Ask Barb

Q. I have enjoyed your articles immensely and I have recently read your book “Clients you select will make or break your future” .  My question is, with the current pool of qualified candidates becoming smaller and smaller, can you give me some suggestions on how to recruit candidates that will create successful placements!  Other than the newspaper, on-line jobsites and recruiting, do you have a more active way to find candidates?  Kim R., Portland, OR

A. See yourself as a magnet for talent.  Candidates are everywhere, you need to identify sources all around you and combine this with “out of the box” thinking.  Recruiting will always be the best way to attract top talent because our clients love to hire someone who is working, successful and has a stable work history. Never underestimate the importance of completing recruiting presentations on a daily basis – every working day of your life!  This ensures you are consistently attracting new top talent to represent.

Another way to dramatically increase your candidate flow is to be perceived as an expert in a specific niche.  Word gets around that you are “THE” person to go to for a particular profession or industry.  You can enhance your position as an expert by writing articles for trade publications or speaking at events that have potential candidates in the audience.  Ask your candidates what functions they attend and make sure you become visible at these events.  You will be amazed at the candidate flow that will result.

Request testimonials that you share with individuals you are attempting to represent.  People love to buy on the approval of other people.  You also need to inform your family, friends and associates what you do for a living and the type of referrals you need.  So often, you don’t get candidate referrals because individuals don’t know who to refer to you.

Your old application forms are filled with names of possible recruits.  Call the supervisors listed for every past employer.  Call personal references who could also end up as a future candidates.   Every time you check references, you have an opportunity to surface talent.   When you start to see yourself as a magnet for talent, you’ll be amazed at your ability to attract top talent!

Q. This doesn’t happen very often, but once every few months I get a candidate that just will not disclose their current salary (or if unemployed, their last salary). Usually I end up just discarding their resume, but was wondering how you handle candidates that do not wish to disclose their salary? They always have a good speech as to why they prefer not to disclose salary information, but I feel it is essential in representing candidates for job openings to know this information beforehand. Recruiter in Virginia

A. In order for us to do our job for the individuals we represent, we need pertinent information.  Their current salary level is only one piece of that puzzle.  When your candidate is withholding information it is a direction reflection on their lack of trust in you.  They don’t see “what’s in it for me” if they share this information with you.  When you are asking various questions of your candidates, you must always stress how it benefits them to give you answers.   Attempt to get detailed information about their priorities and level of expertise and then revisit the topic of salary.  If they refuse to reveal this information you have a decision to make!

Without salary information, you will not know what opportunities to present. Without salary information, you do not have information you need to close a placement.  Over the years I’ve learned a problem candidate doesn’t get easier to work with as the process continues. You need to build rapport with the individuals you represent based on a mutual trust and respect.  You owe it to yourself to get back on the phone and recruit someone who wants to work with you!

Q. I appreciate all the new sources on the Internet you have identified for us to attract candidates. I have found many of these sources to be somewhat time consuming.  My network has slowly been growing over the last couple years.  The thing I question is how many things can we find to consume our time?  I don’t have enough hours in the day to get through even half of what I planned to get done.  Any time management tips would be greatly appreciated – I need about 5 more hours in every day. Carol L, Ft. Meyers, FL

A. I was thrilled to see you do fill out a planner which would have been one of my top tips. You don’t need 5 more hours, we all have the same 168 hours each week – you just need to make some minor changes that will save you lots of time. Let me share my Top Five Time Management Tips.

1.    Hold all incoming calls between the hours of 9:00 – 11:30 am each day.
During this time frame make the majority of your outgoing calls!

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2.    Develop “something,” a newsletter, an article, a sampling list of current openings that you email to your entire candidate database on a monthly basis to keep your name in front of them.  Send them something that they will find interesting…then send a sampling of your current openings. You might want to offer some type of bonus (cash or coupon) for referrals they send who you place in a job.

3.    Inform all your candidates you set aside the hours between 4 – 5:00 PM to obtain information, note changes and get interview updates etc.  The candidates who call you the MOST are the ones you can’t place.  This drastically reduces the “STATUS” time wasting incoming calls!  Tell them during the day you are on the phones attempting to find them a job, which is why you set time aside at the end of the day to take incoming calls.

4.    Obtain INTERVIEW TIMES when you write job orders to insure you send outs.  This also makes it easy to determine the Hottest Orders in house!

5.    Email a copy of your job orders to everyone involved in the hiring process.

So often the second or third person don’t agree with the initial description you were given.  Over 50% of the time your clients will make major changes!

Now you know you are recruiting for the person,  they have all agreed to hire!

Barbara Bruno, CPC is one of the leading Recruiting/HR Training Professionals 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 You can still purchase an UNLIMITED LICENSE for the life of your company.  Soon licenses will have limits!! 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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