How Staffing Professionals Can Avoid These 7 Client Complaints

December 23, 2015

Like any profession, people tend to make generalizations about staffing professionals. The real problem is when these generalizations are negative…and made by the clients and hiring authorities we work for. When that happens, we lose business.

That’s why listening to client’s  feedback is essential and can help you improve the service you provide, elevating you from a vendor to a trusted advisor.

Below are seven top complaints that are made about staffing professionals and what you should do to avoid them:

1.“Recruiters state that they are different from their competition.  When they are asked how they are different, they all say the same things.”


It is important to know your company as well as personal brand. Think for a moment about what truly differentiates you from your competitors. The only thing you have that your competitors do not is you.  So, share the following:

  • Your track record of placing qualified candidates
  • Retention of those candidates
  • Testimonials from satisfied clients
  • Your personal commitment and relationship with current clients

For more on how you can build your recruiter brand in this eBook: 6 Steps to Building Your Recruiter Brand on LinkedIn.

2. “We know if we give an objection to a recruiter it will get 95% of them off the phone and they will never call back. How bad did they really want our business?”


Effectively overcome objections and realize they are a buying sign and a request for additional information. Initially, take time to categorize the objection so you understand it. There are four categories of objections including:

  1. Price
  2. Personal
  3. Postponement
  4. Service

Acknowledge the objection and then effectively overcome it by stressing a benefit. When you get an objection you can’t overcome, practice possible responses. The only objection you can’t overcome is silence.

3. “Recruiters present the same candidates our team surfaces through our job board and website postings.”


Establish a network of top talent and recruit candidates who are not actively conducting a job search. If you utilize job boards, obtain referrals from the candidates who respond. Employers do not have these referrals in their database.

Tip: You can double or triple your candidate flow by calling your candidates last place of employment and ask for them.

4. “Candidates submitted do not match the specs of requisitions and recruiters can’t answer questions about their candidates.”


Send a copy of your job order, contract or assignment to everyone involved in the interview process. Often the actual hiring authority has additional specs that were not included in your requisition.

Conduct a general interview asking candidates open ended questions. Use the statement on a scale of 1 to 10 to clarify interest levels and what is most important to each candidate. Also start every conversation with, “Has anything changed since the last time we talked?” You have people on both sides of the sale and things do change.

5. “We want improved communication; more honesty, less defensiveness.”


Provide written expectations to your clients, including:

  • What they can expect from you
  • What you need from them to identify top talent they will hire

When given feedback, avoid becoming defensive and use the information to fine tune your search efforts.

6. “Recruiters are commission, not relationship focused.”


When you are asking questions to uncover what is most important to your prospects or clients, stress:

  • Your intention to become their trusted advisor
  • That you will take direction from them
  • The results they can expect
  • That you will inform them of trends, challenges or issues in their industry

Don’t only talk to your clients when you are making money.

7. “You are diligent when you want our business, but there is little or no follow up after we hire a candidate. Recruiters all but disappear when problems occur.”


Create and implement a structured follow up process that will result in better retention and increased future business.

  • Track all follow up contacts with clients and candidates placed
  • Position yourself as a negotiator from your initial contact
  • Provide feedback and solutions to both parties

Review these complaints and determine the areas you need to address. This will improve the relationship you have with hiring authorities and talent acquisition professionals. Recruiting has been, is and always will be a relationship building business. 

*Image by rengawfalo

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