Ask Barb: Giving Clients Weekly Feedback

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Oct 19, 2011

Dear Barb:

I heard you speak in Denver recently and I’ve implemented several of your ideas. However, I don’t see the value of calling all clients with open orders weekly. It’s turning into a big waste of time and all they do is complain when we don’t have candidates to present to them. Can you explain your reasoning here?

John F. Denver, CO

Dear John:

I have been addressing corporate audiences this year as much as I’ve addressed the Recruiting Profession. There is one complaint I hear often from corporate executives as well as hiring authorities. They provide us with job specs and don’t know if we’ve spent hours on their search or haven’t worked on it. The only time they get detailed feedback is when they have a retained search. The hiring authorities often fill the position and weeks later hear from a recruiter who has finally surfaced a candidate after a hire was made.

Every Friday afternoon we call every client who has given us a search assignment. As a result, we have enjoyed the following benefits:

  • Specs are often adjusted due to the feedback we provide
  • The client knows we are working on their search
  • This differentiates us from our competition
  • It prevents us from writing or working unfillable searches

If your clients are complaining, there must be confusion about expectations. I would suggest you share written expectations with your clients. Write down what they can expect from you and what you expect from them (stressing the benefits to them) and you will eliminate confusion. This is one important step in elevating yourself from one of many vendors to a trusted advisor.

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

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