As a small agency – we find ourselves in an interesting “predicament” at the moment:  Which assignments should we work on?  While I’m personally overjoyed (and over-worked) with the opportunities at hand – I’ve got to make some tough decisions here. Today.  Right now.......

 

Normally the clients that get our attention are the ones with the highest CUE ratings.  For those that haven’t heard of it – CUE is pretty simple.  We look at three things:  Cooperation, Urgency and Expectation.  When one of these areas is lacking it makes the decision pretty easy.  In fact – without cooperation, a need to hire NOW or a realistic expectation of salary vs. skills vs. availability – it’s nearly impossible (for us) to be successful.

 

But what do we do when there are several clients who need to hire NOW and offer every bit of cooperation we could hope for – combined with having realistic expecations of the talent available?  This is our dilemma.

 

So as I’ve thought about our situation this morning I’ve come to the realization that another level of criteria needs to join the CUE.  I’m going to add an “S”:  Strategic. 

 

What placements (if made) offer the biggest strategic impact for the future?  How should we look at this?  Multiple hires?  Is this client in a marketplace that is expanding?  If they are contract roles – which ones should last longer?  Are there any critical hires that would help us strengthen our role with the client?  What about recruiting on the positions in HR?  Or for the leadership team…..placements which may offer a stronger client relationship in the future?

 

The flip side of this coin is the realization that in order to be successful - I find we need to have commitments up front.  I'm going to......and they're going to.........

 

So in realizing that we are not going to fill every position - we need to let our clients know whether we plan to invest our time or not.  These discussions are awkward, painful and usually the last conversations I want to have.......but we need to let them know.

 

Oh my.  So many things to consider.  But one thing is certain - I love this profession!

 

Thoughts anyone?

Views: 98

Comment by Emily Stevenson on May 10, 2011 at 10:58am

I also work in a small company and like you, although usually swamped by work, wouldn't have it any other way! Trying to prioritise all the work you have to, which includes telling clients to wait or that their job is a lower priority than another one (or making up something around telling them this!) is never nice but I think being up front about it is the way to go, rather than promising results and getting angry phonecalls when the team simply doesn't have the time to produce all of them..

Comment by Mat von Kroeker on May 10, 2011 at 1:16pm
When I first started in this profession, I heard more "thank you's" in 6 months than the previous 40 years I've existed on this planet.  You gotta love it---!!!   Thanks Jerry----
Comment by bill josephson on May 10, 2011 at 2:12pm

Jerry, excellent advice.  Key is to find a client meeting all your criteria.  In my 30 years of recruiting I'm currently finding the cooperation pretty good, the urgency hard to read, and the expectations often unrealistic. 

 

Instead of looking for 2-3 key requirements the qualifications needing to met are more like 5-6 as companies believe everyone out there is looking for a job, and since they have an opening everyone employed wants to work there.  All now perceived as being "aggressive" candidates.  But you are correct. 

 

The key in this market is whether to keep looking for clients meeting your CUE requirements, or determining working with a client not meeting the parameters being more productive than continuing prospecting for one that does

Comment by Brian K. Johnston on May 10, 2011 at 2:31pm

BINGO... Repeat buyer?  Fee structure? (25% or above) Relational Match?  Average fee? etc.... Best

 

Comment by Suzanne Levison on May 10, 2011 at 2:51pm
I like this post..good thinking..After all of the logical check marks are crossed off, I like to "Vibe" with the search~subjective..
Comment by Jerry Albright on May 10, 2011 at 2:54pm
Thanks for the thoughts so far everyone!
Comment by Sarah Calverley on May 10, 2011 at 6:23pm
Thanks for putting that into an abreviation we can use! I guess fee structure fits in there with cooperation and expectation too. @Jennifer I can directly attribute skills I have learned to place people from these blogs, and contribution to them is about building and adding to your own community. For most people it would take place in their own time too, not out of their daily recruiting job.
Comment by Navid Sabetian on May 10, 2011 at 7:37pm
Good post. Search and Recruitment is a highly time consuming type of business and unless if you have a proper strategy you are not going to get the best return on your time and efforts.
Comment by Subramani B on May 10, 2011 at 11:16pm
a big issue with small firms is to handle clients who show urgency, promise cooperation and then just sit on candidate profiles. How to push hiring managers who take their own sweet time to respond once they have the profiles ?
Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 10, 2011 at 11:20pm

When the salmon are running, fish like it's the last time you will ever get to do it.  But do it with the people who respect what you do, how you do it, are fishing with you.  Those will be the ones who will fish with you when the run is over. 

 

 I made an executive decision a few weeks ago that i am not going fishing with people who a. Don't know how to fish.  B.  Think they do.  C. Are so protective of their own little pond that they would rather catch a little one so they can say they caught one than fish as a team and catch several big ones.  and D.  I am not going fishing with anybody unless i like them and like to fish with them cause it's fun.

 

It's amazing, since i made that decision listings have come in from companies that i love working for, i have gone dark with the posturing pedants who talk to hear their heads rattle and are nothing but a string of trendy buzz words.  They can talk to each other or the recruiters who sound just like them.  They make me ill, bored and irritated. 

 Since i cut them loose i am having fun in this great business where you come early, stay late, make things happen, support people who need a fist bump to their morale or self confidence and run and gun with the ones who have the fire.

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