Yes, you’re correct. I did mean to write that.
It’s a popular misconception that all business is good business. In my experience, a bad client (and in my industry, also candidate) never gets any better and in fact they inevitably get worse. I’ve had the privilege of working with some fantastic clients and in return, I have staffed some of the best Dynamics 365 projects with some of the best people. However, I’ve also had my fair share of bad clients who demand the world in exchange for the spare change in their wallet.
So we’re in a recession, and in recessions good business becomes harder to come by which in turn, means recruiters are more open to working with bad clients just because they say that magic three-letter word “YES”. I would caution any recruiter or salesperson to think twice. It’s very tempting to take on bad business just to show your boss that your activity is strong or because it MIGHT come to something. If you have a good manager, they will know what bad business looks like and will respect you for turning away what is never going to close.
So what is bad business? In my opinion, it’s the following (but not limited to): low fees, no hiring manager contact, large PSL (preferred supplier list), no interview slots, generic job spec, taking ages to get CV feedback, low-ball offers. The list goes on… but they all have one thing in common – the client doesn’t respect your time and you are destined to waste it chasing after bad business.
Recruitment, or any sales-driven industry needs to work with clients in a consultative and collaborative way and that way, the client gets the best people at a more-than-fair price and in return, the Recruiter will get real results for all their hard work. Some (and thankfully it really is only some) clients think that recruiters work for them and forget that everything is free until the candidate is placed and has actually started!
I guess the silver lining of our current economic situation is that it has forced us all as salespeople to have a long, hard look at how we approach our jobs and to finally realise that the old way of doing things is simply not good enough. Clients demand more from us than ever before, and we need to demand more from our clients. Win-win.