Client Dev & Marketing
There are subtle and not-so-subtle clues as to whether or not your client hiring team (whether consisting of one individual or several decision makers) has its act together.
Sometimes we as consultants, can provide the “consultative” part of our service to bring a search into the realm of reality. More often than not, we come to realize early in the process that instead of a workable, recruitable search, what we have is just simply one big mess not worth bothering with.
Here are seven signs that can clue you in to whether you should punt or play ball:
- Contact is restricted to human resources. HR calls you and moreover, limits your ability to communicate with or involve line management in initial discussions.
- When asking HR (if they were the first to contact you) for a conference call with the line manager, action is slow or deliberately discouraging against such 3-way discussions
- An executive or manager uses words in his email such as “…if you ever come across…” or “let me know if …”
- Any sign that Human Resources recruiting department (or individual) and the management team are at odds as to the procedure
- The depth and detail of the Job description is sorely lacking (sometimes this can assisted, other times not)
- In the case of #5, attempts to ask questions in order to fill out a job description results in no replies (translation: Management is as clueless as a dog stuck in a litter box)
- They lie. Tell you no other search firm is working on the search. Only for you to discover otherwise within 3 days
When I encounter any of the above vagaries and ambiguousness when discussing a manager level search, my yellow flag goes up and I begin asking more probing questions.
Sometimes, it can be just a matter of a client not wanting to reveal too much too soon. Most of the time, any of the above clues are tell-tale signs there is a lack of urgency and commitment to filling the position anytime soon.
A true, recruitable search usually goes like this:
- With panic-stricken anxiety a top level manager calls and asks to set up a conference call with his president or CEO due to an “immediate and urgent management need”.
- Conference call is arranged with no obstacles or difficulty
- If a recruiting coordinator is involved, the managers and HR representative work in unison with no hidden agendas or axes to sharpen.
- When the conference call takes place, management and HR demonstrate a team-driven effort to get the position filled and both discuss the search criteria with striking similarity and little discourse.
- A full job description with all pertinent details are offered either verbally or already formatted and prepared for the search consultant
- There is a start date and timeline for the hire. I should be within the next 4-8 weeks in most cases (depending on the level of hire this can take twice as long if over $250k)
- There is a valid reason for the hire and motivating factor for the need (someone is retiring, resigning; a new division is being launched/spun-off, etc.)
That’s the difference between an urgent job order that is not only recruitable but likely to lead to a hire, and a case where management is only kicking the tires and on a free window shopping spree at your time and expense.
Make sure you apply valuable and unrecoverable recruiting hours only towards those fillable searches.
Within two years after leaving the corporate world for the search industry Frank Risalvato was earning $21,000 single fees – rivaling his previous annual salary on a semi-monthly basis. He founded www.iresinc.com, the search firm he continues to operate today. Today his fees average $37,500 and he works on multiple positions in the $150k range monthly. His recruiter training site now features his newest book “A Manager’s Guide To Maximizing Search Firm Success”. Click the preceding link or the book cover below for the amazon.com order page and buy a handful to share with your clients. 704-243-2110.
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