OK, we know we’ve been through a tough three-year period, but we have survived. We have made some placements here and there. We have borrowed from our savings and retirement plans. We have “maxed” out our lines of credit. And we know that all of the economic signs are pointing to the beginnings of good times as 2004 unfolds–the start of another eight to ten year upswing. But now we have a dilemma. How do we get from here to there? How do we survive this short period of one to three months? How do we access this Gap Insurance? Here’s how:
Focus on activities that lead to money
To paraphrase a current rap song title, “If It Don’t Make Dollars, It Don’t Make Sense.” Robocruiter (my favorite top-producing recruiter) used to say it another way: “When I come into the office in the morning, I say to myself, ‘What is the first thing that I must do to make money, not the first thing I must do. There is a difference. Who do I have to call to get my first Send Out? And after I arrange that first Send Out, where is my second Send Out coming from. After I accomplish those two tasks, I can concentrate on the rest of my daily business.”
Another top-producing manager always wanted his recruiters to have a “Hot Sheet” of at least 5 ‘fulls’ or 10 ‘splits’ in order to be assured of a placement. He was after a quota of one to two Send Outs per day. He knew, as Robocruiter knew, that Send Outs, above any of our other activities, lead to money.
I remember years ago when I filled the position of Critical Care Trainer for a large franchise organization, that I would always find the same things in failing offices; namely, the best filled out Job Orders in the history of Western Civilizationtyped, spell-checked, indexed, etc.and no Send Outs. And I felt bad about this, because those franchisees, who were now facing six-figure losses, thought that they were in the business of writing Job Ordersand they weren’t! As teachers, I felt that we had failed in getting this one critical piece of information across correctly to these students. And that information is that we are in the business of arranging Send Outs and everything else is ancillary. Send Outs are King.
My value to my firm is my ability to pick up the phone and speak into it.
We live in the Information Age. We are faced with an overburdening amount of data that lays a mere mouse click away. The computer itself is a compulsive tool. It beckons us as soon as we enter the office. One of our first daily activities is to turn the infernal thing on. And yet, all the top producers know that their value to their firms and organizations is their ability to communicate with other living human beings, either face-to-face or over the phoneto establish rapport. As the great sales trainer Cavett Roberts used to say, “In order for people to buy from us we must establish rapport. We must have people like us, believe us, trust us and understand us. You can’t heat an oven with snowballs.” Those elements of rapport are only possible to create with personal interaction. You can’t create rapport through keystrokes.
Make Scintillating Presentations
I am a great believer in making scintillating presentations. I suggest using a FAB (Feature-Accomplishment-Benefit) format. Now, if you use a candidate as an MPC (Most Placeable Candidate), you can very easily apply this FAB principle. The Feature is what the Candidate does. The Accomplishment is how well he did what he does (these are spelled out in ‘concrete’ terms). And the Benefit is how those Accomplishments will benefit a new companya company to which you are going to take the Candidate. Now you are armed to make a scintillating presentation.
You will be able to answer the prospective Hiring Manager’s nonverbalized question (“What can this Candidate do for me?”) and you can easily avoid the “No Openings” box. The FAB presentation also allows you to get excited about the Candidate and that excitement will be contagious. To reinforce this last point remember Cavett Roberts perhaps most insightful quote, that “people are more moved by the depth of our conviction, than by the height of your logic.” FAB an MPC and you’ll see.
–And make a lot of them.
If you haven’t done this yet, now is the time to delimit your marketplace so that you have the ability to make enough daily marketing presentations to sustain you in any economy. On average, we look for you to make 25 marketing presentations (connects) per day. That would equal 125 per week, 500 per month or 1,500 per quarter. So, try to establish yourself in a marketplace of 1,500 company contacts.
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Now, if you are calling a large company, each different Hiring Manager will count as a separate “contact,” so it will be easier to come up with the 1,500. Then concentrate on recycling these contacts once per quartersome more frequently/some less frequentlydepending on need and urgency. Exposing yourself to the marketplace is critical. I used to always tell my recruiters that I can’t guarantee you many things in this business, but I can guarantee you one thing: That you will never place with a company you don’t call.
All Job Orders are not created equal
Be constantly aware that not all Job Orders (JOs) are of Search Assignment quality. The way it’s best taught is that out of 15 JOs that an experienced recruiter writes, only 0-1 will be of Search Assignment quality. 4-5 will be of Matching quality. And about 10 or 2/3rds of all of those written JOs will be of the Can’t Help variety. All 15 are JOs–they are just different. If you were never taught this principle, you’ll end up going through your recruitment life bemoaning the fact that all of your placements take forever. Or that no one seems capable of making a decision. Or that Hiring Managers have changed and are now looking for the proverbial ‘needle in the haystack.’
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your problem lies in what you are working, not in any fundamental paradigm shift, as some would have you believe. Qualify those Job Orders and you will see that what I am saying is right.
Inspect what you expect
Our business is a difficult one to monitor, but monitoring is critical to your success. I like the 100 Point Sheet that I learned about years ago. In that format, you assign point values to each of your activities dependent on the ‘centralness’ of the activity to making a placement. For example: each Marketing Attempt is awarded 1 point; each Marketing Presentation is awarded 1 point; each Job Order is awarded 10 points; each Send Out is awarded 15 points, etc. Then, at the end of the day, you add up your points and if you are over 100 points, you are going to make placements. If you are less than 100 points, you are not going to make placements. Pretty simple.
Here’s an interesting story regarding this 100-point format. When I was in charge of training for a firm with offices in London, I introduced this concept there. The manager liked the idea, but told me to introduce it as a 200 Point Sheet, with the requirement to get 200 points per day. I did as he asked and sure enough the recruiters in London achieved 200 points a day. They also became our biggest producing officeboth overseas and here in the United States.
So there you have it for my Gap Insurance. Remember, “If It Don’t Make Dollars, It Don’t Make Sense.” I am confident that these ideas will help us all (when we are so close) reach the beginning of the 2004 halcyon days.