Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Ask Barb

Are Your Recruiters W-2 or 1099?

Ask Barb

Dear Barb,

I have my recruiters all working on a 1099 and at a recent conference I heard you say that they may not qualify as an independent contractor. Can you explain further?

Stephen Z.
New Orleans, LA

Dear Stephen,

Talk this over with your accountant and go to IRS.gov and print out the various requirements which must be met in order for someone to qualify as a 1099 employee. If they do not meet 100% of the qualifications listed, you need to deduct payroll taxes. Better safe than sorry.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Industry News

Hiring Programmers. Degree Not Required

Glassodoor Q2 employee survey

Glassodoor Q2 employee surveyBy a surprisingly large percentage, CIOs  put more emphasis on skills and experience than on tech degrees from prestigious universities.

A Robert Half Technology survey of some 2,400 chief information officers at companies with more than 100 employees found 71% place “more weight on skills and experience than on whether or not a candidate attended college/university.” Another 12% said university prestige didn’t matter at all.

Now, that’s not to say most tech executives complete ignore degrees — 17% say they put at least some weight on a candidate’s education. But what the majority look for first are candidates who can get the job done.

Industry News

Staffing Firms Dominate Inc. 5000 HR Category

Inc. 5000 top 10

Inc. 5000 top 10Inc. magazine is out with its annual list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in the U.S. This year, 199 self-described human resource companies made the list, many, if not most of them recruiting and staffing firms.

The largest staffing firm is Elwood Staffing with $763 million in revenue last year. The company places temps in several areas from administrative and clerical positions to the skilled trades. It’s direct placement division — Elwood Professional – conducts searches for mid-level professionals on up to CEOs.

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

You Said You Were Doing This As a Favor

Jeff Allen COllection Tip

Editor’s note: Jeff Allen has heard every employer excuse you can imagine for not paying up — and dozens more that defy imagination. A few years ago he began documenting them in a weekly collections column. Because of the importance of collections, Fordyce will periodically reprise the most common situations he addressed. The complete collection is here.

What Client Says:

You said you wouldn’t bill us if we hired the candidate.

How Client Pays:

Business Development, Cold Calling

Your Pitch Will Stand Out When It’s About Them


elevatorpitchDoes your elevator pitch sound anything like this? Hi, I’m Bob and I recruit the smartest people who can hit the ground running for the best companies in the area. And I can do the same for you.”

Not too bad?

Wrong, says Ian Altman. “The best elevator pitch shouldn’t explain what you do,” he says, “if your elevator pitch talks about WHAT you do instead of WHY people might need what you do, then your message is likely falling on deaf ears.”

For Managers, The Business of Recruiting

Here’s How to Fix Your Comp Plan to Keep the Winners

Money hands - freedigital

Money pile - freedigitalCompensating recruiters – it’s straightforward, right? All recruiters just get a cut of what they bill – yes? Well actually, no!

While this may be the prevalent model in the U.S., in my view this approach is far too simplistic. It tends to suggest that the founders of the business have given no real thought to what they may ultimately want the firm to look like, and how compensation needs be structured in order to attract the best possible talent through every stage without overpaying. Is the business a lifestyle business or are you trying to create something of value and building towards an exit? The disciplines around compensation, profit drop through, and costs will all be different depending on the goal of the business. Owners of staffing firms have to think about why the best recruiter is going to join their company – and why the current top performer is going to stay.


Agreements, Slumps, and Offers

2 minute coaching logo

Topic 1: Should you start a search without a signed agreement?

We were all likely taught that you should never start a search without a signed agreement. This makes good sense for many obvious reasons. However, what do you do if a hiring manager authorizes you to send people for a search but does not return your agreement promptly?

Hiring authorities (like all of us) only do things when it is obvious that it will benefit them in a tangible way. Reading a contract in detail before they receive a candidate is not always at the top of their priority list. Often it is your presentation of a star candidate that provides the motivation for the manager to sign your agreement.

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