Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Business Development

Business Development

Beware the Low Hanging Fruit



low hanging fruit

Demand for our services continues to increase as the economy slowly rebounds from the impact of the Great Recession. However, with these favorable economic conditions as a backdrop, the quality standard for our industry is dropping at an alarming rate as more and more firms find themselves in a situation where they are overselling and under-delivering.

If you have any doubts as to the validity of this statement, consider the growing number of non-staffing industry alternatives that are increasingly available through the Internet alone.

The basis of this problem lies in the temptation of the “Low Hanging Fruit,” i.e. the highly visible, easily obtained, poorly qualified orders that are available to any staffing professional who calls to introduce themselves.

Business Development, RPO

Win Your Client’s Trust and Business With Full Immersion Recruiting



research

Editor’s note: Miriam Ziemelis initially aimed this article at RPOs. But one look and you’ll see her advice is even more relevant for independent recruiters who want to work more closely with their clients and potentially develop an exclusive relationship.

I’m a recruiter. Specifically, I am an IT recruiter. Even more specifically, I have been an IT recruiter in the consumer goods, health care, cosmetics, spirits and wine, industrial mining, insurance, banking and publishing industries, to name a few. Years of experience have taught me that to be a successful recruiting consultant you have to immerse yourself in your client’s business and industry. Once you’ve done that, your client will pull up a chair for you at their table and welcome you as their business partner.

Know Your Client’s Business

“What do you know about us?” It’s such a basic and open-ended question. But how you answer it will define your relationship with the client. It will mean the difference between being a mere “recruiter” and a recruiting business consultant: your client’s business partner. What do clients expect

Business Development, For Managers

Have You Thought of Using ‘Participation’ As Your Sales Metric?



Sales Participation chart - free

Ongoing management — low performers, mid-level performers and even high performers need it. It does not assume high performance, and once high performing, does not assume it will always continue. Everyone needs to be managed on a consistent basis. In sales, the goal of ongoing management is participation rate.

Whether your agency has a separate sales team or every recruiter is dialing for clients, a critical metric is participation rate. Participation rate is the percentage of team members who are at or above plan. For a sales team, participation rate is easy to calculate. On a team of 10 people where four are above their sales plan on a YTD basis, the participation rate is 40%. 

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 Development, Industry News

Jobs Follow Angel Investments



Venture capital investments

Venture capital investmentsSearch firms looking for growth markets might take a look at where angel investors are betting their money. In the first half of the year, over half the new investments went to three sectors: software, healthcare and retail.

Two of those three are among the most competitive when it comes to hiring. Especially for tech startups, the competition for talent is not just against other like-sized firms, but against giants like Apple and Microsoft and Google.

In a post more than two years ago discussing how to recruit for startups, Robert Woo said, “If a stellar developer even comes within the vicinity of the office, he/she will be snatched up faster than an intern can be stuffed in the server room to make space.”

According to the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, software got the largest share of investments with 37% of total angel investments in the first half of this year. Healthcare services/medical devices and equipment and retail each got 10% of the total investment dollars. Biotech was close behind with 9% of the total. IT services and Industrial/Energy got 7% each to round out the Center’s list of the top 6 largest sectors. Smaller percentages went to a variety of other startups and young firms in other sectors.
Business, Business Development

The Flexible Workforce: A Trend You Can Build On



Working women concept art

The head of human resources prefaces a workforce strategy presentation by saying her program idea will lead to more focused work performed by employees; raise employee job satisfaction and retention; boost company morale and loyalty; reduce employee stress and sick days; keep business going during major weather events – and save the organization money in the process. Is there really such a silver bullet?

In terms of company profitability and employee satisfaction, absolutely.

Flexible staffing, which gives employees more control over when, where and how long they work through options like flextime, compressed work weeks, telecommuting and job sharing, is all it’s cracked up to be. It is a crucial workforce strategy when it comes to retaining mid- to executive-level professionals.

As you have likely seen and heard, flexible work options are gaining traction and acceptance in many industries, at all levels and careers.

When we think of part-time work, which in the professional world can take on many meanings (job sharing, project-based or highly specialized work), we too often equate it with working a shift at a factory or fast-food restaurant. Because historically, that is what a part-time position was. But we have evolved past that – so very far past.

Business Development

How I Nearly Lost My Business When I Stopped Marketing



hand marketing buttons-free

hand marketing buttons-freeRecently, a colleague asked me, “What was the most rewarding mistake you ever made in business?”

It’s a great question, and I quickly had an answer for him because it was an incredibly painful mistake. However, it proved to be an invaluable lesson that has served me well in the years since. I’m sharing so perhaps you can learn it the easy way.

The lesson: Don’t ever stop marketing because you think you’ve reached the point where you don’t need to. And, secondarily, believe the old adage that warns, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.”

My Story

Years ago, my public relations company connected with a large publishing house that served many prestigious authors. The first few of its authors we

Business Development, Cold Calling

Your Pitch Will Stand Out When It’s About Them



elevatorpitch

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.”

Business Development, How-To

Don’t Just Check References, Market Yourself



bigstock-Employee-Reference-Check-Form-

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



fordyce-default

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.)