Publisher’s Corner

Does it get any nuttier than this? A long time reader tells us that one of his client companies was looking to recalibrate their preferred recruiter list for the next two years so they decided to have an on-line auction for those recruiters already on their approved vendor list. Like a reverse eBay operation, they asked the participants to bid against each other over who would offer the lowest fees for the future openings. This nonsense went on for a couple of hours until the winner(?) emerged, having lowered their fees to 8 ? percent.Just because this recruiter offered such a ridiculously low fee doesn’t mean that they’ll automatically get the business. If I were on the other side of the hiring desk, there’s no way I’d place my company’s future talent needs in the hands of a low-bidder like this. But in the meantime, a good many offered their services at between 12 15% and they’re likely to regret this greatly if and when they actually get the business.I remember the sign in the upscale ice cream parlor that read, “We have no quarrel with those that charge less for they know what their product is worth.” A hoo boy, for sure!A reprise of my annual warning. Every few days I receive a call from a reader saying that they have been contacted by someone trying to sell them something and claiming that they are connected with The Fordyce Letter in some way. “Paul told me to call” or “Saw your name in The Fordyce Letter and wanted to offer you …” or “Paul Hawkinson is my buddy and …” or “We’re conducting a survey for The Fordyce Letter.” Some of these callers are semi-slick and some are just rude when you don’t immediately comply with whatever request they make. While I occasionally offer positive comments about things sold to the industry. I never authorize anyone to use my name or the TFL name in any telephone pitches you may receive. Nor do we ever sell, rent or lease our mailing list to others. If you receive such calls claiming to be Paul’s best buddy, beware.Errors & Omissions insurance! Should you or shouldn’t you? That’s the question we get when premiums come due and lately, they’re moving upward. Attorney Jeff Allen has covered the E&O topic a number of times but there’s a growing feeling that you’re paying more and getting less when you send that check to your insurer. And, a number of clients are now insisting that you have an in place E&O policy before working with you. Attorney Bob Style has alerted us to another problem with E&O carriers and you can read his comments. Take heed.Got a lot of feedback on my last month’s opinion regarding the number of readers who have contemplated, considered or have implemented a program whereby they are charging job-seekers a fee for finding them a job with those companies who won’t pay a fee. It seems that there are more of you than I thought. While I still find the practice distasteful, one writer said, “Revenue is revenue and if I can find a desperate guy a good job and he is willing to compensate me for doing so, it keeps me afloat until the recovery takes hold.” More next month.When I wrote the expanded version of “24 Steps in the Placement Process” (TFL, 5 & 6/02) I did it in response to those many readers asking for a step-by-step formula to succeed in this business. Stumbling through your business life without a proven system is a recipe for failure. Why do some people just get by and others become superstars, even during economic turmoil? My thoughts turned to Tony Beshara of Babich & Associates – a guy who normally bills around $4 million a year and is disappointed that, during this recession, he has only personally billed a bit over $2 million a year. I’ve talked to Tony several times over the years and he credits his success (and the success of other members of his firm) to his “system.” He has 16 recruiters (average tenure is 7 years) who, during the last 2 years, have averaged 4 placements a month while the national average is only 1? placements a month.While I don’t want to sound like a shill for any one technique over another, it’s hard to question achievement. Tony’s formula may not be right for everyone but he does offer a partnership opportunity arrangement with anyone wanting to participate in his successful methodology. Tony believes that who you hire and how you do it is one of the most important basic building blocks. After that, strict adherence to the “system” almost guarantees better outcomes. Tony offers 29 years of experience, 5 training manuals, 68 videotape sessions, training sessions in his Dallas office, computer software, forms, schedules, back end accounting, collection services, thrice-weekly video-conferenced training and as much personal phone time and mentoring with Tony as needed. As a “partner,” the participant/managing partner gets 80% equity of the newly formed business and provides the facilities. Tony provides the “system.” No profit no split. Participants provide the facilities, Tony provides the system. Worth looking into. For more info, call him at (214) 823-9999.Our program is this: It is a partnership, not a franchise. I become “a partners” (80% them and 20% me) with an individual. They provide all the overhead costs, managing ownership and I provide a whole system of making placements: how and who to hire (probably the most important), 5 training manuals, 68 video tape sessions, computer software, forms, schedules, backend accounting and collection services…even training in our Dallas office….above all, they get video-conferenced ongoing training three days a week, provided by me…all i am doing is broadcasting my three day a week half hour training sessions, plus as much phone time with me as they need. If they don’t make any money….I don’t make any money, so it’s foolproof. All the partner has to do is get on the phone, follow the system and find others to do the same.What they get is a system of doing business in the placement and recruitment business. The results are: we have been here since 1952, we have 16 recruiters who average 7years with US, they produce on average the last two years (even in a down market) four placements a month (the national average is 1.5) [not including me] led/taught by a fellow who personally bills between $2 million (this year) and $4 million per year. It is that simple.Remember if you would rather have The Fordyce Letter delivered to you via Email in MS Word format rather than having a hard copy mailed to you, just go to, give us the name and address off the label of your most recently mailed copy and provide us with the Email address where you want to receive the Emailed version. Thanks.Because of the length of the cover story, several of our regular columns have been postponed until our February issue. Until then, I wish one and all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

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Paul Hawkinson is the editor of The Fordyce Letter, a publication for third-party recruiters that's part of ERE Media. He entered the personnel consulting industry in the late 1950's and began publishing for the industry in the 1970's. During his tenure as a practitioner, he personally billed over $5 million in both contingency and retainer assignments. He formed the Kimberly Organization and purchased The Fordyce Letter in 1980.


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