The intended flow of this book is to move smoothly throughout the entire placement process from planning and organizing your desk through the completion of the search, and then into developing the initial client to a solid repeat account embodying exclusives. So far, I believe we have achieved this.
Nevertheless, we don’t want to sacrifice greatly increased production for you just to maintain a smooth and glorious flow in this book. So I think we have to interject a chapter and technique that will not apply to all people or firms. However, this methodology will apply to most people, and will generate great results if it is done right. While I would say that it is not suitable for newer people, the facts are that the best first-year production I ever saw (348K!) was achieved primarily through its use. So even if you are new, pay close attention to this chapter. If the way you do business “fits the mold,” this can really fly. Managers would also be advised to emphasize this as well, depending on the type of operation you run.
EIO stands for Employer In Office. Briefly, this consists of inviting the client into your office for a series of (usually) 3 to 5 candidate interviews, back-to-back. So successful is this technique that when Management Recruiters emphasized this method and kept records on it for all their offices, it was found that it resulted in one fee 84% of the time and two fees 35% of the time! In an afternoon! And this is with one employer in the office. Later on in this chapter, we’ll discuss getting two employers in to really shotgun results.
What is the Scenario?
This is an older technique, left over from a time when most of us worked local markets. It is also a remarkably effective methodology, and I don’t want it to be lost. When you see the results, neither will you!
Nevertheless, it is not right for all firms. Generally, it requires either working a local market or at least an opening in the same city as your firm is based. You are going to bring 3 to 5 candidates to your client in your office at one-hour intervals. Without these locational criteria, this will be difficult. What is not required is ornate offices. An “Executive Suite” or a neighboring office in your building will rent you an interview room if you must.
When To Do It
Always, when it fits! Inviting Hiring Managers or even (aak!) HR /Personnel to your office is one of the most effective ways of fast placements. When a client agrees to interview selected candidates in your office, he has made a subconscious commitment to hiring as soon as possible!
Offer this service whenever you can reasonably be assured of having at least three qualified candidates there during a single block of time. Morning/Afternoon will work, but so will an evening or a Saturday morning.
Frequently a client will tell you the need is urgent, and he’s available to interview whenever you have a candidate. Make sure you bring this up. Test his seriousness!
Economic Benefits to a Client
Any manager knows how his time is split, divided, unfocused. He must create space in his schedule to interview in his office. An interview here, an interview there, perhaps losing a good candidate because he doesn’t have time, and then having to decide between candidates he may have met as much as a week or even two apart! What a mess!
Instead, in an afternoon or a Saturday morning, he can have his critical position almost filled by interviewing three candidates back-to-back! No interruptions, no phone calls, no fellow workers wanting to see him, no unexpected crisis popping up. He can concentrate totally on the interviewing process by using your offices!
It is certainly true that the candidate will want to see the “home office” eventually, but for a series of First Interviews, this is the best way of pre-screening quickly and effectively.
Moreover, because he is actually seeing all candidates right now, he will make a much better comparison than if time and circumstances prevent valid comparisons.
Tell him this. Sell this concept.
Here’s another major benefit to the client under many circumstances.
Interviewing off-site in your offices is confidential and discreet. If a company is hiring to replace a current employee who is just not doing the job, does the manager really want a host of potential candidates trooping through his office at regular intervals? Using your office eliminates the problem.
It also happens that a company may be hiring in one area, and laying off staff in another. Nothing demoralizes a department experiencing shrinkage or harms morale more than seeing day-after-day, people brought in to expand other portions of their firm. Talk about how to start a negative ripple effect of decreasing productivity! And if a good candidate “bumps into” an employee from the department laying off, forget about hiring that person. The employee from the shrinking department will contaminate the potential new hire as quickly as possible.
When you take a search with either of these situations, jump on it with an EIO presentation! A practically guaranteed fee or maybe two will be the result.
Interview Control and Debriefing
We’ll cover Follow-up After Interview with candidates and client later. Suffice to say that there is no better way to control the interview and the debriefing process that by being there in a “hands on” fashion. Candidate preparation is fresh, and only a few minutes away from the interview. The client will tell you right now what he liked or did not like about each of the candidates.
Everyone will “return your phone call” – they are right there! While the client talks with Candidate B, you will be following up with Candidate A, and then coaching Candidate C! Again, see chapter later on Follow-Up, but this will markedly increase your chances of a fee.
Make sure you (not the client) greet the candidates at your reception room, then escort them to the client’s interview room, and make the introductions. Coaching of the first candidate should have been done on the phone before the interview.
Is there a strategy for the order of setting up interviews? You bet there is.
Let’s establish a few things. First of all, these candidates are pre-screened and qualified. Don’t throw in an unqualified candidate to make the others “look better.” It will reflect badly on you if you do.
Also, let’s realize that you could be wrong about which candidate is “best.” The client may have his own opinion, and if he wants to hire your last choice, don’t argue. If that candidate were not qualified, he wouldn’t be there.
However, you will be right more often than you are wrong, and that will increase results if you do it correctly and use the appropriate strategy. You should be able to judge them pretty well and, if not, it will tell you how the client thinks for the next search.
You have three candidates and you have evaluated them as first choice, second choice, and third. You have three time slots on a morning of 9 A.M., 10 A.M., and 11 A.M. What do you do?
9 A.M. – 2nd Choice
10 A.M. 1st Choice
11 A.M. – 3rd Choice
The first candidate is solid. He will present himself well, and the client will be immediately impressed with how his morning is progressing. He’ll be optimistic and will think, “Gee, I’ve got a good possibility right here.”
The 10 A.M. candidate will be better! Sandwich him in between the two others. If you don’t, the client will have no one to compare him to, and he may be over-looked. Don’t put the best first, because the other two candidates may dull the memory of your best candidate. If you put the best last, the client may be tired and getting perfunctory, and may not give as good an interview as earlier. He will also distrust his own judgment, thinking the most recent is the best because he is most recent.
Finally, bring in your last choice to make the others look better, and to absorb what may be a less-than-sparkling interview.
Four or Five Candidates
There is also a preferred order for more than three candidates, and it is as follows:
Four Candidates : 9 A.M. – 3rd Choice
10 A.M. – 2nd Choice
11 A.M. – 1st Choice
12 P.M. – 4th Choice
Five Candidates: 9 A.M. – 3rd Choice
10 A.M. – 2nd Choice
11 A.M. – 1st Choice
12 P.M. – 4th Choice
1 P.M – 5th Choice
Again, you’ll note that the reasons for this order stated previously generally apply. Give all coaching information you possess to the earlier candidates. Do not shortcut this process.
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Guide: Practical Tips for Remote Hiring
However, with every follow-up with candidates in your office, you’ll be better able to coach later candidates. Follow-up with the client (speedily) immediately after each meeting, but expect short comments at this time rather than the usual extensive information. After all, he’s got another candidate to interview.
If you have the sort of office which works the same area of specialization and all the candidate are not yours, the consultant who has the candidate may have the Follow-Up with his candidate. However, coaching information should be immediately transferred to the consultant who has the client.
Frankly, a better way is for the consultant who has the client to handle everything including candidate debriefs, but office procedure in your firm may differ.
Post – EIO
When all this is over, give the client a break. Don’t rush in, and immediately get information. Offer him some coffee, let him go over his notes, take a breath. Then sit down and go over each candidate, one by one. The client should have taken notes, and you should have provided him with a resume or “biographical sketch” on each candidate with relevant positive areas highlighted in advance.
Discuss candidates, establish ranking and get the client to commit to the next step. Again, this will not be any different from what will be covered in the following chapters, except that it will be face-to-face.
Sell This Regularly
The ideal situation for this is working a local market. However, any opportunity in the town where your firm is located is a chance to greatly improve your odds with an EIO Program.
Don’t be afraid to promote this regardless of whether you have candidates to present or not. Schedule a block of time for an EIO Program a week to ten days in advance. You will “beat the bushes,” and recruit hard to get candidates. You will have the motivation of an almost-certain fee ahead to spur you on! When you get a client in your office, he has emotionally committed to hiring at least one. Your “completed search” ratio will be extremely high.
When to Implement
This should be an important part of your ongoing business. Do you have some experience in our business, and do you do any business in your home city? If yes, you should start considering and planning how to go about doing this immediately upon finishing this book and reviewing your underlining or highlighting. Write up a brief presentation on a 5″ x 8″ card after discussing with your manager, leave it by your phone, and make it a regular procedure to emphasize this.
However, if you are new, you are better off waiting for six months or so. The reason is that you must first develop the skills to support this. Having some sort of established client base helps a lot, even if it is only six months old. At least you have established a track record of a few completed searches, and the rapport that goes with that. The main point, though, is that you cannot pull candidates off the Internet for an EIO program. This is not a good idea under any circumstances. However, with an EIO, the first time a client wants to invite a candidate to the “main office” for a second interview and some HR clerk says, “I could have found you that guy for free,” you will lose the whole account. Thus your skill at reactivating old candidates and real recruiting must be solid for an EIO program to be effective.
Double-Team with your Manager
Another advantage to you of an EIO program is that you can get your manager involved. The concept of “double-teaming” getting your manager or others involved to close the sale is a proven and highly effective technique. It is just another reason to get a goodical sales education, and why the best trainers in our industry always have a solid corporate sales background before they get into our business. Outstanding sales author Les Dane, in his book “Les Dane’s Master Sales Guide,” has several entire chapters on this concept, one addressing utilizing others in your office and another on how the Sales Manager can help you to close sales. Everyone likes to do business “at the top,” and the enhanced credibility and prestige of the owner of even a small search firm will be very useful in gaining the commitment of the client.
The key to becoming a top performer in any intellectual field (and sales and our business definitely qualifies) is by serious study and learning. Les Dane’s excellent books plus other books and videos mentioned here will be of great help in maximizing your production, as will repeat reading of the one you hold in your hands right now.
Strive for one a month as a minimum. This is not an unreasonable number once you have been in business for a while. Twelve EIO programs per year will almost certainly yield you ten additional fees per year, and it may be more. Occasionally the commitment to hire is so strong and the candidates so qualified that the client will actually extend offers to several candidates. And meanwhile, you’ll still be making your initial marketing calls to new clients, and developing your current ones into multiple placements.
You may also consider the possibility once you set up an EIO program a week or so in advance, of multiplying your results by inviting two client companies to your office to interview the same candidates. Clearly, this is not appropriate when you are working on an “exclusive” arrangement. However, surprisingly few non-exclusive clients object to this if you have more than three candidates.
If the interviews are being held outside of business hours, as on weekends or evenings, you will also find it easy to bring the same candidates back a week later for another client. If your first client does not commit to moving quickly on one candidate and these candidates are in-demand, be creative in your thinking and aggressive in your calling other potential hirers of these people. Most candidates, even those not actively looking, will agree to a meeting with another good client a week later if it is local.
Again, “exclusives” with your first EIO program negate “doubling up.”
This is For You
Don’t think this is only appropriate for old-style office-support “employment agencies.” That is not true. The confidentiality and time-effectiveness involved make this an obvious choice at any level. As an example, think of a sales manager flying into a town where his firm has no current office to interview sales candidates. Where will he interview? In his hotel room? If you promise 3, 4, or 5 qualified candidates in your office for professional interviewing, he will be there. The previously mentioned first-year top producer (348K) who used this almost exclusively worked in Electrical Engineering.
Sell this as a part of your regular service! The benefits of providing confidential interview facilities and the considerable savings of time are appropriate to all firms that seek a person in the same city as your office. You can present three qualified candidates one after the other, so as to make a close and immediate comparison. The client can concentrate without interruptions. You can work more closely with the client and assist in getting the right candidate for the job. And you will find that an experienced President/Manager of your firm will assist you in putting this deal together.
Develop a sales presentation of an EIO program for your firm, and practice it regularly in sales meetings. For almost all desks and firms, it will increase business substantially. And for some, it will be highly productive!