Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Ask Barb

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



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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

Ask Barb

Are You Building Value? Here’s What to Consider



Ask Barb

Hi Barb:

I’ve been in business for 12 years and often wonder if I’m building a business that would be considered a sound investment. What areas are most important to review?

Andrew B. San Jose, CA

Dear Andrew:

There are many things to review to determine if you are creating value in your business. Some of those would include the following 11 areas:

Ask Barb

The 12-Month, Pro-Rated Candidate Guarantee



Ask Barb
Editor’s note: The following is an Ask Barb classic.

Dear Barb:

You once referred to an extended guarantee, can you elaborate on that for me. We have clients wanting a six month guarantee, which we are not willing to consider. I would love your thoughts on this topic.

George, IL

Dear George:

Years ago I wanted to eliminate the guarantee all together. My thoughts

Ask Barb

Co-Worker Driving You Nuts? Talk to the Boss



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Dear Barb:

I work with someone who is driving me nuts. She is negative, disrupts our office and never takes responsibility when her deals blow up. She has worked for the company for over 15 years and the owners turn a blind eye when we complain. Two of my co-workers are going to start their own firm. I feel like I should tell my owner, but how do I do that without jeopardizing my job. I love my owners, but I’m probably going to leave with my co-workers. What would you advise me to do?

Anonymous in Houston

Dear Anonymous:

It sounds like you are caught between a rock and a hard place. It also

Ask Barb

How a Follow-Up Call Earned $30,000



Ask Barb
Note: Jeff Allen wrote about a new service called Fee Catcher that will track your sendouts and notify you if and when they are hired by your client. Read his article “Here’s How To Get Fees You Didn’t Expect” to learn more.

Dear Barb:

I heard you speak not long ago and loved your straightforward approach to our business. I’ve already made my money back by using your sendout hot sheet, and calling clients where we had sent our candidates.

Last week we surfaced two placements made behind our back, which totaled over $30,000 in fees. We contacted the hiring authorities, and in both instances verified information and sent an invoice. I could not remember the time frame for the second contact you suggested. Your wrap up session at CSP was the best session of the conference and showed me exactly what to do when I returned to my office.

Jim,  Southern California.