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Recruitment Example: Getting a Commitment as a Search Consultant

by | Sep 6, 2019 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

In this day and age, it’s becoming exceedingly difficult to secure a commitment from anybody. A real commitment, anyway. That’s because it’s become difficult to get people to do what they say they’re going to do.

There used to be a time when you were able to “take people at their word.” Not so much anymore. Now, people start to have selective memory, and unless you have proof (digital) or otherwise that they said this, that, or the other thing—good luck trying to get them to do what they said they would do.

This most definitely holds true in the recruiting profession. One of the reason is that there are so many people involved in the process. There are people at both ends of the deal. There are people in the middle of the deal. It’s almost overwhelming. People, people, everywhere! And the big problem is that you can hardly get a commitment out of any of them.

The client side of the commitment equation

For the purposes of this blog post, though, we’re going to focus on the client side of the equation. After all, clients are the ones who issue the job orders. They’re also the ones who issue the placement check after the position has been filled. So focusing on them makes a certain sort of sense. This means that we’re going to examine a recruitment example involving how a search consultant can secure a commitment from a client. (Or a potential client, for that matter.)

Now, it seems logical why it would be difficult to secure a commitment from a client. Using a search consultant can be costly in terms of the cost involved in paying the recruiting fee for the completion of a successful search. It is the job of the search consultant, then, to convince the hiring manager or other decision maker of the tremendous value that they’re providing to the organization in the form of their immense expertise and experience. So how does a search consultant do such a thing? And do we have a recruitment example of how a search consultant does such a thing? Great questions

To help us answer these questions, we’re going to we’re going to draw upon the wisdom Terry Petra, one of the recruiting industry’s leading trainers and business consultants. Petra has extensive experience as a producer, manager, and trainer in all areas of professional search, including retainer, contingency, and contract, as well as clerical/office support and temporary.

According to Petra, there is an ever-growing segment of our industry that is quickly becoming “commodisized.”  These are the firms that work “the low-hanging fruit” and focus on being competitive, which usually means working under heavily discounted fee agreements with their clients.

Recruitment example: an excellent question

Ultimately, because of the lack of bilateral commitment in the working relationships, their job order (assignment)-to-fill ratio remains high.  Since there is little in the way of qualitative differentiation between these firms, clients view them as a commodity and therefore seek the least expensive means of working with them.

If this sounds familiar, answer for yourself the following question:

“If my client companies gave a full commitment to work within a process that would allow me to focus my resources in an unencumbered manner, what impact would this have on my ability to get results?”

For most executive search consultants, the answer to this question would be “a dramatic and positive impact.”

Fact be known, most top producers are not necessarily better than anyone else.  Rather, they have learned how to gain this type of commitment from their clients.

With this level of commitment leveraged with a high-quality recruiting software, they can focus their time and resources on consistently achieving results.  This in turn creates a greater level of confidence in them from their client companies, which results in more qualified business.  It becomes a self-perpetuating phenomena.

Any way you look at it, top producers are top producers because they deliver results for their clients.  Not once in a while.  Rather, consistently time and time again.

They can do this because they are focused.  They only work on good, qualified business, and they only work in relationships that are earmarked by mutual commitment.

Therefore, if you’re interested in NOT becoming a commodity, you must be willing to ask for, and only accept, business where the working relationship is based on a mutual and equal commitment.  You need to know how to ask for this, and you must be ready to justify the request through the execution of a process that delivers the required results.

Below are two recruitment examples of how you might ask for a commitment from a client:

Recruitment Example #1:

“Put yourself in my position for a moment.  If our roles were reversed, would you be willing to commit your resources to undertaking a search of this nature before you secured an equal commitment from your client, the level of bilateral commitment required to ensure success?”

Recruitment Example #2:

“In order for us to be successful in working together, the level of commitment I give to filling your requirements must mirror the level of commitment you and your organization are willing to give me.  Only in this manner can we jointly ensure that our collective resources are being applied in the best fashion possible.  Does this approach seem reasonable to you?”

Only through bilateral and equal commitments can you focus the full strength of your resources on achieving results for your client companies.  Working without these commitments in place will relegate you to a “commodity broker existence” and limit your future in this business.

Top Echelon Recruiter Training

Top Echelon offers a FREE monthly webinar as part of its Recruiter Coaching Series. After the webinars are over, we post the recorded version of the webinars in our Recruiter Training Library. These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics. These topics deal with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help recruiters make more placements.

In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:

For more information about Top Echelon and the products and services that it offers, visit the Top Echelon website by clicking here.

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