Let’s be honest about something. Hiring officials don’t really care if you receive a full fee for placing a candidate at their company. In fact, they don’t care if you receive a fee at all (and I’m willing to bet they might have expressed that on one occasion or another). They primarily care about two things: 1. Whether or not you can provide the types of candidates that are proven performers, that can meet their exact needs and even exceed them, and can transform their organization; and 2. If you can provide these candidates, how quickly you can provide them. Because the longer it takes to fill an open position, the greater the potential is for profit loss due to decreased productivity.
Sure, company officials are prone to extended bouts of feet-dragging, but they still want viable candidates in a short amount of time so they can begin to interview and evaluate them. One of the best ways in which to uncover, qualify, and present top-notch candidates in a short amount of time is through networking. There are a number of networking avenues you can pursue, but one is to interact and communicate with other recruiters by sharing and exchanging job order and candidate information. This, of course, can lead to a split placement with another recruiter (a situation in which you have the job order and they have the candidate, or vice-versa).
Once again, remember that the hiring officials ultimately don’t care how or where you find your candidates, just as long as they meet their needs and are a great asset to the organization. And there are a number of reasons why presenting only the best candidates—and presenting them as quickly as possible—is important right now:
- Yes, the market is flooded with candidates, but the majority of them are unemployed candidates. Companies aren’t necessarily interested in these candidates, and managers often find it burdensome to sift through the masses.
- Money is tight. That means for companies that are actually looking to hire in this environment, the margin for error is small. As a result, hiring officials won’t even consider pulling the trigger on a candidate unless they believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that the person is absolutely, positively, 100% right for the position. (Many times, it may feel as though they’re waiting until they’re 150% sure.)
- Companies can go from dragging their feet to having cold feet almost instantly. Time kills all deals. If you don’t get high-quality candidates in front of decision makers in a timely fashion, they could change their minds about hiring and decide they can live without an additional employee, as least until the economy improves. (And when, exactly, will that be?)
Undoubtedly, the temptation exists for recruiters to keep searching for candidates on their own in an effort to secure a full fee. There’s nothing wrong with earning a full fee, unless that fee is earned at the expense of satisfying the client’s needs in the most expedient way possible. Thinking such as that reflects a “what’s in it for me” mindset rather than a “what’s in it for them” mindset. True, it’s your mortgage and your bills that need to be paid, but once again—and it might be rather harsh to consider this—but hiring officials don’t care about your mortgage or your bills. They care about whether or not you have their best interests in mind and about whether you’ve made meeting their needs your top priority . . . because that’s what they’re ultimately willing to cut a check for.
The key is to not sacrifice long-term loyalty for the prospect of short-term financial gain. Meeting the needs of your clients quickly can result in much more business in the future. The way in which to ensure success in recruiting over the long haul, through good times and bad, is through the building of relationships with companies and hiring officials. These relationships are built upon trust and result in loyalty. Customer loyalty is without a doubt critical to the success of any business, and that includes the recruiting business.
When you place a candidate in a split placement situation, you might only receive half the fee, but you’ll reap the benefits of all the loyalty placing that candidate will provide for you in the future. (Not only that, but other recruiters will seek you out for other split placement opportunities, thereby potentially increasing your volume of business even more.) By focusing on the needs of your clients and giving them what they need when they need it, you’ll position yourself as a valuable resource and a trusted consultant instead of “just another recruiter.” During these unpredictable economic times, and with uncertainty still on the horizon, you can’t afford to be looked at as “just another recruiter.”
Consider making split placements a part of your business model. Networking with other recruiters can be rewarding in more ways than one, and making multiple placements and building long-term relationships with clients are just two of those ways.