My Answer would be the Indian Context...
By external Recruiters, I would presume that to be Recruiters in a Search Firm / Agency.
The following would be the main pain areas
1. Foreclosure of a position - wherein the position flagged off to the external recruiter has been filled through another source viz. job boards, Employee Referrals, Direct Applicants and such closures are not intimated by the Client on a timely basis – Lack of feedback from the Client
2. Similarly…absence of feedback on the resumes submitted against an open position, on a timely basis. Effort put in sourcing the candidate could go waste as delayed / absence of feedback could result in lack of candidate interest and affect recruiter motivation
3. The candidate referred by the Recruiter for an open Client opportunity, is no longer available, as he/she might have got another job offer..thus resulting in a wasted effort from the Recruiter.
4. Replacement Clause..the candidate successfully placed for an open opportunity, leaves within the time-period of free-replacement (normally a replacement guarantee of 3 to 6 months is offered by the Recruiting Agency for all candidates placed by them), thus resulting in refunding the placement fee collected or adjusting it against future receipts.
5. Non-receipt / delay in receipt of Professional Fees for the services rendered..delaying recruiter incentive and affecting Recruiter motivation.
The above constitutes only an illustrative list and is not exhaustive.
I am open for a call to discuss this further.
As an executive search consultant for over two decades, we have been helping our clients with hiring solutions to help grow their business.
While we have had our share of contingent search assignments- ( where one gets paid only for success), we have often found that most companies look at couple of metrics (as they are perhaps easiest to measure!)
i) Time to fill.
ii) Cost of hire.
And these are rather painful especially since
a) Often we compete with the internal recruiters-with a handicap. They have already done their bit, 'sprayed & prayed ', checked out the most obvious (a la low lying fruit) candidates from the competition & region, and well past an internal deadline.
b) Companies also share the same mandate with multiple external recruiters hoping to get a better spread, and forcing an extra pressure to try harder...and find a candidate who is willing to join 'as of yesterday'!
Ironically not necessarily the best of tactics..as it now becomes instead a 'game of speed from among those immediately available'-who pressed the buzzer first..rather than actually investing in the research and the best practices to identify and attract the best person for the specific role.
My approach has been to educate our valued clients to be sensitive to
1.the 'quality of hire' and
2. the "ROI" of the right hire.
And given a chance to partner them -rather than play a role as a vendor- we have been able to provide an extra edge by giving them
3. Culture fit
4. Great candidate experience -and ensuring
5. Better employer brand equity
And hope to drive home the essence of what Jim Collins said in his book, Good to Great, "People are not your most important asset. The right people are!.
I shall be glad to elaborate. Am just a call away :)!