Fall Offs - Is it the recruiter's fault OR is it your organization that has problems

I've been recruiting for a little over 8+ years now. Fall Offs (Candidates that recruiters place into their client's job where the candidate quits within 8 weeks of start date) is something recruiter's dread as it effects their overall compensation.


My question is the following? Is it the recruiter's fault that the recruiter did not find the perfect fit candidate for the client (which resulted in a fall off) OR is there a problem with the client's organization.


When placing in manufacturing, I find that clients have high turn-over in their organizations (3 different plant managers in 1.5 years). The client have asked different recruiters to source the market to find the best candidate for their company. The recruiter can present candidates, coach and mentor the candidates through their screening process but at the end when the client makes the offer and the candidate accepts - the recruiter's work is done...


Recruiters have no control over what happens when the candidate is working at a client's organization. It is now up to the client to retain that employee. Unfortunately, what happens is that when a fall off occurs, blame gets put on the recruiter for producing a below par or non-performing candidate. Is it really the recruiter's fault?


I always say, "When you point the finger at the recruiter, there's a always 3 fingers pointing back at you (the corporation)." Maybe the CEO of the corporation should seriously look at their own organization to see their own deficiencies and ask themselves 'Why do we have a high turn-over rate / revolving door at our organization BEFORE they start pointing the finger at the recruiter"


Just my thoughts... Opinions are welcomed....




Views: 1228

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on July 22, 2011 at 1:31pm
I have had this conversation... I usually say "he/she was fine when I hired him/her.  What did you do?"  :)  but seriously you can only control so much during the recruiting process.  Hopefully the candidate is willing to give you feedback as to WHY they would leave a job so quickly.  Either they got a new/better job somewhere else or something is way off in the job... could be that the actual job functions are way different than what was expected, or something worse culturally.  When this is happening over and over, the common denominator is the COMPANY.
Comment by Brian Pho on July 22, 2011 at 1:45pm

Now try and get the CEO of the Company to realize this problem and that a fee should be justified because we did our work! How do you tell a CEO of a company that your company has a bad culture, work environment etc... (compared to other companies) and make them admit that its THEIR mistake that the candidate didn't stay - not the recruiter.....


Overall, Im trying to avoid to recruit for companies with high turn over but Im finding more and more companies like this more often and less good companies to work for...


Comment by Sandra McCartt on July 22, 2011 at 2:20pm

Brian, i think some of the blame for fall offs can be eliminated if the conversation about high turnover happens before we place someone.  Knowing why there have been three plant managers in 1.5 years and having a frank discussion with the CEO before doing the work would seem to be prudent.  If you hear that everyone of them was an incompetant idiot, left for more money or whatever perhaps the fall off can be eliminated by discussing the cost of a competant idiot instead of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  I don't know what kind of guarantee you are offering but if you do a 90 day replacement at no additional charge you might have to refill the position but you should get paid.


However, if you put yourself in a situation where there is high turnover due to culture you are taking the risk that the odds of fall off are high and you may not get paid unless you have your terms agreed to in advance that for the guarantee to be in force the fee is to be paid within 10 days of start date.


We can only operate on the information we are given.  If the money is too low or the culture is bad don't hard close a candidate into the job.  Be sure that the candidate knows what they are getting into and that there has been high turnover so they can ask the right questions up front.  I have seen a lot of recruiters who can hard close a candidate then wonder why they have a high fall off rate.  In that instance it is the recruiters fault.

Comment by Barbara Goldman on July 22, 2011 at 4:21pm

Yes, absolutely. If a client has a retention problem, don't guarantee anything. You have every right to choose your clients.


Fall offs happen for a lot of reasons. Change of management, the job is different from presented, the job changed, etc. You have no control over a companies policies, and decisions.

Word your contract correctly, and you won't have the responsibility of guaranteeing a candidate who took a job that changed.

You have nothing to do with retention. Did you make the hiring decision? No. They did. I can't tell you how many times the company hires who I think is the worst candidate. Should I be responsible? No. But, for a full fee, clients expect some type of guarantee. That's life.


You'd be surprised what an executive may be interested in learning. I think the CEO is probably not the person, but close.

Comment by Brian Pho on July 22, 2011 at 4:36pm

Good advice Bill. My client has used 3 different recruiters at this time  - and each time, there was a fall off with the position that the recruiter has recruited for.. So , he now has a really bad taste for recruiters and does not even want a replacement (coming from a recruiter). The client has decided that he will want to source on its own... I guess good luck to me in order to get a fee out of him.....  Your right - Gaurantees are hogwash - I believe if the client is happy, he will pay the bill , and vice versa - if the client is not satisfied with the candidate, he will NEVER pay the bill - that is - unless you take him to court!


Comment by Brian Pho on July 22, 2011 at 4:48pm

Manufacturing and Technical Sales


Comment by Sandra McCartt on July 24, 2011 at 11:37pm

Sounds like this one is a draw Brian.  Company has used three different recruiters and doesn't have a plant manager.  Three different recruiters have placed plant managers and all have fallen out.  Time to let this company do their own recruiting for a while.  I would suspect that if they do it themselves and have another fall out or two that is what it is going to take for them to realize that the problem is something with the job.


They will be back around.  Then it's time to tell them that you will bill them by the hour for recruiting services.

Comment by Paul S. Gumbinner on July 25, 2011 at 11:08am

I am a single industry recruiter (advertising) so I know most of my clients well.  I know which cultures are easy and which are difficult.  I also know which agencies are having difficulty.  This helps me in choosing appropriate candidates. 


Also, my contracts always contain a clause which guarantees my candidates except in the case of changes in management or capital structure or the loss of accounts.  This often protects me from issues which are not the fault of my candidates. And it gets me paid. 


However, I try to determine from my clients (generally HR), who the hiring manager is and what his or her issues are.  I find that if my clients are honest in telling me about the ease or difficulty of this person (or his/her boss), I can use that in recruiting to find the right candidate. 


I can honestly say that in more than twenty-five years in the business I have had fewer than half a dozen fall-offs.  Generally these happen because a candidate either moved, went back to school or, in only one case that I can think of, something they had previously interviewed for reared its head.  I am not patting myself on the back, but merely saying that if you know the companies you are recruiting for, there should be very low fall off. 


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