Clinical Staffing Reviews

A site which compares Clinical Recruitment Firms so you are able to select the best Recruiting Company to fit your staffing needs.

Why You Should Fire Your Recruiter

Here are the top 10 reasons you should fire your recruiter:

  1. Your recruiting company doesn’t offer you a single point of contact to work with.  You should have one person that you can work with for every job, every candidate, and every issue.
  2. Your recruiting company doesn’t have expertise in clinical research.  Having a clear understanding of this industry is critical; otherwise, how can you trust them to qualify others to work in this field?
  3. You don’t receive candidates who meet your qualifications every time.  Requirements are requirements – if I tell the recruiter I need candidates with a nursing background, give me candidates who have a blooming nursing background!
  4. Your recruiter ignores your budget.  I am not talking about the recruiter pushing the rate limit a little for stellar candidates.  I am talking about someone consistently ignoring your rate caps.  If I tell you I am looking for a rate of $90 dollars an hour, don’t submit average candidates with a bill rate of $120 per hour!
  5. Your recruiter argues with you.  I want my recruiter to advise, consult, make recommendations, and share her expertise.  After all, a quality clinical recruiter has expertise in areas where I will not.  But at the end of the day, if I reject a candidate for some reason, the candidate is rejected.
  6. Your recruiter doesn’t obtain the candidate’s permission to be submitted to your position.  You would be surprised at the number of submitted candidates who are not aware they were submitted! Make sure your agency receives a written confirmation from candidates before submitting them for your open positions.
  7. Your recruiter works for your competitors.  Be aware of conflicts of interest – especially when recruiters support multiple CROs.
  8. Your recruiter doesn’t understand the term “speed to market”.  I see recruiting companies advertising jobs that are 3-5 months old.  Be cautious!  A great recruiting agency will close jobs quickly because they have a network to go to.
  9. Your recruiter doesn’t address problems with current contractors.  There are going to be issues, so ensure you have a partner who will assist you in addressing those problems.
  10. Your recruiting agency doesn’t have a stellar track record of paying their consultants on time.  Do the research to ensure there is no history of consultants having to fight to be paid.  You can’t afford to lose a great consultant 3 months into a yearlong contract because the recruiting agency isn’t paying as it should.

What would be your number one reason for firing your recruiting agency?

Signing off,


fred_elmore[use AT symbol here]

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7 Responses to “Why You Should Fire Your Recruiter”

  1. Tom

    Fred, number 10 is spot on! I ended up leaving my last contract because they wouldn’t pay me; 4 months into my contract! That’s absolutely ridiculous. As contractors we have to upfront our costs and the recruiting agency I worked for left me high and dry. Needless to say when choosing a recruiting agency these days I always find out what their net pay is.

  2. CL

    Tom, I sympathize with your situation. You really see a difference in how permanents and contractors are treated. Permanents always get paid, no matter what. As contractors we really have to stay on top of our timesheets and keeping in constant contact with management to make sure we’re paid for every hour we work. I would say feeling disposable is one of the downsides to contracting

  3. Fred

    Tom and CL, thank you for sharing your war wounds. I have heard so many stories along this line.

    For those Hiring Managers reading this – I can not stress enough how important this point is. If your Clinical Recruiting Agency feels it is okay to not pay their consultants, then what else are they skimping on?

    And for the consultants reading this – you should ask for references! Ask the recruiting agency to speak to other consultants who have been working with them. Why not? A recruiting agency with nothing to hide will be happy to provide you with references.


  4. Sara

    Thanks for this, Fred. I especially like #5: Your recruiter argues with you.

    I often have a recruiter trying to convince me to take on a contract CRA that I just don’t think is qualified. If I miss something when interviewing the candidate, then as the candidate’s rep I would certainly expect the recruiter to bring that up.

    But trying to debate with me over my decision is just not cool. No means No.

    If the recruiter is doing his job properly, I would have multiple candidates to choose from. Then there wouldn’t be a desperate plee by the recruiter for me to take on an underqualified candidate.

  5. Fred

    Good point Sara. Quality recruiters will always give you multiple candidates for open reqs.

    But not too many. One recruiter I work with consistently gives me 3-4 fully qualified candidates for every position I open. I only have to pick one – it is awesome.

    There have even been times when I have her tell me which candidate she likes best. Having that much trust in a recruiter makes my life so much easier.


  6. Poona

    Fred, thank you for this – I hadn’t thought about the conflict of interest issue. Our largest recruiting agency recruits for us as well as at least three other CROs.

    Now I wonder if this has anything to do with how high our attrition rate is. Other agencies have lower attrition rates – do you think there may be a correlation?


  7. Fred

    Poona, what a great question…and a not so easy answer. When you are speaking attrition rates, are you talking contractors leaving before their project is over?

    If that is the case, the #1 reason I see consultants leave assignments early is because they were not told *UP FRONT* what to expect.

    Many recruiters will pad the ugly details of the position to hook the consultant and just win the placement. For example, your CRO may have a rescue project which will require a lot of dedication and focus requiring the Contract CRA to travel nationwide with an expected 3-4 overnights a week. A good recruiter will be upfront with the candidate about the pace and travel expectations and will only submit candidates to you who are up for the challenge. A bad recruiter will gloss over the details and may even describe the travel as regional or local.

    Yes, in polite terms, a lot of misrepresentation happens so the recruiters can make placements. Recruiters are compared to used car salesmen for a reason.

    Setting the position expectations to the candidate up front is the recruiter’s job. You should never receive a candidate submittal who isn’t aware of the pace of the project, the expected travel, the metrics they will be held accountable to, etc.

    Now – to clarify your statement regarding your recruiter working with three other CROs. The risk with this is you not getting the quality you deserve to begin with. I say more about that in my article on “Recruiting for Multiple CROs is Risky”. Take a look at the details there and if you have other questions – just shout!


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