Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Business

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

Business, For Managers

Four Ways to Quickly Lose A Client



Courting-David Castillo Dominici-free

Courting-David Castillo Dominici-freeIf there’s anything that’s close to certain about our industry, it’s the fact that clients aren’t easy to get. Like that pretty girl you’d like to date except that she’s always surrounded by guys vying for her attention, clients, especially good ones (and we all know who the good ones are, don’t we?), don’t have to take the first bumbling, average-looking suitor who comes along offering some flowers, a Netflix movie on her Dad’s couch, and maybe a take-out dinner from Subway (Dutch, of course).

No, they can hold out for oh so much more – and they do. They hold their ‘Bachelorette’-like contest until they get what they feel is the best of the best – the best rates, the best reputation, the best service, and the best employee pool. Finally, one lucky agency lands the client of their dreams and they walk off, hand in hand, into the sunset of eternal happiness together… right?

Not always.

Yes, it would stand to reason that, once a staffing agency has jumped through all the hoops it takes to finally land a solid client, they would do whatever it takes to keep that client. Fortunately for all the other agencies/suitors out there, that isn’t always the case.

For Managers

Attention Owners: Want a Vacation? Get a System



2 minute recruiting new

What’s the owner’s freedom formula?

It’s very simple: Systems = Freedom.

If you as the owner of your firm go on a four week vacation, what happens to your business? What happens to the quality and quantity of activity? Some leaders have defined the strength of a small business as being directly proportionate to how much of it can continue to operate in the owner’s absence. Whether you own a large firm or a micro business, having simple and effective systems in place will make it much easier for you to step away from your office without waking up at 3 a.m.in a cold sweat.

What Is A System?

A system is a documented way of performing a task that solves a problem

For Managers, Motivation

Does Your Office Have A Scorecard?



horse race illus-vectorolie-free

So it’s tax time again. While I don’t have much to offer in the area of taxes (I’ll leave that to the accountants), I will tell you this: While none of us likes paying taxes, in a weird convoluted way, I’m much happier when I pay a lot in taxes. It means I’m making a lot of money. When you think about it, what we pay in taxes becomes the ultimate scorecard for how we’re doing  —  and that’s a subject worth talking about.

True champions have one basic quality in common — they love competition and they love keeping score. Personally, I love horse races. The thrill of watching the thoroughbreds cross the finish line is exhilarating. True racing fans tingle through the entire process — the starting gun, jockeying for position, the push to cross the line, and of course the smell of roses at the end isn’t bad either.

It’s no different in our business. We want measurable results and we want to know how our results rank against our peers and the rest of the field. Of course there are those who become obsessed with winning at all costs and cross the lines of good judgment and ethics. I’m not talking about those people. But at the end of the day, a good healthy dose of competitive drive

Business

Need Money? Know the Basics Before You Borrow



borrowing

borrowingHave you ever found yourself strapped for cash and wondering what your best options are for borrowing money? And did you find that in our business it is sometimes difficult to borrow?

The first option for borrowing is “unsecured.” If you have solid personal credit, unsecured debt is usually the easiest to obtain and involves the least amount of risk to you. Because the debt is not backed by some form of asset or collateral, lenders consider this type of debt more risky to them so it usually comes at a higher cost as compared to secured lending. Unsecured debt will also be limited by lenders, the amount of risk they are willing to take on an unsecured basis will normally be below $50,000 and in many cases below $20,000.

Business

Bullhorn Survey: Agency Growth May Be Slowing After Strong 2014



Bullhorn-revenue by recruiter type

Bullhorn-Comp by agency typeIndependent recruiting firms of all types and size had a good 2014 and 9 out of 10 of them expect an even better year in 2015.

On average, 77% of the firms participating in Bullhorn’s annual North American Staffing and Recruiting Trends Report said they met or exceeded their 2014 goals; 89% expect to increase revenue this year.

Yet, says Bullhorn, there are signs that the rapid growth of the last two or three years may be leveling off. Pointing to the 79% of agencies that reported more than half their income coming from repeat business, Bullhorn wondered if the rise from last year’s 61% who said that might “signal a reduced focus on expanding the client base.”

For Managers, The Business of Recruiting

Here’s How to Turn Performance Reviews From a Negative to a Positive



Performance review - free

Performance reviews. Are there any two other words in the English language that cause more anxiety and resentment on the part of employees, and more fear and loathing on the part of managers?

I admit it; I hate performance reviews mostly because they tend to take place only when there are performance issues. That casts the manager as the bad guy who’s delivering bad news.

One of the biggest traps we fall into in the recruiting industry is that the immediate always takes precedence. We react quickly, because it is in our nature, and a part of our business; a hot new job order, a great new lead. Gotta close the deal now, now, now! But that can lead to now, now, POW, if we manage reviews the same way. If we are to be effective managers and owners, we must revisit the entire concept of performance reviews, understand their value, and recast these otherwise unpleasant formalities as an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Business, How-To

Be Positive and Outsource the Busy Work



2 minute recruiting new

This regularly appearing column gives you quick, easy-to-implement ideas on various subjects. Today’s topics have to do with hiring virtual assistants and the power of questions.

Hire a Personal Assistant

I conducted an experiment recently to see how much it would cost to hire people for various tasks in my business via Elance versus what I was actually paying my staff of contractors.

Business, The Business of Recruiting

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Recruiter?



Best candidates - jscreationzs - free

I’ve been in the recruiting industry for more than 20 years. During that time, I’ve seen dozens of people come and go, and I’ve noticed patterns in the recruiters who thrive and have lasting careers. Recruiting can be a difficult occupation but also rewarding and gratifying. Considering a career in recruiting? Review my list of the crucial qualities, and see if you have what it takes.

Resilience

The most important characteristic of a good recruiter is the ability to bounce back from disappointment or failure. Nothing is more

For Managers

Get Rid of These 10 Undercover Time-Wasting Over-Workers



Placements and the law logo

Recruiters are always wondering how we’re able to respond so quickly on a national basis. Believe it or not, we work regular hours. I learned the techniques when I was managing a recruiting office.

You can too, if you:

  • Understand where your non-productive time is spent and;
  • Overhaul your procedures.

All the time-management seminars, workshops, books, calendars, timers, alarms, buzzers and electronic voices in the world won’t help you. They’re just pea-shooters in the war against time. Your problem isn’t on the battlefield, it’s in the war room — right there in your office.

Here are the 10 biggest undercover over-workers: