Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Maureen Sharib

Maureen Sharib is a telephone names sourcer, names sourcing since 1997. She and her husband Bob own the names-sourcing firm TechTrak.com, Inc. (www.techtrak.com) which helps companies fill their hard-to-place positions at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruiting venues. Maureen is the moderator for the Magic In the Method business networking site, a professional site for sourcers with an emphasis on telephone sourcing. She is also the author of the only of its kind and very popular Magic In the Method telephone names sourcing training course and a continuous contributor to many online recruiting-related sites. You can connect with Maureen and TechTrak via Twitter or email at techtrak@embarqmail.com.

Articles by Maureen Sharib

Cold Calling

‘No’ Could Mean ‘Yes’, So Just Talk to Me



Marigold hotel

Marigold hotel”Just talk to me.”

I saw a post in a sales group on LinkedIn:

How do you generate leads of potential customers in B2B, industrial products, raw materials or semi-finished products?

Actually it was a poll and 33% said they did geographical screening/searching; 33% said they used fairs, ads, associations, the web and etc.; and 33% said they used “other,” but it didn’t say what “other” was.

I bet it’s cold calling.

I saw a movie a while ago  called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Here’s the trailer.

I loved it and highly recommend it.

It’s about a bunch of financially distressed old farts that travel to Jaipur, India (for various reasons) to spend their golden years in the lap of luxury. When they get there they discover they’ve been taken in by advertising that promised so much more than it delivered.

Or did it?

Cold Calling

Yes’ Could Mean ‘No,’ So Just Talk To Me



fordyce-default

Just talk to me.

I saw a post in a sales group on LinkedIn: “How do you generate leads of potential customers in B2B, industrial products, raw materials or semi-finished products?”

Actually it was a poll and 33% said they did geographical screening/searching; 33% said they used fairs, ads, associations, the web and etc.; and 33% said they used “other,” but it didn’t say what “other” was.

I bet it’s cold calling.

You can take the poll here and view the collective wisdom of others immediately.

How-To

Important Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Phone Sourcer



Office Telephone

Editor’s note: Need to hire a phone sourcer, but not sure how to properly vet them? Maureen Sharib, an experienced phone sourcer and trainer who with her husband, runs TechTrak, says you need to ask the right kind of questions to make sure the person you settle on will do a quality job at a fair price. Here are questions she suggests you ask.

What is your definition of phone sourcing? If they say they call companies to “check” on information they find on the Internet (“Is she still there? What’s her title now?”), keep looking. You haven’t found a real “phone sourcer.” If they tell you they find names of people who hold specific titles inside specific organizations that you provide you probably do have a phone sourcer on the line but you need to dig deeper.

Can you explain your process? A phone sourcer should be able to do this without boring you out of your skull or being reluctant to divulge his process.

How long have you been phone sourcing? If it’s less than three to five years you probably don’t have one experienced enough to get through to all of what you need.

Do you specialize in any one niche? Most true phone sourcers don’t. One niche won’t give you the breadth of experience you need to be able to think on your feet.

Cold Calling, How-To

Important Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Phone Sourcer



fordyce-default

die-hard phone jockeysEditor’s Note: If you’ve ever hired a sourcer to help with a particularly thorny search, you undoubtedly discovered that not only are they all not alike, but the range of services they provide is vastly different, as are their rates. Maureen Sharib is a phone sourcer who, with her husband, runs TechTrak. A phone sourcer is different from one who primarily sources via the Internet. Both provide a valuable, if different type of service for recruiters. In this post, Maureen offers guidance on hiring a quality phone sourcer.

What is your definition of phone sourcing? If they say they call companies to “check” on information they find on the Internet (“Is she still there? What’s her title now?”), keep looking. You haven’t found a real “phone sourcer.”

If they tell you they find names of people who hold specific titles inside specific organizations that you provide you probably do have a phone sourcer on the line but you need to dig deeper.

Cold Calling

Running With the Herd? Try Doing Something Different



fordyce-default

I’m a phone sourcer and I make my living working the phones. To be exact, I make my living going into the bowels of companies and identifying who does what.

I hear more and more from many of you in our community of Oh, you’re that old school type, right?”  Yeah, I am.

My company has two levels of service; that first tier telephone name generation piece and a secondary (and subtler) level that many don’t know about — the candidate contact piece — which we call profiling.

That second level of service is when we contact each potential candidate we’ve identified by phone or is on a list the customer provides.

We’re that first audible touch many potential candidates ever receive from the outside. We get a bird’s eye understanding of the individual’s capacities (usually 8-12 questions are asked) and we also gauge the level of interest that person might have in talking further with a recruiter.

Profiling Demand Worries Me

The demand for our profiling service, especially the profiling service where the customer provides the names, is passing our demand for our original phone-sourced names service.  That has worried me the last couple years.

Having given much thought to this phenomenon (and being an active profiler) I think I understand why the profiling demand is expanding. Let me tell you why.

How-To

Sourcing Is A ‘Real Time’ Activity



org chart for sourcing

I recently did a search for managers and senior managers in tax out of second- and third-tier accounting companies on the East Coast.

The customer had sent me a list of names he already had — informing me they’d be a nice addition to my “database.” The problem with that is 90% of his names were on LinkedIn.

I’m just not that interested.

Furthermore, several of his names were not only on LinkedIn — they were no longer at the respective companies he had them listed under, or their titles had changed; senior managers having moved on to principal or partner, which were of no interest because they were too high on the totem pole.

I don’t have time to chase phantoms.

Cold Calling

Voicemail? Email? Success Takes A Conversation



business call - serious look

I saw an interesting discussion posted in one of the LinkedIn groups I belong to. It asked:

When “cold calling” on a company for the first time, what is the best way to make contact that gets results? Assume you have no “in” at the company.

There were 64 votes. The voting results follow:

  • Email (4%)
  • Telephone (until you reach them live) (18%)
  • Inmail once (1%)
  • Email, then follow up by telephone (28%)
  • Telephone, then follow up by email (46%)

I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to change “company” to “person” and change “Assume you have no in at the company” to, “You don’t know this person.”

Which would you choose?

I’m a phone sourcer who’s asked many times to take my research one step further and contact each of the names I’ve sourced to “profile” them for their interest in the opportunity my customer represents. So, I would choose Door #2: Telephone (Until You Reach Them Live).

Entrepreneurship

But That’s Not My Job



fordyce-default

“But that’s not my job.”

There are 6.2 million long-term unemployed in the United States.

Many get up each and every morning and go to their computers looking for work as if their computers will soon offer (will it be today?) a panacea to their worry.

Guess what? If you’re not willing to do anything, anywhere, at whatever price, you may as well hang up your tool belt now. There it is — the nail on the wall. Go ahead. Reach high, stretch.

While you’re stretching, think about this:

Cold Calling, Relationships

What You Wish You Could Tell Candidates



fordyce-default

I’m always hearing recruiters say they want to be more helpful to candidates.

I wonder. I wrote the following with the idea that it might help some express some of their challenges through a third-party voice.

I’m a phone sourcer. That means I am paid to find people who hold specific titles or who are doing specific job functions inside (usually) specific companies.

I’ve been doing this a long time.

There are a few things that spell disaster for you as a job seeker.

TFL archives

Selling/Buying Businesses: Watch Out for These Jokers!



fordyce-default

This is a continuation in the series started a couple months back here in The Fordyce Letter about buying/selling businesses. The first article was called “Thinking about Selling Your Recruiting Business?” and the author was pelted with calls to write more regarding this subject. Reluctantly, she agreed to. This segment is called Watch Out for These Jokers!

There was an article over on LinkedIn recently that caught my eye:

Anyone considering alternative employment opportunities for 2008? Buying a Business or a Franchise? A lot of folks have been telling me that they would love to build their own business as a hedge against future downsizing and workplace frustrations. Can this be an alternative?

As I began what I thought would be a witty and mostly casual comment, I began to feel the blood course into my fingers, circulating quickly in my body and flushing my cheeks. I had to do a push-away before I really got myself into trouble, but I thought I’d share my response with you here.

This is one of my pet peeves. Individuals who profess they “always wanted to/want to own their own business.” The only person I concluded most of these people were kidding after dealing with these “suspects” for 22 years was themselves. They’d call me about a business I was representing for sale and they’d want to know the most particular of information! Like they had a right to ask. They’d get all huffy when I’d slow them down and ask for their name. Their temperaments would reveal themselves when I insisted upon a telephone number so I could “call them back”. When I did call them back, and got through to the ones who had not lied to me about their names/telephone numbers, some of them would want to know why I wanted to know how much money they had. Imagine that. Me asking them how much money they had and if they passed this qualifier the next thing I’d demand to know was what did their spouse think of this hare-brained scheme of theirs?

By this time, the savvy among them understood where I was coming from but you’d be surprised how many flaked off up to this point. For those remaining, I’d invite them to my office and place a “Nondisclosure Form” in front of them to sign. “What’s this?” a few would blink.

“It’s a Nondisclosure Form. It says that anything you learn about this particular business in your inspection of it will not be disclosed to any third parties unless they have a need to know.”

“And it better be a really good need-to-know,” I’d think caustically to myself as the majority of them signed on the dotted line. Occasionally, though, one wouldn’t, for some or other tawdry reason and out my gilded doors they’d go, unrequited and unceremoniously. I always imagined them going to some other broker, or worse yet, some owner without representation, who wasn’t nearly as hard-boiled as I was.

I didn’t have time to sit and listen to their air-ball fantasies as they kidded themselves about being a “business owner.” I’d paid my dues – been there and had plenty of them waste my time before I learned this hard lesson. I had good businesses to sell and I owed it to my sellers to represent them in the most professional manner I could. I tried. I’m quite sure in the trying I made some enemies. Oh well.

Before I trotted out the business information and most importantly and always of interest to them, “the financials,” I’d “interview” them as to what their motivations were in buying a business. See, even at this point I had bozos to deal with. I had a philosophy at that time – you needed three things to own a business and run it successfully – money, knowledge and guts. You could get by with two of these things but one of them always had to be guts. I hold this same philosophy in my name sourcing business today.

There’d be clues as to their motivational misalignments. One would be that they would want to come into my office “at night” (after-work) or on weekends (off-work). I went along with these silly game plans early in my career but as the years wore on I learned that these “Lookie-Lous” were part-time aficionados looking for interesting cocktail party conversation. I imagined them sloshing back scotch-and-waters and blabbering on to their buddy how they’d just “looked at a manufacturing company grossing $25 million” and the wide-eyed impressed gaze of their companion back upon their puffed-out chests. “Banty roosters” I came to derisively refer to them and immediately dismissed their overtures as undedicated.

You see, finding a business is much like finding a job. You must dedicate yourself to the process for best results. Few people get this, and it may be one reason there is so much turnover in companies today, especially with new hires.

I maintain that if more companies could elicit proactive engagement with their interviewees, there would be more success in the hiring process. The more “engaged” a potential buyer was with my process, the more likely s/he was to become a successful purchaser of that business. By the time s/he had jumped through all the hoops and vaulted all the roadblocks I’d put in the path there was a steely determination soldered in the bone that can only be used to describe a true entrepreneur.

True business owners (those who have made a go at it for more than five years) are FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. In my estimate, I’d put them at (and this will surprise you) a fraction of 1% of the general population. That’s right – a miniscule number, and it’s a shame and a product of 50 years of corporate cradle-to-grave stewardship and an education system that does not value entrepreneurship.

I’m suggesting if more “employees” treated their jobs as their own businesses, there’d be far less attrition in the workplace. If more “employees” thought like entrepreneurs, many problems could be solved far more efficiently than what exists in business today. If more “employees” were more “invested” in their jobs, there would be more job satisfaction today.

What do you think?

COMING SOON: More tell-tale “banty rooster” signals.

Maureen Sharib (maureen at techtrak.com) is a telephone name sourcer, names sourcing since 1997. She and her husband Bob own the names-sourcing firm TechTrak.com, Inc. (www.techtrak.com) which helps companies fill their hard-to-place positions at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruiting venues. Maureen is the 2007-2008 Guild Guide for the newly formed Sourcers Guild, a professional organization for sourcers. Sourcers Guild: http:// finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/sourcersguild/ She is also the author of the only of its kind and very popular “Magic in the Method” telephone name sourcing training course and a continuous contributor to many online recruiting related sites. Maureen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Cincinnati and lives in Morrow, Ohio, on a 12-acre paradise with her husband Bob, dog Buster and three barn cats that won’t stay out of her house. She is most grateful to be able to do what she does.