Description: Industry experts answer your questions on challenges you are facing in sales and recruiting. If you have a question, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will solicit answers from industry experts.
Question: What do you say to a client who says they already have a candidate you submit in their system, however when you spoke to them about the job they tell you no one has contacted them from the company. Is the only choice to confront them?
It's not your only choice, but probably your best choice.
First, this is a different situation than what some recruiters refer to as the "backdoor". An equally awkward situation when you find out a company purposefully went behind your back and hired a candidate you submitted. In most cases this is a breach of contract terms and should be handled accordingly.
But back to your original question - the candidate ownership issue you describe is a bit more "gray". Giving your client the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they interpret your terms and conditions differently? Maybe they have attempted to contact the candidate? Is it possible your candidate did connect with the company and doesn't remember?
Regardless of the answers to these questions, it is a great opportunity to meet with your client and discuss the circumstances so going further you can have a successful partnership. Prior to the meeting:
- Review your contract terms. Does it cover this specifically? What does it state? Did your contact agree to these terms, or perhaps someone else from the company that should be included in the meeting?
- Prepare for the meeting. Create a list of questions to ask to understand their process; Be prepared to talk about your own process, and the time it takes to source candidates.
- Bring solutions to the table. Assuming this specific situation is not covered in your terms and conditions, what do you want the "rule" to look like? Be reasonable. It would be unfair to ask that any and all candidates you send them you have ownership...just as it would be unfair if any candidate that ever applied to their company "ever" were their candidate.
- How far are you willing to go? Determine where is your "line in the sand". Is this a customer you are willing to walk away from if they are unwilling to bend on this rule?
Remember, most of these problems are lack of understanding or a miscommunication. The goal of the meeting is not to be defensive and point out what they did wrong, but to create solutions and understanding how you can work together.
Answers provided by Rachel Modrak, a trainer, speaker, and consultant focused on the Staffing Industry. After 20+ years of working for leading national and global staffing organizations she created Apex Staffing Consulting Group to provide strategic solutions that solve problems. Rachel can be reached at Rachel@apexscg.com or 908-377-3465.