When the Client Wastes Your Time, Stop Working for Free

Dear Barb:

What should I do with a client who has cancelled the last two job orders we worked on after final interviews. Prior to that, they filled three positions internally after we had done extensive work on the searches. They are doing quite a bit of hiring which is why I’m focusing most of my time on this client. I feel like I should be charging them some sort of fee for all the work that we’ve done.

John T.
Minneapolis, MN

Dear John:

You are spending all of your time working for a client that is not paying you a dime. Think of the hours you’ve spent working these five searches with no placements. The next time you receive a job order from them, I would request an engagement fee. Explain that you have to put your efforts where you can get results. After five searches, in order to work for them, you need to receive one-third of your fee up front.

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I would also call this company in three months and again in six months and ask for all the candidates you’ve sent on interviews. A client is someone who hires from you and positively impacts your income. You need to work on the hottest job orders which give you the best chance of making a placement. The fact that they are doing lots of hiring doesn’t mean their orders are hot or guarantee that any of their hiring is going to be done through you. Remember, you are not paid on efforts, you are paid on results!

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS, is one of the most trusted experts, speakers, and trainers in the Staffing and Recruiting Professions. If you want to receive FREE training articles from Barb, sign up for her NO BS Newsletter! Barb has spent the last twenty years focused on helping Owners, Managers, and Recruiters increase their sales, profits, and income.

Her Top Producer Tutor web-based training program jumps-starts new hires and takes experienced recruiters to their next level of production. Barb's cutting-edge program, Happy Candidates, provides you with a Customized Career Portal in less than 10 minutes. Happy Candidates allows you to help the 95% of candidates you don?t place and eliminates the greatest time waster in your business.

If you'd like to contact Barb, call (219) 663-9609 or email support@staffingandrecruiting.com.

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3 Comments on “When the Client Wastes Your Time, Stop Working for Free

  1. Don’t waste your time with clients that won’t respond. There are employers out there that, surprisingly enough, have success with a “system” that means leaving resumes unopened for weeks, dropping candidates without giving you feedback on why, and just generally not communicating as partners. There are agencies that have success with them, otherwise they wouldn’t keep it up. Don’t be one of those agencies.

    Your most precious resource as an agency is not only your candidate, it’s your time. Invest our time with customers that fit your area of expertise and your way of working. If, within a few days of working with them, it’s clear they don’t communicate the way you work, vote with your feet (and walk away). There are plenty of other employers out there that would love your candidates (and would value your time).

  2. Respect is a two way street. I would present a retained agreement and be prepared to walk away from this client for now.

  3. Respect is a two way street. I would present a retained agreement, and be prepared to walk away from this client for now

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