I'd like a free replacement please.
A few months ago, I was approached by a new client, a business I’d never heard of before but when they explained what they did, I was sold. What they did was brilliant, and I’d even experienced some of their work when I was in the food industry. They are a small entrepreneurial business that is experiencing really strong growth and I thought their work ethic as well as culture was excellent. The job they wanted recruiting for was a tough one but you’re talking to the girl who found a Company Microbiologist and an Industrial Engineer, I think it’s safe to saw I specialise in tough recruits!! (I also enjoy the straight forward ones as well by the way!)
I explained how I worked, that I don’t have a huge database of candidates, I didn’t before GDPR and I certainly don’t have now, so I find candidates. Yes, I advertise but I also search and do a huge amount of proactive work on LinkedIn as well as mapping out companies and tapping into my network. We agreed on terms of business and then they asked if they could have a free replacement if the candidate I placed didn’t work out. Now I’ve been taught to never make a decision that you’re not entirely comfortable with straight away. If you need to think about it, be honest and take some time. Anyone can wait 10 minutes for any decision, unless you’re in the Emergency Services I’d say.
And here were my thoughts. I complete the assignment, find a candidate that after they’ve interviewed a couple of times, they want to offer the job to, they start work, for reasons beyond my control it doesn’t work out…..why would I then do all that work again for free? And why should I? If I had made an error in the recruitment and something had happened that was my fault, then yes, I should be held accountable but if a candidate doesn’t work out, why would that be?
Clients point of view….
The candidate isn’t performing as well as you had hoped? Or there has been a change in the businesses circumstances? They don’t fit in culturally? They turn up late every day? They miss deadlines? That’s to name a few.
Candidates point of view….
Doesn’t enjoy the job or doesn’t like working for the business? What they said at the interview is different compared to the reality? The commute isn’t great, and they under-estimated it. Or as it sometimes happens, personal circumstances have changed, and they need to relocate?
There could be a million and one reasons from each party but none of them are the recruiter’s fault. A recruiter merely makes an introduction on who they think has the right experience for a role and would be the best fit into the business. And as much as it pains me to say, if it doesn’t work out, why should the recruiter be the one to do all the work again for free? No recruiter (who wanted long term relationships) would be so harsh to say “tough, you can pay the full fee again” and if they do, then a client needs to walk away from that recruiter as the benefit to working with an agency is all about relationships and partnership. But looking at things the other way around, should the client be expected to pay the full fee again? Probably not.
So, I don’t know what the answer is but what I do know is I personally cannot work for free. I have a skill and expertise that should be valued. I already work without payment until a candidate starts their new job and, in some cases, if they’re on 3 months’ notice and payment terms are 45 days, a recruitment process can take 2 months, so I don’t get paid for 6 months. And that is part of the job, something I budget and plan for, and something I accept as part of what I do but I cannot work for free because of something that has changed or happened beyond my control. Quite simply a recruiter should not take 100% of the hit. So, what is the answer? I still don’t know. But I’m open to ideas and suggestions as I’d have loved to have worked with that client.
Tel: 0115 972 6513