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 Todd Lempicke on November 15, 2012 at 1:25pm

Don't blame the client entirely as this is mostly a client management issue. Try getting a commitment up front as to the screening and selection process and gently give event this as an example of what type of situation you would like to avoid. Suggest that since you are working on contingency, you require a clear understanding that your work and expertise should not go unpaid if you present them with someone that meets the qualifications. We sometimes get engagement fees to cover time and materials should the search not end up in a hire. At least it's not a total waste.

Comment by pam claughton on November 15, 2012 at 1:30pm

The first red flag is when they ask for 15%. I haven't taken an order at 15% in years, but when I did, inevitably they were bad clients, because ultimately they really don't want to pay a fee. These are usually the same people that want extended payment terms, another red flag, are they having money issues? And that want an extended guarantee or worse, 100%on 90 days....that's the biggest red flag of all. If you need that it's likely because there are some serious turnover issues and that's the companies fault, not the recruiter.


It's always hard to turn down business, but you'll always make more money by doing so. Instead of spinning your wheels with a lousy client, you could be spending your time getting a better one and recruiting on that job.

Comment by Cindy Cremona, CPC on November 15, 2012 at 1:42pm

Move on. There are plenty of other second tier agencies that are happy to work with second tier clients. Saying no can be quite rewarding.

Comment by Jerry Albright on November 15, 2012 at 2:00pm

Just take a step back and let the C.U.E principal guide where you spend your time.


Cooperation.  It's as simple as that. Does your client work with you? Answer your questions? Take your calls? Share helpful feedback?


Urgency. Do they need to hire NOW!!??? If not - you'll run into all kinds of "who else do you have?" scenarios.  If they don't NEED to hire - they won't.  Period.


Expectation. What do they expect?  Is it realistic? Is the salary a legit salary for the person they're looking for? It it realistic to expect 5 "super rare" candidates? Do they expect them to jump through a 5 part series of stretched out interviews? Do they expect you to recruit for a bargain rate?  Many times - the same rate some clueless recruiter agreed to - but then couldn't follow through on?


Take a CUE from your "clients" and make some decisions.....

Comment by Zachary Sines on November 15, 2012 at 3:19pm

I don't work at 15% fees unless the client gives me exclusivity on several orders.  25% is the norm.

Also, I have been in recruiting for several years and know that this stuff happens.  Just one of those weeks...

Comment by Jerry Albright on November 15, 2012 at 3:20pm

Hang in there!  We all go through this - but I wouldn't want to do anything else!

Comment by Zachary Sines on November 15, 2012 at 3:21pm

Jerry, great acronym!  That is a really good tip for training our junior recruiters.  Thanks!

Comment by Zachary Sines on November 15, 2012 at 3:24pm

Really this article was written for my junior recruiters to see that even a senior level recruiter can run into these issues...even when the process has been followed to a T.  The hardest thing to teach is the ability to get back up after being knocked down...which is what this article is about.

I keep going, keep pushing, and know there are greener pastures on the horizon.

Comment by Amy McDonald on November 15, 2012 at 3:39pm

Let it go, Zachary; like water off of a ducks back! Tell him, when you have calmed down a bit, in the most "matter of fact" way as possible exactly what you shared with us. If you're right - we all know you are- he will know it too. Even if he "fires" you, he'll know it, but my bet is that he won't. He'll fume for a while like the kid that didn't get the toy they wanted for Christmas and come back when he has had time to consider the situation. Why waste your time? Fill in new marketing calls for the spots that you would have spent talking to his candidates. It is like trying to sell someone with the budget for a bicycle a brand new BMW. It just can't work. 

Amy McDonald



Comment by Zachary Sines on November 16, 2012 at 8:32am

I always imagine when I fire a client they walk around their office in a constent state of "Hrumph!"


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