My job is sales. I put food on my table calling clients and convincing them that they should turn to me and my staff to find the employees and consultants they need. In that process, there are a lot of phone calls, meetings, and presentations consisting of introductions, negotiations and oftentimes just a simple gut check.
In an era of preferred vendors and Vendor Management Systems, hiring managers are often relieved of the burden of choosing which firm works with their company, but they are left to decide which firm can best fill their needs.
Here are some suggestions, from the Account Manager side, on how to weed out the incompetent from the inspired.
1) Be Proactive - Too often corporations succumb to the idea that they should be chased like the prettiest girl at the dance if you want their business. While satisfying to the ego, companies that fail to proactively manage their staffing lists and thus by definition of guilty of selection bias. If you only select vendors who chase you, you're selecting the best of who calls you, not the best of what's available. In terms of staffing, this translates to the candidates you are interviewing and the rates that you pay.