Whatâ€™s the secret to success in our business? How come some people make money every month consistently, no matter what is going on in the world, while others are constantly on a rollercoaster?
Unless you are in the retained search business where you can get paid something even if you produce zero candidates for a client, making money in this business all boils down to putting human beings who are either looking for or are open to new employment in front of other human beings who have the power to hire them. Sendouts.
If you cannot generate sendouts, you cannot succeed in our business. Itâ€™s as simple as that. In fact, that applies also to the retained search people because (sensible) clients may pay a non-productive retained recruiter one time, but they will never pay him twice.
Adding It Up
We all know how â€œthe numbersâ€ can help us see how we are doing, and can predict with fair accuracy how our income is going to be in the near future. There are many ratios and â€œmetricsâ€ (I hate that term) for monitoring desk level activity, but I really only pay attention to two numbers: the number of presentations to a hiring authority a recruiter makes, and the number of first time sendouts which resulted.
Everything you need to know can be derived from those two numbers. I have managed offices of up to 12 (very) productive desks, and I train offices today which are very successful, but I have never really paid much attention to all that mathematical mumbo-jumbo that the industry â€œexpertsâ€ say I need to carefully pay attention to as a manager. (One of the reasons I remain in this business is I am lousy in math.)
I simply know that if enough sendouts are arranged, hires result (even with incompetent recruiters). The surest way to predict a slump is seeing a drop in the number of first-time sendouts a recruiter produces.
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Many recruiters would be very happy to make two placements per month. Even with small fees of 12K-20K, most people can live fairly well on that kind of production. If you are even marginally skilled and desire two placements per monthâ€¦guaranteedâ€¦generate just one first-time sendout per day. Thatâ€™s rightâ€¦just oneâ€¦five per weekâ€¦20 per monthâ€¦and that applies no matter what the economy is doing.
How do I know that with such certainty? Because I have been doing this business for 25 years and have trained hundreds of recruiters to live by that â€œmetricâ€ (that word again), and all who generate one first-time sendout per day make two placements per month, and that applies also to todayâ€™s economy.
Getting On the Phone
How do you produce one sendout per day? Simple: get on the phone and make presentation calls. Plan for making 100 presentation calls per day and somewhere in those calls will be that one sendout, maybe two. (Who knows, if you are lucky, you may get that daily sendout before noon and then you can goof off the remainder of the day).
Unfortunately, presentation calls are the hard part that unsuccessful people wonâ€™t do, always looking for the sendouts, but without the cold calls. In my book, thereâ€™s nothing that will get those folks productive.