Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Business Development, Cold Calling

Your Pitch Will Stand Out When It’s About Them


elevatorpitchDoes your elevator pitch sound anything like this? Hi, I’m Bob and I recruit the smartest people who can hit the ground running for the best companies in the area. And I can do the same for you.”

Not too bad?

Wrong, says Ian Altman. “The best elevator pitch shouldn’t explain what you do,” he says, “if your elevator pitch talks about WHAT you do instead of WHY people might need what you do, then your message is likely falling on deaf ears.”

For Managers, The Business of Recruiting

Here’s How to Fix Your Comp Plan to Keep the Winners

Money hands - freedigital

Money pile - freedigitalCompensating recruiters – it’s straightforward, right? All recruiters just get a cut of what they bill – yes? Well actually, no!

While this may be the prevalent model in the U.S., in my view this approach is far too simplistic. It tends to suggest that the founders of the business have given no real thought to what they may ultimately want the firm to look like, and how compensation needs be structured in order to attract the best possible talent through every stage without overpaying. Is the business a lifestyle business or are you trying to create something of value and building towards an exit? The disciplines around compensation, profit drop through, and costs will all be different depending on the goal of the business. Owners of staffing firms have to think about why the best recruiter is going to join their company – and why the current top performer is going to stay.

For Managers

8 Tips to Help You Be A More Decisive Leader


Stress illustrationBeing able to make good decisions quickly is essential to business success. If you find yourself hesitating when it comes to making a choice, use these eight tips to help you be more decisive:

1.    Have a clear decision making process. If you don’t have a good critical thinking process in place, you may be reluctant to make important decisions. You don’t have confidence in your methodology so you look for more data, ask more people, and do more analysis. A good thinking process will help you know when you have enough information to move forward.  In order to make a good decision you need to gather information

Business Development, How-To

Don’t Just Check References, Market Yourself


bigstock-Employee-Reference-Check-Form-The purpose of this column is to explain how to use a standard reference check as a marketing and/or recruiting opportunity for you and your recruiting firm. While some firms outsource their reference checks to third party agencies or to their clients themselves, for those who prefer to check references directly, I offer some key strategies for obtaining new clients and new candidates at the same time.

Typically, recruiters who check references have a single goal in mind — to check the reference (and hope that it is positive!). After reading this column, I recommend that you consider having two additional goals:

Business Development, Closing

If You’re Always Closing, You’re Not Selling


Leads sign with salesClosing techniques are as old as the sales profession; isn’t “Always Be Closing” the A-B-C of sales?

Could this practice have anything to do with the sales profession being the least respected profession of all?

The world of sales has always revolved around the seller — in our case, this would be you, the search consultant — and your products or services, features, brand and so on. Too many salespeople still do dog-and-pony shows and apply all kinds of closing tricks from the puppy dog close to the take away close.

(Some simply open a cold call with the sure loser: “Do you have any jobs that need to be filled.” But that’s a topic for another day.)

Ask Barb, Business Development, The Business of Recruiting

Want a Big Biller? Hire A Hotel Caterer

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Is it me or is it getting harder to find people who will put in the hours to be good at this job? Out of the five people we hired last year, we only have two left, and they are average. They don’t seem to have the commitment or work ethic that my current employees have; they are out the door at 5:00 pm.

When I suggested they may have to conduct research or talk to candidates during evening hours, I met with resistance and was asked if I paid overtime for evening hours. You would think these people would be grateful for their job and put more effort in to achieving their goals. Is this something I need to tolerate or am I not hiring the right people?

Dave B.

Plantation, FL

Dear Dave:

For Managers

7 Easy Ways To Measure Employee Performance

Worker review-free

Worker review-freeProductive employees are the lifeblood of every recruiting business, but how do you assess their performance levels? Do they understand your goals and expectations? Are they meeting their personal objectives?

Every company should continually monitor and evaluate their employees; here are seven easy ways to quickly gauge performance and ensure your firm is on the right track:

For Managers, The Business of Recruiting

Why Agency Recruiters Make Great Corporate Recruiters

Businessman on road to choices

Businessman on road to choicesCorporate hiring technical recruiters or sourcers with agency background experience has always been a trend. Why is this? What are the skills that agency recruiters and sourcers have that make them appealing to leaders of corporate staffing teams?

If you do work on the agency side, but want to break into corporate, what do you have to do? Do you possess the skills that will make you marketable to a staffing team on the corporate side?

Just because you work at an agency doesn’t guarantee that you are instantly awesome. You still have to be good at your job. Here are some of the skills needed  to cross over to the other side. And why corporate staffing managers should pay attention:

For Managers

Hiring Right Summary: Keys to Recruiting, Training and Retaining Top Agency Performers

hiring right 7

Note: This is the seventh and final article in a series on decreasing turnover and increasing profits. In the previous articles Terry discussed turnover  (High Turnover Is NOT Just Part of the Business), who to hire (What It Takes to Attract and Hire Recruiting Winners), setting expectations (Your Onboarding Should Not Be Like A Box of Chocolates), training standards (When You Set Standards and Manage to Them, Everyone Knows Where They Stand), performance based training (Performance Base Your Training For Early Success), and understanding motivation to better inspire and lead a team (Improve Commitment by Understanding the Personal Nature of Motivation).


In our series of seven articles, we have addressed the issues related to decreasing staff turnover and increasing profits. Since the series first appeared (it first began in our monthly print newsletter, The Fordyce Letter in Aug 2013), I have received hundreds of calls and emails from readers wanting to learn more about the principles and concepts presented in these articles. Based on these calls and at the request of many of you, I will attempt to summarize the key elements.


Are Candidates’ Resumes Cutting into Your Profits?

resumes flying

As you review the first six months of the year, what are you finding? Are you ahead of your revenue goal or falling short? If you are ahead, you want to build on that momentum and make this your best year ever. If you are falling short, there is no time to waste to boost your profits. Regardless of your situation, today I am offering you a quick and easy way to increase profit through job candidates’ résumés!

Are you spending too much time coaching candidates on résumés? We often meet a diamond-in-the-rough job candidate. If we could just tweak their résumé, they would be perfect for the client. The problem is that when you are using your time and resources to clean-up bad résumés, you are not focusing on new business or attending to your clients’ needs. In other words, you are cutting into your profit. Here are three ways to improve a candidate’s résumé, without wasting your resources: