QUESTION: When you get an exclusive with a client, do you send reports or updates on your progress? If so, how often and what do you send? – Marie, San Diego, CA

ANSWER: Great question. I did this with retained clients, retained meaning any kind of money up front. I think it is a great idea to do it with somebody you have an exclusive with, that might be your first exclusive or if you are really trying to develop a long-term relationship with the client.  

One of the things I learned early on in my business was clients love reporting. Recruiters hate to do reporting because recruiters tend to be distracted, myself included. But you can do some very simple reports. I used to do a very simple Excel spreadsheet and here are the elements of it:  

  1. Assignment date.  
  2. Title of opening.  
  3. Each week a progress report. For example, I would put if I sent them the resume. If it was retainer I could put their whole name, so I could put Jane Doe.  
  4. Status – resume pending. Then in the comments section, based on assessment Jane has excellent experience of XYZ. Should have resume by May 5.  

Then each week you update the report. You put first interview date, second interview date, third interview date. You can have a small comments section at the bottom where you talk about things like perception of the client in the marketplace, perception about working for the company. You can also do that in a summary report at the end of the search.

Do it every Friday afternoon on your way out or if you do this over the weekend, send it out on Monday morning like a status update.

“Over the past week 27 candidates were engaged in conversation regarding your opening, 13 were not qualified, 10 were not in a position to make a change because one of the following reasons – were making too much money or happy with their job, whatever, and these are the 4 that we are doing an assessment on,” and you can put those names down.

One page, 15 to 20 minutes, huge perceived value. 

What I would tell you right now is send a weekly update and at the end you can do a full search analysis, probably 1 page typed. Recap for the client, here is what the goal was, here is what the results were, here is what worked, here is what did not work, here are the areas for me to improve working with you and what I have learned as a recruiter, here are areas where you can improve as a client – you have to be very delicate here, maybe there were some unreturned phone calls, maybe you lost a candidate in process due to lack of communication, and then act like a consultant and talk about some ways to minimize that from occurring in the future. 

If you have 2 or 3 people on a hiring team or HR and a hiring manager, you can set up a joint call, even though you email that over, I would want to go over the call verbally because (1) you make sure it gets read, and (2) you get credit for the value you added.  

Fantastic question.  Thank you.