I have been in recruitment since the late 90's and during that time I have operated at all ends of the market and if there's one lesson I have learned it is that all clients are not equal.
If you genuinely offer a great service, work hard for your clients and work ethically you have to be discerning about who you choose to work with. Your clients and candidates are a reflection of you and you must ensure you chose wisely.
From experience you can't always tell who the good and bad ones will be, but what you can do is set expectations in terms of behaviour. The clients you want are the ones that value your service, give you time to understand their company and culture, share insights and information with you freely and take your advice. Once you are working with them, the great firms will give you speedy feedback, offer honest insight and work with you to secure the candidate. They welcome you into their business with open arms and as a result you become an ambassador for their firm, one that proactively promotes their brand with great candidates. These types of client are gold and should be treasured and we consider ourselves very lucky to work with some fantastic clients.
So how, particularly if you are less experienced in the industry, do you look for the right qualities in a client? How to you spot the bad ones and what do you do about it?
Now I grant you this is at the worst end of the spectrum and not all bad client behaviour is the same. But things to watch out for are:
- Refusing to meet you
- Not giving you enough detail to build out a strong brief
- Being lazy with feedback
- Behaving badly in interview
- Paying fees late
- Not paying fees at all or trying not to
Now before you go sacking clients please be aware, some of these behaviours can be fixed - talk to your client first and explain how you need them to work with you in order to get the very best from you - if that doesn't get the outcome you need then you need to SACK YOUR CLIENT
So set your standards high, your markets are strong, align yourself with the best and develop fewer but stronger relationships.
And as for my naughty client - what would you do? I'm interested to know.
This article was written by Tara Lescott - MD of Recruiter Republic.