As technology has changed many things in recruiting over the last two decades, there is something that suffers the pain of change inextricably in many organizations and that something of which I speak is the act (and art) of communication.
I could go on and on in this article about how nobody is talking to anybody anymore because of technology and this is pretty much true inside the recruiting departments of companies and is pretty much the reason many of you are in business today; however the reason for this article isn’t to bemoan that happy fact.
The reason for this piece is to share with you my techniques for learning about new business opportunities while I am phone sourcing.
Let me backtrack for just a moment.
What is a phone sourcer?
People hire me to call in to companies to find people with vey specific titles (or people doing very specific jobs) inside (usually) very specific organizations.
Kind of like in the old days when you had the time to do it yourself – old fashioned headhunting. I do the research and the recruiter does the recruiting.
Isn’t everyone on LinkedIn?
If they were you and I wouldn’t be in business. It’s a common misconception (lie) nowadays (especially among corporate recruiters who have to justify the massive amounts their bosses are spending for LI Recruiter seats!) and the truth of the matter is some industries are woefully under-represented (think manufacturing, healthcare) while others (think recruiting) are sickeningly over-represented.
Be that as it is, on my daily sojourns a gatekeeper usually answers my first dial in.
Recently I was working on a Director of Operations for a Midwestern heat exchanger manufacturer. They wanted a hands-on plant manager out of a discrete/engineered products manufacturer in Tornado Alley. I was calling into plants identifying plant managers on the first leg of my job.
You know the plant gatekeeper type:
Thank you for calling ABC Company, Marie speaking, may I help you?
Yes, Marie. This is Maureen Sharib. Can you tell me who your plant manager is?
We don’t have a plant manager right now. He died suddenly last month. Would you like to speak with our manufacturing manager? He’s handling his duties for now…
Whoa! Surprise. But it happens. Death is rather extreme, but this example happened on this job along with three other vacancies I heard about at the fifty or so plants I called into. They were:
- Director of Operations
- Production Manager
- Plant Manager (who needed coil fabricators at another plant)
All these represent business opportunities for recruiters that someone who is calling into companies on the front lines of recruiting research is hearing about because someone is still willing to talk with people.
A great deal of this early probing and talking with people is not happening nowadays because technology is removing this research “burden” from so many and so many are so glad-fully handing it over without a thought to this lost opportunity cost.
They have no idea what they’re losing in this pact with the devil they’re making.
Next month I’ll regale you with a tale of the second leg of my job – when I contacted the plant managers to “tickle” their interest in my customer’s opportunity and report to you the next layer of business opportunities I uncovered.
I really appreciate that you took the time to read my post. I regularly write about phone sourcing and business development issues and trends. If you’d like to read more about the mysterious world of phone sourcing (it’s really not that mysterious!), Google my name and the word gatekeeper – lots of articles will come up for you that I’ve written over the years. It’ll be a good introduction for you to the subject!
Yes, I do (grudgingly) have a LinkedIn profile – send me an invite at maureen at techtrak.com – I’ll accept. I do post articles over there as well.
I own the phone sourcing/competitive sniffing firm TechTrak.com, Inc. that helps companies find and telephone contact candidates for their hard-to-place positions at fractional traditional recruiting costs.
You can always contact me at 513 646 7306.