As President of an executive search firm, we are fiscally and morally forced to be careful regarding the clients whom we bring on. If my firm brings on clients that nobody wants to work for, is compensating well under market or simply are not pleasant as individuals, it takes a whole lot longer to find the right applicant.
It comes down to cost per hour of work. Picture yourself as a matchmaker. Do you think it would take longer for you to find Kate Hudson a date or to broker Liza all over town?
An attorney would woo Liza all over town. tech staffing agencies However, the majority of staffing agencies don’t bill hourly rates. A temp. staffing firm would be an exception, though.
A second reason as to why staffing agencies should choose carefully as to whom they want to work with is company image and company branding. A brand is a long-term investment.
Working with inept, unfriendly, poorly financed and overly demanding clients will yield any staffing agency some money for the short term (and sometimes for the long), however any recruiting firm that will amount to anything is only as good as their client base.
How can a staffing agency decipher whether the client that you’re eventually going to be interviewing to is worth everyone’s time, money and energy?
A plethora of variables exist. Here are a few.
Observance of the people within the office and the office itself.
– Aesthetics – “The Ugly.”
When determining whether taking on a client for a staffing agency is going to be worth my company’s time, the look and feel of that company’s office takes on a very interesting role.
I have been to client meetings in offices that were a pigsty. When human beings enter a new environment or meet a new person, they make a decision as to whether they are impressed, neutral or turned off within 4 seconds.
Therefore, if you go into an interview through a headhunter and the office is a mess, you and the recruiter don’t see eye to eye. It’s best to just move on.
However, not many think to do this, but I always recommend that you watch out for the companies that have the fanciest, most lavish offices in the same buildings as companies worth 1,000x their net earnings.
– Aesthetics – “The Too Good To Pay Rent”
About 3 – 4 years ago, I was invited to meet a client at his office in Downtown Manhattan. His company was a small, unknown firm (15 employees) who sold derivative research to large banks.
– Age – “Snooki Isn’t Cool, But The Golden Girls Sure As Hell Aren’t Either”
Every now and again, I have had to reject taking on a client because their office is too young and I don’t get the sense that they have the maturity to properly walk applicants thorough the hiring process.
This scenario usually plays out with European companies who attempt to formulate an office that is hip, youthful and fun only to find out that no true leadership exists within their “U.S. division.”
It’s not the leadership in the company that’s my problem. The problem is when I have to get on the phone with them because I am being told they have no idea how to form a team, they’re sabotaging the recruiting process our contact abroad agrees and they’re postponing the hire three weeks until someone from corporate flies over.
I can think of one exception, though. It’s a client of mine from the U.K., but they are a rarity. Staffing agencies can’t maintain profitability if they’re babysitting the client.
Conversely, the opposite end of the spectrum can scare me, too. For instance, if the office is made up of very well established veteran employees, why haven’t they been promoted 5x throughout their tenure?
The job seekers that my firm usually deals with are quite Type-A and they are going to want to get ahead. Therefore, if they see this they are not going to accept a job with the firm and we are not going to make as much money. Also, looking forward, odds would say that they may not be the type of client who will be consistently hiring.
Ken Sundheim’s articles have published or syndicated in Forbes, NYTimes, USAToday, BusinessInsider, WSJ and many more.