The game of agency recruiting is a tricky one. You want to make sure you have enough requirements on your desk to make good money. And finally getting that hiring manager to say yes and sign your agreement is rewarding. However that is not how you are compensated. If you want to make money you need to actually fill the requirement.


In order for you to find true success in recruiting those requirements must be fillable. And when it comes to getting requirements you need to be selective, and determine what makes a good req from a bad one.  First off getting a requirement takes time. Let me rephrase that, getting a good requirement takes time. You have to build a relationship with the prospective client, learn their business, pitch your services and then agree to terms. If a company is serious about doing business with you they will not be opposed to the process. They may at first, but sales is persistency. If you are calling up a hiring manager and they give you the requirement off of the first call, don’t celebrate too quickly, there are reasons this person is giving you their business without really knowing you. Here are some issues to be looking out for in these situations:

  1. Market Saturation

The same candidates you are now recruiting have already been contacted. Do you think your call to that hiring manager was somehow special? I hate to break it to you but it was not. The many other agencies you compete with in your market already have those requirements as well. And as much as the agency world prides itself on being “referral based”, let’s face facts, you’re mainly searching LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Dice, etc. Those people have already been called for the same position.

  1. Issues with the requirement

Recruiting isn’t that hard. You find people and place them in jobs. I am not saying that to demean the industry by any means, but ultimately it is the truth. The process of finding people is difficult, and it takes time, but once the candidate is identified it is all about managing the process so both parties are happy. However at the end of the day requirements shouldn’t be impossible to fill. If you are getting the requirement on the first call it is probably because the hiring manager has exhausted his resources. And unless that positions requires experience with technology that only 1% of the world possesses, there is an issue with it. The hiring manager is either too picky, the position is under market value or the company is not really as ready to hire someone as they thought they were. So even if you find the right person, chances are they won’t be going to work at that client.

  1. Lack of respect for what you do

If you are getting a requirement this quickly there is a chance the hiring manager won’t truly respect you. What I mean by that is when you are putting in the effort to get their business you are building a relationship along the way. It is human nature to not go back on your word with someone you know well. I said human nature, not the letter of the law; let’s face it people will still surprise you from time to time. None the less if you do not have a relationship built with this person it is a lot easier for them to come back at you and demand a lower fee once a candidate is identified or even worse take your candidate from you, because, as the old saying goes, they don’t know you from Adam.

Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten good requirements in a very fast manor. But it was because of some outside factors. Either a previous sales person from my company already had a relationship established or I had a very good rapport with the hiring manager right away so they trusted me quicker. If you are calling up a hiring manager without any real communication and they are giving you that requirement right away, you need to be doing your due diligence. You don’t have to throw it away immediately, but dig in and find out why it was so easy to get. Looking back on my career when I look at the best requirements I ever received, or clients I had it was because I had to put in hard work to get their business. It didn’t just happen overnight. Think twice when you are getting those requirements with little to no effort. While having a requirement on your desk is nice, it means nothing if you aren’t filling it.

Written by: Chadd Balbi.  Chadd is a featured writer who has been in both the staffing and corporate recruiting fields.  Follow him regularly @CFBRecruiter and connect with him on Linkedin.