Fee Leverage

August 28, 2009

A guy named Douglas in another forum brings up the argument that we sometimes hear from clients that they should pay less for a candidate we already have.

Douglas, you only lose fee leverage when you give it away. There are those who would and even should castigate my firm for doing work at 25% and only 25%. It’s a fair price and we just decided to live with it even years before I started this firm in 2002. Our reasoning goes like this. It is 25% or it is free. It is not 30 it is not 20, it is not 24… it is 25% period. If I do a search it is 25% with an engagement fee. I don’t do heavy lifting unless I am paid to.

If I have the candidate it is 25% and you don’t get contact info on the candidate until /unless we sign our separate contingent agreement which is ONLY for that single person.

Sure…the search is done. If this is someone your company needs then you should consider it a bargain that it is already done and you can hire the candidate now.

Their spurious argument that you evidently buy into that it is worth less because you already have it is one I am happy to walk away from.

Just keep doing this over and over in the same space with good candidates every time and you’ll be come known as the people who won’t mess with them on pricing or be messed with on pricing. They all end up appreciating that once they’re a client no one else gets a better deal than they do.

No, this isn’t the only way that works but I think it is the only way I’ll ever do it anymore.

The truth works so well that I am going to copy this to the blog my clients sometimes read as well. Thanks for bringing it up!

P.S. Our engaged clients sometimes do get candidates for free that others would charge for. I hope that’s one of the things that helps us keep them for years once we get together.


How Do I Use MPCs?

August 28, 2009

This is a slightly edited question from Kenneth Stallworth:

Dave thanks for mentioning the one call close thing. I come from a telemarketing background where you make 125 calls a day and get sent home with no pay for the day if you don’t make at least one sale every hour your on the phone. I’ve had to adjust to it not being a one call close. When you say MPC you mean Marketing Potential Candidate right? I’m new to the business of recruiting so when I’m trying to get business, in your professional opinion, Dave and Tom, would it be better to Market Candidates or market my services. I’ve only been doing this for about two months and the main thing I struggle with is finding out who is the hiring authority. I always thought that was H.R. but I’m finding out that is not the case.
Kenneth, it always depends on the company. In my industry, and market as I have defined it, HR is usually not the hiring authority. I tend to court companies who are often small enough that they don’t have much of an HR function. Ones that, if they do have HR, they are often too busy to do much recruiting. Even in larger companies HR people are rarely the hiring authority but they do often have veto power. That’s one reason I just don’t usually try to work with large companies. I am even past thinking this is a bad thing that should be changed. I have just found there are plenty of smaller companies that can tolerate and even appreciate my style so I talk with them. Lockheed Martin is a great place to work for 1000s of people but they don’t appreciate what we do anymore. Global Infotek and Software Process Technologies have more work than we can do. No reason to make it hard.

MPC ,to me anyhow, means Most Placeable Candidate. To the extent I need to make calls to get business these days (lots of networking and candidates turning into clients) I use the MPC method as follows and I recommend it to anyone else. I even hope people in my industry see this… both candidates and clients because it is totally up front and transparent.

First, define MPC: For me that is a candidate my market wants. One who is at the top of his/her game. $ are in line or even a bit low for whatever reason. The person has career goals that aren’t quite met. He (assume she too from here on) buys into the idea that I have a self-serving reason to try to help meet those career goals and that my self-serving reason serves him. He is otherwise not unhappy enough to have begun looking for a new position yet. He’ll make a move if I find what he wants. He knows this is also for me to get new business. He agrees to let me do this to the exclusion of others. 

The key is to make certain you have all of this in place. Miss one piece and you make a mess.  This method does not honor someone who actively wants a new job even if all the other pieces are in place. This method won’t get you new business if everything is there except the person is not quite an A player. Finding a true MPC is very hard. They are very rare. This is going to be someone who will hire you to find people later in your career.

If you have an MPC the call to the person you have identified as the one who should want something like this (or that person’s assistant) is along the lines of “I do search. Look what I found on behalf of another client. If I can show you this without even doing a search, imagine what I can do if you hire me to do what I do best. I’d like to talk with you about this real person who is actually available only through me OR about getting you what you need. These are the only two things I do. Are either of these important enough that we should talk?”

If all the pieces are in place the actual words don’t matter that much.

I’ll save the rest for another day; but before I stop I’ll mention that I know where you came from. There was a short period of time many years ago that I sold ball caps on a one call basis with a script. Improving people’s lives has been a lot more fun and rewarding.

Maybe next week we’ll talk about how often the old ‘get a job order’ process is treated like the equivalent of going to a dance with Pre-Nup and Marriage License in hand and expecting to come out with signed paperwork.

Dear LinkedIn

August 24, 2009

Why do you send us a page offering ‘terms of service’ that state we will not look up someone’s contact information and then shut off user accounts when someone accuses us of doing that when we didn’t….yet also…sell ads on that very same page to  email lookup services?

For the record, we support your right to make rules saying we have to wear pink socks to view our accounts but it seems a tad wrong to accept those ads not just for the obvious reason of hypocrisy but also because it makes those who may not be as familiar as they should with the TOS (ever bought software?) believe this is an ‘ok’ thing to do. And since you just throw people in LinkedIn jail on a single uninvestigated accusation and then whisper through the bars ‘Did you do anything?’ it feels like this small thing should be taken as a serious question. I’ll let someone else ask it though.

Since my blog’s been on vacation I have to get busy and find some bigger things to complain about.

P.S. For those who care, I have a saved page with these items.


August 10, 2009

It has long been my personal policy that our company will donate to most seemingly worthy charities when asked to by people we know. The ‘people we know’ part is why I don’t worry too much about posting this. I also sometimes will do so just to get someone to talk with us. For example, a guy has too much going on with a bike ride for breast cancer thing to pay attention to us right now. We send a donation and then agree to talk later. That one didn’t even ask.

Recently and just off the top of my head we have sent money for Pediatric Brain Tumor Research,Children’s Shrine Hospitals, Fraternal Order of Police,Women of the Well, American Cancer Society and the Both Hands Foundation for widows and orphans. I am not sure I spelled all these correctly and there have been others.

SO, what’s my beef? For the past several years I have sent money to the “Habitat for Humanities” event called “Habitees”. I am giving this one a break this year. Apart from the fact that I got no less than 4 requests for this it made me pay a bit more attention. I got these requests from people I usually hear from only when they are asking for money.

In the current climate, when some of us are using bridge loans to get us through the lulls in business, it just feels ok to put off this one in favor of the next charity these requests for us to pay greens fees so people can play golf for these purposes.

There just seems to be a long string of rationalizations to get there. I’ll help build the houses (and I have). I’ll buy nails and paint and stuff (and I have). But greens fees? Seems like a stretch.

It is not quite as bad as the time someone stole $5500.00 from me and then claimed to give it to Habitat for Humanities and then refused to show a receipt.

I guess if future requests don’t feel ‘direct’ enough I’ll find one that is and donate to that in the name of the person sending the diluted request…