Firing a client…..

Ok, just so you know, I’m half way through this. It’s a bit like a sticky break up.

Recruitment is-a changing. When I first got into it we were faxing (google it) CV’s and the internet had only just started to emerge. Now it’s all internal recruitment, job boards and social media.

Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, in some ways I actually welcome these platforms as they actually can create more opportunity for us. But I’ve noticed it’s giving clients a greater sense of “why should we use you?”, which in turn is making me evaluate who I partner with.

Don’t get me wrong I understand that any business is always looking to reduce costs. But I’ve got a client who makes it very clear I’m the last resort when EVERY possible angle has been covered, and then its only when the job has been out there so long my Nan knows they are recruiting.

 “We don’t like using recruiters” was a phrase that was being banded about, and I just felt this wasn’t what I got into recruitment for. So I made my intention clear to the client that I no longer wanted to work with them. Which, I have to say was a weird feeling. Really weird. For all my existence I have only ever tried to win vacancies and business, no matter what. “JOB ON!”, I would valiantly cry to my team as I punch the air and head out for a celebratory cappuccino. New business is exciting!

However, it just got to the point where I was starting to feel like I was being tossed scraps over the side. And like I said, that’s not what I got into recruitment for.

I was diplomatic and polite. I think that’s important. I also had a sneaking suspicion the client wouldn’t actually be that bothered. We hadn’t done that much business with them, but had actually done a hell of a lot of work, unpaid. I understand a lot of us work on success only basis, and that’s fine, but I made the mistake of taking on work that no-one else appeared to be working on. After six months of dedicated slog with nothing to show for it, I realised why.

You can imagine my surprise when the client turned round and actually asked me to stay on their PSL. It seems that the work I had done had not gone unnoticed and there was now potential opportunity to work within other areas of the business. There was even talk of remunerating me for the work I had done.

So now I’m confused. Part of me wants to go through with it. But another part of me thinks this could lead to greater things within that client.

Tricky one. Watch this space.

Alex Babic

Been recruiting for nearly 20 years covering international and domestic markets. Outside of work I enjoy (trying to) keep fit, cooking for the Family and taking our ebullient black Labrador for long walks. Also got a side interest in motorcycling.

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