Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Ask Barb

Ask Barb, For Managers

Managers Must Teach Fishing



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I’m managing a team of five recruiters, but I’m still responsible for my own production. Most of my day is spent answering questions, making matches and hand-holding my recruiters. I can’t stop helping them because without my help we would not hit goals.

My owner only cares that goals are reached, but I don’t know how much longer I can carry the office or work the hours I’m working. I like the override I’m getting paid, but I could actually make more money if I only focused on my production.

Should I walk away from being a manager?

Joe D.
Topeka, KS
Ask Barb

Call People? Talk to Them? What A Concept!



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How do I get my younger recruiters to make phone calls? They are convinced that our candidates will only communicate by text or email, but I believe this is the way my recruiters want to communicate. They look at me like I’m a dinosaur and don’t listen to my advice. They are not hitting their goals, so how do I force the issue?

Amanda H.
San Jose, CA
Ask Barb

Go After the High Margin Business



Ask Barb

Dear Barb,

We are a light industrial staffing firm and have been in business for 10 years. Two years ago, I heard you suggest that we consider business that is high margin. I didn’t take your advice and now our margins are decreasing and I don’t even know what the Affordable Care Act  is going to do to us.

Can you define what you meant by high margin business? I don’t know that I will be in business next year at this time, if our margins continue going south. Some of the big guys in our business are the ones who are responsible for driving rates down.

Tom F.
Cleveland, OH
Ask Barb

Responsive Design: Making Your Website Mobile Friendly



Ask Barb

Dear Barb,

I recently attended a webinar you provided where your technology partner Matt gave an outstanding presentation on social media, responsive websites, Facebook advertising and much more. What is the difference between a responsive website and a mobile site? Also, did he say if I post something on my website, it could automatically be posted to our social media sites? Can you also provide me with his contact information?

Nancy P
Indianapolis, IN

Dear Nancy,

A responsive website allows users to access your website using any device, computer, tablet or cell phone. The information is automatically sized to fit the specific device being utilized. Yes, there is a way to set up your website where your job postings automatically are posted to social media sites. You can reach Matt at matt@staffingandrecruiting.com I’m glad you enjoyed his presentation and I plan to have him conduct a webinar for us at least quarterly. One of the most effective, least expensive websites you can create is a responsive website done in WordPress.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Ask Barb

Are Your Recruiters W-2 or 1099?



Ask Barb

Dear Barb,

I have my recruiters all working on a 1099 and at a recent conference I heard you say that they may not qualify as an independent contractor. Can you explain further?

Stephen Z.
New Orleans, LA

Dear Stephen,

Talk this over with your accountant and go to IRS.gov and print out the various requirements which must be met in order for someone to qualify as a 1099 employee. If they do not meet 100% of the qualifications listed, you need to deduct payroll taxes. Better safe than sorry.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Ask Barb

8 Suggestions for Retaining Your Recruiters



Ask Barb

Dear Barb,

How do I compete against the companies that offer my recruiters the ability to work from home, much higher commissions and provide them with an ATS, back office and support?

Sarah R.
Los Angeles, CA

Dear Sarah,

This is no different than your recruiters going to work for one of your competitors, except for the ability to work from home. Many recruiters

Ask Barb

IT Contract Staffing: A Lucrative Niche



Ask Barb

Dear Barb,

I want to begin to add contract staffing to my executive search firm and have several questions. Do I need to operate under a separate name? What is the best way to fund the payroll? Do I have to provide benefits for the contractors? My niche is IT; do I place contractors in my same niche? Sorry about all the questions, but I’ve only done executive search for over 20 years.

Dave G.
Baltimore, MD

 Dear Dave,

I’ll try to address all of your questions. IT contract is one of the most

Ask Barb

The ‘Go To Gal’ Who Doesn’t Want to Be



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

In the past 15 years, I’ve opened new offices and even new divisions for my company. My owner just informed me that this year, he wants me to start up an entirely new niche in a different state.  I know I’m one of the few women who is single and not tied to the area, but I don’t want to start over again. Do I approach my owner or do I just leave?

One of my clients has been offering me a job for the past year and I know some of our competitors would love to hire me. Why does my owner think he can constantly do this to me?

Ask Barb

When In Doubt, Send Them Out



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

This is going to be a loaded question, but I want to ask if you think men or women are better at our profession. I think women are more intuitive, and that the guys in my office often screen out candidates that our clients would hire.

It seems like the hardest people to convince are often my co-workers. You always say, “When in doubt, send them out,” and let the client decide.

Ask Barb

Lesson Learned: If You Signed It, You Have to Live With It



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How do I get around signing agreements that are written by my clients?

We just got burned by a client who hired someone from us and demanded a refund after nine months. I didn’t even realize the terms were refund vs. a replacement.

I have no intention of refunding the fee because I think their contract is unreasonable, but this is one of our best clients and I don’t want to lose their business. How can I make them see this situation from my point of view?

Can you give me a short script I can use when contacting them back? I’m a fair guy, but a refund after nine months is a ridiculous request.

John S., Fort Smith, AK

Dear John: