EDITORâ€™S NOTE: Amidst making over a dozen placements a month, writing books, motivating employees and running a multi-office business, itâ€™s hard to imagine how one person can continue his extraordinary accomplishments year after year. Tonyâ€™s success and how he does what he does is one of the most asked questions from readers so we asked him to describe a typical day for us. We appreciate the time he devoted in an otherwise busy schedule.
â€œLet me first begin by saying that I certainly don’t mind sharing with your readers how my day goes. I do want to emphasize that my system is certainly not “the” way… it is a way. If this explanation helps others learn to, it is a good thing.
My system is available to individuals who might like to start an organization. We have developed a partnership program with 80% ownership to the managing partner and 20% ownership to my organization. It is not a franchise. It is a partnership. I take on the responsibility of all of the training, accounting and mentoring anyone would need. The only thing I don’t do is dial the phone for them.â€
5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Wake up and over a very quiet cup of coffee offer gratitude for the day, pray, read some kind of spiritual material (i.e., the Bible, lives of the Saints books about religious topics) … somewhere in here I am joined by my wife and we both pray and contemplate the day. I spend 20 minutes in formal meditation (I learned Transcendental Meditation 35 years ago and still practice it.)
6:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Recite my yearly goals as affirmations at least three times. Shower and dress for the day.
6:30 a.m. Light breakfast â€¦ low carb type, Starbucks and go to the office. I’m constantly listening to motivational stuff (i.e., Norman Vincent Peale, Jim Rhone, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Ed Foreman, Zig Ziglar etc.) I stay away from the radio and the news ’cause it usually bad.
6:45 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Review my plan for the day. Review everyone in the organization’s â€˜numbersâ€™ from the previous day (i.e., number of phone calls, hours on the phone, send outs, placements, etc.)
7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Do any follow-up phone calls from yesterday’s activity that I can with candidates. I may prepare candidates for the interviews that they have, either for today or tomorrow …. each one of these takes 10 to 20 minutes – sometimes longer. I will meet with any of our placement managers or rookies who might need help. These are short and very to the point meetings because they know that I need to be on the phone.
8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we have a training meeting with all of the placement managers. We videoconference the meeting to our office in Fort Worth. We currently have 20 recruiters. The topics of discussion are current and, often times, precipitated by an article from The Fordyce Letter. Our meetings get pretty intense because I’m gently but firmly pushing people to do better all the time. I expect everyone to be on the phone for at least three to four hours a day and logging a minimum of a hundred calls. They don’t always do that, but we talk about all of the issues that go into the placement process. They know that is what is expected.
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. I pound the phone. My goal for the day is to get one job order and nine send outs (i.e., we define a send out as an original appointment for a candidate with an original employer). [This is a goal. I donâ€™t always reach it.] In the morning, I spend most of my time cold calling organizations from whom I do not currently have job orders. I work high-tech sales people 95% in Dallas, 5% in Austin and Houston. I have lists of all of the software, hardware, IT Services (who have offices in Dallas/Ft.Worth), and vendors throughout the United States. I cold call and ask for the vice president of sales. I present candidates with backgrounds they would be interested in. If I don’t speak to them directly, I leave a voicemail explaining what kind of candidate I might have. If I don’t get a response I may call four or five times over the course of two or three weeks and, if I get no callback, I just assume they have no â€˜painâ€™ in Dallas.
I also spend an hour or so of this time recruiting … kind of! I have 3,943 software sales people in a database that I have personally interviewed, face to face, over the past 15 years. (This does not include IT services sales people, hardware sales people and other various and sundry high-tech sales people.) I say I recruit “kind ofâ€ because I’ve met so many people that it is a matter of finding where they are presently working and what they’re doing and then finding out if they might be interested in an opportunity. There are still a great number of high-tech sales people out there that I have not met, which makes it interesting and fun. 75% of the candidates I am presently working with, I have worked with before. 25% are new to me. Some of my candidates are more â€œactiveâ€ than others; i.e., the happier they are with what they have when I call them, the less likely they are to want to interview with new opportunities that I may find. I probably â€˜jugglâ€™â€ 200 or so candidates at a time and try to have actively â€˜pendingâ€™ 75 or 80 at one time (i.e., actively interviewing with one or more opportunities).
Although I shoot for getting one job order a day, my average is usually 0.5. If I get a job order I try to get the employer to pin down a time when he or she can interview people and then try to line up as many interviews as I possibly can. 60 percent of the time I have to go through the â€˜resume routineâ€™ of emailing resumes, then following up and convincing the hiring authority to see my candidates …. as many as I can sell. Since I’ve met almost every candidate that I represent, I am pretty forceful about pushing the hiring authority to interview based on my knowledge of them regardless of what the resume says. I probably email 30 to 40 resumes a day (one of our admins actually physically emails them to the hiring authority in the ACT database. I donâ€™t do it myself â€¦takes too much time). 30% of the time I make the candidate rewrite the resume to fit the job order to which I am referring them. I don’t call candidates before I send their resume … I don’t have that kind of time. I tell my candidates that if I get them an interview and they don’t want to go, they don’t have to. It doesn’t happen but maybe 5% of the time I can’t get a candidate to at least go on an interview. If it happens more than twice, I will assume that the candidate doesn’t have enough â€˜painâ€™ and he’s not serious about changing jobs. By the way, 85% of my candidates are presently employed but looking for a new job for one reason or another and 15% are out of work.
My calls are intense and to the point. 35% to 40% of the people that I cold call, I’ve either talked to or tried to cold call before. I focus on people who have given me a job order recently, that is the last six or seven months, in the afternoon. The morning is devoted to finding really â€˜newâ€™ opportunities.
I don’t mind if candidates call to check with me after an interview and I will do some follow-up calls with employers during this time. But most of the time is spent generating new opportunities. If I â€˜follow upâ€™ too much, I get out of â€˜flow.â€™
Mantra: If it isn’t getting me a sendout. or a placement â€¦.. why am I making the call?
The most important thing that I can do during the day is to make as many sendouts as possible. By focusing on the process, the result takes care of itself. I can’t control placements as much as I can control sendouts. If I get enough sendouts, I’m going to make a certain number of placements. It took me 9.16 sendouts for every placement last year. It was 12 the year before that and 16 the year before that. I make the maximum number of sendouts and then push them through.
11:30 Interview a candidate
12:00 Interview a candidate
12:30 Interview a candidate
2 out of 3 interviews are face-to-face. One will be a phone interview with an out of town (Austin or Houston) candidate or a local person with whom I might have interviewed face-to-face in the past but now need to update their information. This would include folks I have â€˜recruitedâ€™ when they werenâ€™t looking but are now interested in what I have called about.
1:15 to 2pm I meditate again for 20 min. and then eat a light lunch (no carbs) for 20 min.
2pmâ€¦Back on the phone. I do exactly the same thing that I did in the morning, except my calls for â€˜newâ€™ opportunities are to people who have given me an opportunity before. Many of them are always willing to talk to a real solid candidate when I have one. Some of the firms I work with only have one person in DFW. Some have as many as 40 or 50. The idea is to keep in touch with them to see when and if they need someone. I also ask for lots of referrals of candidates. My calls to these people are to both â€˜recruitâ€™ for referrals and to get any openings they may have. My relationship with these people is longer than it is with their firms. Today they need me to find them candidates; tomorrow they are the candidate, or they can refer someone to me. It is all the same. So, my â€˜marketingâ€™ calls to my employers also become recruiting calls. Since our business is almost all local, 75% of the people in high-tech sales know me and I know them. There are some I have to â€œrecruitâ€ cold, but I usually have some referral name. My calls are about 70% to people that I have at least talked to before and about 30% to those I havenâ€™t.
4:45 Meet with our Controller â€¦go over the â€œfinancialsâ€ of the day â€¦collections, problems, etc.
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5pm. to 6 pm Meet with rookies to cover their day and ask them what they learned. (30 minutes) then follow up with candidates and employers or prep candidates for interviews.
6pm to 6:15pm Pack up â€¦go home
6:30 to 8pm Dinner with my lovely bride of 37 years (best part of the day) … she is the wind beneath my wings â€¦ kids are all grown and out of the house.
8:15 to 9 Ride the stationary bike while watching basketball or reading a book.
9pm to 10pm (Monday thru Thursday) Go to desk at home â€¦ follow up with candidates and employers â€¦ prep candidates â€¦ plan tomorrow. We have a very elaborate planning system. It is both automated and manual. It takes at least 30 minutes.
10pm Mental reflections of the day â€¦gratitude and thanks given to God for everything â€¦ prayer â€¦ sleep
Notes: This is a system of making placements. I work a system and the system works for me and my employers. Most people in this profession focus too much on â€˜making a placementâ€™ instead of working a system. A person can â€˜runâ€™ this system very, very fast and efficiently â€¦ if they want to. [With me out of the equation, our experienced folks (those beyond one year of experience) averaged 4.5 placements a month last year. The economy is back! This year has started off with a BIG bang â€¦one of the guys that has only been here 13 months billed just under $300,000 in his first 12 months and had already billed $96,000 by the 18th of February.. This system will work for others too!] As long as the economy holds, we will make up for the last three or four very difficult years.
I am constantly refining the training system since we bought Babich and Associates in 1989. It is an elaborate one â€¦all on video, with five manuals â€¦ it is very complete. I donâ€™t spend much time with â€˜rookiesâ€™ until they have been here 90 days or more. That way I donâ€™t have to invest in folks who arenâ€™t going to make it. We have a very elaborate system of detecting/discovering good recruiters, so we donâ€™t make many mistakes in hiring. But, even though I can measure a personâ€™s ability, I canâ€™t measure their work ethic, integrity and character. When they do exactly what they are supposed to do for 90 days with the training program and minimal mentoring on my part, I will then invest more effort if they prove themselves. (Our average recruiter has been here 7 years) The most important aspect of this is that I set the pace. I donâ€™t expect everyone to do what I do, but they can follow me and be successful. The â€˜tailâ€™ never wags the dog! I am a mentor more than I am a boss. In fact, I wouldnâ€™t do as well as I do if I wasnâ€™t â€˜teachingâ€™ the system. (The teacher always learns more than the student.)
Even though I am the top producer, I only billed 20% of the revenues of the company last year. I have a moral obligation to help my associates as much as possible, but they have to do the dialing and make the send outs.
I donâ€™t â€˜press the fleshâ€™ with candidates or hiring authorities. I do meet my candidates at least once 90% of the time, to be interviewed only, but I never socialize with anyone. I love people but I donâ€™t always like them. In reality all these folks care about is getting good service from me. If I find them a great candidate or a great job, Iâ€™m a hero. If I donâ€™t, Iâ€™m not. What they think of me is as good as the last good candidate they hired or the last good job I got them. Their loyalty is as long as their nose. I donâ€™t expect anything from them other than a â€˜shot at the plate.â€™ If I donâ€™t hit the ball, itâ€™s nobodyâ€™s fault but mine.
Iâ€™m nice to everyone but I will make it clear to my associates not to waste my time. If they need me to help them strategize, Iâ€™m available. We do not have doors on our offices, but we do have private officesâ€¦ (I built the building). Anyone can come into my office at any time. If Iâ€™m on the phone and canâ€™t talk to them, they either have to wait or come back.
We have had few collection problems â€¦thank God. I had to sue 10 companies last year. Got paid on all of them, but not the whole fee. Our attorney has been working for us for 25 years. He knows just how to do it. I donâ€™t want to go to court â€¦ waste of time â€¦ so we usually settle before we get that far. I donâ€™t fret over them much. Our assistant controller is tough as nails. When she canâ€™t get it, I turn it over to our attorney. We lost about 1% of the revenues.
My relaxation and recreation is to simply be with my lovely wife. We love any family oriented activity with our four wonderful sons. I do like to write. Thank God she is willing to edit! Iâ€™m the luckiest guy in the world. I have a wonderful wife and family. God has given me gifts that I get to use every day.
2001 to 2004 were very rough years. It was for everyone in this profession. We are extremely thankful that times are better now. There are still lessons to be learned. Some days I think I have no idea what Iâ€™m doing, other days I canâ€™t believe that what I said or did worked so well. There is still a tremendous mystery to this profession. Iâ€™m not sure I will ever really master it.