Every day I strive to educate my company about the Magic Triangle - Time - Cost - Quality. I am a Recruiting Manager for a small Government Contractor in the DC area and I have Program Managers call me on a Friday and want 3 Top Secret cleared Data Architects with 7 to 10 years experience screened, interviewed and closed by the following Monday (this is a real life experience). And oh by the way, did I mention that it was for a 6 month contract? And the salary range is $70K to $80K? I mean, I can sell ice makers to an Eskimo, but come on! I can't count how many times I've heard one of the owner's say, "It's just Data Architects, how hard can that be?"
I've explained until I am blue in the face that you can't have all three elements of the Magic Triangle- time, quality, cost - at the same time. If you want three Data Architects with Top Secret clearances in 1.5 business days, something will have to give, something needs be sacrificed and it is always quality. People want what they want and without fail, will ask for the impossible every time. Managing client expectations, whether you are an external vendor, or internal to a corporation, is tantamount to navigating a raging rapids in a tea cup. Managing client expectations sometimes means having to be blunt....gently. The key, I've discovered, is credibility. It can come from the oddest places. In my case, it was only until we outsourced the positions to no less than 5 agencies, and they failed to produce candidates that fit the criteria, did my company finally admit I did know what I was talking about. Talk about strength in numbers. Not only do I educate my Program Managers about realistic expectations, I am gently and persistently educating them how to manage their client's expectations so that we can avoid the wild goose chases in the future.
We, the recruiters, have one of the toughest, most thankless positions bar none. Well, my candidates are thankful, and I am certainly thankful when I close those tough ones, but companies, no matter how many cartwheels you turn, will always look at you and say, "What have you done for me lately?"
Yet I have been in the business for almost 20 years and do, when it comes down to it, really love what I do. I do it because I revel in the challenge, the adrenaline rush and the goosebumps I feel when my Spider Sense tells me I found "the one." I take my thanks where I can get them and at the end of the day, it's all about knowing that I am really good at what I do.