What Can I Do About Clients That Take Too Long Making a Decision?

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May 8, 2013

Dear Barb:

Loved your programs at the NAPS conference, I’ve implemented two of your ideas already with great results. I’m having an issue with clients dragging their feet during the interview process. When they give me the order they act like they want to hire immediately and then it’s as if they have all the time in the world.

This has resulted in me losing several candidates that I felt were very talented. How do you force the issue with clients who don’t understand the value of making decisions faster? When I press them, they stop returning my calls.  Do I just stop doing business with clients who can’t seem to make timely hiring decisions?

Catherine M.

Milwaukee, WI

Dear Catherine:

There are several reasons why clients don’t make decisions. These include:

  • You have not submitted the caliber of talent they want to hire.
  • You assumed the client wanted to hire immediately, however, you did not get a target date to fill the job. They may be in the very early stages of their search and never intended to hire for 60-90 days.
  • Priorities have changed in their company and another project or issue is now on the front burner and your search is on the back burner.
  • No one has impressed them, so they will continue to interview.
  • An internal candidate may have surfaced that they are now considering.
  • Their internal recruiters have surfaced talent they now want to interview.

This is why it is so important for you to obtain the following when you write an order:

  • Specific target date to fill (now you know the time frame).
  • Names of individuals or companies they want you to target in your search.
  • Three interview times (assures you book send outs).
  • Alternative person to call to confirm interviews (if your contact is not there).
  • Problem or issue this vacancy is causing (motivated to hire a new person).

Refrain from calling your clients requesting an update or status report. You are not going to get returned calls. When you call you need to show your client the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) if they return your call. Always offer additional information they will find valuable. During each conversation set up the timing for your next contact.

One more observation I’d like to share, when you send in a Rock Star Candidate, the hiring process almost always is faster than expected. Rather than blaming clients for the delay, look at the caliber of the person you are representing and up your game.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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