3 Reasons to Consider Split Placements

By Veronica Scrimshaw

growth-seedlings-300I saw a post on a social media site yesterday about split placements. One recruiter emphatically stated he does not believe in split placements. Fair enough, splits aren’t for everyone. But I always feel it’s shortsighted to summarily dismiss splits. Here are 3 reasons I think every recruiter should consider split placements:

Split placements can even out business cycles

All business have ups and downs, including recruitment. There are times when you have more jobs than you can reasonably expect to fill, and there are times when you think you might never get another one. If you’re working the candidate side, you know there are times when candidates are a dime a dozen and other times, like now, where it’s darn-near impossible to find the right talent. Adding splits to your business model can help you even out the highs and lows. When you don’t have enough candidates or jobs, lean on your trading partners to fill the gaps. When you have too many, your trading partners can help you fill those orders more efficiently.

Split placements offer economical business expansion

At some point, most recruitment firm owners have been faced with the decision of expanding their business to meet demand. Many owners will opt to hire staff, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, splits can help you grow your firm WITHOUT adding extra overhead: no recruiters to pay, no desk costs, no training, no tools. You’ll bring additional revenue into your recruitment firm by working with other successful recruiters and sharing the fees. Split placements can help you quickly expand into new niches or geographies without the onboarding time (and money!) it takes to research and develop a new desk.

Split placements can help you serve your clients more effectively

No one likes to say no to a good client. Whether your best client comes to you with an opening that needs to be filled urgently, or an opening for a role you don’t normally work, or an opening outside of your typical geography, splits can help you say yes with confidence. You may also find that you can fill open roles faster, or work on more placements simultaneously. One of the best ways to keep your clients is to provide top talent faster than your competitors. Splits can help you meet that goal.

While split placements can include an element of risk, they are also an effective tool for many successful recruiters. Keep an open mind and give it a chance!

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4 Ways to Get Your Feet Wet in a Split Placement Network

By Liz Carey

4PMSQNEV8DJoining a recruitment network can open up a world of opportunities for a recruiter – new trading partners to do splits with, access to recruiters and candidates outside of your niche and geographic area, and a group of peers to brainstorm with and bounce ideas off of. But for a “newbie” joining an established network, it can sometimes seem like everybody already knows each other, so how do you make a name for yourself? Here are 4 tips on how to get your feet wet in a split placement network:

1-Where to start

You have to get your name out there. Make it a point to call one network member each week/month. Recruiters are busy and they don’t often have time to keep tabs on and reach out to every new recruiter who joins the network. By being proactive and introducing yourself, you’ll stand out from the crowd and be able to develop relationships with other trading partners faster. You never know who is looking for help from a recruiter who specializes in exactly what you do or where you work. It’s important to reach out by phone, and not just hide behind a computer screen. You might find a position that another recruiter posted online that interests you, but it’s in both of your best interests for you to reach out and connect with that recruiter to find out more about the role and the client before you waste anyone’s time.

2-Communication matters

The most successful trading partner relationships work because both recruiters are open and honest. The recruiter with the job order will likely share every single piece of information about a role, including his client’s information, if he/she trusts the exporter he/she is working with. It’s important for the exporter to get clarity on the role and the company culture in order to completely understand what the client is looking for and find the right fit. The recruiter with the job order will also keep his trading partner informed and “in the loop” of any new developments in the hiring process. By being completely transparent, the two partners will develop a sense of trust in one another, leading to a smooth hiring process and a solid relationship where they know they can turn to each other for help in the future.

3-Meetings and the importance of getting your name out there

Attend meetings and trading group calls so people can put a face and/or voice to your name. The more people hear from you, the more likely they are going to think you are active and reliable, and might be able to help them. When you go to meetings, you learn an incredible amount, but you also learn more about one another. Recruiters have limited time during the day to have in-depth conversations, so by going to the meetings, you get to know someone’s style a bit more and learn a bit more about their clients or things they’re hoping to do. Personal connections really do help.

4-Find a peer coach or mentor

If your network offers peer coaches or mentors, sign up for one immediately. They know who the “players” in the network are, and will be happy to help connect you. This business isn’t the easiest in the world, and it helps to have someone you can ask questions to or bounce ideas off of — maybe you can learn from them about a certain type of technology, or about their experience working with a particular affiliate. Everybody works differently, so it’s nice to hear firsthand how someone has worked with different people in the network.

How did you get your start in a split network?

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Preventing the Process of Counteroffers

By Liz Carey

E4PSRGAB8YOn a recent trading group call, Scott Love of GreatRecruiterTraining.com gave a presentation on counteroffers. For a recruiter, it is crushing to have a candidate who’s already accepted your client’s offer renege and accept a counteroffer from their current employer. You saw the light at the end of the tunnel, the placement fee was almost in your pocket, and now it’s back to the drawing board. What Scott Love told recruiters was: an easy way to keep candidates from taking counteroffers is to prevent the process. But how can you prevent it?

Have a conversation with the candidate — not the night before they’re putting their notice in, but earlier in the process, before or after the first interview. It behooves a recruiter to assess the risk of any candidate they are considering presenting to their client considering a counteroffer.

The likelihood of the candidate taking a counteroffer depends on their motive. Fear of change is the biggest killer in the recruiting field, so ask them flat out, “Before I present you to my client, can you actually see yourself moving forward in the next 30 to 90 days?” and “Is there anything that would keep you from it?” If they tell you “I’m prepared, I’m ready to move,” that would be someone to assess for the role early on.

Tell them the process – “I present you to my client, you interview, and if they like you, they will give you an offer. Can you see yourself resigning from your current company?” Once they realize and understand the process and timetable, it puts everything into perspective and they’re more likely to envision themselves making the move (or not being able to).

He often tells candidates that his role is to facilitate the process of the candidate and client getting to know each other, and if at any time the candidate is not interested, that’s fine, but he requests that they just be honest with him. If they have concerns, he wants them to tell him, not just disappear. He says the recruiter’s role is kind of like a pressure valve — not to put pressure on, but to remove it. To get into a candidate’s head and figure out if it’s a deal-killer.

Then, put them in a hypothetical scenario: “How do you think your employer will respond?” If they indicate they believe their employer will try to keep them, ask the candidate “How will you respond if they give you a counteroffer?” If the candidate seems to be at the point where they’re not sure, and their employer might be able to convince them to stay, you’re at risk. Scott Love advised not putting a candidate in the process if they have a high likelihood of taking a counteroffer.

If a candidate says they’d consider a counteroffer, it’s time to be honest and cut your losses. The way Scott goes about is telling candidates that he doesn’t want to put them in a position of permanent career damage, as accepting a counteroffer often instills a sense of distrust in the candidate’s current employer. Because the candidate was ready to leave, they will always be thinking that he or she is unhappy and/or looking for a new job, and are unlikely to promote that person.

How do you handle counteroffers when it comes to your candidates?

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Why Recruiters Struggle with Digital Marketing

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Rick-Mare-JXTToday’s guest blogger is Rick Mare, the founder and CEO of JXT, the number one provider of cloud-based digital marketing solutions for recruiters and corporate recruiters. Rick has coached thousands of recruiters, empowering them to take their businesses and careers to the next level. Connect with Rick on LinkedIn.

Ever heard of Moore’s Law?

I’m fortunate to meet with and coach some of the very best recruiters in the world today. I love my career and I count myself fortunate to be a partner in the success of some amazing recruiting organisations. But I’ve noticed a trend. After I build a relationship with a client, after they’ve come to trust me, there is a moment where they confide in me something that almost seems embarrassing to them. It’s a strange thing and I can’t always predict when it’s coming. But I now anticipate this moment as I foster relationships with clients.

At some point, often times when we’re alone, they ask me this question. “Rick what is this whole digital thing and what does it really mean for our company?” They usually are hesitant to ask this question early in our relationship because they feel as if they should already know the answer.

But here is the difficult truth. Almost no one in the recruitment space seems to really understand what the term “digital marketing” means. More than that, very few recruitment organisations have figured out how to use digital marketing to accomplish the goals that really matter to them. Does this sound familiar? Do you feel this way? If so, I want to help. So here is the starting point for some of my very best ideas about digital marketing.

Reasons recruiters struggle to understand or appreciate digital marketing

Most recruiters, especially those who have been in business for more than 15 years, really struggle to understand what digital marketing is, why they should care and what it can actually do for their organisation.

In another post, I’ll explain what I mean by digital marketing and talk about why you should care. But in this post I want to talk about something that is underneath it all. I want to bring to light the reasons that recruiters often don’t understand or appreciate digital marketing.

Why does this happen? I believe there are three major reasons.

  1. There is a generational shift component.
  2. There is an aptitude component.
  3. There is a visioning component, particularly concerning where technology fits into their company’s future.

Let me explain what I mean.

The generational shift

My two sons were born and raised in a world awash with technology. They cannot envision a lifestyle where personal digital devices are not within their reach at nearly any time: mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and the always-on WIFI access nearly anywhere they go. This is that whole generational shift phenomenon that I want to characterise.

That was not the world that I grew up in. When I was their age, there was very little technology available for individuals and most of what did exist was for entertainment purposes. There was certainly no internet. Technology systems for business were the realm of the super-elite. Mainframe systems filled entire rooms and were only affordable for huge companies. That was not technology for the masses.

If you are of a certain age, you probably remember the gaming consoles that we used to stand in front of inside arcades, you know the ones with the big joysticks. This was one of the first exposures to technology for many people from my generation. Oh the blinking lights and beeping speakers. It was a great way to waste an afternoon.

This was one of our first interactions with technology. Those machines were huge compared to the cell phones we all carry today in our pockets today. 30 years ago I could never have imagined playing PacMan on a device that now fits in the palm of my hand while sitting on a plane. Wow. How the world has changed!

Some people, as I started my career, were using computers in the office. But the productivity enhancements that came about as a result of software and ubiquitously cheap hardware were yet to be realised. This meant that IT departments were always trying to sell senior managers on the value and impact of technology.

Many people never bought into that vision. There is a generation of people who don’t understand or like technology and probably never will. They don’t get why they should change. After all, traditional analog marketing has worked for generations for recruiters. Here is a fairly prototypical career path that successful recruiters used to take.

  • Become an expert within a given field.
  • Build relationships that are valuable and where you are respected by people in positions of power and authority, particularly senior leaders in companies who need talent.
  • Take the leap and start a recruiting firm.
  • Leverage your relationships, both inside and outside client circles, to place great candidates in great companies.
  • Run your business from your rolodex.
  • Reap the rewards.

Notice how none of those steps involve or require technology. That was yesterday. That was the analog world. That was recruiting 1.0. Does it still work? Yes. But it’s slow and it misses out on the amazing opportunities that come from all of this amazing new technology. Digital marketing is recruiting 2.0. It is here. It is now. It is the future.

Technology aptitude

Many recruiters today love technology. But technology intimidates them. They want the benefits, but they don’t want to be dependent on systems that they don’t understand and can’t control. They worry about what will happen if they come to rely on systems they can’t manage.

I’ll give you an example of what this feels like. When I was a young university student, I had a compact car where I could change the spark plugs and the oil in just a few hours. The car ran great after I did that so I did it every few months. It was cheap and easy for me to maintain it. I loved that car.

But when I graduated and started making more money, I bought a more expensive car with fancy electronics. It was much faster, higher-performing and more comfortable. But I couldn’t work on it anymore. I didn’t understand how all of the systems under the hood fit together. On my old car, I could lift the hood and clearly see how things worked. But this new car looked like a tangled mess to me.

This meant I had to take my car to mechanics who understood all of that technology. I was now dependent on the skills and schedules of people whom I could not directly control. I gave them money and hoped to get a well-maintained car in return. Sometimes I got this and sometimes I didn’t.

This is how a lot of recruiters feel about digital marketing and technology. They want the benefits, but they fear the dependencies. If this sounds like you, I have some good news. I believe you can get all of the benefits of technology while greatly reducing concerns about control. But to do this, you have to have the right plan. I’ll explain more about that in a moment.

Other recruiters simply hate technology. Some people have been burned by technology and it’s left them dubious. It’s sometimes so frustrating for them that they would rather go to the dentist and have a drill in their mouth for hours than to deal with yet another technology issue. I totally get that. As a person who has made a living using and managing technology systems, I know how frustrating they can be at times. No matter how you feel about technology, I think it’s important to acknowledge that the world has changed and there is no going back. In fact, I believe wise recruiters should embrace Moore’s law. Have you heard of this?

Moore’s law is a guiding principle of modern industry and it goes like this. Every 18 months the compute capacity and speed of a CPU – the central processing unit will double. Moore’s law, historically, has been pretty close to accurate. CPU’s have consistently doubled. The implications of Moore’s law are nothing less than revolutionary. How so?

It is nearly impossible to name a single industry that has not been transformed by the CPU, the computer chip. The recruitment industry is foremost among these. I describe this in greater detail in my post called What Is Digital Marketing.

So whether you love technology or hate it, I believe it is wise to acknowledge that Moore’s law will only bring about more change, faster change and we cannot anticipate today what that change will look like, just like I could not anticipate playing PacMan on a cell phone.

My counsel to you is simply this. If you do not have an aptitude and an appetite for technology – get one. Those who do not embrace and adapt to what is coming next will get left behind. Period.

Envisioning the future of digital marketing in recruitment

I think the primary reason that recruiters struggle with digital marketing is because they don’t get what it can do for them today and how it fits into the vision for their future. This is certainly a problem for today. But the implications for tomorrow are far more damning.

Here is what I mean. Today you can run a successful recruiting organisation with only a half-baked digital marketing strategy. Tomorrow that will not be possible. Why?

Organisations like JXT are absolutely, 100% committed to making digital marketing part of the daily operations of every recruiter. We are not alone in this endeavor. We are one small part of a huge transformation that is taking place right now and the stakes are very high. This is no longer the realm of the super-elite. This is the realm of the new recruiter, the up-and-comer, the college graduate you will hire next year.

They get technology. They like it, maybe even love it. It is as normal for them as switching on a light when the walk into a dark room. They will not understand or align their careers with an organisation who does not embrace and have a vision for using echnology to great effect.

Here is the great irony for me. I sometimes meet with leaders of recruiting organisations who have an iPhone, an iPad, a laptop and a digital watch, all in the same room with them. Yet they ask me how technology will really change the way they work?

Here again is my counsel to you. If you do not have a plan to apply digital marketing to your recruitment organisation and reap the full range of benefits that this can provide, get one. Build your plan. Do your research. Envision a future where Moore’s law has changed the way you run your business. Whether you embrace it or not, it’s coming!

Next steps

I promised you a moment ago that I would help you with some ideas for digital marketing. In fact, I have a great resource for you and it’s free. I’ve developed an action guide called 6 Steps To Becoming A Digital Marketing Ninja.

If you don’t get what technology, and digital marketing in particular, can do for your business, this is a great free resource to help you build your plan. Across these six videos and downloadable tools, I explain what digital marketing is, how recruiters are using it today to realise competitive advantage and how you can do the same.

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The Evolution of Recruitment and the Workplace

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Change-before-you-have-toToday’s guest blogger is Laura Schmieder of Premier Placement Inc., specializing in manufacturing especially engineering, operations, supply chain, sales and marketing roles globally. She currently serves on the NPAworldwide board of directors.

Last week when discussing a new search with a new client’s hiring manager, I was struck by how much the workplace has changed over the past 35 years I’ve been recruiting. This search was for a team leader (used to be production supervisor) who would “own” the product line – meaning this person wouldn’t be responsible for just one shift but all three shifts that produced the product…not directly as they would work through other team leaders on each shift, but in reality they would have to be available 24/7. They wanted someone who could listen, be authentic, coach, mentor, persuade, a critical thinker, high energy, drive, enthusiasm – it used to be that everyone wanted someone who had been a military junior officer and knew how to command respect!

So too has the recruiting world changed – we don’t just recruit and set up interviews, negotiate offers. Now we need to be concerned with assessment testing, succession planning, as well as privacy, ADA, and fair credit reporting laws to name a few. AND we don’t just work locally – used to be I only marketed within one hour of my home base! Not only do I now work searches throughout the United States, but I’ve placed engineers, sales and marketing managers in Europe, China, and Malaysia to name a few. I market myself to my clients as a full-service recruiter – someone who can listen, coach, persuade AND work all hours of the day depending on the time zone.

I can’t do this alone. Being a member of NPAworldwide, I’ve learned from other recruiters at our annual meetings, global conferences and through webinars to ASK my clients where they have search needs anywhere in the world. At first I was intimidated by what I thought would be language and cultural barriers, but I soon learned that English is the universal business language and my global partners can help me with the local laws, compensation packages, and idiosyncrasies. I am still the “face” to my clients, but I have the backing of many partner offices.

In conclusion, everything in life changes, evolves…progress is good! We need to be sure that we are paying attention to these changes, making time to learn new techniques and technology, as well as laws and best practices. Be sure to take on risks – they stretch to you to your full potential.

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Alternative Revenue Sources for Recruiters

By Dave Nerz

stockvault-calculator142127-300The recruitment business has always been somewhat cyclical. Like the stock market, there are bull markets for recruitment and bear markets for recruitment. Based on demographics, it looks to be a bull market well into the future, but certainly there will bumps in the road ahead.

Many small and mid-sized recruitment firms achieve nearly 100% of revenue from recruiting operations exclusively. While the market is hot now based on the shear demand for recruitment, some firms are beginning to look for ways to smooth the peaks and valleys of a hot-then-cold market for recruitment. They are looking for alternative revenue sources for recruiters. Here are some ideas of services to offer that do not cycle directly with the need for talent and create an alternative revenue source.

  • Retention Training. Evaluate the talent employers want to retain and create strategies to ensure the results desired.
  • Interview Training. Many employers have little to no basis for behavioral-based interviewing or even asking legally acceptable questions of candidate. They require training.
  • Reference Checks. There are providers that offer incentives for referrals. Victig is one example.
  • Employee Satisfaction Benchmarking. Employers can be coached on surveys and other tools to evaluate where they stand with existing employees.
  • Onboarding. Often critical to the short and long-term success of new hires.
  • Candidate Preparation. This is always a fine line for recruiters. There are many services you can direct candidates to that pay a referral fee to you as the recruiter if you would rather not do this yourself.
  • Position Description Writing. Your employer clients need this as you know. You have read the documents that make a fabulous job look miserable. Offer your consultation for a fee.
  • Job Advertisement Creation and Consultation. Again, those closest to the situation see it less clearly. Job adverts are typically a mess with boring and irrelevant details.
  • Candidate Attraction Consultation. Employers would benefit from having a discussion about this before the jobs pop open and need to be filled. This is about thinking long-term.
  • Hiring Strategy Coaching. It is fair to say most employers do not have a strategy. They react and use your recruitment services to fulfill on that immediate need. Maybe you can change the terms of your engagement and move from reactionary to proactive with some strategy.
  • Employment Branding. Companies always need help with their brand.
  • Predictive Analysis Creation. Do your clients know what makes their top 5 sales people successful? Have they evaluated it and tested for it? Can you help them set that standard and then apply it in the process of hiring?
  • Assessment and Appraisal Process Creation. How do your clients evaluate the talent they have?
  • Social Media Strategy Consultation. Employers want to be active but many do not know how. Offer assistance on a consultative basis.
  • Outplacement. Do your clients have people that need to be moved out? This is yet another revenue stream for you as a consultant.

All of these alternative revenue sources for recruiters will require and create a more entrenched relationship with your employer clients. These services can be done on an hourly basis, can be offered on a consulting fee basis, or flat fee-for-service option. Start small and start to build your skills around one of these, offering at a time and in a year you will have a model for delivery of these services to each and every client and prospect that you work with. It would be great to separate your recruitment firm from those that lack this full service capability.

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What’s Hot in Recruitment News?

By Veronica Scrimshaw

business section recruitment newsI don’t know what your feeds have been looking like this week, but mine have been chock-full of recruitment news. Below are five of the most interesting stories I’ve seen this week:

Massachusetts Bans Salary History

The governor of Massachusetts signed a law on Monday that prohibits employers from asking candidates to supply salary histories. The intent of the law is to reduce pay gaps between men  and women. The new law also requires employers to determine the value of a job when setting salaries. Furthermore, employers will no longer be able to stop employees from discussing their salaries. The issue of equal pay is complex, with many factors contributing to the differences. Requiring employers to determine the “value” of a job is likely to be difficult to measure or enforce. The new legislation takes effect in 2018, which gives employers and HR departments some time to adjust their policies and practices. Massachusetts tends to the lead the U.S. in employment law, so watch for other states to follow suit. Stay tuned, this could become interesting.

Robust U.K. Recruitment Market

Nearly 3,000 new recruitment firms were opened in the United Kingdom during the first half of 2016. This represents a 10% increase year-over-year. This is very good recruitment news, especially with the recent uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Employment rates in the UK last year reached their highest numbers since 1971. Employers are struggling to find and retain good talent. The services of skilled professional recruiters are in high demand. That is great for our business and for continued global growth opportunities.

Speaking of Brexit…

The UK referendum to leave the European Union is creating some unique recruitment opportunities. The brand-new Departing for Exiting the European Union is seeking a variety of workforce experts including negotiation experts. There are a large number of UK contractors in other countries who may need to return, as well as a large number of contractors in the UK who may need to return to their home (or other EU) countries as well. There is also a need for skilled professionals who have experience with large-scale mergers and acquisitions. With an expected loss of skilled contractors, the UK may need to strengthen training and education programs for unskilled UK workers, or look to other countries outside of the EU to fill the demand for contractors. Early indications are that the UK will face an even greater talent shortage in the coming year.

India: Online Recruitment Up in July

According to data from Monster, online recruitment activity in India was particularly strong in July. The Monster Employment Index shows a 19% increase year-over-year, with most of the growth in the IT and education sectors. IT is rapidly expanding after a prolonged depression, with 51% growth compared to a year ago. The Index collects data from thirteen cities in India; growth was reported in twelve of them.

People Analytics is Potentially Big Recruitment News

“Big data” is the latest buzzword infiltrating all aspects of business. One of the latest trends to emerge is applying big data practices to hiring. Early indications are that using the latest data analytics techniques can help employers recruit and reward the best personnel. It also has the potential to turn some longstanding HR maxims upside down. Some companies are using big data to help them hone their recruitment efforts in terms of universities or other educational outposts. Others are finding that analytics can reduce bias in the hiring process. In another instance, a company was struggling with attrition and trying to overcome it with bonuses. However, the data showed employees were dissatisfied both with opportunities for development and advancement, as well as low-performing managers. This allowed the company to spend the money differently, with better results and even some cost-savings. Fascinating stuff, which will continue to evolve.

Did I miss anything? What’s the big recruitment news in your part of the world?

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The Recruiter’s Daily Mantra

By Veronica Scrimshaw

pexels-photo-122748-300Today’s guest blogger is Scott Love, a performance coach for recruiters.  He shortens the learning curve for rookies and helps experienced recruiters finally reach their full potential. Over 4,500 staffing and recruiting firms from over 35 countries have invested in his training and performance systems.  Visit his free training site to access his blog, his podcast, and download ten free tools that will help you bill more: www.GreatRecruiterTraining.com.

What I am going to share with you will help you open up more doors with people. It will make everything seem a lot easier when it comes to getting people to bring down their walls. It seems like your whole job as a sales person or recruiter is to get people to trust you and bring their walls down. This will make it a lot easier for you.

Each morning when I wake up, I speak the words of a mantra. I can’t recall when I started doing this, but it was about two or three years ago. I noticed a distinct difference in how people responded to me, and in how much easier it was for them to bring their walls down and open up to me.

Maybe it’s a meditation, or even a prayer. Call it what you will, but this small phrase has proven to serve as a powerful force of opening doors with people, which is what our business is all about.

Try this today and see how it impacts you:

“Put me in the path of those whom I can serve.”

This phrase takes the focus away from what I really want to do, which is to receive some nice commissions, and helps me focus on what I should really be thinking about: working in the service of others. It reframes my focus on the one thing that the recruiting and staffing industry is really all about, which is a powerful and highly personal service to others.

I consider myself a full-time student of this business. Each time I visit a recruiting or staffing office to teach and consult, I absorb new ideas. It’s amazing how one small thought or shift in attitude, or even a single phrase, can open up doors for you. Last night I was leading a Skype training call for a search firm’s two offices in Australia. The owner of the firm mentioned one short phrase that he uses with candidates to get them to agree to go on an interview with a client. It was a powerful word track and I can’t wait to use it the next chance I get.

Try speaking this phrase today and see how much easier it is to get people to trust you. It’s not a magic trick, but it’s a phrase that helps you reframe your attitude to a proper perspective of helping others. If people sense that you are there to serve and not sell, then they will eagerly bring down the walls and become open to your ideas.

Like I always say, don’t focus on the commission, but on the contribution. When you start doing this, you’ll end up earning more commissions.

Reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2016 Scott Love

Independent Recruiter Blog


How Small Recruitment Agencies Can Beat Larger Firms

By Dave Nerz

boerboel-672749_1280-300Big recruitment agencies have some real advantages. But with size come some traits and characteristics that are not always as positive as they may seem. Small recruitment agencies have some distinct advantages also, but a strategy must be put in place to exercise these strengths in order to outposition the big firms. Here are some thoughts on how small can beat big…

 

  1. Recognize the advantages small recruitment agencies have and make the most of these advantages.
  2. Learn how to minimize the big agency advantages.
  3. Put a plan in place and work your plan.

Advantages for Small Recruitment Agencies to Leverage:

  • Information. Being close to the customer has advantages. Small companies have a natural advantage in this area. Get close to your customer and keep the flow of information into your agency moving both ways.
  • Time/Speed. Big companies have a difficult time doing anything quickly. Small companies can do more in the first hours of the day then a giant competitor can do in a week.
  • Focus. Big companies must spread their attention to the whole of the market. Small independents can focus on one segment and become expert. While the big agency must increase scope to remain in a growth mode, small recruitment agencies can remain focused on the customer.
  • Innovation. Big companies need to have endless meetings to get everyone aligned around the smallest changes and shifts. Being nimble and flexible have great advantages to your customers. They want weekly billing…you can do it. They want daily reporting…you can do it. These small requests can rarely be handled with ease by the big agency.
  • Scale. Big companies need big markets. Find the things that big agencies are unwilling to learn, do or service and do them with excellence. You will create a market with little or no competition from the big guys.

Be aware of big agency strengths and do what is needed to minimize those strengths. Have a specific plan in place to combat each area of strength. Be prepared for when the big agency attacks your small business. Understand your response before the attack happens. Whenever possible, band together with like-minded small businesses so that in spite of your unique size you are a part of something bigger. There are many associations and recruitment networks that will allow you to operate as a small business but gain the advantage of being part of something larger.

Big is not always best! And as the story goes…David can beat Goliath when prepared and armed with the right tools.

Independent Recruiter Blog


Five great quotes for recruiters

By Liz Carey

IMG_9872I recently read a blog about the five best quotes for recruiters. It included thoughts from Apple founder Steve Jobs to Chinese philosopher Confucius that could be applied to the recruiting world. It inspired me to create my own list of five of my favorite quotes, and how they can be applied to the recruiting world.

1. The harder you work, the Luckier you get. – Plato
Recruitment is a tough business, and it takes a lot more work than just posting a job order and crossing your fingers. Success takes time, effort and perseverance – not only in getting job orders from clients by building a solid relationship over time, but gaining trust and a good reputation among candidates by providing them with timely feedback and coaching. Sometimes, the recruitment business requires a lot more from you than you’d expect. For example, an NPA member recently shared that over her years of recruiting, she has heard her clients say many candidates are technically qualified, but when it comes to phone screenings and interviews, many miss the mark. Candidates were not doing basic things like answering the question “tell me about yourself” effectively, or asking the employer questions about the company or role. So this recruiter did lots of reading and research and compiled a six-page document that she gives to candidates as a “cheat sheet,” including things such as 15 questions that may be asked of candidates, like “what’s your management style?” and “what should this position pay?”. Her candidate prep starts from the first call, and she gives coaching throughout the hiring process, which ultimately saves her time by sending in candidates that are prepped and ready to go. By putting in a little extra legwork on the candidate’s behalf, and getting the candidates on the same page as her clients, it has made this recruiter very successful.

2. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky
I’m a hockey nut, so I love this quote, and I was reminded of it on a recent Healthcare trading group call, when a member pointed out that the recruiters should look at ways to maximize opportunities with their current clients and focus on all their customer’s needs. For example, a healthcare recruiter may primarily make nursing placements with a major hospital client, but it doesn’t hurt to ask that client if they have placement needs in IT, administrative or clerical. While you may not specialize in these areas, you can partner up with another firm who does – remember, half of a placement fee is better than none at all! And you may become a one-stop-shop for your client, ultimately leading to more job orders in the end!

3. Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. – Warren Buffett
Veronica Scrimshaw of NPA headquarters recently wrote a blog titled: Recruiting Resources: Expense or Investment?, which said that while it’s important to pay attention to expenses, business owners need to realize that not all expenses are equal. Some business expenses, such as recruiter training and development, firm marketing and branding, and technology, have a significant return on investment. One example of a specific expense-turned-investment within our network is echoed by many members – the value of going to a regional meeting or global conference far exceeds the cost of attending it. Time and time again we hear of new partnerships and deals made because of recruiters meeting face-to-face at these events. When it’s time to consider expenses, think of the possible outcome and whether it ultimately could be considered an investment.

4. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.
– Henry David Thoreau, “Life without Principle”
While job order reqs focus on experience or qualifications needed, we hear of many recruiters’ clients turning down candidates who have the right skills – such as a specific degree or certification, or the required number of years of experience in the industry — but aren’t quite the right “fit.” Hiring managers and employers can’t afford to hire the wrong person only to have them leave or get let go because they aren’t a fit with the company’s culture. Companies want candidates who will grow with the company, so many have the mindset: skills can be taught, personality can’t. Those who love what they do are apt to have more drive, adaptability and ambition, than those just looking for a paycheck – and those are the types of candidates your clients want. Look beyond the resume – during your phone or in-person screening, try to get a feel for the candidate’s personality, goals and ambition.

5. Personally, I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. – Winston Churchill
Recruitment is an ever-evolving business. Some of our members have been in it long enough where they remember the days where job orders were sent to your trading partners by mail, and connecting with people was done face-to-face or over the phone. Now, recruitment can be done via social media or even texting, and interviews over Skype. As a recruiter, it’s important to not be so “stuck in your ways” that you’re not able to adapt to wherever the industry is heading. While it’s not a requirement to download every new social media app that comes out to your phone, it is important to be flexible and willing to learn. That might mean taking a webinar so you learn how to brand yourself and your firm on LinkedIn, or it might be getting educated and branching into a new industry if you see hiring in your niche declining, or it may just be listening to your peers’ advice on how to get more clients or best practices – it’s important to always keep an open mind and be willing to learn.

Are there any quotes — recruitment oriented or otherwise — that you live by?

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