Ask Barb

Q. I’ve heard you say on several occasions NOT to quote the salary range to candidates.  It is getting more difficult than ever to recruit candidates and I’m finding it IS the salary range that often convinces them to send me their resume.  Please explain your reasoning for not quoting salary. Tim M.  San Antonio, TX

A. There are several reasons not to quote the salary range.

1.    When you quote a salary range your candidate only hears the TOP of the range.  For example:  Your opportunity might be paying between $80-90,000.  Even if your candidate is only currently earning $70,000 – they just heard this job will pay up to $90,000!

2.    If MONEY is the main motivator for your candidate to consider a job change, there is a strong probability they will accept a counter-offer from their current employer.

3.    Offers are comprised of so much more than salary.  Other considerations are benefits, signing bonuses, incentives, bonuses, relocation packages, retirement packages and other perks your clients offer.  You don’t want the main focus to be only money.

This is what I suggest you do during your recruiting presentations.  Ask your candidate what “Salary Range” they want.  Explain that your opportunity does pay within that range (if this is true!).

Then explain to your candidate that you never know what a job will pay – “It depends on how well you interview.  If you ace the interview money goes up, if they feel they need to train you in some areas, the money can come down.”  If your candidate ends up getting a low ball offer, they don’t come back at you. They feel they didn’t interview well.

Also teach your candidates to list their current salary (when asked on an application form) and always add a couple plus signs (+).  If they are asked about the plus signs, they explain they have benefits, bonuses and other perks that make up their compensation “package!”  This can assist you greatly when you are negotiating offers with your clients in order to obtain a top dollar offer for your candidates.

I hope this clarifies the salary discussion!

Q. I have been the top producer for my firm for over ten years.  Our company is growing and I’ve been promoted into management.  Quite frankly, it’s costing me and our company money.   I originally saw this as a growth opportunity for myself and was campaigning to get this management role.  I feel like a babysitter and my job satisfaction has really decreased.  It’s to the point I hate coming into the office to more stupid questions.  How can I manage more effectively without having it affect my personal production? Judy F. – Akron, OH

A. You have two choices:

•    Go back to your original role of top producer
•    If you remain a manager – close your “open door policy” during Prime Time  (9-11:30 AM, 1:30 – 4:00 PM)

Promoting our Top Producers to Management is a mistake owners in our Profession have made for years.  We just assume since you have been able to attain enviable levels of success, you can teach others.  Even dumber, we assume you’ll enjoy the management role.

Often Top Producers are too focused and “selfish” to, as you put it, “baby sit” other recruiters.  You need to ask yourself if you ENJOY managing.  If you do, put systems and structure in place to allow yourself to do what you have to do to maintain your personal production.

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At this point of your career, you can make fewer calls with greater results because you know “who to call” and “what to say.”  If you structure your day and make it clear that during Prime Time they need to stay on the phones, you will be a more efficient manager.

On the other hand, if you are 100% money motivated, not real patient and don’t enjoy teaching others what you know, you need to be honest with your owner.  Most owners promote Top Producers in order to “retain them.”  Often these types of promotions have had the reverse affect.  Your owner is in business to “make a profit.”  If your new role of Manager is negatively impacting the bottom line, your owner will be glad to hear any and all of your suggestions and would have no problem if you went back to your role as Top Producer. Here’s to a record last quarter in 2006!

Q. You have stated that, if as owners, we don’t have a precise “exit plan” we could be currently making major mistakes.  I don’t have an exit plan, haven’t even thought of one, but feel I make great decisions for my company.  When I’m in my sixties, I’ll think about exit plans and don’t see why it is important now. TK -  Houston,

A. Eighteen months ago I began on a new personal journey to study wealth building.  My decision to do this was based on the unpleasant experience of watching many of my friends in the “staffing profession” lose their businesses between 2001 and 2005.  I wanted to understand why after many successful years in business, our profession was so volatile.  After months of coaching, I found my answer … most owners only have only one or two sources of REVENUE and a massive list of EXPENSES.  The revenues normally were the result of Direct and/or Temp and Contract Placements.  They could dramatically increase their sources of revenue just by “unbundling” the services we offer!

I then realized the importance of having a specific “Financial Freedom Day” plan.  You don’t have to be 65 before you are financially free, you can be 35 or younger.  What is the exact net worth you need by what date to attain financial freedom? As a result of my coaching, I fired my attorney, accountant, banker and financial planner realizing they were not “really” on my wealth team.

You need attorneys who “protect your entities” and coach you on the proper entity structuring for your company.  You need different types of entities and above all everyone needs a “trust” so you take care of those you love.  If your name is on your business, your home, your car and other personal possessions you are leaving yourself unprotected.  If you are not keeping detailed specific minutes, an attorney could pierce the corporate protection you think you have. If you are paying personal bills out of your company checking accounts you are also leaving yourself wide open!

Too many individuals in our profession exchange what they do for what they earn.   We all think we are infallible and will be making placements at 80 years of age.    You must create numerous sources of passive income to complement the revenues of your firm.  One of the best moves you could make today would be to set up a “reserve account” for every checking account you have (both personal and business).  Put 10% of all deposits you make in this reserve account whose sole purpose is to purchase sources of “passive income.”

Whether you intend to sell your company to the highest bidder, sell to someone who works for you or close your doors, your accounting, your entities, they way you handle money will be very different depending on your end goal.  If I asked you today for your “net worth” within a few hundred of dollars – could you answer me?  If not, you need to get your records in order, open reserve accounts, invest in passive sources of income and set  your specific “Financial Freedom Day!”  If you want more information on Wealth Building go to

Barbara Bruno, CPC is one of the leading Recruiting/HR Training Professionals today with thirty years of experience in the “trenches.” If you want to receive a FREE training article from Barb each week and Emails announcing her two FREE monthly teleconferences, sign up for her popular NO BS Newsletter at Barb is also the author of the Top Producer Tutor, the first step-by-step 80-day online training program that would take training OFF YOUR DESK forever.  Visit You can still purchase an UNLIMITED LICENSE for the life of your company.  VERSION 2.0 IS NOW RELEASED.  The UNLIMITED LICENSES will soon be GONE! If you wish to personally correspond with Barb, please Email her at

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS, is one of the most trusted experts, speakers, and trainers in the Staffing and Recruiting Professions. If you want to receive FREE training articles from Barb, sign up for her NO BS Newsletter! Barb has spent the last twenty years focused on helping Owners, Managers, and Recruiters increase their sales, profits, and income.

Her Top Producer Tutor web-based training program jumps-starts new hires and takes experienced recruiters to their next level of production. Barb's cutting-edge program, Happy Candidates, provides you with a Customized Career Portal in less than 10 minutes. Happy Candidates allows you to help the 95% of candidates you don?t place and eliminates the greatest time waster in your business.

If you'd like to contact Barb, call (219) 663-9609 or email


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