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: 1406

Comment by Terence on November 16, 2012 at 11:57am

@Zachary The industry I work in (Automotive) just doesnt support those sort of fees here in the UK the fees I charge are mid range but I find my service quality gives me the edge and clients keep coming back time and time again I have a team of 2 resourcers and an administrator just to keep up with the volume we are all doing very well and it just keeps getting better and I have never been happier.  Oh and I'm not humble I'm the #1 Automotive Recruiter in the UK I just don't measure my success by the size of my fee

Comment by Todd Oldfield on November 16, 2012 at 12:44pm

@Tiffany I respect every companies right to save money of course. I think another way to look at fees has to be to mentally tie them to the recruiter in which I am speaking. If I have 10 recruiters willing to take 15% and I get one level of candidate... and 2 recruiters that I have to pay 25% but, they are usually a little fast, and a little more "spot on" then it might make sense to use them as well.

From our chairs, as a 22 year recruiter, I can just say that these people willing to take 10-15% are just killing the industry. It's like realtors that are charging 3%-5% instead of 6%. One day no one will be able to charge anything.

I like the clients who say to me "Todd, I want your attention and your BEST candidates, so, I want to pay you more than your usual rate."  THOSE are excellent clients and it happens more often than you might think. LOL

Comment by Jerry Albright on November 16, 2012 at 12:57pm

I don't mind if a recruiter actually provides the service they agree to - regardless of whether I would work on it or not.  Where it does become an issue for me (and it happens all the time) is when a few recruiters (the kind that agree to anything) accept the fees and then do not perform.


So then - it is just expected that the next agency, perhaps a good agency with competent recruiters, comes along the starting point is "Well, I have lots of other recruiters agree to this fee.  If you can't work at that fee then you won't be recruiting for us."


It's kind of like someone saying they'll paint my house for $500 - then never showing up to do it.  Am I now entitled to holding the next painter (who would show up) to the same agreement I had with the guy who never did the work?



Comment by Candace Nault on November 16, 2012 at 1:02pm

All great comments on an awesome blog post, I think we can all relate on some points here, thanks for sharing!

Comment by Bill Schultz on November 16, 2012 at 1:07pm

No Feedback, no more candidates.  That's my mantra.  You can't kick a field goal through moving goal posts.  

Comment by Terence on November 16, 2012 at 1:08pm

@Jerry, Yes spot on exactly right, I will often get that from clients it's a funny one "so why are we still talking about my candidate then?"

Anyone can agree to a lower fee but if they haven't got the contacts then it's a mute point.


When asked what is the lowest fee you can do my answer is always the same "I could do it for nothing but I know the value I add and its xxx%"


I'm off home now for the weekend Football(soccer), Family, Beers & Golf have a good one everyone !!

Comment by Peter Ceccarelli on November 16, 2012 at 3:52pm

Great article.  And like some of the other in-house recruiters have stated, other than the fee issues, we deal with the same attitudes and unrealistic expectations from our internal hiring managers. 

I'm in a mostly "rare-breed" hightly competetive industry and also in a city where some of the biggest ecommerce companies exists and we're a fraction of their size and brand awareness, (so I'm already behind the eight ball), I have to educate my hiring mangers as to what our reality is, but most of them don't want to hear it.  So they too become uber picky about candidates "fit" issues when in reality if the skill set is there, and the performance is documented as solid through our hiring and feedback process, it's their only option, but they want to pass.  Really!!!!  Okay............so after NO candidate action (because I too stop working on their job) and another month goes by, they start to wake up and smell the coffee.  Really again!  But most think there is "new blood" on the market, when in reality there are thousands more ecommerce job openings out there than real live human beings with the skill set to fill them.  But.........they just don't want to hear that.  And it's frustrating.  And I move onto the next job where I can get traction because that hiring manager has  either, 1. never put their head up their ignorant ass, or 2. pulled it out and saw Jesus!  It's not like we grow these candidates in petri dishes.  I wished we could and science is making a lot of progress in that arena, but I'll be long dead before we can actually grow an entire human being.

Nice Rant.  We all need them once in awhile or we'd go completely bonkers.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 16, 2012 at 4:42pm

What Peter said! :)

Comment by Arv on November 21, 2012 at 12:42pm
I agree with you completely. As an agency recruiter I can tell you its a nightmare. I believe the lack of job qualification and poor business decision making to go after something really tortures recruiters. Lack of understanding technology, delay in the process and "gut feel" type of decision making is killing us. I think the staffing industry is devoid of good managerial skills and is some folks who went through the good old days of the dot com boom, are still trying to relive it. Incompetence then was largely masked by plentiful job orders and a plentifuly candidates and millions of vendors. Now the story is different and staffing companies have not really figured out what to do, besides battering their sales and recruiting folks. That cannot be called a strategy but the struggles of perhaps a dying system to be reborn in a completely different methodology.


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