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 the past chairman of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.
Where in the hell is my cheese? Survival skills for recruiters are tested right now. Anyone who has survived in our business for a long time has found the ability to grind their way through difficult times. I feel bad for the restaurant owners and other small businesses that are literally shut down. We are fortunate to work in a profession where we can re-invent, change, pivot and grind our way forward. I am not downplaying the challenge right now! In my 40 years I have been through several difficult economies and other challenges. Here are five survival skills for recruiters that I have found important.
- Attitude. For those not relentlessly positive, this word is often annoying. We do select our attitude every day! Attitude predicts altitude. You go where you believe you will go! The farm analogy is corny but illustrative – you can’t plant wheat and expect to grow corn (sorry). Fight to stay positive! If you believe you are done, then you are done.
- Training and Re-learning. It isn’t what you know that counts. It is what you do! Ongoing training and learning is critical to keep your mind open and exploring the best way to move forward. Greg Doersching’s material is excellent. He is one of many great trainers out there! Look at this investment as sunlight hitting a dark forest. We all get lost in the forest from time to time. Good training provides learning, motivation, clarity, and direction!
- Discipline. Hard work is required, but not enough unless you are busy doing the right things. It is easy to get lost in unproductive work. Stay on the phone focused on talking to clients and candidates. Go through your LinkedIn and network with potential referral sources. Focus on leads that you develop through candidate conversations. Create a disciplined system to follow up on targeted postings until you learn they are filled. Being systematic and planning your time out is critical during challenging times.
- Savvy. Having a “nose for the money” is important. Some might say that this is instinctual, but I believe it can be developed. Understand you need to offer value that is driven by either finding “in-demand” candidates or developing high-value clients. A high-value client is one that gives you quality “fillable” job orders or search assignments.
- Connected. Expand your community. If you are a sole proprietor, then this might be the best time to join a network. If you are part of a network such as NPAworldwide, then make use of the provided training and support of other members. It is natural if food is scarce that you expand the size of your habitat. Access more potential jobs and candidates. Re-establish connections that you may have lost along the way.