Conflict may seem inevitable if you use a third-party recruiter to find work. When disagreements arise you can walk away, acquiesce, or use these techniques to resolve your differences.
You’re less likely to hit an impasse if you discuss the rules of engagement before entering into a relationship with a recruiting firm. In assessing the fit, consider their selection process, reputation, employment agreements and how they match and submit candidates to job orders.
If you object to a policy or procedure, test the recruiter’s autonomy and flexibility by requesting an amendment or change. Since you only need one or two fruitful alliances to find full-time or contract work, cut your losses and move on if you don’t like the recruiter or the firm’s policies.
Explore the Issues
There could be a perfectly good reason why a recruiter needs to check your references before submitting your resume to an IT manager. But you won’t know whether it’s a legitimate request or a ploy to see your contacts unless you ask. In fact, conflict-resolution experts claim that understanding the reasons behind a disagreement is key to its resolution.
For example, ask why you need to commit to an hourly rate before you can meet with the IT manager. The recruiter may give you a pass if you explain that interviews provide an opportunity to “sharpen your pencil” by shedding light on the scope of work and expectations. Or, you may decline the opportunity if the recruiter is required to quote an hourly rate when submitting candidates to a particular client.
Propose Solutions and Compromise
Once both parties’ motives are clear, take the lead by proposing a compromise or other solution. The recruiter may be open to your suggestion as long as everyone benefits. He or she has the authority and motivation to approve the change, and you return the favor. Remember, recruiters generally look for professionals to fill open requisitions and ongoing needs for large clients, so they tend to be more flexible with those candidates.
For example, if the recruiter insists on meeting you in person, ask if you can use Skype or meet at a halfway point for coffee. Or, bend your rules by committing to an hourly rate before an interview just to see how it goes.
Finally, be realistic. If every recruiter in town balks at your requests, you need to reassess your priorities or find employment on your own.