So, why should we work with your company?
Well maybe you can’t be that direct with a client, but you should be thinking it. The companies you represent in the market are your brand, and as marketing experts will tell you, your brand is your most valuable asset. So, if you are known in the industry for working with any client for any fee, your brand becomes devalued. Here at Joseph Chris Partners, we have 40 years of industry knowledge and experience under our proverbial belt. Clients come to us for hiring solutions, and that has allowed us to be very selective when choosing our partners.
Early in my sales career I was told that the only thing worse than no contract is a bad contract. That applies to clients as well. If you don’t vet your client and negotiate a fair contract, then you open yourself up to recurring disappointment and failure. Good recruiters are like any other professional in any type of business: you must respect yourself, your company and your profession. If you suspect the client does not share that view, then move on. We spend too much time and effort on a search not to be respected and treated like a business partner.
So how should you handle yourself when you have the prospective client on the phone or sitting in front of you?
1.) Go into the meeting or make the call with a positive, open minded attitude, but be prepared to say no thanks to a bad deal.
2.) Do your research and show interest in their company history and business model.
3.) Who is the hiring manager, and can I contact that person directly? If you don’t have a direct line to the hiring manager or a senior human resources professional, it’s best to move on.
4.) Find out if the vacant position is a source of pain for the business. Is it a replacement search or is it a new position? I once had a prospective client tell me they were just sticking their toe in water. They wanted to see what kind of talent was out there. Yes, that was a no!
5.) Are they using other recruiters? Do they have their own talent acquisition team? I usually say no if they are using more third-party recruiters. To me that is a signal that they have trust issues with recruiters and are probably putting me in the same category. I usually tell them that my time is too valuable to compete with other search firms and to re-plow the same ground.
These are just a few of the questions you can ask. The point is that you need to negotiate a fair contract with a client that sees you as a valuable service provider/problem solver, not as a necessary evil. Be fair, honest and straight forward in your communication and actions. You may gain a valuable client and business partner. And the potential loss by not taking every client? Protecting your personal brand and that of your company, and not wasting your time and resources.
Written By: Mark Hall, Executive Partner