So it behooves me when a client insists through actions or words that they can do what I do, do it better and oh, by the way, it’s not that hard.
I’m not sure why they assume I wouldn’t be insulted. After all, I’ve been perfecting my craft for over twenty-five years, have closed countless deals, for countless clients over countless invested hours. It can’t possibly be because I make it look easy. That after they’ve finally given up the candidate search, after weeks of screening, interviewing, turned down offers and counters, I can come up with three candidates (all hirable) in one week and they’re on their way to a new employee. There’s plenty of reasons it looks easy and plenty of reasons why it isn’t.
There’s a reason a few of us salty old recruiters have been around so long. We know what we know and as importantly, who. When you invest in a sector and niche market, you live in the moment to moment ebb and flow of candidates, companies, economies and industries. Human Resources may be good at sourcing, but for instance, if they need to hire a CFO, their search is in the moment and not part of the continuum. That search is a one time event and if done well, not done often. When I search for a CFO, I’m reaching back in time, cutting across decades, sourcing through history and tapping into talent and resources I connect with on a monthly basis going forward. In other words, I’m part of the flow. I don’t look for a C
FO for just one client, I hunt for a CFO for all clients. That means perfecting the art of ongoing networking, sourcing, intel gathering, snooping, trust building and glad handing. Sprinkle in follow up calls, numerous emails, attention to press releases and keeping abreast of industry trends and you get a headhunter worth her salt. That means, when you, oh worthy client need a CFO, I’m able to tap into my network, tap into my established credibility, and produce quality candidates. I’ve already built trust and relationships. All I need are good opportunities and the recipe is complete!
And, by the way Mr./Ms. CEO, why would you want to spend endless hours of valuable company time sorting, screening and scratching through the majority of unqualified resumes you will end up tossing aside? Is that what you get paid for? Will you end up finding the best candidate or just the most available? Does that really save money? If that’s the case, maybe I should fire my tax guy (never, he’s a whiz!!!!!) and lug out the old IRS tax code tome and bungle through my tax returns alone. Sure, I could muddle through, but will I be saving time or money? Doubtful. Will I get some of my return executed correctly? May
be. Well, I don’t know about everyone else, but in my business, I can’t afford maybes. So I pay the guy who knows what I don’t. And I find the brightest guy who knows more than his competition too. You don’t just get what you pay for, you get what you settle for.
I guess my beef is why companies will take weeks, sometimes months to fill crucial roles on their own. If time is money, why are they wasting it to save it? Believe me, candidates are put off by companies who can’t make a decision – I know, I hear it everyday. Just because you’re not paying me a fee, doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s happening with your search. Candidates and companies talk. And what does your competition think? They think you can’t draw talent or make a decision or close the deal. Does that sound like good business practice to you? So, do yourself a favor. Recognize what you do know and when you don’t, call the expert who does –and then let them do their job.