Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Ask Barb

Ask Barb, Motivation

Personal Goals Lead to Consistent Production



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

My team has very inconsistent production I actually blanked two months. In our niche, it can take anywhere from six to eight weeks for a deal to close. How can I manage my team to produce consistently when our hiring process is long? My team is convinced it is reasonable to have one good month followed by a flat or blank month and I need to turn this around.

Marsha L.
San Jose, CA

Dear Marsha:

The length of your hiring process should not prevent your team from

Ask Barb, Motivation

How Do I Motivate Them When I Can’t Motivate Me?



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Missed hearing you last year. I need my annual “Bruno fix” in order to stay motivated and enthusiastic which leads me to my question for you. How do you stay motivated and positive as an owner of a staffing and recruiting firm?

There are days when I just want to tell everyone around me to stop talking and go away. There are days when I don’t want to pick up the phone, so how do I motivate others to do what I don’t want to do? My team depends on me to motivate them and quite frankly I’m tired of motivating everyone else. I have three full-time jobs and I’m not enjoying any of them. How do I motivate myself daily, get off the hamster wheel and start hiring people who are not so dependent on me?

Dennis N., Sarasota, FL

Dear Dennis:

Your frustration is felt by many working owners in the staffing and recruiting profession. I remember once making a statement that I felt all my recruiters were attached to me by an umbilical cord. I then realized I had created the monster I was complaining about. If your recruiters are too dependent on you for motivation and answers, you need to ask yourself why.

Ask Barb, Business Development

Be a Value Provider to Improve Margin



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I plan to sell my business in three years. I added a temp division to increase the value of my company. However, my recruiters have been having a difficult time selling against markups that are ridiculously low. Clients will ask us for our markup, tell us what our competitors are offering and if we don’t bid lower, we don’t get their business. If I’m going to sell my business for the highest return, I have to protect my margins. How can we overcome this objection and make these clients more reasonable? I want to dramatically increase my GMP (Gross Margin of Profit) in 2015.

Frank S., Detroit, MI

Dear Frank:

If you are dealing with clients who view you as a commodity and base their decision 100% on price and don’t consider business value, there is not much you can do to counter this objection. When we are asked our markup

Ask Barb

You Can’t Soar Like an Eagle If You Hire Ducks



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

At a recent conference I heard you say that you can’t make someone a top producer, you have to hire them. I have never hired an experienced recruiter because they often have so much baggage and many have signed a non-compete agreement with their prior employer. I also find that many of the top producers in our profession are a handful to manage and often ask for unreasonable salaries and commissions. How do you get around these problems?

Helene S., San Jose, CA

Dear Helene:

When I made that statement, I was not referring to top producers in our profession. It is important for owners to hire individuals who have a track record of high achievement and sales experience. If someone was a high achiever or top producer in another profession, chances are they will be a high achiever for you.

Ask Barb

12 Ways to Improve Your Sales



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

What is the quickest way to increase sales next year? This last quarter has not been our best, which has me concerned over the first quarter of next year! I’ve thrown out contests that no one wins, I’ve been overly nice to my team and they take advantage of me, and when I micro-manage I lose people. Help!

Patricia C., Toronto, CA

Dear Patricia:

It is important that your management style is consistent and that you don’t try to change too many things. Nothing will be implemented long term. I’m going to give you several ideas. My suggestion would be for you to select one idea from the following list and implement it for 21 working days so it becomes a new habit.

Here’s my list:

Ask Barb

When Should I Check References?



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

When do you think references should be checked? I don’t see the need to do them until I have a pending offer, but my manager is pressing us to conduct them much sooner. I would be interested in your take on this topic and plan to share your advice with my manager.

Howard S., Grand Rapids, MI

Dear Howard:

I think it’s wise to check references, the minute you know this is a

Ask Barb, The Business of Recruiting

You Can’t Motivate the Unwilling



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How can I motivate my sales team to produce more? I know they could all do much better, but they seem to be satisfied with average production. They look to me for motivation which I find very frustrating. Shouldn’t they motivate themselves?

Sharon M., St. Louis, MO

Dear Sharon:

You can’t motivate another person especially if they choose not to be motivated. What you can do is identify what is most important to the individuals you employ. If your sales team understands the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), they will motivate themselves. People do things for their own reasons, not yours.

Ask Barb

A Gap Analysis Is Your Roadmap to a Winning Year



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I want to do whatever it takes to have a record year. I heard you talk about conducting a gap analysis at the end of each year, but I don’t remember what it entailed. Would you please outline the process?

Thank you,

Alexander D., Indianapolis, IN

Dear Alexander:

A gap analysis is a strategic planning tool to help you understand where

Ask Barb

The 3 Question Weekly Team Checkup



Ask Barb

Dear Barb

We are only filling 30% of our direct orders and 40% of the contracts we’re writing.

We specialize in IT, and I know it’s next to impossible to find the talent our clients are demanding. My team is saying they can’t work harder or do more, but I hesitate to hire and add to my overhead which will reduce my profits. When is it best to hire? Do you think I should wait or hire now?

Marcia H., Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Dear Marcia:

If you hire right, your new hire should be a revenue generator within a

Ask Barb

Make Your Team Accountable So the Business Grows



Ask Barb

Hi Barb:

I have a very tenured team who love working for me. I don’t believe in micro-managing, but I feel we could be achieving so much more as a company. How do I go from no rules or standards to implementing accountability without losing everyone?

I sent them to a conference in Las Vegas and they didn’t attend the sessions and had no problem telling me. My last two hires quit because they felt like outsiders to my four tenured recruiters. I now realize my business will not grow or prosper unless I make changes, but I don’t know where to begin. What would you do if you found yourself in my position?

John R., Dallas, TX

Dear John:

There is no value in beating yourself up for mistakes you’ve made as a