Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Here’s How to Tell If Hiring Makes Financial Sense

Hiring - freedigital

Hiring - freedigitalFor a moment let’s ignore all the human and emotional aspects of hiring employees and take a close look at the numbers. In other words, why does it make financial sense to hire when: it is so difficult to train; hiring creates a huge distraction to personal production, and; knowing most of those we hire will fail?

For this article I am going to utilize my internal ratios that I have tracked over the last eight years and more than $8 million in gross revenue. To be clear, these ratios include the time as a rookie office when I opened with three green recruiters. And obviously my numbers have been significantly influenced by the great recession. I am confident that my ratios will naturally improve as I accumulate more experience in this industry and time during strong markets.


Lessons From a Taxi Driver

taxis in line-free-stuartmiles

taxis in line-free-stuartmilesI recently attended a healthcare conference in Seattle. These sessions always yield the opportunity to meet with interesting and accomplished people, some new and some known. And the quest to enhance my knowledge of the industry is always fulfilled.

But the classroom I describe next was unlike any other I have experienced.

Anyone who travels frequently ends up in the back seat of too many taxis and limos. I usually try to engage the friendlier drivers in conversation as a way to pass my taxi time; I encounter all types.

Ask Barb

Call People? Talk to Them? What A Concept!

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How do I get my younger recruiters to make phone calls? They are convinced that our candidates will only communicate by text or email, but I believe this is the way my recruiters want to communicate. They look at me like I’m a dinosaur and don’t listen to my advice. They are not hitting their goals, so how do I force the issue?

Amanda H.
San Jose, CA

If It’s Not In the Offer Letter, It Doesn’t Exist


There are many misconceptions about offer letters. However, before you read this post, please be aware that this is not intended to be legal advice. However, I want you to know what an offer letter is and is not.

Up until about 15 years ago, some of my candidates got offer letters, some did not. It made no difference. Today, it is a matter of course. In fact, most of my candidates will not resign from their existing company until they receive an offer letter. They are correct to wait for the letter. However, even if they have one and it has been signed by both parties, it is not a contract of employment. An offer letter merely spells out a company’s intention to hire, but it is not a guaranty of employment and it is not a contract.

Fees, Jeff's On Call!

No ‘Mistake” If You Caused the Hire

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:

There was a mistake about who referred the candidate.

How Client Pays:


4 Tips to More Effective Job Ads

infojobs toilet paper dispenser ad

infojobs toilet paper dispenser adThe writing process for a job advertisement should be the same as that of any other advertisement: Begin with identifying your customer.

Thinking of your role as a product will enable you to structure your job advertisement in a manner that best appeals to the target customer of that product, tailoring your language and the format to suit them.

Your job advertisement should meet four basic criteria:

Business, For Managers

What to Measure to Recruit More Efficiently


Arrowchart-freeConventional wisdom: You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

More than just a business world cliché, there’s plenty of evidence that measured performance does lead to a more effective organization in areas as diverse as sales, manufacturing, professional services, and recruiting.

Many organizations use metrics to understand how their sourcing and recruiting processes are working, and where there is room for improvement. But are sourcing professionals and recruiting managers measuring the right things?

Ask Barb

Go After the High Margin Business

Ask Barb

Dear Barb,

We are a light industrial staffing firm and have been in business for 10 years. Two years ago, I heard you suggest that we consider business that is high margin. I didn’t take your advice and now our margins are decreasing and I don’t even know what the Affordable Care Act  is going to do to us.

Can you define what you meant by high margin business? I don’t know that I will be in business next year at this time, if our margins continue going south. Some of the big guys in our business are the ones who are responsible for driving rates down.

Tom F.
Cleveland, OH

Want to Recruit Me? Here’s What It Takes For Me to Respond


bigstock-Job-Employee-Man-Candidate-Sea-8608360I recently met a “very placeable candidate” (some call them most placeable candidate) and gained intriguing insider knowledge that will show you how important trust is between a candidate and a recruiter.

To give you an overview, a VPC has great technical, communication, and leadership skills, with a personality that fits well with any company. Recruiters love meeting VPCs, but we also know they are called and emailed by many recruiters – constantly.

The VPC I connected with said she receives 50-100 calls andemails each week from local IT recruiters. I had to ask, “What do you with all those calls and emails?”

Jeff's On Call!

Instant Falloff? Worry About Protection, Not Collection


Hi Jeff,

I am a big fan of yours, and have followed the Jeff’s On Call! column for years.

We just just heard something very disturbing, and need your help.

Our client is in in Pennsylvania, and we made two placements with them in the past. We were paid with no problems.

Our most recent hire is a controller who lives here in Florida and was expecting a moving company to arrive tomorrow for relocation to her new position. She just received an email from our client telling her that they lost a big contract, and decided not to have her start with them. She is furious, as you might expect.