Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

For Managers

8 Tips to Help You Be A More Decisive Leader


Stress illustrationBeing able to make good decisions quickly is essential to business success. If you find yourself hesitating when it comes to making a choice, use these eight tips to help you be more decisive:

1.    Have a clear decision making process. If you don’t have a good critical thinking process in place, you may be reluctant to make important decisions. You don’t have confidence in your methodology so you look for more data, ask more people, and do more analysis. A good thinking process will help you know when you have enough information to move forward.  In order to make a good decision you need to gather information

Ask Barb

8 Suggestions for Retaining Your Recruiters

Ask Barb

Dear Barb,

How do I compete against the companies that offer my recruiters the ability to work from home, much higher commissions and provide them with an ATS, back office and support?

Sarah R.
Los Angeles, CA

Dear Sarah,

This is no different than your recruiters going to work for one of your competitors, except for the ability to work from home. Many recruiters


When the Candidate Rejects Your Feedback, It May be Time to Walk Away

Defensive posture

Defensive postureThings move fast in recruiting. You speak to dozens of candidates daily, giving both positive and constructive feedback.

Today, we are studying the case of a candidate named Kelly G.

Kelly earned an MBA from Duke and worked in mid-management marketing positions at Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines over the past four

Jeff's On Call!

How to Help Your Criminally-Challenged Candidates

Placements and the law logo

About that “new” EEOC policy about candidate’s criminal record in pre-employment screening. In a sentence, it means:

File a charge of discrimination if a candidate isn’t hired (or is fired) for having committed some non-job-related crime.

If you’re doing contingency-fee search, your existing policy in a sentence is:

Race to place.

That means:

  • If it’s not job-related, don’t consider it.
  • If it has no bearing on the job duties (like a conviction for embezzlement of a bank veep candidate), don’t disclose it.
  • No third-party criminal background checks.

But how about a new policy for you too? How about one to help criminally-challenged candidates resume productive, placement-fee-generating careers?

Social Media, Sourcing

5 Places to Source Candidates For Free

Meeup groups

Meeup groupsNote: Yesterday, Debbie Fledderjohann discussed using social media to source candidates and market your business. Read it here.

The smartest recruiters build relationships with intelligent, potential candidates even before there is a role that needs filling.

As competitive as the recruitment market can be, there are places where you can find potential candidates for free, you just need to be proactive about investing the time it may take to do so.

Industry News

Employers Taking More Time Than Ever to Fill Jobs

time to fill by industry

The time to fill open positions has reached a national average of just about 25 days, the lengthiest job vacancy period in the 13 years covered by the DICE–time to fill by industryDFH Vacancy Duration Measure.

The monthly report on time to fill and recruiting efforts says that on average it took 24.9 working days (Monday-Saturday) in June to post, source, and hire a new employee. That’s more than nine days longer than it took at the height of the recession in July 2009. Then, the average was 15.3 working days.

The lengthening time to fill is having a serious impact on search firms. Data from MRINetwork says growing numbers of candidates are taking alternative offers while clients make up their mind. As a consequence, 81%

How-To, Sourcing

Marketing and Sourcing With Social Media


Note: Don’t miss “5 Places to Source Candidates for Free.” Coming tomorrow.

Social media offers an infinite number of tools and techniques to market your contract staffing services and source contract candidates. But social media can be daunting. Here are some tricks for using the most popular social networks based on our own experiences, research, and discussions with recruiters.


Ask Barb

IT Contract Staffing: A Lucrative Niche

Ask Barb

Dear Barb,

I want to begin to add contract staffing to my executive search firm and have several questions. Do I need to operate under a separate name? What is the best way to fund the payroll? Do I have to provide benefits for the contractors? My niche is IT; do I place contractors in my same niche? Sorry about all the questions, but I’ve only done executive search for over 20 years.

Dave G.
Baltimore, MD

 Dear Dave,

I’ll try to address all of your questions. IT contract is one of the most


Help Your Sales Professional Craft A Better Resume


stack of resumesAs an executive recruiter who specializes in placing IT sales and sales management talent, I am often frustrated by the quality of the resumes I receive; even from truly exceptional candidates.

The problem goes beyond the job seekers themselves, as “expertise” on resume preparation is as random as summertime showers in the Rocky Mountains. So I will provide clarity for sales professionals based upon my keen knowledge of the pressure-packed dynamics of today’s hiring climate.

The perfect resume does not exist, but the structure I suggest will get your documents noticed in the forest of paperwork being reviewed by top executives.

Jeff's On Call!

Promissory Estoppel: The Way You Get Paid When the Client Changes Things


Hi Jeff,

I have learned a great deal from your “Jeff’s On Call!” column and also from your National Placement Law Center Fee Collection Guide. The column is certainly a place where rookies and seasoned veterans alike can get useful tips for the search industry.

I am a veteran recruiter with over 20 years experience. I have done both retained and contingency search.

We have finished an extensive (3+ month) contingency search on an exclusive basis. During the search, the client sent names for us to screen and recruit. Of course one of these candidates landed the position after we screened, recruited, referred, and set up the initial interview. The client has offered to pay only a partial fee since they sent us the name of the candidate.

Unfortunately, I believe this will end up being hashed out in court. Will it matter what the reason is for the sending of the names to our firm? What legal theories does this case center on?