Why Contingency Recruiters’ Candidates are So “Stinking Good!”


We can all agree that the best interviewer isn’t necessarily the best candidate for any given position. So the real question is, what makes a candidate a good interviewer?  There are two things that make someone interview well: Preparation and Motivation. If you hired a recruiter on contingency, chances are that the candidates they send you will all have an incredibly focused and purposeful interview. I’m also willing to bet you that they’ll throw in some of your own “buzz words.” Did you ever wonder how that contingency recruiter found such “perfect” candidates for your job search so dang quickly? Did you ever wonder after hiring one of these candidates, “who is this person?” They often turn out to be very different people than who interviewed. Why is that? Was it the full moon? Something I ate?

Here is the little secret: The recruiter “prepped” his candidates by telling them how to sell themselves to YOU! Every detail of the profile that you shared with them, including the part you asked them not to share with the candidates. All of it was told to each candidate in hopes that they could land the job. And if you were in their shoes, you’d do the same thing. Because, these recruiters won’t get a paycheck next month if you don’t hire one of their candidates. Can you blame them?

As for motivation, every single one of their candidates is highly motivated to get A new job which makes them a “flight risk” if you hire them. I hate to be the one to break it to you…

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5 thoughts on “Why Contingency Recruiters’ Candidates are So “Stinking Good!”

  1. Agree some contingency recruiters are as you say. Others have character.
    When you say all never or forever you are generally wrong.

    • Of course you’re right, which is why I avoided both of those words. But still a fundamental conflict of interests exists which gives Contingency Recruiters a strong incentive to behave like this. thanks for your comment.

      • There is no doubt that a retained person who is being paid for his time rather than a person who just hopes to get paid will respond with more conviction.

  2. As you mentioned in a previous post, it is a recruiter’s responsibility to reveal a candidate’s blemishes to the client. Just curious, how do you feel about “prepping the client” for interviewing the candidate and revealing their blemishes to the candidate? If your client has retained you and you are vetting and presenting them the “best talent” for their position, should you help them “land” that perfect talent? First impressions are everything…

    • Thanks for the excellent question. The key is to make sure that you have taken the time to fully understand the client company’s opportunity and culture so that when you speak to the best people, you are using your insights to discern who would thrive within the new environment. If you know enough about the new company, you can and should shoot straight with the prospective candidates. I never want to withhold anything in the process that may end up having the person who I place later regretting their decision. We can’t fully know everything there is to know, however it is our obligation to disclose anything that may affect their ability to make the best decision. This is key to ensuring that you have placed someone who has the greatest probability of long-term success. If we are concealing essential flaws in a company or the person our new recruit will report to, we are acting in our interests alone.

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