It's not about the deal, it's all about the individual...

About 3 years ago I met with a senior HR contact who worked for a FTSE 100. An intelligent, well-rounded and high potential individual and very charming to boot. The sort of individual who rarely stays on the market, if at all, instantly being snapped up by probably any of the other blue chip organisations.

We chatted for about 90 minutes and by the end of the discussion I had drawn a very strong conclusion – that he shouldn’t leave the company. He was a little taken aback when I shared my view. Hadn’t I approached him for a seemed like a great opportunity? Yes. Was he not a good fit for the role? Yes he was. A perfect fit. Did I put him forward in the end? No.

I can hear the comments already!

“Why didn’t you just bang him in there, it’s a guaranteed fee, surely?!"

Yes, I guess it was. But, and it’s a big, recruitment industry shaping but.

It wasn’t right for him.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where we have got it all wrong. The way the industry is largely shaped, the way it delivers its services, the reputation it creates for itself and the revenue it generates is all, fundamentally driven by how the recruiter is remunerated or targeted. These things drive behaviour and sadly, the behaviour has, for many many years, been bad.

All I hear these days is recruiters complaining how they are not respected, they are being squeezed out, how they are having to ‘get round’ HR and internal resourcing functions. Whinge, whinge, whinge. Well, you only have yourselves to blame. Or should I say, your company or industry leaders.

The fact is that any advice I, or anyone working in our organisation gives, is impartial. Why? Because we are measured on it! Not CV ‘s sent out. Not calls made per day. Not ‘Deals closed’ (PUKE!)

In the case of my friend mentioned above, this was absolutely the right decision. My advice was for him to stay another 2 or 3 years where he was. In terms of career development and opportunity
it would be a risk to leave.

So he did stay and yesterday we met up again. Before I could get a word out he said:

“Look, I just have to thank you for the advice you gave me the last time. I made the big internal move a few months later which has just been fantastic."

Had I been targeted in the traditional sense, I would probably have tried to get him into my client. And I’m convinced I would have paid the price, as would he, later down the line. As it was, it worked out
for everyone!

My assignment? Of course I filled the role. With the RIGHT person, for who the role was the most appropriate move. So I got my fee, he is happy, the client is happy and, of course, my friend is happy.

Closing the deal can so often be the shortsighted strategy.

Views: 66

Comment by Dianne Delich on May 10, 2010 at 3:46pm

I so agree with you. I have told many of my candidates that I want them to be sure that this is the right move for them. I tell them, "For me, it's just a fee but for you, this is your life and you're the one that has to wake up everyday with this decision."

Thanks for the post!
Comment by Will Branning on May 10, 2010 at 6:15pm
Great reminder that we are to match the candidate's interests and background to the search assignments we have...I, too, have recommended that candidates stay where they are, or, wait for a more suitable opportunity.
Comment by Gareth Jones on May 11, 2010 at 3:29am
Dianne, Will - thanks for your comments. Sometimes even the candidates are speechless! But its definately the right thing to do. Like you say Dianne - its their life and sometimesthey just cant see the wood for the trees and a chat with us can make all the difference.

Thanks for stopping by guys.




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