Recruiters: Did You Fail Your Client Or Did Your Client Fail You?

Vantage Points Header Joel ElvesonAS RECRUITERS we all get excited when we take in a new client or a new job order from an existing client or a new job order from a new client. The fee schedule has been set and the agreement has been signed so you are ready to go. You start to count your commission until reality sets back in as you realize you must find the candidates that your client will want to interview. If all goes according to plan (the pattern does not always work out that way) one of you candidates gets an offer, accepts the offer, gives two weeks’ notice to his old boss and before you know it the date your candidate is supposed to start working for your client arrives. Your commission check is in the way.

The problem with the above is that each search assignment is filed with potentially deal killing roadblocks along the way. The biggest booby trap waiting to blow up your job order is the not so small issue of salary. It turns out that despite all your CRM, Job Boards, Networking or what have you there are simply no suitable candidates that you can find for your open req. Doubt begins to creep into your mind as to your recruiting ability or the possibility that maybe you are too “burnt out” to continue.

My experience has shown me that in the vast majority of cases the fault falls at the feet of the client as they either gave you a lowball salary to work with hoping you can pull a rabbit out of your hat or they are to thickheaded to listen to you giving them credible information that their competitors have hired people for the same position (same everything) except they are paying a higher dollar figure as are similar sized firms. You did not make this placement because your client failed you in that they failed to come up with a compensation package that is in-line with what the market is calling for. Or perhaps what they were looking for in a candidate top did not exist.

The flip side of the coin is that you were so over eager to get this job order from this client that you over promised on what you can do for them at a fee they would love. You fail to do your due diligence on the company or on the position you are trying to help them fill. Before you know it you are in the same boat as the recruiter above is in as you cannot find any candidates to present. In this instance you failed your client by misrepresenting yourself along with what you believed (you were such a good salesperson that you sold yourself on your tales of glory) you could do. It’s never good to “burn” a good candidate since they can be harder to find than water in the Mojave Desert or truthful statements being made by Hillary Clinton, but when you “burn” a client you have lost the potential for revenue.

Has there been or could there be a scenario where simultaneously the recruiter fails his client as the client goes about the business of failing the recruiter? How does this happen? This all too common scenario occurs when both recruiter and his client are not on the same page with a high degree of probability they never were on the same page as each was looking to take advantage of the other.

Not meaning to brag but I was trained by some of the top recruiter trainers in the business such as Barb Bruno. I was taught never to over promise and under deliver or pull down the first ripe apple from the tree meaning if something look so tempting but remained there for taking (client or candidate) something was wrong. If my client was not realistic with their numbers and despite my best efforts to convince them otherwise refused to listen it was time to let this client go as the chances of making this placement happen were between slim and minus slim. My job was to get the best possible package for my candidate while charging a fee that was in line with the opening I was entrusted to fill. I don’t work with clients who deal in fantasy worlds of seeing a bevy of candidates with each one being better than the one before but not being satisfied with that as the client is looking for something better still. My time is also valuable and as such I have to invest it in areas where I am going to get the best return for my efforts.

Along the way despite my training and best efforts I have failed clients and they have failed me as have candidates failed me and I them. At the end of the day you tally up your wins and losses and try to analyze what went right with the wins and what went wrong with the losses. You create nothing but a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship by doing things with the highest degree of ethics. In that way the instances where either of you wind up failing to satisfy each other are practically non-existent. You will find your billings will be higher and more consistent. Not to mention your solid efforts will lead to repeat clients as well as referrals to new clients from your old ones. The best of all possible worlds.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

CHECK FOR TICKETS / JOIN OUR WAITING LIST! It's not a virtual event. It's not a conference. It's not a seminar, a meeting, or a symposium. It's not about attracting a big crowd. It's not about making a profit, but rather about making a real difference. LEARN MORE HERE