Let me preface this with I have written a few blogs on here about why I both love and hate recruiting, as well as some good advice that has been on LinkedIn before. However, I had a bad couple of orders recently, more than likely due to the time of year, and just need to vent. I literally look like the guy pictured above right now.

Wow, I get frustrated sometimes. It isn't with my candidates as much, my office, or my bosses....it is with my clients. Yes, I said it. Some clients just don't care to understand, or trust that I am an expert on hiring processes. I think it is hilarious when a hiring manager tells me, in high-level IT, that there are MORE candidates out there. Really? Point me in the direction where there is a Sr. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Architect store and I will go pick some quality people off the shelf to bring to you. I think that they are still stuck in 2009/10...when there were lots of people on the market.

I mean, don't get me wrong...I get paid to find these people. However, if you expect, as a hiring manager, to see 5+ candidates, then get nit picky on the resumes, then find a reason NOT to hire the person, then expect to pay a 15% fee or LESS...you are sadly ill-informed, horribly detached from reality, and have absolutely no idea what you are doing to your reputation as a hiring manager. Recruiters do talk, and they also tend to lose interest when a picky hiring manager comes into the picture.


"They passed on Mark? Why? He had all the skills necessary for the job, was in the rate, and is available...What was the feedback?" "They said they don't think he is a cultural fit." "How is he not a cultural fit?" "Well, they didn't say. They just want to see more candidates."

What do you think goes through the mind of the recruiter when this conversation happens? Honestly, would you come back and say that out of the 20 orders you have, this one is the one you will still dedicate a lot of time to? I wouldn't...in fact, I would mark this as a B job order because there obviously is a lack of urgency, bad feedback, and it just smells like they are fishing for resumes. There is no point in continuing down this path from a recruiting perspective. Which order can close this week? Not this one, so let's focus on the others that can. Hiring manager, this is exactly what goes through the recruiter's mind...not, "Well, I have 5-6 more people, let's just send those." It takes so much time just find the 1 that you are looking for.

Now, this is mainly focused at direct hire recruiting, not contract. If a client is picky like that with contractors, forget it. They will never find someone...and I think they know that. Hiring managers need to truly understand why their position is open, and then why they reached out to the agency(ies) they did, and what they really need.

If there are hiring managers reading this, let me tell you one thing...when I tell you there are only 2-3 candidates in the entire state of GA (where I work) that can do your job (such as the Sr. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Architect), then I suggest you listen, because to get those people, you are going to have to be creative, appealing, and most of all willing to make concessions. That is your candidate pool...2-3 people (there are more Dynamics CRM Architects out there, especially in Atlanta, but the problem is limitations: must have a college degree...no relocation available...$100,000 base is the MAX...they have to be from the industry...they can't have a hoppy resume...). If you find someone, it will be a miracle. A freaking miracle.

Let me hear those thoughts, ‘cause I know someone on this site will disagree with me. The thing I will ask though is, has this every happened to you, and if so, did you just say "Oh well, let's just find someone else. Rats." I doubt it.


Views: 1612

Comment by Amber on November 15, 2012 at 10:42am

Thanks - I think I know that guy! I definitely can't disagree with any of this, it's so true.

We are having an office meeting later today to go over our current searches. We will be parting way with probably 2-3 pretty new and 1 long term client, because there seems to be a lack of getting to a point where the process will lead to a successful end for either of us. I used to kill myself trying to work with every client, on every position, until I realized that I could choose what I wanted to work on. It's still hard to turn down a client, but my stress levels have certainly decreased, while my revenue has increased!

p.s. I was excited to receive a response from a potential client until I read that we would only be used if we agreed to 1. a fee lower than our standard 2. Net terms longer than our standard 3. 90 REFUND guarantee. Nope, I have other clients and assignments that I know are much better more viable. And if I didn't, I would continue looking for those vs. taking everything and anything that came my way.

Comment by Todd Oldfield on November 15, 2012 at 12:02pm

Sounds like every client I ever knew. Mostly man, these are the issues we face as recruiters. You cannot get frustrated by them... it's the nature of the beast.  Provided!.... Provided that you did your part. Did you set expectations with the client going in? Did you establish process? Did you take a thorough position order? Did you control your client? Did you pass if you could not control them? 

I think sometimes we have to remember that a business relationship is a two way street... and sometimes we have to pass on the boneheads.

Some rantings of a lunatic.

Comment by Kelly Callahan on November 15, 2012 at 12:21pm

I am trying to figure out why you are working for 15%...

Comment by Zachary Sines on November 15, 2012 at 12:30pm
I don't, but clients request it. Drives me nuts.
Comment by Julia Briggs on November 15, 2012 at 12:35pm

Just sack the client. If these people are that rare then you don't need the client.  And not at 15%.  If you are good at your job you will get good clients.  It takes nerves of steel, but just do it. 

Comment by Fern McKee on November 15, 2012 at 12:39pm

I work as a contractor in corporate recruiting and I feel your pain.  These hiring managers have often already run the in house recruiter through the wringer and seem bent on destroying any relationship the recruiter has with agencies and candidates.  It's really hard to find 25 year olds' with 10 years experience and a 4 year college degree. :)

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 15, 2012 at 12:46pm

Zachary are you recruiting for my employer? :)

I agree with Fern - I'm also inhouse and it's just as bad in here... (except no arguing over fees)

Don't worry about venting here - that's part of what makes this community great. We can share our successes, cry, stomp our feet and whine, and know that there are others like us who GET IT. I'm sure since you've posted this blog you've picked yourself back up and got right back to work. Writing this felt good though, didn't it? :)

Comment by Paul Alman on November 15, 2012 at 12:54pm
If this is really happening (and yes, it did happen to me years ago) then:

a. You need to redefine "client". Obviously this person isn't a client in any real sense.
b. 15%, really? Maybe that is all you value your services.
c. You have the problem if you can't establish the relationship with your "client" so that before you make a single phone call they already value the way you approach your search activity and its value to them. Obviously they don't think of you as one of their valued suppliers.
d. Then again, maybe you need to sit down (you do meet with all your clients, don't you?) and re-define the position, identify the "fit and finish" criteria that you seem do not understand.
e. Maybe having a set number of candidates that you present, might need to be re-evaluated. If you have a true relationship with you clients, then you both understand that specific, accurate feedback is the only way you can focus in on their need.
f. Spend the time in finding, developing and keeping a "real" client.

Paul Alman
Comment by Terence on November 15, 2012 at 12:58pm

Hi Zachary,

I've been feeling a bit like that guy too, no matter how much they trust you and listen to you some clients will always be holding something back if you don't have the full picture then frustration is likely to abound as the client is working to a different agenda than you. The only thing to do sometimes is be blunt tell them there is no one else out there and say you will not be working on the vacancy until you get the full picture and they are ready to hire you are withdrawing their advert and will be placing candidate xxx at one of their competitors.


But as we all know it's the nature of the beast and if it was easy everyone would be doing it roll on pay day !!

Comment by Angela R. Furbee on November 15, 2012 at 1:08pm

Excellent article and great comments. I agree with all.  You have to believe enough in yourself and what you do to walk away from a 15% fee and client like that.  Believe it or not, there are plenty of recruiting opportunities out there where you should be able to pick and choose whom you want to work with, then prioritize from most important to least important.  I have had quite a few conversations with potential and existing clients regarding fees and how our business works.  If you share with them a simple example of one opportunity at full fee versus another opportunity at a reduced fee, which is your team going to concentrate on first?  Which client is going to get the best candidates?  Naturally, they are going to answer your question by stating the option with the higher fee.  I tell them it is a business decision.  They can figure the rest out on their own. Good luck!


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