Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Ask Barb

Ask Barb

Work For the Money and Not For the Order



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

We work so many orders that end up generating no revenue. Do we just quit working with these clients? I hate to think of what this is costing me in time and money. The problem is you never know who will hire and who will waste your time. Any hints on how to determine what business is worth our time?

Paul W.
Buffalo, NY
Ask Barb

Manage by Numbers and You’ll Hit Them



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Our sales are inconsistent and even my managers have accepted the fact that we will have at least one flat month every quarter. That’s four flat months out of the year and obviously my expenses don’t decrease during those flat months. I’m out of answers on how to get more consistent production out of our team.

I know you speak at many conferences and do some in-house training and consulting with owners. Because of your exposure to companies all over the world in our profession, do you agree that flat months are just a reality of our business?

Donna F.
Houston, TX

Dear Donna:

I don’t believe that you should accept the fact that every year you are going to have four flat months. This proves the concept: If you think you can or if you think you can’t you’re right! The only way to guarantee consistent production is for everyone to hit their individual result standards on a daily basis.

Often, a flat month follows a record month because during the record month your sales team is focused on prepping, debriefing, closing, and celebrating. They stop doing the basics that guarantee consistent production (recruiting, marketing, presentations, etc.).

If you monitor sendout totals, you can accurately predict production. It is extremely important for you to manage by numbers because numbers don’t lie. When your team is having a great time, encourage them to stay on the telephone because they are on a high and will obtain great results.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Ask Barb

Holding Staff Accountable Is Your Job



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How can I hold my team accountable to hit their goals? We set goals, but no one in my office takes them seriously. I would think that their commissions would be motivation enough because I don’t pay a substantial base salary. If I fired everyone who isn’t hitting their numbers, I’d end up firing all but two employees. I know you believe in holding people accountable, but I don’t know that it’s realistic. Any advice would be appreciated.

Debby L.
Orlando, FL
Ask Barb

Manage Client Expectations by Stating Your Own



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I own a contingency direct placement firm and specialize in IT. It’s more difficult than ever to surface top talent. Unfortunately, even when we do surface great candidates, our clients screen out most of the candidates we present.

Often the specs they give us are impossible to fill, so we surface the best talent available, but they want the “perfect” person which doesn’t exist in this market. Any ideas on how we can put pressure on our clients?

Stephen M.
San Francisco, CA
Ask Barb

Barb Bruno’s New Recruiter Production Program



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Would you be willing to share the first quarter metrics you implement for new hires? I have not hired someone new in over two years, and I’m not sure what minimum standards to implement. I plan to use your tutor to train them, but need to understand metrics. I know your average fee is around $25,000 which is our average as well. That is why I feel the metrics you use will work for my business. I hire individuals who have no prior recruiting experience.

Louise P.
Baton Rouge, LA

Dear Louise:

Ask Barb

Training: Read It All, Then Decide What Fits Best



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I read The Fordyce Letter every month and it sometimes gets confusing. All of you speakers don’t agree on how to do this job, so who do I listen to? I hear you saying to develop client and candidate rapport vs. control, while others say you have to establish control. I work for a company that does not provide training so I’m trying to learn all I can on my own. Where do I find the advice and training I need?

Pam W.
Marietta, GA

Dear Pam:

Ask Barb

One Word Advice: Sendouts, Sendouts, Sendouts



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I recently attended a conference where you participated on a panel. I felt you were the most honest and straightforward person on the panel, and loved your honesty. It was refreshing to hear a trainer who admits they were not an instant success. I had a terrible first year, but I’m doing much better now and would love to ask you for the best advice you would offer someone trying to increase their production and income.

Thank you for always being authentic and for always giving us ideas we can easily use.

Kathy P.
Indianapolis, IN

Dear Kathy:

Ask Barb

When the Client Wastes Your Time, Stop Working for Free



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

What should I do with a client who has cancelled the last two job orders we worked on after final interviews. Prior to that, they filled three positions internally after we had done extensive work on the searches. They are doing quite a bit of hiring which is why I’m focusing most of my time on this client. I feel like I should be charging them some sort of fee for all the work that we’ve done.

John T.
Minneapolis, MN

Dear John:

Ask Barb

Add Temp to Improve Your ROI



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I place engineers only in permanent positions and everyone keeps telling me I should get into the temporary business. I’d love your input.

Pamela M.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Ask Barb

Everyone Is Going Mobile. How About You?



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

During a conversation at the Fordyce Forum last year, you were talking about the importance of having a mobile site for my company. Do you still feel that is necessary? I don’t think that many candidates look for us on their phones vs. their computers?

Jim T.

Houston, TX

Dear Jim: