…. 11 weeks…. One candidate!

I know this is going to sound like we’re tooting our own horn, but as an observer of business since 1973, I have to say the rationale behind this story is first-class crazy. It doesn’t make any sense that things got the way they are. But you read this story and then you come to your own conclusion.

$4 billion gigantic company has a $200 million division. The VP loses one of his salespeople in the five state area 14 weeks ago. keep in mind his quota for this territory is still running. It takes him three weeks for to get an approval to hire someone. Since we worked with the guy once before at a different company, he suggests to the internal VP of recruiting that he call us immediately. After all, we work on a contingent basis and if we don’t come up with anybody it doesn’t cost them anything. “Oh, no!” Says the VP of recruiting, “we have six recruiters who are excellent and can find you what you need.” The VP says, “well, okay but can’t we at least call this outfit in Dallas and compare the candidates they come up with with the ones we come up with. I’m in a hurry, and my quota is running.”

Well, the VP hasn’t been there all that long and hasn’t established himself well enough to call BS and do what he ought to do anyhow, so he agrees. Three or four weeks go by and he has no candidates from his internal recruiting department. He says, “look, I need candidates …Thecan’t we at least call that outfit, Babich, in Dallas and see what they might have while our people are trying to recruit. “Oh, no! We have six recruiters here so that we don’t have to pay fees!”

“Well,” the VP says, “the quota for the territory is $450,000. If I go a quarter without filling the position I’m on the hook for $112,500 and that is not good. The fee would only be a $24,000 or $25,000 investment and my quota is running!” “Nope!” He’s told. “We have six recruiters we’re paying and they’ll find you a salesperson.”

11 weeks after he started his search his internal recruiting firm has only come up with one candidate. He gets really insistent. He calls his bosses boss and gets permission to call us for candidates. He calls us on a Wednesday and tells us that the VP of recruiting will call and complete our agreement and then he can start interviewing. Two days later the VP of recruiting calls and indignantly tells us that they will certainly engage us by she wanted us to know that they’ve been looking for 11 weeks, with six recruiters and that we are not likely to come up with any better candidates and they can. Then she tries to lowball us on the fee.

We come to an agreement on the fee. She says that she’s going to get the contract out to us straightaway. That was last Friday‚Ķ a week ago. We still haven’t seen the contract, but, no matter we sent the hiring authority three candidates on Wednesday, one of which he interviewed today and we’ve got him four more lined up for next week. We did this in a matter of three days. The VP is very thankful and very appreciative of what were doing. His $24,000, should we earn it, will be well spent.

I understand companies having a room full of internal recruiters searching for people in Dallas. And when a company pays a $24,000 or $25,000 fee somebody is saying, “why are we paying all of those recruiters in that room and still paying a fee?” I understand. It is sticky.

Our average recruiter has been in this business for 16 years. Some of us have been doing this 25, 30, and 40 years. We meet 98% of our candidates face-to-face and get to know most of them over a very long period of time. Heck, some of our candidates are second and third generation of people we been working with for years.

If somebody or even a group of people in St. Louis, or Minneapolis or Chicago or anywhere, for that matter can come up with better candidates in Dallas more quickly than we can, I’d be shocked. There are 22 of us who are interviewing 2 to 3 candidates each day. Just the sheer numbers are our advantage.

Now, we haven’t filled this position yet and we may not. But at least we’ve come up with six candidates in about three or four days that are really qualified. (And, by the way, the interview the VP had today went extremely well with our candidate.) This deal is not done yet. But just the mere fact that we came up with so many candidates in such a short period of time when the internal recruiters could come up with only one candidate and 11 weeks demonstrates why it’s a good idea to give us a call.

Now, their internal recruiting department might come up with the perfect candidate on Monday. We understand that. But there is no reason that any hiring authority ought to go 11 weeks and receive only one resume.

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