Develop a Rhythm

Two years ago I was watching a documentary on PBS about monkeys who lived by a river. When they showed how a monkey went about foraging for his food, I felt as if I was watching a big billing recruiter work his magic.

The monkey was looking for insects underneath river rocks. He would pick up a rock, look at it, and put it back if there was no insect. Then another rock. And another. After about a dozen rocks without a juicy insect underneath, he finally found one. He quickly picked at it and ate it, then put the rock down. He did not run around the office telling his friends how good the insect was. He did not tell his manager how great the conversation with the insect was. He did not get up from his phone and run out and take a cigarette break or refill his coffee. Instead, he quickly picked up another rock.

The monkey developed a rhythm to how he would pick up the rocks and maintained that momentum. There are three lessons we can apply from this metaphor: First, that eventually you will find good insects if you turn over enough rocks. Second, you need to turn them over with a specific pattern and rhythm. Third, if you ever need to hire another recruiter, consider hiring a monkey who lives next to a river.

Be the monkey. Start by understanding that your year is a compilation of well-executed hours and that if you slack off on just a few hours each day, it will add up to an unfortunately large gap between where you are and where you could be on your desk. Here are four tips to keep you turning over enough rocks and building the right momentum in your day:

1. Break your day into an hour by hour rhythm. Use this free download, the Telephone Discipline Tool, to help you build and develop a rhythm and a momentum on your desk. (Go to the ‘educational tools’ section on my site under ‘recruiters resources.’ The site is Do not let the simplicity of this tool keep you from using it. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the business, either. You can always get better. Use this free tool to help sharpen your hourly focus.

2. Understand that your day needs to have a specific direction. At the beginning of each day, ask yourself this question: ‘What are the two or three things I need to accomplish today to be considered successful?’

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3. Understand the power of one extra call per hour. If you spent 1,000 hours on the phone all year and was able to connect with only one more person each of those hours, you would have 1,000 more candidates and prospective clients in your database. What would that do to your income? Whenever I ask that question at my seminars and in-house training programs for search firms and staffing agencies, the answer is always at least $30,000 – $100,000 in W-2 earnings. Add it this year to your income by committing to reach one extra person per hour. The tool will help you do it.

4. Get excited about planning your day and make it a tight plan. Each phone number that you have to look up during your prime calling time keeps you from developing the rhythm and the momentum.

Bonus tip: Keep track of how many ‘connects’ you make each day and start charting it on a graph. Do this with the colleagues in your office over a thirty day period, and see how your ‘connects’ numbers increase by at least twenty or thirty percent in just a month.

Scott Love has created a free recruiter training site with over 150 free downloads, tools, instruments, and articles that can make recruiters money right away. Visit it at Copyright © 2006 Scott Love

Scott Love increases company profit margins by working as a management consultant, author, and professional speaker with special emphasis in the executive search and staffing industries. He has been quoted in major city newspapers, national trade magazines, international business magazines, and the Wall Street Journal. He has his own weekly business column in the Gannett News Service. His free website for recruiters has over 50 free tips and tools to help you bill more.


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