In the third-party recruiting world, we like to talk all big and aggressive about “firing” clients. “Yeah, ABC Corp was a bunch of idiots to work with, they didn’t know what they really wanted, I fired them!” No, you didn’t, Timmy! Calm down!
Okay, you’re probably right. I don’t really “fire” a client, I just stop working with them. Stop contacting them, just fade into black. If you’re a corporate TA Leader and you regularly work with agencies to fill openings and you notice that one agency just kind of disappears, more than likely, they are telling themselves they “fired” you.
Now, why would a recruiting agency say they “fired” a corporate client?
Pretty simple, actually. A contingent firm mostly works for free until you hire someone. Contingent firms, thus, are constantly trying to determine who really wants to work with them, and who is just playing around giving out unicorn openings, but really, they have no desire, nor intent, to pay a fee.
If you’re working for a firm and you are engaging with them, giving them feedback on candidates, setting up some interviews here and there, most contingent firms will continue to work hard for you until the end of time. They just need a little love, to keep working for free. If you treat them like an ugly redheaded step-child, most likely, they’ll just go away.
Now, how many Hiring Managers have you fired?
This little game we play with third-party recruiting agencies also gets played on us as corporate TA leaders and pros! We have hiring managers who love to have us run around and work really hard for them, but they really have no desire to actually hire, or give us feedback, or do anything to validate all the work we do.
What can we do? I mean, they’re the hiring manager, that’s who we work for!
Just like the contingent agency that is “working” for you, you fire them! You go and tell the hiring manager, “Look, neither my team nor I are lifting one more finger to help you fill this opening. You have done absolutely nothing to help us. You. Are. Fired. I’ll be in my office if you want me to re-hire you!”
Then you have to stomp off back to your office. Or at least, it works better that way. It doesn’t work as well if you just do the little Zoom-wave and end the Zoom call.
I’m dead serious on the firing!
While you don’t work for free in the corporate TA world, you are kind of just wasting resources that could be used more wisely by working with hiring managers who truly need your help and will engage with you and give you everything you need to be successful. That’s a partnership. That’s what TA should look like.
What if I fire a Hiring Manager and they tell the CEO?
OMG! You could only be so lucky!
Imagine this. You fire a worthless hiring manager from your internal corporate recruiting services. This, of course, pisses them off and they run immediately to the CEO to cry about getting their feelings hurt by the crazy TA Leader!
You actually want this to happen!
The best day of your life will be sitting in front of the CEO while this worthless hiring manager explains to your CEO everything you and your team are doing for this leader and everything this leader is not doing to fill their opening! You could only be so lucky to get the chance to lay out all the resources being spent and the lack of engagement you are getting in return—to explain how you have strategically moved these resources to other hiring managers and give examples of how those interactions are working perfectly.
I’m giddy with anticipation of this moment! I would pay to watch this conversation. The CEO, if they are smart, will kindly thank you for this information and ask you to leave. They will then, in private. punch this hiring manager in the face! Probably with words and not fists! But you get the picture! This hiring manager will then ask for your services again and, for the rest of the time, be very responsive to you and your team!
I don’t have time to work for free or waste my precious resources!
By the way, soak in that excited feeling you’re experiencing right now. Getting ready to fire a Hiring Manager! Now, know that you are also doing that to those agencies who are trying to work for you. What happens to you, that upsets you so much, you are doing to someone else.
Stop it. Be better. If it feels crappy to you, it feels crappy to someone else. Respect the work or don’t engage.
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.