Let me preface this with I have written a few blogs on here about why I both love and hate recruiting, as well as some good advice that has been on LinkedIn before. However, I had a bad couple of orders recently, more than likely due to the time of year, and just need to vent. I literally look like the guy pictured above right now.

Wow, I get frustrated sometimes. It isn't with my candidates as much, my office, or my bosses....it is with my clients. Yes, I said it. Some clients just don't care to understand, or trust that I am an expert on hiring processes. I think it is hilarious when a hiring manager tells me, in high-level IT, that there are MORE candidates out there. Really? Point me in the direction where there is a Sr. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Architect store and I will go pick some quality people off the shelf to bring to you. I think that they are still stuck in 2009/10...when there were lots of people on the market.

I mean, don't get me wrong...I get paid to find these people. However, if you expect, as a hiring manager, to see 5+ candidates, then get nit picky on the resumes, then find a reason NOT to hire the person, then expect to pay a 15% fee or LESS...you are sadly ill-informed, horribly detached from reality, and have absolutely no idea what you are doing to your reputation as a hiring manager. Recruiters do talk, and they also tend to lose interest when a picky hiring manager comes into the picture.


"They passed on Mark? Why? He had all the skills necessary for the job, was in the rate, and is available...What was the feedback?" "They said they don't think he is a cultural fit." "How is he not a cultural fit?" "Well, they didn't say. They just want to see more candidates."

What do you think goes through the mind of the recruiter when this conversation happens? Honestly, would you come back and say that out of the 20 orders you have, this one is the one you will still dedicate a lot of time to? I wouldn't...in fact, I would mark this as a B job order because there obviously is a lack of urgency, bad feedback, and it just smells like they are fishing for resumes. There is no point in continuing down this path from a recruiting perspective. Which order can close this week? Not this one, so let's focus on the others that can. Hiring manager, this is exactly what goes through the recruiter's mind...not, "Well, I have 5-6 more people, let's just send those." It takes so much time just find the 1 that you are looking for.

Now, this is mainly focused at direct hire recruiting, not contract. If a client is picky like that with contractors, forget it. They will never find someone...and I think they know that. Hiring managers need to truly understand why their position is open, and then why they reached out to the agency(ies) they did, and what they really need.

If there are hiring managers reading this, let me tell you one thing...when I tell you there are only 2-3 candidates in the entire state of GA (where I work) that can do your job (such as the Sr. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Architect), then I suggest you listen, because to get those people, you are going to have to be creative, appealing, and most of all willing to make concessions. That is your candidate pool...2-3 people (there are more Dynamics CRM Architects out there, especially in Atlanta, but the problem is limitations: must have a college degree...no relocation available...$100,000 base is the MAX...they have to be from the industry...they can't have a hoppy resume...). If you find someone, it will be a miracle. A freaking miracle.

Let me hear those thoughts, ‘cause I know someone on this site will disagree with me. The thing I will ask though is, has this every happened to you, and if so, did you just say "Oh well, let's just find someone else. Rats." I doubt it.


Views: 1402

Comment by Tiffany Branch on November 16, 2012 at 11:04am

It's typical. I'm a corp recruiter and except the fee issue, we experience the same things. Sometimes, no matter how much you set expectations, manager the realtionship and all that other good stuff we like to tout, you will always have hard to please managers/teams.


BTW, I don't pay more than 20% and that is for speicialized jobs if I decide to use a third party. I've found that someone who has stepped out on there own, with no real overhead or staff to worry about, will work for 15% and they have done great jobs. I don't have be bothered with the sales pitch, they can just focus on finding talent. They aren't bogged down by metrics and hitting certain numbers. Just because someone is willing to work for a lower rate does not mean they aren't good. These 25-30% firms are the ones that irk me.

Comment by Jerry Albright on November 16, 2012 at 11:21am

Tiffany - with all due respect - why do the 25-30% firms irk you? 


Successful recruiters (regardless of size of company) should be "bogged down by metrics and hitting certain numbers".  Knowing where you stand and making decisions about where to spend your time is critital.  You can't really know that unless you, well, know that.

Comment by Zachary Sines on November 16, 2012 at 11:31am

Also Tiffany, if I have 5-10 orders on my board, I have to take priority.  Guess which one gets more priority?  The one with the higher rate and urgency.  I would rather work on an order at 25% that is urgent any day of the week over a 15% or that has the same level of urgency...more money means more time.  Sorry to say that, but at the end of the day, that is how I am paid and evaluated.  If you want to get the attention of a solid recruiter...work in that 20-30% block.  Hell, RHT works at 35% normally...and they are the largest firm in the country.

Comment by Terence on November 16, 2012 at 11:39am

Thought I would weigh in with all this fee talk going on, I know this probably goes against popular belief but I don't take the fee value in to consideration that much it's more about the relationship I have with client and candidate I really want to find the right job for the candidate and the right person for the job if that means I put two people together which is a great fit but could mean I earn a bit less on the fee I would rather do that. Karma is a fickle master and I don't like to mess with her.  I think people obsess about fees a bit too much and start talking about who's got the biggest etc, I have developed my client base over the last 5 years and a steady flow of business from existing clients and picking up a few new ones every week and giving them the best service they have ever experienced gives me more satisfaction both personally and financially than focussing on who is going to pay me the most, I would rather fill 20+ vacancies a month between 10% - 15% than 4 vacancies at 25%. Have a great weekend everyone !!


Comment by Tiffany Branch on November 16, 2012 at 11:39am

@Jerry, because I hate the "sales" part of it. Of all my years in the business, the pitch is the same. I just want great candidates. You don't have to take me out, find out my needs, blah, blah, blah. When I need the services, I'll reach out, I'll tell you what we want, don't want, the process, the challenges, etc.


I work with the individual recruiter not the "firm." If I like a recruiter, and they go somewhere else, I'm going with them.

Comment by Jerry Albright on November 16, 2012 at 11:42am

Terence - nicely put!

Comment by Tiffany Branch on November 16, 2012 at 11:45am

@Zachary, that is fine. Each should do what they need for their business. I've just found, the "one man start-ups" who have something to prove, will work for the lower fee and work just as hard. They may not have enough clientele to priortize. They net more because of less overhead. Now I've seen some grow and they raise rates if they have to add staff, move from a home office, etc. I've seen some who are quite happy being a small, boutique firm.

I just don't equate the fee to the talent. At the end of the day, if you want my biz, you give great candidates. If you can't work at the fee I'd like, no problem.

Comment by Tiffany Branch on November 16, 2012 at 11:48am

@Terrence, 'LIKE." I have one recruiter that I have worked with since 2000 and I've been in the North and South. Wherever I go, she knows if I have an IT need, she's getting the order. I know she has raised her fees over the years, but mine has stayed the same.

Comment by Zachary Sines on November 16, 2012 at 11:50am

@Terrance -- Noble and humble.  I like it, but let me show you the math.  Say you have all of your rates at 10% for 15 orders...say the 15 orders are for a 100k resource...you will make roughly $150,000 in fees.  Say you have 6 orders at 25%....say the 6 orders are for a similar 100k resource...you are still making $150,000 in fees.


I hate to say it, but that is a better use of my time.  I have to only find 6 candidates over 15...9 less candidates to maintain, to qualify, and find.  I can then spend that time focused on other orders with higher rates as well, and have guys like you spin your wheels that much faster.  Not saying that you are wrong, just that it isn't the most efficient use of your time.

Comment by Jerry Albright on November 16, 2012 at 11:54am

As mentioned previously - my decisions on where to spend my time START with "Cooperation".  Without that - you won't need to worry about the size of the invoice. 


I can't say I make too many decision about fee alone - partly because I don't agree to any of the lower fees to begin with, but mostly because I look for the more important factors and adjust accordingly (frequently)



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