Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Terry Petra

Recipient of the Harold B. Nelson Award, Terry Petra is one of our industry's leading trainers and consultants. He has successfully conducted in-house programs for hundreds of search, placement, temporary staffing firms and industry groups across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, England, and South Africa. To learn more about his training products and services, including PETRA ON CALL, and BUSINESS VALUATION, visit www.tpetra.com. Terry can be reached at (651) 738-8561 or email him at Terry@tpetra.com.

Articles by Terry Petra

Business Development

Beware the Low Hanging Fruit



low hanging fruit

Demand for our services continues to increase as the economy slowly rebounds from the impact of the Great Recession. However, with these favorable economic conditions as a backdrop, the quality standard for our industry is dropping at an alarming rate as more and more firms find themselves in a situation where they are overselling and under-delivering.

If you have any doubts as to the validity of this statement, consider the growing number of non-staffing industry alternatives that are increasingly available through the Internet alone.

The basis of this problem lies in the temptation of the “Low Hanging Fruit,” i.e. the highly visible, easily obtained, poorly qualified orders that are available to any staffing professional who calls to introduce themselves.

For Managers

Look Beyond the Trees to Check Your Competency



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Not seeing the forest for the trees?

This old cliché refers to a circumstance where an individual is so close or involved in a situation that they are incapable of maintaining their perspective or view of the big picture. This cliché applies to many owners and managers within the staffing industry.

Our rebounding economy is creating an environment in which many staffing firms are enjoying increased growth in sales and profits. However, much of that growth is due to external factors versus internal competencies. Although this may appear to be acceptable with our current  economy, it could spell disaster when the economy slows and demand for services decreases.

Now is the time for owners and managers to look beyond the trees (external demand) and see the forest (internal competencies). In many

How-To

If You’re Still Doing What You’ve Always Done, It’s Time For An Operational Audit



Forest-foto76-free

Can’t see the forest for the trees.

This old cliche refers to a circumstance where an individual is so close or involved in a situation that they are incapable of maintaining their perspective or view of the big picture. This cliche applies to many owners and managers within the staffing industry.

Our rebounding economy is creating an environment in which many staffing firms are enjoying increased growth in sales and profits. However, much of that growth is due to external factors versus internal competencies. Although this may appear to be acceptable with our expanding economy, it could spell disaster when the economy slows and demand for services decreases.

Motivation

The Best Advice I Ever Got



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Overworked worker - freeFrequently, while conducting training programs or during my in-house consulting work, I am asked to offer the best advice I can on how to be successful in this business. For 40 years I have offered the same advice;  advice someone else gave me when I was a rookie consultant. What my mentor provided me was the best “how-to” advice I ever received. Daily I focus on that advice because it’s as valid today as it was so many years ago.

The best advice I ever received was:

Fees, Staffing

Are You Leaving Money On the Table When Your Temp Goes Perm?



Sales shopping global - free

Sales shopping global - freeHaving trained or consulted with hundreds of temporary staffing services and contract staffing firms around this country, I am continually amazed by the variety of approaches utilized to handle the transfer of an employee from the staffing services payroll to the payroll of the client’s organization. The term most commonly used to describe this process is “Temp-to-Hire”.

My purpose here is not to discuss whether or not you should charge your client a conversion fee for the temp-to-hire process. Rather it is to provide you with a conceptual foundation on which to make that determination. Consider the following two realities.

For Managers, Motivation

With A Performance Contract They Fire Themselves



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Results-freeFor managers, there is one thing worse than hiring the wrong person and that is to keep that individual employed with their agency long after the collective experience dictates they should be terminated. Yet, in almost every case, managers will admit they have difficulty with making termination decisions.

From my many years of experience in working with managers in hundreds of staffing firms on both a national and international basis, I have concluded that the primary reasons for this apparent lack of decisive action include one or more of the following:

For Managers

Hiring Right Summary: Keys to Recruiting, Training and Retaining Top Agency Performers



hiring right 7

Note: This is the seventh and final article in a series on decreasing turnover and increasing profits. In the previous articles Terry discussed turnover  (High Turnover Is NOT Just Part of the Business), who to hire (What It Takes to Attract and Hire Recruiting Winners), setting expectations (Your Onboarding Should Not Be Like A Box of Chocolates), training standards (When You Set Standards and Manage to Them, Everyone Knows Where They Stand), performance based training (Performance Base Your Training For Early Success), and understanding motivation to better inspire and lead a team (Improve Commitment by Understanding the Personal Nature of Motivation).

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In our series of seven articles, we have addressed the issues related to decreasing staff turnover and increasing profits. Since the series first appeared (it first began in our monthly print newsletter, The Fordyce Letter in Aug 2013), I have received hundreds of calls and emails from readers wanting to learn more about the principles and concepts presented in these articles. Based on these calls and at the request of many of you, I will attempt to summarize the key elements.

For Managers, Motivation

Improve Commitment by Understanding the Personal Nature of Motivation



hiring right 6

Note: This is the sixth article in a series on decreasing turnover and increasing profits. In the previous articles Terry discussed turnover  (High Turnover Is NOT Just Part of the Business), who to hire (What It Takes to Attract and Hire Recruiting Winners), setting expectations,  training (Your Onboarding Should Not Be Like A Box of Chocolates), standards (When You Set Standards and Manage to Them, Everyone Knows Where They Stand), and performance based training (Performance Base Your Training For Early Success).

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Decreasing turnover and increasing profits are a result of attracting, hiring, training, and retaining a productive staff that can effectively work together. However, an important factor that contributes to this is your understanding of the nature of personal motivation. This understanding is critical to achieving a realistic picture of your personal operating/management style, and it is equally important in determining “who” to hire, and “how” to train and manage them once they are on board with your firm.

Personal motivation is just that, it is personal. Therefore, in order to understand it, you must understand the person. As a starting point consider the findings of a longitudinal study by the National Science Foundation. This study concluded that:

The key to having employees who are both satisfied and productive is motivation, that is, arousing and maintaining the will to work effectively, having employees who are effective not because they are coerced but because they are committed.

For Managers, The Business of Recruiting

Performance Base Your Training For Early Success



Training illustration

hiring right 5Note: This is the fifth article in a series on decreasing turnover and increasing profits. In the previous four articles Terry discussed turnover  (High Turnover Is NOT Just Part of the Business), who to hire (What It Takes to Attract and Hire Recruiting Winners), setting expectations,  training (Your Onboarding Should Not Be Like A Box of Chocolates), and standards (When You Set Standards and Manage to Them, Everyone Knows Where They Stand).

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Are we confident because we are competent or are we competent because we are confident? Regardless of the answer, in order to be successful an individual must be both confident in their approach to, and competent in their application of the basic concepts and fundamentals of this business. Getting to that point and beyond is the objective of Performance Based Training.

How important is training in determining whether or not an individual will be successful in this business? Next to hiring the right people it may be the most important factor.

For Managers, The Business of Recruiting

When You Set Standards and Manage to Them, Everyone Knows Where They Stand



hiring right 4

Note: This is the fourth article in a series on decreasing turnover and increasing profits. In the previous three articles Terry discussed turnover  (High Turnover Is NOT Just Part of the Business), who to hire (What It Takes to Attract and Hire Recruiting Winners), and setting expectations and training (Your Onboarding Should Not Be Like A Box of Chocolates). 

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Fast-Paced! Volatile! High Risk! High Return! Competitive! Sophisticated! Pressurized! Stressful! Demanding! Exhilarating!

These are some of the terms used by managers to describe our business. However, as with most adjectives, these terms are subjective and can mean different things to different people. That is where performance standards come into the picture.