I get briefed almost daily on new roles by clients who are eager to find unique talent who can fit in at their agency from a skillset and cultural perspective. One would think that clients would put their most positive and enthusiastic faces forward when interviewing potential candidates for a role. Surprisingly, this is not always the case—I know—isn’t that hard to believe?!
Clients should not candy coat an agency to the point of lying. It is important to be transparent with candidates about agency challenges and cons so the candidate does not walk into a situation that was falsely represented on their first day of work. That being said, transparency is one thing but a full on warning and complete negativity is another. Clients need to be very careful to not let their bad days, awful client meetings, rejected creative ideas, or any other “bad” situation affect the way they represent the agency to a candidate during an interview. Clients should represent their agencies in the best light, balancing honesty with a really solid and positive pitch for the agency culture and role itself. Of course some clients have more passionate and creative personalities but they need to be sure to temper them when interviewing candidates.
It makes it very difficult as a recruiter to work on roles for clients who do not “drink the kool-aid” of their own agencies. It is also unfair to candidates as they walk away feeling dejected and doubtful when a client makes the interview more of a warning than an invite.