Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Tim Tolan

Timothy J. Tolan is the senior partner and managing director of Sanford Rose Associates-Charleston. SRA-Charleston has a primary focus on placing executive level talent in the healthcare IT, academic medicine, and revenue cycle industries. Tim is a member the Sanford Rose Associates "President's Club" and is consistently recognized for operating one of the top-producing offices worldwide for SRA. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and senior sales executives. He has worked with large and small cap companies as well as privately held and early stage companies. Tim is a contributing writer for Fistfuloftalent.com, Healthcare Informatics Online, and he writes a monthly column for Healthcare Informatics Magazine. He is also co-author of the book titled "The CEO's Guide to Talent Acquisition". Contact Tim at 843-579-3077 or tjtolan@sanfordrose.com.

Articles by Tim Tolan

Business, How-To

Become a Big Biller With A Marketing Plan You Can Follow

Marketing illustration

Marketing means many things to many professionals in our industry.

If your idea of marketing only includes cold calling into companies in search of your next assignment I think you may be missing lots of opportunities to really articulate your value equation to the markets you serve. I’m confident there are lots of search professionals who track telephone metrics to determine their activity, which can be a predictor of future billings. In fact, some of the most successful people I’ve met have demonstrated the direct correlation of how productive telephone metrics convert to better billing results in their own firms.

While I “get that” I think marketing in our business is much more than pure phone time. I believe that if the main yardstick for measuring success is the “number of dials” and “connect time” with the economic buyers of your services, you may be defining yourself as a transactional producer. Don’t get me wrong — for many in our industry that’s not a bad thing. It’s just not the way I want to build my practice.

The Business of Recruiting

It’s Time to Fly


I’m the first one to skip the lines at the airport and leverage technology in my search practice. I love the new video tools available today to conduct interviews with candidates. I wrote about this a couple of months ago and it’s really help drive our productivity through the roof – all good. I strongly believe this sort of technology will greatly improve the service and overall quality of placing great talent in the months and years ahead.

But…while video is important when vetting candidates – I also believe it’s time for us search professionals to leave the comforts of our offices, remove our headsets, board a plane and take a trip to visit our clients. You heard me – get out there. Spend a few bucks and do a customer road show. The search business has seen significant changes in the past two years and many in our profession threw in the towel and opted for a steady more predictable income while others decided to remain in the jungle a bit longer. I, for one am glad I made the decision to ride out the storm. Business is much better this year over 2008 and 2009 and we have a chance to really build serious momentum as we wind down Q4 and set our sights on 2011. I, like many of us, have not laid eyes on some of my clients for a while as I held back on expenses and tightly managed cash flow. That needs to change …and it will. It’s time.

Fordyce Forum

Tim Tolan Is Back From Las Vegas…And Energized!


A few weeks back, I was at the 2010 Fordyce Conference in Las Vegas. It was held at The M Resort. Check it out! Great spot and first class!!!

While this was my maiden voyage attending their annual conference, I have attended many recruiting/executive search conferences since the market went south. At this year’s conference I was asked to speak on the topic of business development. My talk was very upbeat – but that seemed to be the case for everyone who presented at this year’s conference. And it’s not just us search professionals. You can feel it everywhere. Las Vegas is a different town today. Everywhere I visited, the hospitality business had a ‘let’s make a deal’ mentality and seems to have adjusted their offerings to today’s market. The casinos were not what I would call full by any stretch. But people were moving around and it felt better. Much (much) better.  A lot has happened in our industry in the past two years (to say the least).  Many search firms have taken a bath or been wiped out by this multi-year recession and it’s not entirely over yet.


A Call to Action: Kicking Your Business Development Efforts into High Gear!


Change is on the horizon. Some of us have seen signs of improvement in our search practices, while others are still waiting for some positives signs before re-engaging at full speed in their business. And there is another camp still hunkered down, not sure if it’s safe enough to stick their head out of the foxhole and look around just yet. Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, the real key to getting your business back on track is to get busy developing existing relationships and building new ones.

This is the time. Now!

Building a comprehensive business development plan (a topic I’ll be talking about in detail at the Fordyce Forum in June in Las Vegas) requires some work and effort on your part — but it’s essential to ensure you set your business up for a very healthy recovery.