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Why is a Recruitment Agency Acting Like a Direct Sales Company?
We recently asked our local recruitment company to find us a Digital Marketing Assistant. We have worked with this company for years and they quickly found someone that we believed had a lot of potential – far from the experience we were targeting – but a good person nonetheless.
But, despite our many years of working together and knowing full-well how we work, for some reason they proposed a highly inflated set of fees (perhaps 30% higher than before) expecting us to “negotiate” and even inviting us to come back to them with a counter-offer.
We expect this kind of direct-sales approach with the large home improvement companies (and there are 3 blind companies that still adopt this antiquated style of selling) but it is obviously unpopular with customers as it is an insult to their intelligence and makes the company appear completely untrustworthy.
Perhaps this still works where you don’t have a repeat customer, the customer doesn’t know the true value of what is being quoted for, or where you have a significantly unique product/service. But none of these things apply with the recruitment company and, as it happens, none of these things apply with the blind companies either.
A quick check of the accounts for any direct-sales companies will show you that they have suffered severely reduced sales and profits over recent years precisely because this style of selling rarely achieves a much higher price and often results in a dissatisfied customer.
Anyone who has ever had a quotation for double-glazing from the best-known companies will find that the quality of salesmen is very poor indeed. That is because direct-sales companies can recruit anyone for the job, provide a few days training in how to sell, present them with false dogma about their product and competitors, and then only pay them a commission when they sell. It is a very cheap way to have lots of salespeople, knowing full-well that it is easy to recruit more.
Back to our recruitment company: we had a candidate that we liked and who liked us, so why would they lose an easy fee and destroy a long relationship with a loyal customer by adopting such a plainly ridiculous and outmoded style of selling? That is the unanswered question. Desperation? A change in policy by someone at the top who has no idea what they are doing?
It is a shame because we can now no longer deal with the agency, as they clearly cannot be trusted, and we are unable to recruit the person that they found for us.
Maybe they don’t care. Maybe, like the direct sales companies, they believe that they will always have more clients and so adopt a wasteful approach to their potential customers, not caring whether they upset anyone.
It’s hard to believe that we are talking about 2011...
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