One of the most vital skills that you can learn as a recruiter is how to zero in on those clients and searches that will give you the best chance of making a placement, and to focus on them exclusively. I once heard there are three stages in a recruiter’s development in terms of how he defines a client:
Stage one: A client is anyone who will talk to me.
Stage two: A client is anyone who will give me an assignment.
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Stage three: A client is someone who will work the way I want to work.
Here are some questions for deciding which clients and assignments should get the full focus of your search efforts:
- Is there a high degree of urgency associated with this position?
- Are the key decision makers cooperative?
- Are the key decision makers on the same page in terms of the position specifications?
- Are we the only firm (or one of a small handful) working on this position or has it been farmed out to everyone?
- Do we have direct hiring authority contact?
- Are they responding to our requests within 24-48 hours?
- Is this a marketable position?
- Is this a marketable company?
- Is this a hiring manager who will attract top people based on his personality?
- Is the hiring manager willing to sell the opportunity or is he waiting for someone to come in and dazzle him?
- Is it a high salary position?
- Is it a high fee client in terms of the fee percentage?
- Is it a large enough client to have consistent future business with?
- Will it be reasonably easy to find candidate for this position or is it a needle in the haystack assignment?
- Are there similar positions we currently are working on that would double the impact of our search efforts?
- By working on this position, will we be searching in our preferred hunting grounds or do we have to start the search cold?
- Do I have a good feeling about this client and my ability to be successful? What is my intuition telling me?