Why we turned away business this year

It feels counter-intuitive to turn business away – after all, you’ve got some space in your diary, you’ve got staff that can help you, so why wouldn’t you want to help a client with their recruitment project?

Strangely enough, that’s exactly what we’ve done this year – several times in the last 12 months we’ve been approached with vacancies that we have opted not to work on. And here’s why.

  • We asked the client if we could speak to the hiring manager – they said no, they are too busy.
  • We tried to arrange a meeting with the client, to discuss the opportunity. They said no, we’re too busy.
  • We asked how many agencies they were working with – they weren’t sure. ‘Quite a few, I think’, advises the HR assistant.
  • We suggested they commit to a date for CV feedback, and get some firm dates in the diary for interviews. They refused.

Sadly, this is what many companies understand recruitment to be. ‘Get as many agencies onto it as you can, as quickly as you can’. The outcome for them is usually one of the following:

  • The role gets filled internally. They needn’t have involved half a dozen agencies.
  • They make an external hire. The employee hasn’t been vetted properly though, and can’t do the job. They make do, until he (or she) leaves.
  • They make an external hire. The employee resigns before the end of his probationary period. In hindsight, he wishes he’d known more about the job in the first place. It wasn’t a good fit. Ultimately, he was a ‘right now’ employee rather than a ‘right’ employee. And they couldn’t be more different.

The ‘right’ employee will have the following characteristics:

  • He may not be on the active jobseekers market.
  • He has been interviewed and properly vetted by the recruitment agency.
  • You don’t have any doubts about how he will fit into the team, because he’s done a Thomas Personality Profile assessment, and a Motivational Map.
  • He really wants the job. Both the role, and your organisation, are right for him.
  • He’s making a considered career move, so his intention is to stay for the duration.

The ‘right now’ employee, on the other hand, has the following characteristics:

  • He looks ok on paper.
  • He is currently looking for a job.

That’s really all you know about him. Will he last? Maybe…

But maybe not.

So, what then? Will you send the same job vacancy out to half a dozen agencies, and pay another recruitment fee for another ‘right now’ employee?

And the next time? And the time after that?

Erm, good luck with that. But we’ll pass, thanks.