From a Recruiter’s Viewpoint Vol. 2

In this Issue:
1. What Clients Want
2. Recent Articles

1. What Clients Want

The best clients hold out for the exact right fit and do not compromise their specification. They want and get 99% of what they are looking for. A few years ago, many would settle for 80% or close enough is good enough. Even in a candidate lean environment, the best clients patiently never compromise.

Clients almost always (90%+) want a “been there, done that” person with industry specific experience and skills that closely match the job description requirements. For candidates, this means that even though you may be capable of doing the job, you may not be considered. Clients want to minimize their risk and the learning curve associated with hiring someone outside the industry.

Clients don’t want to interview individuals who are earning as much or more than what they targeted to pay. The best candidates never take less money – they should and do hold out for an increase. Clients are concerned that they are overqualified and will be bored or leave for a better opportunity later. Salary is always a qualifier.

Candidates sometimes anticipate that, as a result of the process, the client will want them so much they will raise the compensation level to above the targeted level. This is rare and usually creates frustration and resentment. Clients feel like they were duped and trust breaks down and the deal comes apart.

2. Recent Articles

Execunet reported in early December that the demand for executives is slowly increasing with sales and marketing leading the way, followed by general management, operations and human resources. The greatest decline in demand continued to be in Finance, MIS/IT and consulting.

The Wall Street Journal reported in October, while there is real growth in productivity, there remains a fundamental problem of overcapacity. Almost 50% of U.S. manufacturing companies were operating at less than 75% of capacity. This has abruptly halted most capital spending and hiring. It seems every segment is adjusting to lower levels of demand.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that “in a post-Enron world of tougher corporate – governance standards, the notion of a separate outside chairman is gaining boardroom support.” The combined role makes oversight very difficult. We see the two roles separating over time.

The Wall Street Journal advises job seekers to put the onus of setting a starting salary on the employer, regardless of when the subject comes up in the hiring process. Naming a starting salary may prematurely knock you out of contention early in the process.

Next Issue:
1. About Recruiters
2. Most Frequently Heard

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