15 sure signs your ‘client’ does not take you seriously

You call them ‘clients’ and you think they see you as a business partner. Take this quick test and maybe… think again! Tick each statement that applies to you.

  1. They won’t meet you to provide a new job brief. It’s emailed, or given over the phone, or maybe its just a few lines in an email.
  2. They give you jobs in competition. And you are not even first.
  3. When you do eventually arrange a meeting, they keep you waiting for ages, or even stand you up altogether.
  4. They don’t return your calls.
  5. They routinely don’t interview the candidates you present.
  6. They won’t give you sound reasons for rejecting candidates that they have declined to interview.
  7. They demand urgency from you every step of the way, but are slow to come back in a timely fashion themselves.
  8. They don’t give you feedback on the candidates they interview from you.
  9. They arrange second interviews with preferred candidates directly.
  10. They ignore your advice on salary and conditions and… pretty much everything actually!
  11. They raise issues and information, critical to the hire (that they have never told you) with the candidate.
  12. They make an offer direct to your candidate without going through you or even telling you.
  13. They haggle your fee, after the deal is done.
  14. They offer perm jobs to your temps without telling you.
  15. They flirt inappropriately or ask you out on a date.

Score yourself here. Tick each statement that applies to you.

0-5 – Nice job, your clients are treating you as a ‘partner’
6-10 – More work needed to elevate your status to ‘trusted advisor’
11-15 – You don’t have clients. You have tyre-kickers and ‘bikers’


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Views: 1827

Comment by Julie Link on November 8, 2011 at 9:51am

There are so many staffing and recruiting companies out there, it can be tough to stand out to a hiring manager and help them see you as a partner. Some recruiting companies simply forward good looking resumes. Other companies go through a much more extensive screening process, including an application, interview, testing, references before sending a carefully selected resume. The problem is so many hiring managers think more resumes are a good thing, so they send the job description to several recruiters without knowing anything about their screening process or what goes on behind the scenes for each resume they receive.  They think they want 20+ resumes on their desk, when what they should really want is 2-3 carefully screened and selected CANDIDATES.  Recruiters, don't waste your time flinging resumes to these companies who treat you like a commodity.  When you get a prospective client on the phone, walk them through your process, ask them to be your PARTNER, and then invest your time and efforts into making PLACEMENTS, not just sending resumes.  It's time to start screening out our "clients" and only working with companies who will be our partners.

Comment by Darryl Dioso on November 8, 2011 at 9:56am

The first 9 points sound like my experience with a certain "recruitment marketplace".

Great post Greg. Point #6 is very frustrating. Especially when all you are given is the good ol "we just didn't see a fit". Love going back to my candidates on that one.  

Comment by Greg Savage on November 8, 2011 at 10:06am

Agree, John

Julie, you hit the nail on the head IMO. Clients go to multiple recruiters, who in response operate on the basis of speed and volume, not on quality, and of course the client is disappointed so....goes to yet more recruiters!

I blogged on this here http://tinyurl.com/2ceogp9 "Why clients give out orders in competition ..and why its bad for everybody"

And offered some advice to hiring managers on how to work with recruiters here http://tinyurl.com/3d7qtmy


Darryl, agree, point six can be very annoying. Leaves you no where to go with candidate feedback and does not help refine the brief

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on November 8, 2011 at 10:36am

Most contingency recruiters (for this list only really applies to them) have evolved into little more than admin-monkeys and/or cold-callers. The Internet has to take some of the credit for that.

I used to think that they didn't know how to sell - but I'm starting to think that they don't know what to sell.  Clearly the latter drives the former.  Kind of like a vicious circle.

Comment by Julie Link on November 8, 2011 at 10:41am
@Mitch - YES! Mr. Client, tell me, WHAT am I selling? Not just a job description, I hope...
Comment by Greg Savage on November 8, 2011 at 10:45am

You are right, this list applies to contingency recruiters as what we are actually talking about here is securing client commitment. If you are working retained, you already have commitment, as the client has stumped up money for the work to begin


Then again, 95 % of all recruiters are contingency recruiters so thats a lot of  "admin monkeys" MItch.

I think the primary problem is that they have not been taught WHAT to sell. That is the key problem, which, if addressed, allows a contingent recruiter to work exclusively and in partnership and earn lots more money, enjoy greater self esteem and have lots more fun


Comment by Mitch Sullivan on November 8, 2011 at 10:59am

Totally agree, Greg.

@Julie - the client will invest the time in giving you the right things to sell to the candidates if you ask them the right questions. If you do that, you're about ready to ask them to pay you upfront.  Then the real work starts. :)


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