Clients requiring approved vendors to utilize bounty jobs

Hi Folks;
Happy New Year!
A large and steady client for over a decade is requiring its vendors to use the bounty portal.
As a seasoned recruiter I find no value in bounty and it takes out the human element and surtaxes my fee.
Has anyone had this experience and how did they remedy the situation?
Thank you!
Sal

Views: 1046

Comment by Tony Perry on January 5, 2009 at 2:22pm
Every company is a client or a source. It sounds to me like you are still trying to decide whether to keep them as a client and work within the parameters of BJ or cut them loose. Only you can evaluate if working within BJ is a good investment of your time and efforts; but If they unilaterally change the terms of the agreement, you’re not a “slim ball” for changing their status from client to source.
Comment by Joshua Letourneau on January 5, 2009 at 2:25pm
Sal, I posted a topic on this a couple weeks ago and JD, Claudia, + a host of others were adamant in the following:

Tell the Client, "You're Fired".

Personally, I don't agree that the business world is always black & white, but they're correct in the sense that something must change. A former client of mine admitted to me the other day that most of the candidates coming to them were 'silver medalists' turned down for other roles. Sure, there are some that are diamonds . . . but there is little 'new' direct sourcing occurring for roles that are whored out on online VMS systems.

Some say that technology is shifting our industry - it's true that with technology does come a certain amount of change. However, I take it upon myself to educate my clients that technology does not solve all problems when it comes to recruiting. It may solve 'some', but simultaneously create 'others'. To answer your question, the only shot you have at 'remedy' is to hope that the organization has an intelligent VP of Talent Acquisition in place. Without that, you have little hope . . . but with, you can have deeper discussion of COH vs. Organizational Performance vs. Fees, etc.

Ultimately, Sal, not all roles are pivotal or critical to an organization, so perhaps a transaction-based approach to recruiting these types of roles doesn't come with an ancillary cost (for example, those volume or high-turnover roles in which an RPO can be justified). As such, perhaps the cost to the overall employment brand can be justified . . . (i.e. the cost of having hundreds of recruiters with differing skill sets and approaches calling the same pool of candidates for the same Client). I can't answer this and only the Client truly can.

However, when it comes to those roles that are truly crucial (i.e. those roles that people like you and I spend our time), a transactional approach in which the human relationship is trivialized doesn't work.

The more people like you and I say this, the more it will be resisted by Talent Acquisition who may lean toward seeing External Recruiters in a solely self-serving light . . . but our only remedy is to maintain a unified voice about the importance of relationships and human interaction with critical/pivotal roles.
Comment by Scott Love on January 5, 2009 at 2:31pm
When you work above HR, you don't have these problems. Get in with senior level executives for higher level positions that nobody else is working. (I know you probably know this, Sal, but thought it might be good for me to post this for other recruiters who are facing this same issue.)

Start recruiting for directors and above and you will work at a level that most other recruiters are afraid to work, and you'll get paid a lot quicker. Senior level executives are easier to identify, more apt to return calls, are more cordial, are more open minded, and if they don't want to make a move, then they can also hire people from you. I had a VP work with me exclusively when I told him it was 'against my company policy to work with human resources.' He was shocked because he'd never heard a recruiter say that before. He asked me why. I said, 'That's because the people I recruit will feel that the position isn't very important if you are not directly involved. If they were actively looking, that's another story. But my target of recruiting is to bring you people who are next in line to be promoted, not the active job seekers. Because of this, if you are personally involved, it does two things for you. First, it shows them that you are taking this seriously and are not pawning it off to an HR staffer. Second, it gives the candidate a better comfort level regarding confidentiality, knowing that their info will not end up in an HR database that anyone in the company can access."

Also, work with third tier privately owned companies. Get away from the Fortune 500 or 1000. Work for privately owned companies and work directly with the owner or the founder. Before I started training and consulting to the industry, most of my recruiting experience was with these types of companies. If their name is on the front door, then they take it more seriously than the 24 year old Human Resources staffer. Executives make their hiring decisions based on value and will go outside of the hiring protocols that their own company has in place if the candidate is good enough.
Comment by Terry Penn on January 5, 2009 at 2:33pm
Ditto.
Comment by Melissa Holmes on January 5, 2009 at 2:35pm
As recruiters we can keep our relationships with hiring managers and manipulate VMS systems and processes to maintain our level of service when our intent is to truly provide the client with what they need. My question is based on the assumption from review that BountyJobs is a completely different flavor of the standard VMS. . . Does anyone that has experience with BountyJobs know of any of the potential issues that could arise from using BountyJobs so that we can educate clients? Any horror stories? Any potential legal issues? Luckily I haven't had to have the conversation yet but would like to be prepared.
Comment by Judy Lewallen on January 5, 2009 at 3:00pm
A good client of mine is also transitioning orders to bounty jobs. This is the client's VMS approach to perm placement. It allows them one contract with one company, Bounty Jobs, instead of multiple contracts with multiple recruiting firms, and NO COST. Our concern, other than losing part of our fee to the site, is that payment of our fee now rests solely in the hands of Bounty Jobs; thus, should Bounty fall on hard times, we have no recourse to get payment, especially if our client has already paid Bounty. In the end we complied and have found so far that the site is user friendly, the people at Bounty are pretty responsive, and payment from Bounty, once available, comes quickly. You will have a hurdle if you are a firm that needs payment before guarantee period expires. Bounty has standard terms for guarantee periods and will not render payment until after the guarantee period has past.
Judy at jlewallen@pharmascent.com
Comment by Todd Noebel on January 5, 2009 at 3:02pm
I am surprised that they are requiring their outside partners to use BJ. That is not a statement about BJ, rather, a statement about the client and, perhaps, your relationship and its perceived value to the client. I ask our outside partners to compete on service, not to be the low cost bidder. Do we work to control our costs...you betcha! I have openly invited one firm to fire me as a client because our needs did not match their process. I invite all of the outside agencies we work with to fire us as a client if our needs don't mesh with their service model.

I have to take exception to Scott's comment about "working above HR". It should more accurately read going around HR and may, or may not, yield the results you want. At the firm where I work we have been able to demonstrate to all levels of the organization the value of keeping HR very much in the partnership. We bring value to the table and thus our role is not considered a "pawn off". And for what it is worth, I have been on the agency side and was trained to circumvent HR and their process - and it was the worst training I ever received. I found that when I made a genuine effort to partner with HR, my efforts were much better rewarded. Who knows, maybe I'm the exception. And as an added FYI - HR databases are not accessable by any and all in a company. Not looking to pick a fight, just to pick a few nits.

I will say that in our current economic cycle that trying to cut out the HR person may mean firing a whole lot more clients then you intend.
Comment by Scott Love on January 5, 2009 at 3:06pm
If you work above HR, you don't have to deal with them. Period.
Comment by Erik Plesset on January 5, 2009 at 3:09pm
Sal - great question / Pamela thanks for sharing such an appropriate and "on point" response - yes perfect timing!

Like several members have commented I believe this is a relationship business and Bounty removes this dynamic. Even more important is the loss of control of the recruiting process from submittals, to interview, to follow up / debrief, to negoitating offers, etc. giving us recruiters a chance to show how we add value and justify our fees. Without that we are "staffing" agencies vs. recruiters.

And, my characterization between staffing agencies and recruiting agencies is not negative... the difference, in my opinion, is volume of CVs vs. quality; lower compensation ranges typically associated with staffing opportunities (not always so such as in engineering contracting), reduced fees associated with volume purchases and degree of client relationship comittment.

There are plenty of fish (clients) in the sea and it's back to marketing now. Don't get too drawn into the Bounty spin that benefits corporate clients and not recruiters. I can't blame them for taking advantage of the opportunity - it is up to us as recruiters pick and choose our battles!
Comment by Liz Brown on January 5, 2009 at 3:15pm
So what do you all think? Are we going to become extinct? Is it possible to have a personal relationship with a company that uses Bounty or any other VMS?

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