The Client Side - Put Yourself In Their Shoes

An interesting situation came up this week with one client. I talked to them in the morning to review their needs and was told how important a certain position was and that they did not have good candidates in the mix. We got to work on our end and went on with our day. In the meantime, they went into meetings to discuss their business and the direction they are heading. They came out of the meetings later in the day and I got a call saying they are switching gears, closing that position and will write up a new critical position. Frustrating? Incredibly so.

But as we scrambled on our end to stop any wasted efforts, my thoughts went back to something a smart manager once told me......"put yourself in my shoes, take a look at the situation from my perspective." The client went to work that day with a certain direction and some needs they had to cover. They started their day doing the things they needed to do in order to move in that direction, which included the call with me about the important hiring need. As they met later, things changed and they made a decision to go in a different direction. With business conditions as they are, things can change more rapidly. We have to keep in mind that we are in the business of finding the people our clients need to run and grow their businesses. In the end we are critical partners to them and as they go through challenging times we need to be flexible and empathetic.

Things are still uncertain out there and companies are constantly assessing their situation making decisions to do what is best for their business. There are fewer jobs out there so it will take more work to find the real and solid job orders. It will take a greater effort to understand the client and talk to them to determine the real needs. However, looking at things from their perspective will go a very long way towards building a strong relationship. A client who is treated professionally and respectfully through difficult times will remember you down the line. Whether you run a full desk or concentrate more on the client or candidate side, the difficult times are a great opportunity to make your business and relationships much stronger and you will be paid very well for it in the end.

Todd Kmiec
Todd Kmiec & Associates

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Views: 84

Comment by Christopher Perez on January 21, 2009 at 9:24pm
Todd, this exact scenario happened to me on Monday. Great client, moving along with a high level search, and suddenly the brakes are applied after further internal executive discussions. I was/am dealing with the president and CFO of the organization, so I had every reason to believe that the job order was solid. So I empathized with him and it paid off because now I'm busy working on 2-3 other projects in this organization, all with his blessing. We received outstanding feedback on the caliber of candidates we had presented in the first search, so it's hard to consider that wasted time. More like an audition!

When things don't turn out the way I expect, I normally do some honest self-assessment. Sometimes this helps identify valuable lessons, other times it just confirms that stuff happens. But the next important step is to deal with the new reality and keep moving forward.

Christopher Perez
Alexander HealthCare Group
301.365.3318 direct


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