Dear Agency Recruiter …

Nov 3, 2011
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

… the last two candidates you have sent me are terrible! The agreement you sent me prior to engaging in this search requires me to pay you 25% of the individual’s first-year salary if I hire one of your presented candidates. In my case, that would be in the neighborhood of $17,000, which is a good sum of money.

I am feeling a little confused at the moment, as I was under the impression that you are to provide me the top 1% of talent available in the field of which I am seeking talent. Or, at least that is what you told me in your initial presentation of why we should use you.

Instead I opened both of the resumes you have sent me this morning, only to find the first individual, who has already applied to this position no less than eight times and we have already rejected, and the second individual has changed jobs more times in the past fiv years than runway models change outfits; am I to think this individual will stay with us any amount of time to learn our business and be a strong contributor?

When I signed up for this “executive search/recruiting” service, I was under the impression that you were going to bring me the best of the best, a game changer or an “A” player who can bring significant value and contributions to my business unit. But all I see here are average professionals and not the caliber that warrants me paying you $17,000.

I know it’s your business on how you operate, but I feel as if I need to share some suggestions for you and for what I really need in a search partner…

  • Executive search is a science that requires patience. You don’t have to fire me every resume in the city on day one of the position being open. Take your time and bring me your top 3-4 high quality individuals from which I can make a selection.
  • How do you know what I really need? All you asked for was a job description. You never once asked me what was/is important, what the key functions to be performed are, the type of individual that will fit in our group, why someone should take a job here, etc.
  • Quality means quality. If you are asking me to pay you 25% of one’s first-year salary, this person better be worth my investment.
  • Please follow up with me — after you sent me 20+ non-qualified resumes on day one, it was almost two weeks since I heard from you. I wasn’t sure if you were still engaged on my search or if I was to even expect another resume.
  • Don’t circumvent the process. We started working together on Day 1 and next thing I know you are pinging my boss with other candidates and topics. This makes me look bad.

Hope these few pointers help you in the future, but at this time we are going to take this search in house and handle it ourselves.

Good luck,

Mr. Hiring Manager

This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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