Ask Barb: Identifying Future Big Billers

Dear Barb:

I cut my team back and now I need to hire because business is increasing. Can you give me any tips on how to identify and hire future Big Billers? I’m great at finding talent for my clients, but have often hired just average for my own business.

Julian M., San Diego, CA

Dear Julian:

It is important for you to decide who your company needs before you begin to hire. Often, someone to back you up and do what is not the best use of your time can be one of your best hires. With a candidate-driven market, your best hire could be someone who just works the candidate side of the placement process.

  • Is it time to change your structure?
  • Is it time to change your compensation?
  • Is it time to consider a new niche?
  • Is it time to hire some virtual employees?
  • Is it time to revise your exit plan?
  • Is it time to revise your short or long-term goals?

Once you have answered these questions, you now know who to hire. I hire individuals who have a track record of high performance, have some sales experience, and are seeking a sales opportunity that rewards performance.

Most of my team came out of hotel sales offices, outside sales, rental car companies, and multi-unit management in retail. I look for great communication skills and someone who also possesses our core values and will enhance our culture.

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Write a job description, set minimum standards, write out expectations, and most importantly have the prospective employee watch the job being done. Then give them an opportunity to actually make some calls. You will see if there is phone fear, and often your candidate will remove themselves from contention once they see the job being done.

If you need an eagle, don’t hire a duck. You can’t make someone a Top Producer; you have to hire someone who is a top producer!

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

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


2 Comments on “Ask Barb: Identifying Future Big Billers

  1. Hi Barbara,
    In you above article you indicated, “You can’t make someone a Top Producer; you have to hire someone who is a top producer!” I strongly believe that some of them were made (mentored).
    Is it possible that what might be the key factor is the drive to succeed?

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