A question for corporate recruiters and hiring managers...if a contingent hire goes wrong, which of these is likely to be at fault:

1) The hiring and selection process?

2) The onboarding and integration process?

3) The recruiter who introduced the candidate?

Hands up who answered 3?

I ask this because I was told of a situation recently in which a client decided after 4 weeks that a candidate that had been hired was a bad fit and would have to be released. They asked the recruiter not just for a 100% fee refund but to cover the 4 weeks wages that they had paid too...their justification was ‘well you selected her to which the recruiter had replied ‘no, I presented her...you selected her

At what point, I wonder, does the 3rd part contingency recruiter cease to be responsible for the success of their introduction?

We present candidates who we believe are as close a match as possible to what the client has briefed us to find, yet after this presentation the clients’ processes, over which we have no control and very little input, take over...interview process, selection criteria, offer, pre-joining communication, induction and onboarding, integration...that’s a whole lot of actions where something can go wrong that may influence the new employees ability to fit straight into the role and culture.

And what happens if an employee thinks that the company has misrepresented itself, its culture, its talent development agenda, the scope of the role offered? All these are often cited as reasons that people fail to settle and become disenfranchised early in their employment.

Most recruiters offer a refund/rebate facility and yet many employers feel the need to negotiate these more favourably. Why? This leads to the recruiting process starting from a position of negativity, of risk minimisation, as if you are almost expecting the hire to be unsuccessful. I did have a client once who laid down their terms for a rebate...100% for a 2 month period if the candidate proved to be unsuitable, but if it was the candidate who left, for any reason, then the company expected no rebate as they felt it was their responsibility to represent their business and culture, and the role and expectations, and the recruiter could not influence this.

I’ve rarely found another client willing to share the responsibility, which will, in effect, recognise that the hiring company has a large role to play in whether or not their new member of staff succeeds. Too often when an employee leaves within the first few months it is the recruiter who made the introduction who is held to account, but is this just an easy option? Would the hiring process be any different if the recruiter offered no rebate/refund?

Maybe it’s hard to say ‘How come we couldn’t keep this person, we went through a long interview process, bought them in and got the approval of the team, went through our usual induction programme...where did we go wrong?’ and easier to say ‘where did we get that guy from? Find out what the rebate is and tell them if we get another dud candidate from them then they’re not a supplier anymore’.

I know I can’t speak for all recruiters. I know that there are too many who abdicate their responsibilities of careful matching and selection, of getting to really know their clients and being able to add value to the hiring process, who don’t properly reference and check...yet there are many who do all of these things, and present strong candidates in good faith that their clients have robust hiring and induction processes in place to maximise the success of their new hires.

So I return to my original question of who or what is at fault if your new hire is unsuccessful. How many companies have an inquest when this happens? Supposing it is a direct hire or a referral, what would usually be the reason? And why is this different if the employee was introduced through a 3rd party recruiter?

Do you feel that there are times when we’re justified in saying...

...Don’t Shoot, I’m only the Recruiter

Views: 208

Comment by Kenny Poulter on March 20, 2010 at 3:53pm
It is always best practice to follow up with your new hire candidate every week the 1st 30 days after hire and every 2 weeks for the next 60 days. Client follow up is crucial as to candidates progress and expectations being met. 22 years in the business has taught me what can go wrong will go wrong if left unchecked. I've only had this happen to me twice in my career, I believe it would have happened more than that if I hadn't followed up and was able to anticipate a problem either on the candidate side or client.


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