Ask Barb

Next month’s questions should be emailed to:, please reference “Fordyce” in the subject line!

Q. The last few recruiters I have hired don’t have the work ethic or dedication that we need in our profession. We have had high turnover lately and I’m worried how it is affecting my Senior Recruiters. Your suggestions would be much appreciated. Joe F. St Louis, MO

A. You need to review your hiring process in order to identify individuals with the highest probability of success. We need to follow the same processes we follow when identifying top talent for our clients. Your process should include: an updated job description outlining the good, the bad and the ugly of our profession, a list of expectations (your expectations of the person you hire and what they can expect), a multi-step interviewing process, and thorough reference checks. During your reference checks, question the work habits and personality traits of this individual. Ask for examples of accomplishments that set this person apart from others. Involve others in your company in the hiring process to get their feedback.

Have your prospective hire spend four hours in your office observing your current recruiters. After 45 minutes, bring this individual into your office, give them a script and a list of companies and phone numbers, role play with them and ask them to make cold recruiting calls. Of course, you have someone observing them. You will be able to identify individuals who possess natural talent.

Don’t advertise for new recruiters, recruit them! Look for individuals with sales experience and a track record of peak performance. If you hire someone who has never earned more than $25,000 in their life and $35,000 is their ultimate goal – this person will not have the drive to achieve top performance. You can not MAKE someone a Top Producer – YOUR HIRE THEM. Here’s to hiring only Top Producers in the Future!

Q. We have just had one of our Sr. Recruiters leave our company after five years. She told us she informed her clients that someone else in our office would take over their accounts and promised that we would continue to deliver a high level of service. Now we can’t get any of her accounts to call us back? We have tried on several occasions – any ideas? Julia C – Ontario

A. There are several issues I’d like to discuss regarding your current predicament. First of all – when you said she “told you” she informed her clients, my question would be “did she really?” When you have an experienced recruiter leave your company, it is important that this person arrange a client visit with their new contact. This ensures a smooth transition. Clients become very attached and loyal to the recruiter who is providing them with talent. It is also wise to have a “back up” contact with every one of your clients. If their primary contact is not available, they have the name of another person they can ask for. This also guarantees more than one contact within your organization.

As the owner or manager of your company, your clients should also know you! At the end of each year it is very wise to visit every client with the recruiter who is responsible for them and provide them with a prospectus. Included in this report is a list of all the job orders you wrote, how many individuals you submitted, how many individuals were hired and the time frame involved. You also provide a list of who is still employed by their firm. You then ask what it will take to increase your business 5% in the coming year and you discuss how you can work more effectively together. For instance, if the clients lost out on some top candidates due to a long hiring process – this is the time to discuss that issue. Survey your client on any workforce/workplace issues and at this time identify other “services” they would like you to offer. It’s much better to go to your end user to determine the problems you can solve, than to attempt to figure out what you “think” they might want.

It seems obvious that your recruiter went to work somewhere else and is continuing to do business with these clients. I would try to arrange a client visit with each of these accounts using every means of communication including: inviting them to lunch, offering to provide them with one hour of free training, announcing a “NEW” program which would greatly benefit them … persistence can win out!

In the future, have multiple contacts within your company, so your business doesn’t walk out the door when an employee leaves!

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Q. I have a small but very successful company, and I have allowed some of my Sr. staff to work part-time, shorter hours and to work from home. How do I build a “team” with the hours being so different with all of my employees. We need the teamwork for our splits, but I sense resentment in my newer employees. How do I make this work? Ed P., Santa Fe, NM

A. I think owners and managers are realizing the tremendous benefits in offering flexibility and creative working hours to their top performers. Once an individual is earning top dollars, work/family balance and flexibility are great motivators. It is important that your team members realize that this type of flexibility is something they can “EARN” as well. This alleviates the resentment.

The ability to offer creative work hours is also dependent on the type of position they hold in your company. If you have an individual working a clerical temp desk – working part-time or flexible hours would become very difficult because of the immediacy of this segment of our business. It is also important to set “minimum standards” in order to maintain a creative work schedule. Your employees will want to work with other team members in order to maintain their production levels.

The recruiters who work for me love to earn “time off.” As a result, if they surpass goals, they can earn time off every month. Interestingly enough, these recruiters are on their computers and phones from home, because they want to earn time off next month! They just love the flexibility of working from home if they choose to!

Just make sure you are consistent and have these creative work plans in writing so it is not construed as “favoritism!” That can destroy your team!

Barbara Bruno, CPC, is one of the leading Recruiting/HR Training Professionals today with thirty years of experience in the “trenches.” She is the proud author of Top Producer Tutor, the first “real” step by step online trainer for new and struggling recruiters that will take training off your plate forever! Visit for more details. If you are interested in participating in Barb’s free teleconference schedule, simply opt in to her “No BS” Recruiting Newsletter located 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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