Have you heard that one before from a car salesman? Everyone has. What does this have to do with recruiting? It goes to the heart of my philosophy on recruiting.
You see, I believe there are 2 types of recruiters in this industry and I've dubbed them the "Used Car Salesman" and the "Realtor". Both have their place and both can be very effective, in fact some of the most successful agency recruiters I have come in contact with have been Used Car Salesman. I just don't happen to espouse that philosophy. I'll give you a quick run down on the qualifications of each and you can see where you fall.
The Used Car Salesman
This recruiter has the "What do I have to do to get you into this car today" mentallity. They are basically looking for ways to make every candidate a fit for the job that they are trying to fill at the moment, sometimes whether the candidates wants it or not. On the plus side, they are usually the type to pound the phone, work any and all jobs that come their way and submit a candidate who might be a marginal fit. On the negative side, they usually don't take the time to establish a relationship, typically don't spend any time getting to know their candidate beyond the skills relevant to the immediate position, and will submit a candidate who might be a marginal fit. How is that possible that submitting a candidate who is a marginal fit can be a positive and a negative? Well, there have been a number of times throughout your career (if you fall into the Realtor category) where you have probably passed on submitting a candidate based on the idea that he/she just didn't meet the minimum requirements the client is looking for, only to see another recruiter submit the same candidate and have that person get the job. On the negative side, if you are the account rep who has to deal with the backlash from the client for submitting a candidate who is not even close to the right fit, you know what the down side of this can be.
This recruiter has the mentality that they are in it for the long haul with this candidate. The Realtor says to themself "I might have to show this person 50 houses but eventually they are going to buy something with me". The positives to this type of recruiter are that they typically "dig in" with their candidates, gaining the candidate's trust, showing an interest in the candidate beyond their ability to do the job at hand, most likely beyond even their professional life. Because they do this, these recruiters are less likely to have a candidate back out on an offer at the last minute and are less likely to submit a candidate to something that they aren't an excellent fit for because there are no surprises. On the down side, these recruiters will typically move a little slower and make fewer submittals, trying to be cautious, and this can cost them in terms of submittals and in some cases, placements.
So where do you fall? And how do you strike the right balance? If you can answer that question, come by and see me. I'd love to chat and ask you "What do I have to do to get you into this job today?"