'get along'. People have complex lives - I find this particularly so with recruited candidates. I am all too aware that I've just introduced an unexpected element into their lives. Where recently they may have just been contemplating a job change, now they're possibly in the middle of one. Like any major life change, it's a process. My job is to assist, manage and shepherd the candidate through this process. This is the most time intensive and critical component of what I do. Influencing someone to first consider a job and then interview is a skill, but managing the intricacies of all the moving parts is an art. The successful merging of client and candidate is ultimately, the final masterpiece!

Looks can be deceiving.

Views: 356

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on May 2, 2012 at 7:54pm

Wow... I'm a corporate recruiter and I can't imagine ever saying anything so asinine to a fellow recruiter!! My retort would have been "someday you'll be a big boy recruiter and maybe you too can make it look this easy"! What a jerk.

Nicely handled Cindy... you're more mature than I am! lol

Comment by Bill Schultz on May 2, 2012 at 8:17pm

Reminds me of the 2 hunters who were about to be chased by a bear when one of them stops to put his sneakers on.

The other one said " Are you nuts? You can't outrun a bear!"

To which he replied "All I have to do is outrun you"

My reply to Internal Joe would've been: "All I had to do was out-work you."

Comment by Christopher Perez on May 3, 2012 at 8:30am

Outstanding post, Cindy. I may share this on my new FB company page if you don't mind. I run a very boutique practice and I'm pretty sure my clients "get" the value I bring because of our relationships and my background in the industry, but this is a very good reminder. Thanks, Chris

Comment by Cindy Cremona, CPC on May 3, 2012 at 9:52am

Thanks for the great feedback. I figured making the placement was reply enough. Amy - I'm just seasoned, that's all!


Chris - share away. You can find my blog at

Comment by Christopher Perez on May 3, 2012 at 10:01am

Thanks, Cindy. I had actually already tracked down your blog and came away very impressed. Nice work.

Comment by Darryl Dioso on May 3, 2012 at 10:21am

Top performers always make it look "effortless". 

Comment by Russ Recruits on May 8, 2012 at 9:00am

My no.1 former client once asked,

" I saw this Candidate on Monster months ago - why should I pay you for him..?"

"Thats easy... I actaully phoned him and spoke with him - did you?"

I know work for him as an Internal Recruiter.

The interplay part for me is key - as an external recruiter this was the area clients & Internals failed to see as part of my service. I hope that like many of the good Internals on here and out there, I will never fall into taking that attitude.

- and a good blog for a "rookie" to jump in on btw.  



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