Here are my tips to creating a bulletproof client relationship:
- Ensure that you take a full and effective job spec from the Client – Much more than just job title and salary – We need full company details, role details and history and interview process details before we can even decide on the fillability of the role. This might not be realistic if you are have introduced a candidate into a client with no open vacancy available, but I would quite happy to send you a full template for taking an effective job spec anyway, as this is a brief paragraph to explain a complex 20 minute process with a Client.
- Get terms agreed and T&Cs signed – Easier said than done when every bone in your body is dying to just send some candidates and make some money. However, I guarantee you that if you do not get T&Cs signed you open yourself up to (a) losing your candidate without any legal stance OR (b) Being held to ransom on fees by the Client if and when they do decide to hire the candidate, as at this point, they hold all the power in the relationship.
- Make sure your Clients understand your service – We make our money not just from the candidates that we can find, but from the service that we can provide. Ensure that you explain all of the aspects of your service (including how your T&Cs work) so that the Client (a) knows where they stand and (b) knows how you can benefit them.
- Get everything in writing – At every stage of the process. People are more likely to live up to what they write down, even on email.
- Cover yourself when you send CV’s – A candidate does not care whether they get the job in the most loyal and honest way, the just want the most direct, quickest route to the job, so we can’t blame them for taking the most direct route (although this does then raise the question of whether the candidate truly understood the benefit of going through you – Therefore this may be another area to review). Your CV cover sheet should include a small condition to protect you should the Client decide to contact and hire the candidate directly, meaning that if the Client does hire the candidate directly within the next 6 months (duration is flexible), the Client is still liable to pay an introductory fee to you.
- Decide on your ‘walk away point’ – Don’t be afraid of saying no to a Client – If they don’t give you what you know you need to provide a grade A service, take you ball and go play somewhere else.