Dear Recruiter’s Coach ~ My Bosses Are Married To Each Other

Dear Recruiter’s Coach,

I work as a Recruiter at a small staffing agency for a husband and wife team who do not have the same view on the best way to do things. They disagree on how I should do on everything, from the best way to qualify candidates to how to handle client negotiations.

I am stuck in the middle.

I do not feel comfortable telling them that they need to communicate better with each other and that they should come to me with an actual plan of action, instead of giving me conflicting direction. How can I get them to realize that I need them to be on the same page in order for me to be a successful Recruiter?


Stuckinthemiddle Recruiter


Dear Stuckinthemiddle Recruiter,

Reporting to a husband-wife team that doesn’t agree makes for a very difficult day for you.  To say anything directly to either one about the business is almost the same as pointing out the problems in their marriage, even though it may be the truth.  On the flip side, if they do not acknowledge and deal with this problem, they jeopardize losing you, clients and possibly their company.

To reduce the worry about addressing the issue, perhaps consider your bosses not as a husband-wife team, but rather as two people who are looking for the best way to share supervisory authority for the company and your work?

Call a meeting of your management team to discuss how to optimize your effectiveness. It is very important you do not express an opinion about why they might be giving you conflicting instructions. Just describe to them exactly the situation that you see. Give them specific examples of times that you have been confused about how to proceed and what the consequences were for the business (missed candidates, late postings, etc.). Then suggest possible alternatives.

Remember, you are the expert on yourself, and what you need to be a successful Recruiter.  Sharing this information with the husband-wife team, along with stepping up to take on the responsibility of getting things done will enable you all to be successful.


Rebecca B. Sargeant

The Recruiter’s Coach

Views: 558

Comment by Jerry Albright on January 23, 2013 at 10:32am

Dear Stuckinthemiddle,


Get out now.  If you think a quick meeting with 2 people who should have never been married in the first place - let alone running a business together - is going to fix your companies culture of mismangagement and're wrong.


Prepare yourself for the next step in your career - then take action.

Comment by Lee on January 24, 2013 at 9:26am

I agree Jerry, this is a no-win. Family owned businesses make some of the toughest clients and, from the experiences I've heard about, the toughest employers if you don't share their bloodline.


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