Everyone’s A Vendor; Become An Adviser

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Mar 13, 2013

Dear Barb:

We work so hard to surface qualified candidates but it seems our clients are screening out over 50% of who we present. When we send resumes over, often, they just send us an email to let us know who they want to interview, so we don’t have a chance to ask why the others were screened out. I think all the candidates we send over are high quality. How do we get them to realize they are passing up some candidates they would possibly hire?

Susan M., Tulsa, OK

Dear Susan:

You are currently being treated like a vendor, probably one of several firms being used by this client to find talent. You need to really work on building a relationship with this client, which will never be accomplished by email alone.

When you are presenting candidates to your clients your goal is to book 100% of the candidates you present. A resume can’t possibly sell your candidate as effectively as you could verbally. You are not giving yourself a chance to overcome any objections or sell your candidate’s accomplishments.

Your client will only change the way you are currently doing business together when they see how it can benefit them. It’s all about them, not you. Inform them that it is your goal to elevate the working relationship from vendor to trusted advisor. One way you can do that is by attaining interviewing times up front, and only booking your best candidates. Show them the benefit in back-filling any candidates who are screened out so you can attempt to have two or three candidates going into the final interview process.

If they do not agree at first, send a fact sheet filled with the accomplishments of each candidate and the impact of those accomplishments on past employers, in addition to the resume. It often takes several steps to earn trusted adviser status.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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