As a trusted search partner we have a responsibility to tell a client if in fact they are asking for something that doesn’t exist PRIOR to taking on the search.
I just had a conversation with a new client who paid a full fee to a large firm and not only did it result in a “no hire”, but they didn’t credit him the dollars paid towards a future search.
After a lengthy conversation and assessment of what it is they need vs. what it is they are asking for I told him that he/they were looking for the proverbial unicorn. I explained the combination of the skills/experience and must have’s that are attainable…not to be confused with “easy to find”.
I told him that I’m not in the business of taking money to search for the unicorn and unless we can modify the profile then I respectfully decline to move forward. We are in agreement and are moving forward.