When its time to put the Ki-Bosh on an Employer

So interestingly enough, this week I had to put the Ki-Bosh on an employer client of mine that I was working with for a  little over 1 year now. This employer connected with me last year with multiple requisitions for Engineering Staff. We signed an agreement and I started my searches. It was about 60 days into it, when I realized that they were passing on highly qualified and talented engineers for small things, like industry background being slightly different or something else trivial that didn't really pertain to the job at hand. So initially, I thought that maybe it was just that they were really picky with who they let in, being that they were an 18 billion dollar company in the Auto Parts MFG sector.

So, naturally I took heed and bared down even harder. Through my searches, I spoke with maybe 100+ engineers (in total), and a good number of them (about 20%) advised me that my client had already spoken to them previously and nothing transpired from it, or the word was that they weren't serious in hiring anyone. This started to loom on me after about 6 months of recruiting and sending 40+ engineers - which resulted in only 2 offers and 1 placement. After more time went by it seemed like HR just wanted to speak to people and if maybe they liked one (1/100), they would make an offer.

The final straw came when we sent a highly decorated Engineer to interview that really wanted to work for them and had family in the area as well. This candidate was by far one of the best out there, with work experience from companies like GE and Honeywell. Needless to say they passed on him with no real explanation, just an email that stated "Unfortunately we will not be making an offer to Van." This for me was the last straw, but instead, I decided to give them one last chance and scheduled a call with the HR to review open jobs to find out what exactly went wrong and how we could get over this recruiting wall. During the call, no new info was given on any of the engineering positions that we were recruiting for, just for me to keep up the good work. I was also given another Mgmt position to recruit for, so I thought, OK, maybe we are turning the corner finally. Well, after locating 3 solid candidates for the new Mgmt position, and sending them in, there was no response for weeks on their statuses and nothing ever came, even after multiple requests for status updates or feedback.

It was at that point I decided to pull the plug on this employer. So, you may ask how I did that? Well, I thoughtfully constructed an email that explained what I was experiencing and that there was a bad reputation going around in the Engineering world about them as well - letting them know what I was hearing for engineers in the market. I also stated that I believe they were not serious in hiring folks at all and that I couldn't see any future placements happening because of it. The response from HR was basically what was to be expected, "that they didn't agree with my assessment and that they were serious, that I was one of their best recruiters, and to call them if I was interested in staying aboard." Of course I didn't call, but sent another email up the their HR ladder to the HRD stating that I was breaking ties with them and explained why. No response has come thus far, nor do I expect one.

But I guess the moral of the story here is, that when you don't foresee future placements occurring because of trivial reasons-outside of actual KSAs, then you have to put the Ki-Bosh on the relationship. Hopefully, you are able to make at least one placement before something like that happens. But by no means be afraid to lay down the law and tell employers what they deserve to hear. If more recruiters did that, I firmly believe it would make our profession much more appreciated and profitable. Cheers! 


Views: 180

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on August 2, 2013 at 1:24am

Next time, structure a deal where they pay you part of the fee upfront.

That has a habit of stopping this kind of behaviour.


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