When the Client Wastes Your Time, Stop Working for Free

Article main image
Mar 5, 2014

Dear Barb:

What should I do with a client who has cancelled the last two job orders we worked on after final interviews. Prior to that, they filled three positions internally after we had done extensive work on the searches. They are doing quite a bit of hiring which is why I’m focusing most of my time on this client. I feel like I should be charging them some sort of fee for all the work that we’ve done.

John T.
Minneapolis, MN

Dear John:

You are spending all of your time working for a client that is not paying you a dime. Think of the hours you’ve spent working these five searches with no placements. The next time you receive a job order from them, I would request an engagement fee. Explain that you have to put your efforts where you can get results. After five searches, in order to work for them, you need to receive one-third of your fee up front.

I would also call this company in three months and again in six months and ask for all the candidates you’ve sent on interviews. A client is someone who hires from you and positively impacts your income. You need to work on the hottest job orders which give you the best chance of making a placement. The fact that they are doing lots of hiring doesn’t mean their orders are hot or guarantee that any of their hiring is going to be done through you. Remember, you are not paid on efforts, you are paid on results!

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed weekly!