Ask Barb

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Q. My clients don’t seem to realize how hard it is to surface qualified
candidates. I work on a search, surface candidates and often my clients don’t even get back to me with feedback. I don’t know how to turn this around. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Rhonda S. Tampa, FL

A. The main focus of any top producer is to book send outs. Our job
is to get our candidates in front of our clients – which is my definition of a send out. The best way to increase send outs is to request interviewing times when you accept the search. You also want to request the target DATE to fill the opening vs. immediately, ASAP or yesterday.

This accomplishes the following:
1. Your client has made a commitment to interview
2. You have tested the sense of urgency
3. You have made a commitment to surface talent
4. You are guaranteed send outs

No matter what your area of specialization, you know how long it takes you to surface talent. If you have not surfaced three candidates, you schedule two and tell your employer these two are head and shoulders above the person in third place, so you’re cancelling the third interviewing time. Your client will be impressed that you are not wasting his/her time.

Another possibility why your client is not getting back to you…you may not be sending the quality of candidate your client wants to hire. It’s interesting how hiring processes are shortened when the right person is interviewed. If at all possible refine your search and send in higher quality candidates. Also explain how feedback from your client helps you to refine your search. If your client realizes how their feedback benefits THEM, you will get feedback.

Q. How do you prevent hiring authorities from saying things during
their interview that “turn off” candidates? Clients just don’t realize how hard it is to find top talent.
Frank T. San Diego, CA

A. If your clients don’t realize the incredible competition for top talent, it is your responsibility to enlighten them. It is also important in a candidate-driven market for you to PREP your clients prior to interview. Offer to give your client a competitive edge by informing them of the “hot buttons” of your candidates prior to their interview. Let them know your candidate has other interviews, and stress the benefits they will enjoy if they adjust their interview to address the hot buttons of the candidate.

You clients want to attract top talent to help them achieve their financial goals. If you can help them hire that top talent you will develop the level of client rapport that will ensure a solid business relationship. Remember to always stress the benefits your client will derive when making any suggestions.

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Q. I’m changing my area of specialization and don’t know where to start to develop clients. Is there a way to speed up the marketing process?
Rebecca Z. Boston, MA

A. When you start working in a new discipline, the easiest way to
target clients is to ask every candidate you interview about the hottest companies in their field. We are currently in a candidate driven market so it is vitally important that you represent the companies your candidates will want to work for!

You need to develop thirty key accounts if you want to reach top production. Develop a marketing strategy where you get your name in front of your prospective clients six times in nine weeks. This will enable you to gain name recognition in two months. This should be a combination of telephone contacts, emails, articles mailed, presentation of an MPC (Most placeable candidate) as a sampling of the quality of top talent you represent. Strive to become the best “listener” in the life of your prospects and you will eventually earn their trust, respect and business!

You are an experienced recruiter and you have the expertise to recruit, market and close deals. You just changed disciplines not professions!

Barbara Bruno, CPC is one of the leading Recruiting/HR Training Professional today with thirty years of experience in the “trenches.” She is the author of the Top Producer Tutor, the first step by step online training program that would take training OFF YOUR DESK forever. Visit The first ten individuals who purchase the Top Producer Tutor for their office will also receive ONE HOUR of “FREE” consulting with Barb! If you’d like to receive a training article from Barb each week, sign up for her popular NO BS Newsletter 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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