Recruiters: What it means if a client rejects your shortlist (video)

Do you accept the fact that your client can reject candidates you present on your shortlist?

Yes? Then you lack ‘Recruiter Equity’.

View video on YouTube

Recruiter equity is the trust, the buy-in, the belief that your clients have in your ability and your judgment. It is the combination of your experience and your knowledge, and it gives you the power to advise clients and truly impact the outcomes of your interaction with them.

Most recruiters lack equity all together. The presenting of a shortlist for a permanent brief is a classic example.

The fact is, that if a client rejects or will not interview any of your shortlisted candidates, it can mean only one of two things — both bad.

  1. You misunderstood the brief. You got it wrong.
  2. The client does not trust your judgment.

It can mean nothing else.

Both of those outcomes is a disaster. And it means you did not get equity into the relationship with this client. Equity means ownership or a share of ownership. In this case joint ownership of the problem and the solution.  Recruiter equity is the key difference between winners and losers in this business. Do your clients trust your judgment? Do they interview every candidate you refer?

No? Then your recruiter equity is low – maybe non-existent. It takes hard work to build up your equity. It takes determination, study and practice. But it all stems from our attitude. Think about the best recruiters you know. The relationships they have with clients amount to shared equity. Sharing the problem. Sharing the solution. Sharing the rewards.

View the video for more on presenting the shortlist.

About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

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7 Responses to Recruiters: What it means if a client rejects your shortlist (video)

  1. Ravi Janardhan September 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Splendid, and it’s an eye opener!

    Perhaps we needs to fire whoever clients are not ready to share the problem fully in the first place.Then we can focus on the other good clients where our equity is valued aptly.

  2. Jonathan Rice September 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Great post Greg and very true. It should be pointed out that there are also many recruiters out there with very strong potential but who need to get a few runs on the board and earn their stripes with their clients to win the requisite credibility that will lead to the equity that you mention.

    Developing a portfolio of clients who have enough trust and belief in your opinion that they will automatically interview your entire shortlist is the nirvana that all decent recruiters should aspire towards – but it cannot happen overnight – and recruiters showing strong potential need to be managed and coached towards this level rather than belittled for not being there yet.

    Recruiters flicking CVs around and padding out shortlists need to have a long look at themselves, listen to what Greg is saying, and if they aren’t willing to put in the effort to attain this level of credibility they should get out of the industry now.

  3. Arthur K September 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Sharing the problem – that is what sticks out for me. Having been at both ends, I have felt on many occassions that recruiters simply create a list for numbers sake. Lately I have refused to be added to lists for certain employers because I know no interview will come of it.

  4. Brett Jones September 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Great Post Greg! I completely agree that recruiters shouldnt send a CV unless they really believe that candidate will get and interview. You get so much buy in from clients when you are consistantly on the mark. The problem lies in recruitment companies and managers making it a numbers game and putting pressure on recruiters to send out CV’s and hit KPI’s. I have recently started my own recruitment company and I am making it my aim to get an interview for every CV I send (or as close to that as possible). Yes I am sending out fewer CV’s now but I am getting valuable buy in from clients through providing a quality service and proving to my clients that I actually understanf what they want.

  5. Sokol September 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    Another brilliant post Greg!

    Brett: I’ve learned through my experience in Recruitment not to bother with KPI’s! If it takes me 3 days to find the perfect match CV then I would rather do that instead of satisfying my boss… If you are a good recruiter and want to gain clients trust and build a relationship you will always submit quality before quantity… 2 CV’s + 2 Interviews = 1 Deal, that’s my formula..

    Good luck with your new venture and all the best to you


  6. Liza Job September 15, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    This is a good post.


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