Don’t go into a fight unless you’ve got an unfair advantage

unfair advantage

Don’t go into a fight unless you’ve got an unfair advantage

unfair advantage

No one wants to be a busy fool, but many recruiters are. When pushing to hit a target, it’s tempting for those on the perm frontline to take on jobs that are less than ideal in the false hope that working on a job, no matter how flaky it is better than working a decent candidate properly. 

The single biggest reason why some recruitment agencies outperform others is because the Boss is strong enough on what jobs they allow the team to work #FACT! If you’re serious about succeeding, you should never let your people work anything that isn’t an “A” job as a minimum job. Let me explain what I mean. 

Why learn you’re A, B, C’s? 

Recruitment Business Leaders need to understand what good looks like. An A job ticks all the boxes: vacancies at the right money in, the right location at the right salary & fee rates, with the right influence and an unfair advantage. Anything less is a B job – and you should turn it down without question if you can’t flip it into an A role. 

Creating a framework to recognise A jobs – and flag up the B’s – is crucial to the success of your business. You can’t blame your team for working poor roles if you haven’t educated them on how you define “good”. At the end of the day, the direction, culture and results rest with you. 

“Sorting the B’s from the A’s pays”. When you look at fulfilment rates, i.e. if, for every 10 jobs you register, only three are prime A jobs and you might reasonably only place two, why would you allow the team to work them all? Spend time on the right jobs with the right level of influence, and you’ll go much further in the long run. Use this extra time you’ve freed up for the team to work the candidates you are generating properly and in doing so open up loads more new business with new clients. 

Educating your clients 

But how do you push back when you uncover a B job? Good question, GG! Education is key. The tide has long turned in recruitment; it’s a massively candidate driven market and the organisations that are prepared to pay more to work with quality recruiters who can help them attract great people whilst being more agile internally are winning the so-called war for talent. To do this, clients need to be prepared to listen to your expertise and adapt their process accordingly. 

So, take the time to talk about their responsibility in creating A jobs for agenceis. If they want to attract the best, they need to look at themselves first. If their process means that it will take 8-10 weeks to get an offer out the door, it’s a pointless exercise. Candidates won’t wait around, after all, you’ll know if you can or can’t actually fill the role. Have the confidence to stand your ground and drive your consultant to explain to their clients why they can’t work what we call B jobs unless something changes. If it’s important they will, and they’ll respect you all the more. 

How to gain unfair advantage 

One of the best ways to turn a B job into an A job and gain the ‘unfair advantage’ we all search for, is to offer products or services. With a basic level of SPIN selling, recruiters can get clients to agree the importance of getting the right person not the first person. So, pitch your premium product. If you can’t overcome the objections pitch “rexclusive” (retained and exclusive) if this won’t fly, then sell off site interviews or interview slots etc. All of these turn fillable B jobs into A jobs (ex-Computer Futures people will remember our recruitment onion model, peeling back the layers of objections and never settling on just sending CV’s into a black hole!) 

Everyone in perm recruitment should be placing candidates first and foremost and not filling jobs per se, but if you’ve got A roles with exclusivity do invest the time and work the job (but only when you have a decent chance of getting paid for the effort.) As a leader it’s your job to have the strength to say no. Know your peoples worth and be prepared to turn even your best client down if they give you the wrong job on the wrong money. 

Struggling to find your A job game? Email for more inside tips and talk about engaging with one of our advisors. 

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