Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Matt Lowney

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Matt Lowney is the CEO of Practice Recruiters and The Recruiting Call Center. He was previously the EVP of talent & operations at The Buntin Group, Tennessee’s largest advertising agency. Before that, he was director of recruiting for HealthSpring and recruiting manager at DaVita. Connect with him at http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattlowney

Articles by Matt Lowney

Relationships, Viewpoint

If All You Want Is To Sell Me, Don’t Bother



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Vendor: A person who sells something

Partner: An ally or companion

What’s the difference between a staffing agency being a vendor or a partner?

The key is how both hiring managers and agency recruiters respect the relationship. Hiring managers can’t get upset at the quality of candidates they receive when they treat recruiters like dirt. And staffing agencies cannot be upset when they treat the recruiting process like a sales transaction.

Entrepreneurship

Why I Left Corporate Recruiting



Matt Lowney
Matt Lowney

Matt Lowney

As you may have read in my previous post, “Staffing Agency Pitch: ‘We’re Different.’ Employer: Yawn.” my belief is that there’s not strong differentiation in the staffing vendor world. Too often sales pitches don’t strongly reinforce their key differences in building a business case. Said another way, most firms seem to be focused on business development and not recruiting quality.

That’s a broad brush to paint the industry with and there are certainly several very strong local and national firms, but that seems to be the overall client perspective of staffing firms. With that in mind, I recently decided to move out of corporate recruiting and start a recruiting practice (actually two different firms) with an eye to doing things differently.

Relationships, The Business of Recruiting

“We Recruit For Fit.” Now, What Does That Mean?



Workers cheering - freedigital

Workers cheering - freedigitalMy agency partners have told me countless times that they work hard to locate candidates that are a good cultural fit for my organization. Truthfully, I think agencies tell me this because it’s what they think I want to hear. They don’t actually know what cultural fit means and moreover do not have any meaningful process in place to vet candidates based on my organization’s culture fit. When pressed, most agencies respond with vague, you’ll-know-it when-you-see-it type answers.

Business

Contingency vs. Retained Search: A Client’s Perspective



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bigstock-Job-Employee-Man-Candidate-Sea-8608360Why do most external recruiters work on a contingency basis? And why does most retained work happen at the executive level? As a client, I receive better focus and (typically) better results from retained partners. And the client-agency relationship feels more like, well, a relationship. I also assume that most contingency recruiters would rather work on a retained basis knowing they are going to get paid for their work.

Following that line of thought I’ve wondered why there isn’t more retained work at the mid-management level. As a client I get better focus because the recruiter knows I have some skin in the game, and the recruiter is happy because, well, she knows she’s going to get paid. Perhaps top-tier executive retained search firms don’t want to work on these roles because they are less lucrative. However, I tend to think that mid-level retained work would happen if there was a more robust client need.

Business

Contingency vs. Retained Search: A Client’s Perspective



Search for talent

Why do most external recruiters work on a contingency basis? And why does most retained work happen at the executive level?

As a client, I receive better focus and (typically) better results from retained partners. And the client-agency relationship feels more like, well, a relationship. I also assume that most contingency recruiters would rather work on a retained basis knowing they are going to get paid for their work.

Following that line of thought I’ve wondered why there isn’t more retained work at the mid-management level. As a client I get better focus because the recruiter knows I have some skin in the game, and the recruiter is happy because, well, she knows she’s going to get paid. Perhaps top tier executive retained search firms don’t want to work on these roles because they are less lucrative. However, I tend to think that mid-level retained work would happen if there was a more robust client need.

Business Development, Cold Calling, For Managers

“How do I win your business?” Not By Doing What Everyone Else Does



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Note: Matt Lowney will be speaking at the upcoming Fordyce Forum 2013. His session So You Want to Sell to Me? Here’s How to Do It will offer firm owners and leaders a look at what it takes to get a client’s business and how best to connect with new clients in today’s highly competitive world. Register now at Fordyce Forum 2013.

“How do I win your business?” It seems like a simple enough request, but ultimately it’s a process that most recruiting agencies do not handle well.

In June I will be speaking on this very topic at the Fordyce Forum in Dallas – winning and keeping business from the perspective of the client. As someone who has utilized every variation of third party recruiter, I know they can add tremendous value, but there are three key areas that agencies should focus on improving to make the vendor-client relationship less tenuous. Let me be clear, this is not a beat-up-the-vendor topic. I want to focus on raising the bar across the board for all recruiting professionals.

Business Development

If You Want My Business, Here’s What You Need to Do



Staffing agency

Editor’s note: Matt Lowney, EVP of talent & operations at The Buntin Group, will be speaking at the 2013 Fordyce Forum.  He’s worked with hundreds of outside recruiters and agencies during his years as a recruiting leader at HealthSpring and DaVita. He’s been pitched so many times he’s lost count, but knows what works and what doesn’t. He’ll share that insight during his Forum presentation and tell you just what you need to do to get his business and how to set yourself apart from the herd.

Staffing agencies struggle to differentiate their brand message and uniqueness in a sea of competition. In my dealings with staffing agencies, their pitches all begin to sound the same, but they also recognize that the sheer volume of competitors makes it difficult to sound different, if they truly are. In most local markets there are a handful of solid players and a larger number of peripheral staffing firms that tend to create the “noise” (read: sales calls).

Here are my thoughts on being a top agency player in your market:

Be different: I harped on this point a while ago, but I challenge any staffing agency that wants to be great to clearly communicate their compelling business case. Talk about your recruiting process, client relations, local market connections, and client successes.

Business, Business Development, Cold Calling, For Managers, Staffing

If You Want My Business, Here’s What You Need to Do



Try me marketing on billboard

Editor’s note: In a world where corporate recruiting leaders get a call — or more — a day from staffing and search firms pitching their business, how do you get through the noise to land the business? Drawing on his years dealing with recruitment vendors of all types and sizes, Matt will tell you how to reach him and sell him during his workshop at the 2013 Fordyce Forum

Try me marketing on billboardStaffing agencies struggle to differentiate their brand message and uniqueness in a sea of competition. In my dealings with staffing agencies, their pitches all begin to sound the same, but they also recognize that the sheer volume of competitors makes it difficult to sound different, if they truly are. In most local markets there are a handful of solid players and a larger number of peripheral staffing firms that tend to create the “noise” (read: sales calls).

Here are my thoughts on being a top staffing agency player in your market:

Business, Staffing

Staffing Agency Pitch: “We’re Different.” Employer: Yawn.



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Over the last several years I’ve sat through no less than 100 staffing agency “pitches” in person or over the phone. At this point these meetings have begun to all sound very similar, so I’ll bucket agency sales pitches in to these three areas.

“We’re Different.” Almost every agency says they have a special/unique process for reviewing resumes, sourcing candidates, and access to candidates that sets them apart from their competitors. From my experience I’ve not really seen the impact of their “unique” process in the candidates they’ve submitted. Additionally, most agencies don’t appear to have a thorough understanding of their competition. At some point in almost every vendor meeting someone says that they don’t push paper like “everyone else.” I would encourage vendors to have a much more in-depth understanding of the competitive landscape before they make such broad sweeping indictments of their competitors.