Don’t Play The Game Where Everyone Loses

You need to have open and honest communication with your public finance and bond counsel recruiting representatives.

Five years ago I wrote a piece on the lack of communication between two important parties. Truthfully, I was bothered by the content. Today I choose to revisit it with five more years of public finance and bond counsel recruiting experience under my belt.  Hopefully I am wiser and can share new insight into the lack of communication that I see, and the unnecessary games being played. The “game” is the lack of communication by candidate to recruiter; and thus, the recruiter’s response to the company.  

An Example: Lack of Communication Effects Public Finance & Bond Counsel Recruiting

We were recently working with a candidate that refused to share their “true” thoughts with us and the company until the process was concluded.  No matter what I did or could do as bond counsel recruiting, I was unable to correctly manage the process due to lack of communication. In this situation, the result benefitted no one.  The company went out of their way to accommodate the candidate’s perceived needs; whereas the candidate, in actuality, should have never gone on a second interview (unless they were simply fishing for an offer). 

The good news is that I let the company know that I had no feel for which way this was going to be resolved.  However, as a trusted advisor in bond counsel recruiting, I should’ve had that feeling regarding my candidate.  If not, I should have withdrawn the candidate’s application, which I consistently do now years later.  The traditional excitement and buying signs were not there.  In fact, I knew and conveyed that this particular candidate had turned down opportunities for various reasons in the past. Against my better judgment, I continued to work the deal looking for the slight hint of enthusiasm. But it was never to be found. The end result: an offer was presented, the candidate asked to think about it, and turned it down 48 hours later. 

The Lesson For The Candidate From Bond Counsel Recruiting Experience

As this blog is all about sharing ideas, what lessons can we learn from this experience?

What I perceived as a game being played, was nothing more than a candidate not seeing the true benefit of the opportunity I was presenting.  For that I was at fault.  The candidate was only doing what they do when they do not have all the facts. They were reluctant to share their true feelings.  I had in essence let them down as a trusted advisor in public finance and bond counsel recruiting.  An effective recruiter must become that trusted advisor, not a transactional based individual.  If the recruiter can win your trust, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished over the life of that relationship.  Many of the candidates that I am fortunate enough to represent have been building that relationship with me for years. Until they state that they are ready.  When that call comes in, I know they are indeed going to be receptive and forthright with me.

When To Walk Away: Advice From Public Finance and Bond Counsel Recruiting

If you are a company trying to hire an individual where the candidates’ demands are getting exceedingly higher in each conversation, it may be time to walk away.  Also, if you are a hiring manager receiving feedback that the candidate is not overly enthusiastic during the interview process, it’s time to walk away.  If you are getting vibes that a candidate may not be forthcoming with requisite information, it may be time to walk away. These are the best times to walk away for both parties in my experience in public finance and bond counsel recruiting.

A Candidate’s Time To Walk

On the other hand, if you are a candidate feeling any of the above, it may be time for you to communicate those thoughts with either the recruiter you’re working with or directly to the company.  In our cottage industry of Public Finance and Bond Counsel you do not want to burn any bridges.  In today’s merger frenzied world, one day you may be working for a company that you have previously interviewed with. You do not want the new manager to have a bad impression of you from any circumstance (i.e. when you were in the interview process and now you work for them).  This is never a good way to start a business relationship.  The key to the public finance and bond counsel recruiting process is complete and early communication to all interested parties.  Remember: as I have shared in the past, when someone tells you they love you, you do not want to be kept waiting at the altar.   


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out to me for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email me at [email protected].

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels. He can be reached on LinkedIn, at [email protected] or 760-477-1284.