Whether or not you want to admit it, we all use some paid resources for our recruiting efforts. This could include any of the following products: job boards, resume databases, information gathering resources (like Jigsaw or ZoomInfo), ATSs, the list goes on and on. Yes – I am talking to you! I know you post jobs on Monster, CareerBuilder, or at least some niche sites from time to time. I know you have purchased an applicant tracking system (that most likely is simply used as a repository for resumes with very little, if any, data organization). If we are spending money on these resources, why, then, do we so adamantly preach and train against using them when conducting candidate searches? If we’re paying for them, then why not justify the cost of using them by actually using them? And if we are not using them, then why continue to pay for them???
When I went from recruiter to human resourcer, I was amazed by how little I understood about the psychological makeup of hiring authorities. I thought they were like me. When I went back to working a desk, the realization that they weren’t enabled me to make placements much more successfully.
This article is designed to show you the six greatest fallacies about these important folks, so you won’t have to change careers to correct them.
International Search! Sounds sexy, sophisticated, jet setter-ish, and on target for what is now our Global Economy! It’s all those things and more. While it is exciting, it is more of a headache from a recruitment standpoint; however, like everything in life, it’s all about timing.
“Fee? I never agreed to pay a fee to hire anyone!”
“We never signed anything with your company!”
“You can say or do anything you want…we aren’t paying you!”
Anyone who stays in this business long enough will eventually hear those dreaded statements. Usually, these are people who know they owe you, but are liars. Lying fee avoiders are easier to deal with than the ones who really believe what they claim.
Two or three times a month we get a call from a person who wants to leave their job primarily because the counteroffer that he or she agreed to three or four months earlier had, agonizingly, not worked out. Their approach is usually accompanied by an attitude of anger, disappointment, and disgust that they are back looking for a job with more determination than ever. The perceived promises in the counteroffer they accepted didn’t materialize and they are really committed to leaving their job . . . this time.
“Buying” an employee back when they try to resign, a counteroffer, rarely works out, even in the short run. Ninety-eight percent of the time, the employee leaves within six months, and often with more acrimony than the first attempt.
Recruiting is a tough business; an activity oriented phone- and Internet-based business where statistics indicate that nine out of ten new recruits don’t survive their first calendar year. It’s also one of the only businesses where the product can tell you “no.” Add to these inherent challenges the fact that research shows the average US worker wastes 26% of their day on socializing and personal Internet use (Malachowski, 2005), which is probably closer to 40% now that social media has taken over with Facebook and Twitter. The ability for a manager to develop a strong culture of performance is extremely difficult, if not outright impossible.
Some organizations manage to do this despite the challenges. How do they do it? How do they grow aggressively and reach 50-100 employees while others struggle to hire and keep a few productive ones? The answer: successful owners and managers develop a strong culture of performance.
When things wind down past mid-season in baseball, separating the teams in the pennant race from other teams is not a difficult task. It seems year after year the same teams are vying for the top and showing strong performances, as many others are struggling to remain competitive.
With hopes long gone of any chance of a winning season, what happens to the team’s morale? How frustrating for the owners who spend millions on key talent, for team managers who spend countless hours coaching, and for players who have given the game their heart and soul. Do they continue with a great attitude, knowing their ultimate goal will not be achieved, or do they accept the situation and go through the motions of playing out another average season of effort and performance?
The real question is what do the successful team managers do that give them more wins consistently while many managers struggle to keep their teams alive with mediocre results year after year? Can’t we ask the same of our industry? Why do some offices see recruiting performance success and enjoy strong growth and profitability on a consistent basis year after year while others just struggle to survive in any economy? Like a professional baseball team that can never get the right formula to consistently be in the pennant race in the middle of the season let alone the end of the season — the problem ultimately lies in ownership and accountability.
A few weeks ago, some friends and I went out to dinner. and when we left we agreed: “It was OK.” Translation: we were slightly disappointed. There wasn’t anything wrong. Just nothing noteworthy or exceptional. Just little things like the fact that the table wasn’t clean when we sat down, that we had to summon the waiter several times, and we weren’t attended to as frequently as we’d like, etc. Nothing singularly mind-blowing, just a combination of mediocre events.
Since there are many other restaurants to choose from we probably won’t go back there. On the other hand there is a restaurant I frequent and take different friends to all the time. Why? The food is pretty good, but the service is exceptional. If the owner is working he makes a point to come out to all the tables, he remembers his regulars by name, and he sometimes buys us a round of drinks or gets us a dessert in appreciation. Do we get free drinks every trip? No — that’s not the point. His manner and appreciation combined with the service orientation of his wait staff enhance the dining “experience.” You feel special. You come back — again and again!
Do your clients feel special? How about your employees? Clients can choose from hundreds of recruiters to fill their needs; why should they choose you? What do you do for them that they do NOT expect? What do you do that makes them feel good about themselves? Where are you excellent?
The deal is nearly closed. The references and background checks are done. You have thoroughly pre-closed your candidate and have been given the authority to accept on their behalf when the caller ID flashes your client’s number. You answer the phone euphorically with one hand, your calculator in the other, deciding what you will buy with your gigantic commission check when you answer the call…
And it starts with those six dreaded words: WE NEED TO NEGOTIATE THE FEE.
Your mind starts racing; how can this be? It’s the end of the process – why is this coming up now?
DON’T PANIC! This happens to the best of us…even when we have a signed fee agreement in place.
Take a deep breath, and…
The former off-Broadway musical, Rent, opens by posing this question: ”525,600 minutes…how do you measure a year?” As 2010 draws to a close, I have some questions for you. Have you invested your past 525,600 minutes the way you had planned as you watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve in 2009? One year ago, what were you envisioning for your future? Did you plan to be more healthy and happy…to have better and richer relationships…to have a more successful business and greater financial independence? How’d you do?