Today’s guest blogger is Bill Benson with WilliamCharles Search Group located in Grand Rapids, MI. WilliamCharles is an executive search and professional recruiting firm specialized in finding managerial and executive talent in finance, HR, operations, sales/marketing as well as president/CEO roles. They have a concentration of clients in Michigan but they also work across the US. Bill is currently serving on NPA’s Board of Directors.
First I will tell you that I turned 54 this year. I share this because when I tell you that I’ve been in the recruiting industry for 37 years you will think I’m much older! I took a summer job at a Robert Half office in Minneapolis when I was 17. I’ve either worked a desk or managed recruiters through 4 U.S. recessions – Early 80’s, early 90’s, early 2000’s (seeing a pattern?) and of course the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
No doubt our job is a roller coaster – At any moment we are a “yes” away from euphoria and a “no” away from an emotional fall! Often good months are followed by bad months and even the best recruiters have slumps.
How to ride the coaster over the long run? Here is my recipe: stay even-keeled – don’t get too high when times are good and don’t get too low when you are struggling. Celebrate your deals and learn from your failures, but motivate and reward yourself around developing new sendouts.
Build lasting relationships. People in our business survive recessions and succeed because they build relationships with clients, candidates (and split-fee trading partners) or they add value by being extremely methodical and disciplined.
Here are 5 stops and 5 starts if you are in a recruiting slump!
1. Spending too much time with your email – this is a tool, not a lifestyle.
2. Working B and C job orders. Qualify before spending your time.
3. Being negative – “you grow what you plant.”
4. Beating your head against the wall with candidates who are overcirculated.
5. Working with clients that are posting their positions and using other firms.
1. Plan your time into blocks – set goals for each day on outcomes you can control.
2. Call past clients, past placements, past references of placements, past split partners
3. Measuring your time on the phone – technology has given us so many new opportunities that we forget that we win when we are on the phone!
4. Call your best candidates after hours. This inspires trust – they tell you more and you will have more information, and therefore you will have more control in the relationship.
5. Take advantage of industry training offered through recruitment organizations (NPAworldwide has some great options for members) and try new approaches. The beauty of our job is that we have the choice to reinvent ourselves any time we decide.
Attitude determines latitude – Stay positive, develop a plan and work it. You will be successful in the long run!
What advice do you have for ending a recruiting slump?