I've come to the point where I am not sure I can successfully write this blog post without using every four-letter word in the book, but I'll try. I've had it with 3rd party recruiting partners. Flat out had it. I've never made it any secret that I understand why everyone hated me when I was a "headhunter." But the lack of accountability and professional courtesy I have experienced as of late has my head spinning and my mouth spewing profanities. (Sorry office mates.)

Against my better judgment, I decided to give a contract talent firm a try - they seemed to have their stuff together - had some good qualified candidates, etc...But that's where it ended. The candidates were great on paper, but have turned into ghosts before my very eyes. When I say ghosts, I mean, vapor, smoke and mirrors, the epitome of the bait and switch.

Missed deadlines, empty promises, more trouble than it's worth and a complete lack of integrity are what we've gotten for the premium prices we are paying for the contractors. Our own client relationships are suffering because of the incompetence of not only the contractors, but moreover the recruitment firm and the lack of ability to hold their talent accountable.

The flag has been raised - hell, I've sounded an all out CODE RED - and yet, I get nothing. But you can bet your bottom dollar I get an invoice every week like clockwork. Now, we're in a pickle - we're right in the thick of project life-cycles, and our resources are sketchy at best. We're screwed if we pull the resources, but if we keep them, we're playing roulette with our projects - they might get done, but most likely they won't.

And you wonder why the industry has the reputation of being all about fees? Uh, yeah, this is why. I don't care if your firm has been around for 30 years - it's whomever you have in charge of managing the talent, and upholding the firm's integrity that matters. If you don't have that, you're worthless to me. Actually, worse than worthless, you are a liability.

Views: 82

Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on October 18, 2010 at 2:45pm
Just wondering, did you meet the firm face to face or do all on the phone?
Comment by Ragan Kellams on October 18, 2010 at 2:46pm
Met them face to face.
Comment by Recruiting Animal on October 18, 2010 at 2:56pm
I'm confused dear. You seem to have the "resources" = contract workers in house already. But you also seem to be saying that the recruiters didnt deliver. Please explain?
Comment by Ragan Kellams on October 18, 2010 at 2:57pm
The resources are contractors, (not full-time hires) and they are paid by the recruiting firm.
Comment by Rayanne on October 18, 2010 at 3:04pm
Whoa... Ragan. Way to pull out the stops. I used to tell 3rd party recruiters, before I was one, that all my recruiting dollars paid my salary and I was unwilling to take a cut for them to not perform.
I think the biggest issue we face is lack of communication. If there is no feedback, if there is denial that this is even an issue, as I suspect it is, how can it get solved?

RBC is a great place to post for EVERY type of recruiting professional is here. I'm interested to see if any third-party/contract recruiters come to their sector's defense...
Comment by Ragan Kellams on October 18, 2010 at 3:18pm
Well, that's just it Rayanne, there was one way communication - me to them. I wouldnt hear from them for a week until I had to get ugly with it. Believe me, I was a 3rd party recruiter myself - I know how hard it is - but the disappearing act once the contract is signed is unacceptable in my book.
Comment by Kevin Cure on October 18, 2010 at 3:29pm
Ragan, I understand the dilema you are in. The fix is only to find new partners and make sure your colleagues and professional contacts know the level of incompetence you have experience with said firm. I partnered a few times with a firm in Atlanta that might be of help to you. I will connect with you and send the contact info if you desire. Small firm, super responsive. They are smaller and niche but it might be right up your alley as they mostly handle Contract/Temp/Project based needs. Hope they could help.
Comment by Ragan Kellams on October 18, 2010 at 3:32pm
Thanks Kevin, I'd love that! I've always been very upfront with any firm that has tried to earn our business - I definitely try to do my due diligence but unfortunately, just as some candidates interview much better than they turn out to be as employees, our professional partnerships can surprise us as well. It's unfortunate, but it is the reality at times.
Comment by Jerry Albright on October 18, 2010 at 3:43pm
Interesting topic Ragan. I'm sorry for your troubles.

I've looked at your RBC profile and can't quite get a handle on what type of situation you are in here.
Is there anything that can be done to solve the problem as it stands now? Is this a project happening in your company - or an end client?

Would you mind sharing a few details? What types of contractors are these? I'll go out on a limb and take a guess - IT contractors through and "international" firm.
Comment by Ragan Kellams on October 18, 2010 at 3:51pm
Hi there Jerry - the situation is this, my company is an ad agency, we were in need of a technical resource with a skillset that we don't have in house (as it is for a specific project and we don't have the need for the skillset on a permanent basis) so we "partnered" with a contract recruiting firm. These types of firms have popped up all over the Atlanta area in the past year, as many agencies, like ours, are working on project based work more frequently now and are in need of project based resources. The contractors are paid by the firm, and the firm in turn invoices my agency. The contractors are local, however, it appears that the firm is farming them out to more than one client at a time - in essence double or triple booking them. From what I can tell, the resource over-commits his/herself somehow and isn't able to meet contractually agreed upon deadlines and deliverables. You might say, well just fire them, but it's not that easy as we are in turn running the risk of failing to deliver to our own clients, because of it. It's just a vicious cycle, a waterfall that unfortunately we are in the midst of right now due to choosing to partner with the firm.

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