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Why do clients ask for poor service?


Posted on 13/06/2016 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

I have worked as a professional recruiter for almost 12 years and it still amazes me that some clients insist on receiving poor service from recruiters – in fact they request it!

Picture this…

A client (let’s call him John from ABC Limited) needs a new manager to join his team. This need is pretty urgent as it is due to the previous incumbent resigning and now working his month’s notice. So what does John do? Now, if he is new to recruitment he may Google agencies within his sector. If not, then he may look up his recruiter contacts he has dealt with over the years. Either way, he will have an overwhelming urge to contact lots of recruiters and brief them on his requirement.

Why does he do this?

Simple, John believes that having several recruiters looking for candidates for him will give him more choice, better service, reduced rates, all in a more timely manner. John will be very open with all the recruiters that he has briefed several companies - he may even wear this as a badge of honour! He will see no value in meeting face-to-face any recruiter and will just insist on sending them a job description that is full of buzz words like “the candidate must have great communication skills”. (What does ‘great communication skills’ even mean?)

Let me explain how a recruiter sees this...

Firstly, John’s predicament is not uncommon. In fact, it is very common. People resign every day and move companies so don’t panic. Secondly, we are probably already aware that your employee has been looking for a new role as we may have already been working with them to find their next role. Regardless, it is our job to fully understand your brief, your company, your culture, what good looks like, etc and advise you on attracting and landing the best talent for your business.

Now let me explain what a professional recruitment company looks like...

We are not all sat around waiting for the phone to ring – from my experience if you wait for the phone to ring it never does. So on a daily basis, a recruitment business is busy filling jobs, searching for candidates, meeting people, training their own people and market mapping. Each and every person within a recruitment business is busy and has a clear plan for the day ahead.

Now, when a client does contact our business we want to help and resolve their problem by finding the best talent on the market for their business. For this to happen, we will need to make time for this search, engage with candidates who, in my opinion, take their own job search very seriously. Finding talent takes time and we need to allocate the right amount of resource to make sure we find, engage and secure the right people for your business.

So, in my above example, what do you think a recruitment company thinks when a client calls up and asks for them to find them a new manager but refuses to meet the recruiter and tells them that they are one of many conducting this search? Do you think we will turn down the business? Probably not. Do you think we will allocate our best recruiters to conduct this search? Probably not. Do you think we will allocate any serious amount of time to this search? Probably not. Do you think we will give this search priority over other clients? Probably not. Do you think we offer these clients our best and most premium service? Probably not.

So as you can see, both parties see things very differently. 

As an owner of a successful recruitment business, I can assure you that I want each and every person who interacts with Cast UK to walk away knowing that the service they received was the best in class. I recruit the best talent for my own business and train them in order to provide exceptional knowledge of our markets and sectors we serve. All my people are skilled recruiters and they have the very best tools & technology money can buy in order for them to be able to market map and deliver the best talent around to our clients. I get frustrated when the above example happens as these clients are insisting on poor service and forcing my business to be tarnished by offering it.

You may ask “then why don’t you simply not take these assignments on”? This is a question I ask time and time again. In most cases, we don’t take this type of business on. I suppose I am lucky in the fact that Cast UK has been successfully trading for over eleven years and we have an excellent reputation within the market. However, there are lots of new entrants to the recruitment sector who are desperate for clients. It is these new entrants that will “have a go” with these assignments and openly provide poor service to the market.

If you are thinking of using a recruiter then I would strongly suggest you do your due diligence, ask about their credibility and market reputation, get references and, above all, meet the people who will be representing your business. Furthermore, once you are happy with the business you have chosen, then stick to one – I guarantee the service will be far more superior than you will receive if you chose multiple recruiters. But hey… what do I know? I have only been doing this twelve years!

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