HR consultancy is not something which you can compare with other businesses. Most of the HR consultants do not charge anything upfront and this has become a trend in the market.
I still remember the days when i just started the company and was looking for some clients. Searching for new clients is always the harder part and it has become more difficult because of the level of competition that is present in the market. Since i was all alone that time, I did a lot of research on how to get new clients for the company.
I tried all sort of things i.e. cold callings, references, email marketing, ppc advertising, seo, and other stuffs. Finally, i succeeded in getting my first client in the form of a trading company. Company was very small they required an account executive but it was my first requirement and i have read that no job is a small job. I was excited, i mailed the proposal and eagerly waited for their acceptance. They accepted it and they made a commitment they will pay the money after the opening is filled by us. I asked for signed copy of the contract and an approval mail from them.
Although they did not send us the signed copy of contract, but they assured me that they will definitely make the payment once the position is filled. Since my company was quite new that time, i did not stuck to the contract thing after all words have some value in business. I happily arranged the interview and lined up 11 candidates but only 4candidates appeared for the interview. On the clients request, i lined up 18 candidates for the next day. The client shorlisted 2 candidates and offered job to one of them.
That was my first closing and i was happy about that. But that was not all, next day a called a candidate and she said that she cannot join the organization as they are giving little hike and want her to work for a week before the job confirmation. It was really a tragic situation as trial hiring is really not acceptable to experienced candidates. I made a call to concerned person he said that he will not appoint anyone without observing, i suggested him that he want an experienced person in that case its difficult for any candidate to work on trial basis who is already working somewhere. but the client got firmed on that.
That was my first client and i had to close the position anyhow. I took it as a challenge and spoke to lot of candidates about the position and finally got few candidates. I gave a call to the client to make suitable arrangements for the interview and guess what… he said that that they have already hired a candidate from there reference.
My whole effort and hard work went in vain. But As a good service provider I asked him to contact me for any future requirement. After a week i received a email from that candidate and when i called the candidate i came to know that she had actually joined the trading company that also without without any trial. I instantly gave a call to the client but i was surprised at the fact the client denied that he hired any of our candidates. It was total lie but i could not do anything. I was still shocked how a owner of the company can speak such a plain lie. This incident really made me think is Honesty really the best policy these days.
what I learnt from my first experience is:-
- Ask the client for sign contract, or acceptance mail of agreement,
- If the client is new, you can always ask for small upfront payment and observe his reaction.
- Do regular followup from the Candidates,
- Be professional, never go on words or promises as they are mostly for negotiation.
- Always ask client to sign the copy of contract on his/her company letterhead
Hope you will be able to learn something from my mistakes.