Work For the Money and Not For the Order

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Apr 23, 2014

Dear Barb:

We work so many orders that end up generating no revenue. Do we just quit working with these clients? I hate to think of what this is costing me in time and money. The problem is you never know who will hire and who will waste your time. Any hints on how to determine what business is worth our time?

Paul W.
Buffalo, NY

Dear Paul:

The definition of a client is someone who impacts your bottom line, not someone who provides you with orders, temp assignments or contracts. I would suggest you conduct revenue modeling. Study where you have made placements in the past 18 months and try to duplicate that business.

To qualify as a hot order I would suggest the following criteria:

  • Money offered is commensurate with experience required;
  • Obtain interview times when you take the order;
  • Have the names of an alternate person who can confirm interviews;
  • Everyone in the hiring process has signed off on the specs of the order;
  • A problem exists as a result of this opening;
  • You have a specific target date to fill, not ASAP, immediate or yesterday;
  • The client has agreed to communicate and back fill candidates who are eliminated throughout the interview process.

If you have worked two or three orders without results, you should request an engagement fee in order to work an additional order. This can be a flat amount or one third of your fee (non-refundable) but this shows the client’s commitment to hire from you.

It is too costly to write and even more costly to work orders that should never have been written. Eighty-five percent of your marketing efforts should be focused on the best business you identified as a result of your revenue modeling efforts.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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