Thou Shalt Succeed With These Commandments… And Accountability

Note: Danny Cahill’s most recent “According to Danny” newsletter carried this item. Between the list of ‘commandments’ and Danny’s advice, the post offers much of value for every recruiter in the business. Especially note Danny’s observations about commandment three.

Hi Danny,

What do you think of our 20 commandments?

1. Thou shall have a written plan every day.

2. Thou shall have 50+ dial outs every day (always a mix of marketing + recruiting calls).

3. Thou shall interview 10+ headhunted candidates every week (headhunted candidate = a candidate who is working, is not expecting your call, and is only passively seeking a job — not on job boards).

4. Thou shall have at least four sendouts every week (16 for the month – either by presenting on active tested mandates OR securing interviews by doing MPC (Most Placeable Candidate) calls).

5. Thou shall get at least two job orders every week (eight for the month).

6. Thou shall use the script, role-play it every week, and know their rebuttals.

7. Thou shall update CATS for any candidate / client activity (no commission paid on placed candidates who are not added or properly added to CATS).

8. Thou shall always test a job order within 1-2 business days after receiving it before flooding / covering it with four more sendouts (within 4-5 business days – you can test it with Internet candidate but make sure that you have at least three headhunted sendouts for the mandate).

9. Thou shall have a good hot sheet with at least three active things (interviews either on your account or with your candidates) going on at any time.

10. Thou shall always ask for two references with intention of doing a quick reference call in the morning, and ask the hiring manager for more mandates.

10 commandments11. Thou shall have two MPC’s to market every week (different technologies).

12. Thou shall not work on more than two mandates at a time (different clients).

13. Thou shall stay away from Type B job orders (less than 20% fee, less than 20 employees, candidates do not want to work there, more than two  agencies working on it, open longer than a month, open due to growth and not replacement, very difficult to find candidates).

14. Thou shall stay away from Type B candidates (candidates who are not working, do not have good communication skills, do not have recent relevant work experience, listed on job boards).

15. Thou shall not touch account manager’s CATS job order candidates.

16. Thou shall always know what candidate is going where, and on what job, when, money they are making, and their pain.

17. Thou shall always know their candidate’s concerns, timeline, where else they are interviewing, cover counteroffer, and where else you can send them.

Article Continues Below

18. Thou shall always know after second interview — money aside — do you want the job? Closed on money? How does it compare? Change in communication?

19. Thou shall analyze after every candidate interview what active mandates to put the candidate on, and/or companies to market him/her to.

20. Thou shall always close clients high and candidates low and do a “two  call close.”

 According to Danny

So we’re both Biblical over achievers. You come up with 20 Commandments and I have a track record for breaking the original 10. (Though for the record, the “Thou Shalt Not Kill” breach was a frenetic squirrel in the middle of the road who simply could not make up his mind. Still, my bad.)

I think anytime you can deliver Commandments and not have to carry tablets down a mountain you’re probably thinking clearly if a bit blasphemously. Lucky for you, by the time you get to Hell I’ll have the place organized and there will be an Ask Devilish Danny section on a subscription site ready and waiting, so we won’t miss a beat.

Like the original declarations (hereafter denoted as B.C. (before “the cover”), some of these no recruiter will argue with and seem perfectly reasonable. And some, (and here I’m thinking of that pesky “shalt not covet” part) are going to be tough, namely your #3:

Thou Shall Headhunt…

It’s a great idea. Noble, even. But in a world where your recruiters can pull up hundreds and thousands of names of people related in some way to their search, versus trying to get names from the FEW companies left that have gatekeepers (most have outsourced this function or automated and centralized phone systems), their assumed margin of error is going to lead them to the “Easy Way.”

I had my top researcher, a sagacious, super skilled veteran just last week attempt 10 cold recruiting calls on the job and then run a LI (LinkedIn)  search as she normally would. In the time it took her to get a few names, she found 29 people on LI, including the names she sourced cold. (In fairness, she did generate a job lead from the cold calls.)

Too Match Centric

As I plan to say to God on Judgment day, “I know, I know, who knows what I was thinking. Can we stop dwelling on what I should have done and focus on a compromise here?”, you need to replace “Thou Shall Headhunt” with “Thou Shalt get at least one referral from EVERY person you talk to for the rest of your life.” As I say ad nauseum around here, we are too match centric; the best recruiters, are referral centric.

The rest are great! So now let’s talk about the best part of Commandments. What happens if they don’t keep to them? You don’t have the ability to condemn their souls to damnation (though, from what I overhear in the coffee room, my recruiters seem to feel they have the power over my soul). You need to come up with an accountability piece.


A plague is very fashionable in the Bible. Surely you should get to “smite” someone or something. Vengeance is big in all religions. Ezekiel: “I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebuke!!” Ezekiel clearly needed to try decaf (but give him credit, that low sugar bread rocks).

But you need something equally as powerful and scary…

…how about if you threaten to stop paying for their cellphones? That would make believers out of them fast!!

Membership Has its Privileges! FREE use of “Ask AccordingToDanny” is just one of the many benefits of membership in the website. If you would like to sign up for a free demo of the site, please contact us or call the office at (203) 439-0267. Mention The Fordyce Letter to receive 15% off your membership or consulting services from Danny like teleconferences and customized Webcasts. Danny Cahill started at Hobson Associates right out of college. He became its Rookie of the Year, top producer and general manager by the age of 26. At 27 he bought the company and has since built it into one of the country's largest search firms specializing in Software Sales, Bio Tech Sales and Industrial Sales talent. He is the only industry "guru" that runs a search firm every day. He does what you do. He was the Educational Chair of the Pinnacle Society, 75 of the highest achievers in the industry and he still personally mentors many members. He also owns and runs, an online training and mentoring company dedicated to enhancing the skills and jumpstarting the spirits of recruiters worldwide. His training products have become core tools for a generation of recruiters, and his keynote presentations have made him one of the most sought after speakers in the country. HireAbility overwhelmingly voted him the industry’s most popular speaker. NAPS elected him to the Hall of Fame in 2006, he was given the first NAPS “Spirit” Award and he received the Dave Knutson Lifetime Achievement Award. was awarded Best In Class for Training Excellence from MRINetwork, and they awarded Danny their “Favorite Son Award” for being the most sought after speaker for their conferences In his other life, as a playwright, he has had works produced off Broadway, and won both the Maxwell Anderson and the CAB Theatre Award for playwrights. He has written for CBS Television, Muscle and Fitness Magazine, as well as numerous Trade Journals. He received his Master’s Degree in Literature from Wesleyan University and believes salespeople enjoy the world's only job security. Danny’s book, “Harper’s Rules”, a business novel/parable, which of course features a headhunter, won the 2011 Axiom Award for Best Business Parable and 800 CEO READ shortlisted it for the 2011 Personal Development Category. His screenplay, “Breakpoint” was just optioned by Dialogue Pictures.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *