Follow these four steps and you’ll see an immediate impact on your desk. Print it out, share it with your manager and your colleagues, and develop an action plan.Step Number One:Call every candidate that you placed in the last thirty-six months. Hopefully you don’t have to remind them who you are. If they’re still there, then they consider you as someone who did a favor for them, and they’ll be more than likely to reciprocate, following the principle of reciprocity.When you talk to them, find out how the economy is treating their organization. Ask them how their performance is doing and how their company is performing. And then ask this critically important question. Ask them what other organizations are hiring. Ask them if they’ve received calls from any other recruiters in the last ninety days. Ask them if their company is hiring, and who the line managers are who are overseeing those searches. Ask them what niches their company sees as being healthy right now. Ask them if any of their friends at their old company are looking, and if so who.Step Number Two:Call every client of yours that hired someone from you in the last thirty-six months. When you talk to them, don’t sound like you’re fishing. Clients can pick up on it. Instead, just make it a casual business conversation.Talk about the economy, their company’s performance, and the performance of those people who you placed. Remember that they see you as an expert on trends within their niche because you do something they can’t do: talk with their competitors employees. Freely share with them your perspective on the market, because they want to know it. They see you as an expert who adds intelligence and value to them.And then ask this question: instead of asking them if they have any search assignments, say, “Are there any types of candidates that I should keep my eyes open for in the next ninety days?” Make it passive and non-needy. If there are potential people they’d like to see, then take it to the next level and see if it is worth a full-blown search effort. If not, then write it up as a passive search and check for low hanging fruit in your database, but don’t spend more than twenty minutes on it. And if you come across someone remotely close to what they’re looking for, call the candidate, call the client back, and present the candidate verbally, testing for interest. And take it from there. You know the drill.Remember that your clients are honest with you if they trust you and if you have properly developed a solid client/consultant relationship; but they might not be completely comfortable telling you about an existing employee who they are considering terminating just yet. But at least they’ll put it in the terms of a “possible position down the road”.Whatever you do, do NOT ask them “Where’s the weakest link? Who are you going to let go? An organization is only as strong as its weakest link and now’s the time to…” This is self-serving and crass and is a major turn-off to an executive because you come across as a vulture. Stop it. Stop doing that to our industry. It doesn’t work anymore. They’re sharp enough to know that they can upgrade if they want to. They’ll figure it out, and if they trust you and see you as someone who can give them value, they’ll ask you to help them with it.Step Number Three:Call every candidate who you pursued as a marketing candidate in the past twelve months. Even if you didn’t place them, see where they landed. Ask them who took their old position, if anyone (opening maybe?) and where else they interviewed recently (more openings?). Pursue, pursue, pursue those potential search assignments. “I heard that your company was looking for a ____________ a few months ago. What have your efforts to date yielded?”Step Number Four:Look at every resume you’ve received in the last ninety days that fits in your niche, whether a quality candidate or not. Where is the candidate coming from? Is he still there? Maybe not. Call and ask for that candidate. If he’s not employed there anymore, then perhaps it’s an opening that has yet to be filled. If so, pursue it. If you can track the candidate down, you can find out where else he or she interviewed. Follow up on those free leads.Try these tips and let me know how they work for you! I can be reached at email@example.com.
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