Add One Placement Per Month

Consider the possibilities if you could add one placement per month to your current production. That’s twelve placements over the next year multiplied by your average fee. According to anyone’s calculations, the results would be a substantial increase in personal income.

Now, consider the fact that you could realistically accomplish this without putting in any more time at the office than you are currently. Additionally, you would be working with the resources that are already available to you.

Does this sound too good to be true? Well it’s not! In fact, it is within the grasp of almost every practitioner in our industry whether they work on a non-exclusive, contingency basis or on exclusive, engagement fee or retainer arrangement.


Most practitioners do not suffer from an absence of resources. Rather, they suffer from an absence of focus for the resources they do have.

The primary resource required to make one additional placement per month is your candidate database, more specifically, the candidates within your database that should beified as Most Placeable. That’s right, the MPC.

If you have been in this business for more than six months, you should have MPCs available. However, it is critical to be able to recognize an MPC when you have one and then, very importantly, you need to know what to do with them once they are identified.

In order for a candidate to beified as a true Most Placeable Candidate (MPC), they must meet a minimum of five basic criteria.

1. They must possess marketable skills. Skills that are in demand. They may be skills that have evolved from work experience, educational background or a combination of both.

2. The candidate must be realistic about their job search criteria, including position, title, location, compensation and benefits.

3. The candidate must be available for interviews within a reasonable context and be willing to start a new position within two weeks of acceptance. The candidate is not a shopper, but rather is committed to making a job change now.

4. The candidate must provide viable work related references that can be checked prior to commencing activity on their behalf.

5. The candidate must willingly support your marketing efforts on their behalf.

As defined above, a true MPC is not your average candidate. They are in short supply and probably represent less than five percent of the typical recruiter’s database. However, they do exist and can be identified if you carefully measure them against these five criteria.

Most recruiters are familiar with the first four criteria for determining which candidates are MPC qualified. However, the fifth criteria may be the most important because it directly influences the manner in which you will market them to perspective employers.


The proper marketing of an MPC to an appropriately targeted group of prospective employers remains, on average, the fastest route to making a quality placement.

The operative words here are “proper” and “targeted” and this is where your MPC’s willing support is required. Two examples will underscore this point.

Example One

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A recruiter interviewed a candidate who was a sales representative for a manufacturer of disposable medical devices. After qualifying the candidate on the first four criteria, she explained the concept of marketing him as an MPC. He liked what he heard and agreed to cooperate with her in this effort. Following her direction, the candidate identified eleven companies in which he had an interest. He also explained in some detail, exactly what value he could bring to each of these organizations. Armed with the list and understanding clearly the value the MPC could bring to each company, the recruiter customized an MPC presentation for each organization. The results speak for themselves. The recruiter was successful in reaching the Senior Sales Manager (or equivalent) at ten out of eleven companies, of which seven expressed interest; four interviewed the MPC and two extended offers, one of which was accepted by her candidate. From start to finish, the process took 17 days and resulted in a $12,500 fee.

Example Two

A recruiter identified a Manufacturing Engineer as his MPC. In similar fashion to the example above, he worked closely with the candidate in identifying 23 appropriate companies, and customized a specific value-based presentation for each of them. The recruiter was successful in reaching the Manufacturing Manager (or equivalent) at 19 of the organizations, nine expressed interest, and five interviewed the MPC and two extended offers, one of which was accepted by his candidate. From start to finish, the process took 26 days and resulted in a $15,500 fee.

In both of these examples, once the recruiters identified their MPCs, they were successful in placing them by investing less than 20 hours of actual, direct work on their behalf. That translates into an average of approximately one hour per day of focused MPC related activity.

The key to success with an MPC is gaining their active participation in the process. Most importantly, having the MPC identify appropriate companies for a targeted marketing approach along with their involvement in developing a value-based presentation for each call.

This is just as important for recruiters who work within a highly defined specialty because it creates “participative buy in” on the part of the MPC.


Self promotion is ranked only behind death and public speaking as a primary fear for most people.

That’s precisely why most MPCs are more than willing to prepare you to conduct a successful marketing campaign on their behalf.

Unlike most recruiters who avoid marketing MPCs because their efforts produce marginal results (a litany of calls to employers they know nothing about with candidates they know little about), successful recruiters understand the benefits of having the MPC identify the “targeted” companies as well as providing the critical information necessary to create a value based marketing presentation (see TFL 02/99 “Why Are You Calling Their Company?”).

The active involvement of the MPC is the critical factor. Because they have identified the targeted companies, they are pre-sold on the prospect of interviewing with them. Additionally, they have provided the key elements for your customized, value-based MPC presentations. When these presentations are augmented with performance-based reference checks and professionally delivered to the appropriate employers, the results should mirror those from the above listed examples.

When you consider the potential benefits of making one additional placement per month, the focusing of an hour a day on the proper marketing of a qualified and cooperative MPC, can be more than justified. After all, much of the initial work should be completed by the MPC. This allows you to maximize the effectiveness of your time, effort and resources in the most productive manner. Actually, the entire process typically requires fewer resources than an average search. And, if you’re like most practitioners, you have at least one hour per day that could be invested in this type of MPC marketing. In fact, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by including this function in your daily activities.

Why not commit yourself to utilizing this approach for the next 90 days? The results will validate the fact that you are, indeed, on your way to adding one more placement per month to your production. Meanwhile, if you have questions or comments, just let me know. Your calls and e-mails are always welcome.

Recipient of the Harold B. Nelson Award, Terry Petra is one of our industry's leading trainers and consultants. He has successfully conducted in-house programs for hundreds of search, placement, temporary staffing firms and industry groups across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, England, and South Africa. To learn more about his training products and services, including PETRA ON CALL, and BUSINESS VALUATION, visit Terry can be reached at (651) 738-8561 or click to email him.


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