As independent recruiters, it is difficult to keep up with the rapidly changing industry and not get caught up in the standard pitfalls that come with the territory. In order to stay ahead of the competition, it is easy to make promises you can not necessarily keep, take on more than you can possibly handle, or let those tasks on your list fall off without completion.
It is important to stay true to your brand, and most importantly to treat each client and candidate with the same respect to keep your reputation of integrity. Below are some common recruiter mistakes that seem to happen when times are busy:
- Stop working dumb. This is another way of me telling you to find the smartest strategy to manage time and a full desk. Jeremy Sisemore speaks on how to build a $1 million dollar recruiting desk, and his strategy starts with planning. Use your time on clients who will give you full fees and fire those clients that won’t accept your competitive fees. Learn to walk away from low fees, and strive more towards getting exclusivity from those clients who have proven to be good clients.
- Strive for high level searches. Have influential hiring managers introduce you to other hiring managers within the same organization. On these, Jeremy Sisemore gives the advices to offer a performance guarantee if you are granted a retainer on the search. Tell your client that they will get the retainer back if you fail to deliver X amount of qualified candidates within a specific timeframe.
- Under-promise and over-deliver. In any aspect of life, always remember to only promise what is realistic. This will gain respect and clients will value your honesty. Once you begin to let people down by not being able to deliver, your reputation will be tainted as that is what you will be remembered by.
- If you don’t like them, your trading partners won’t either. If you happen to be in a split placement network such as NPAworldwide, have respect for your partners when asking for help filling a position. If you hate working with a particular client, chances are high that your trading partner will also be frustrated by the long wait, uncertain decision making, and unstable fees. Be upfront with trading partners as to how difficult a position may be to fill, and let them make an honest decision if they want to help you with the search. Same with candidates. If you have had difficulty placing a candidate due to several concerns that arise, do not place them in front of a trading partner in hopes of them having any better luck.
- Have a healthy desk. A desk should have about 20-30+ assignments and job opening with clients at any given time. If you have much more than that, you are probably not able to devote the appropriate time to the searches, and if you have less, look to adding split placements to your business model to build your business.
- Keep the relationships you have. With technology making things less personal, and the pressure to grow and quickly accomplish searches building, it is easy to forget about those clients that have been loyal and have made you successful. Strive to visit those key account or local clients on at least a yearly basis, quarterly if you are able.
If you have an interest in adding split business to your independent recruiting firm, feel free to contact me.