Client Education, Candidate Confidence and the cost of Nepotism

we’ve been busy so far this year. elements of frustration still, but overall, a move in the right direction. I think I’m still getting used to how different the US recruitment market is to the UK market.

We’ve just lost a client, who decided to go with the in-house approach (although i think they spun us that line to soften the blow). Real shame, but in light of the fact we had 4 offers rejected in 3 months, I must admit, I’m keen to focus our time elsewhere. that’s right, 4 offers. disastrous really. $65k in lost revenue, but what’s the point of working with a client who just won’t adjust their approach given the changing market conditions and who remain unresponsive to valuable feedback we have provided them with in order to make their process more effective? Yet another tale of a company’s own view of themselves as an employer skewing their ability to hire the best. Word on the street is that they get through a lot of recruiters and as a result, prospective candidates are contacted by multiple recruiters over a period of time – think of it what you may, but IT ULTIMATELY DILUTES AND PUTS A NEGATIVE SPIN ON THE COMPANY’S MESSAGE TO THE CANDIDATE MARKET. Maybe my approach of trying to educate clients is too direct, I’ll have to think about adjusting it, but isnt that what we are supposed to do as professionals; work with everyone in our sphere to maximise efficiencies, discuss improvement ideas and implement relevant changes? After all, our clients provide our income, so why would we want to jeopardize that by offering poor service and irrelevent advice?

I’ve noticed a bit of a psychological change in candidates recently. When headhunting directly, everyone seems to be interested in finding out more – there’s more (of a different kind) uncertainty out there right now than there was about a year ago, which is a surprise - last year, candidates feared being found out by their employer that they were looking elsewhere – it was a good reason to be let go. It now feels like candidates’ confidence index is rising and they know their skills could be more valued elsewhere and when they move, they feel a huge sense of relief, vindication and in some instances, utter revenge!

As recruiters, we focus on finding the best for our clients. Something that does alarm me is when you see organizations large and small, hire people with limited or no experience in their space because the candidate knew someone, who knew someone – why do they do this? invariably, the individual takes longer to get up to speed (if they ever do) and the company loses traction, time and money invested in that individual. If someone is kept for 6 months just plodding along, that cost is as much as using a specialized recruiter to make a skilled and proven hire and eventually, they are back where they started. What’s the aversion to paying fees to a specialist recruiter? do so many companies really believe they are helping their business by hiring this way? it’s frightening stuff. Admittedly, the client is free to do what they want, but is that approach really helping their business? I’m sure some of these ‘limited knowledge workers’ do work out, but I’m confident they are the exception, not the rule. We have a working example of this where a growing client is replacing around 10 senior sales professionals who were recruited when the market was thick with availablre candidates mid-year last year for lower salaries. With no expertise in our client's market, virtually every single one of them failed to perform and the client has returned to specialist search firms to identify the right people. I feel vindicated - not smug, just vidicated

Off to Vegas next week for the ISC West show. We have a number of clients in the space and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and walking the ailes and networking. I’ve heard there’s not much else to do in Vegas…..

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