As a small agency – we find ourselves in an interesting “predicament” at the moment:  Which assignments should we work on?  While I’m personally overjoyed (and over-worked) with the opportunities at hand – I’ve got to make some tough decisions here. Today.  Right now.......

 

Normally the clients that get our attention are the ones with the highest CUE ratings.  For those that haven’t heard of it – CUE is pretty simple.  We look at three things:  Cooperation, Urgency and Expectation.  When one of these areas is lacking it makes the decision pretty easy.  In fact – without cooperation, a need to hire NOW or a realistic expectation of salary vs. skills vs. availability – it’s nearly impossible (for us) to be successful.

 

But what do we do when there are several clients who need to hire NOW and offer every bit of cooperation we could hope for – combined with having realistic expecations of the talent available?  This is our dilemma.

 

So as I’ve thought about our situation this morning I’ve come to the realization that another level of criteria needs to join the CUE.  I’m going to add an “S”:  Strategic. 

 

What placements (if made) offer the biggest strategic impact for the future?  How should we look at this?  Multiple hires?  Is this client in a marketplace that is expanding?  If they are contract roles – which ones should last longer?  Are there any critical hires that would help us strengthen our role with the client?  What about recruiting on the positions in HR?  Or for the leadership team…..placements which may offer a stronger client relationship in the future?

 

The flip side of this coin is the realization that in order to be successful - I find we need to have commitments up front.  I'm going to......and they're going to.........

 

So in realizing that we are not going to fill every position - we need to let our clients know whether we plan to invest our time or not.  These discussions are awkward, painful and usually the last conversations I want to have.......but we need to let them know.

 

Oh my.  So many things to consider.  But one thing is certain - I love this profession!

 

Thoughts anyone?

Views: 162

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 10, 2011 at 11:39pm

@Jennifer Your profile is almost anonymous.  You write like a third party recruiter but you indicated you are an HR Director.  You are new to the blog, tell us a little bit about you.  What industry are you in?  Do you work for a big company or a small one.  Why no linkedin profile?  Are you active on social media and what do you think about it? 

You seem negative about job boards.  I have had a great deal of success with them so perhaps i can help make your job board experience more positive.

Comment by bill josephson on May 10, 2011 at 11:49pm

Sandra, I let Jennifer's comment pass but in retrospect I have one comment alluding to what Sarah posted. 

 

I bang on the phones consistently targeting 200 outgoing calls per day--mostly cold calls.  I come to this blog when a topic interests me, as Jerry's always do, and to both temporarily clear my head as well as get some on the fly training considering someone else's opinion.  There's several experienced recruiting professionals here and hearing their perspectives often adds value to my recruiting approach offering something I hadn't thought of, or forgot.

 

Definitely productive, not a waste, of my time coming here periodically with no guilt incurred.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 11, 2011 at 12:31am

I do the same Bill, when i take a break i check in to see if there is something interesting going on, news about the job market, what people are talking about in our profession.  Maybe it's just us old dogs that know we can always learn new tricks or maybe us old dogs have forgotten some of the stuff and need to be reminded.  I never consider this blog a waste of time. 

 I haven't done guilt of any kind since i forgot to let the cat out and didn't have time to clean up the mess for an hour.  The housekeeper got here and threw a fit.  That made me feel guilty.  The moral to that story is if you don't want to feel guilty clean up the cat poop before somebody else sees it.  Cat poop and guilt are the same thing just waste.

 

If i can share a story or an experience that helps a fellow recruiter or offer an opinion that makes them think or have a little laugh, it's a good day.  When i learn something myself, it's a great day.

Comment by Valentino Martinez on May 11, 2011 at 1:14am

 

With the possible exception of "just starting out" and building a customer base by taking on all customers, being more "strategic", as you described it, Jerry, is a smart way to go.  An additional concern I have, that fits into the “strategic” assessment focus is to be wary of customer (company) contacts that can change overnight, e.g., Anhesuer-Busch is not the same company after the InBev merger.  Key contacts change and sometimes their agenda changes as well.  So what worked for you yesterday may not work tomorrow relative to a company’s new leadership and its new gatekeepers. 

I've had many positive, productive, mutually benefiting relationships that have turned on a dime when "new management" entered and brought in their "people".  Making adjustments as you go, particularly strategic ones—will lead to growth and, more importantly, survival—and we all love that result.

Comment by Chris Underwood on May 11, 2011 at 5:07am

Jerry thanks for the post. I don't know much about your business, your market or you but it would seem to me that your approach is not reciprocal with a client - CUE appears to me to be about you and your business and not about the clients that in one way or another you have agreed to work with/deliver to.

You ask if there are any critical hires that strengthen your role with a client - are there any that would weaken that positions if you don't fill them / walk away? You realise that you won't fill every role you get but what % do you expect to? do you track this?

I expect to fill the vast majority (and do) but my approach is one of commitment - which is a two way reciprocation and behaviour - and as such I work on fewer mandates for higher fees with happier customers and higher completion rates. I will turn business away if commitment is not shown or if the use of our services is a procurement (cost) exercise. With commitment you can then predict (reasonably) the work load and diary commitments and manage other clients commitments and time scales. 

Being in a position of having too much work sounds great but can only lead to fewer mandates being completed and a greater number of disappointed clients....in the example you provide above you have clients who fulfil your normal 'good client' criteria but who are now going to be disappointed as they are not strategic enough (for you) and somewhere along the line someone took on too much work.

I would change your C to Commitment, use U only for contract roles and keep the E as it is.....just my two penneth


Comment by Reb Blanchard on May 11, 2011 at 10:52am
Outstanding Blog jerry. Prioritizing the orders should be everyboy's first order of theday, or better yet, the last one of the day so you are ready for the next day.
Comment by Natalie Tronko on May 11, 2011 at 6:19pm

Jerry, thank you for the post! It does make a lot of sense! 

 

@Jennifer, I wouldn't call replying to blogs a waste of time, plus 15 minutes a day you are talking about is not that much time, you can always make a short break from the resumes during the day, but you will gain more than you will lose. Valuable information and a great discussion can contribute to your professional development a lot, eventually you will probably need to spend a little less time sourcing :) 

@Subramani, good question bugging me too. I guess good relationship with the managers would be one of the keys, or you can start pushing when you are so very sure that your candidate is the best he can possibly find, otherwise we just have to take it the way it is. 

Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on May 12, 2011 at 9:46pm

offer the biggest strategic impact for the future? good point.

 

They all could be make the biggest strategic impact for the future? Pick wisly grasshopper!

 

One could lead to the next and so on  

Comment by Jeremy Eskenazi on June 20, 2011 at 9:52pm
Jerry, I know this is an older post, but I recently reread it again. I have to say that your CUES philosophy is so pragmatic and a great business methodology. What is even more impressive is that you as an agency recruiting professional share it so honestly and authentically. Sadly, many recruiters (both agency and corporate recruiting professionals) are not this authentic and honest, and this is where most problems in recruiting start: the lack of/or not setting expectations. The philosophy is just good business and its honest... which is the way recruiting professionals should operate in everything they do. Your commentary is refreshing and I learn from it each time I read it. Thanks./

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