Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


How-To, The Business of Recruiting

Are Poor Listening Skills Costing You Money?

Phone laptop office woman

Phone laptop office womanNote: Yesterday, Jeff Allen discussed the importance of having a “phone voice” and how to improve how you sound and what you say when taking on the telephone. Today, the focus is on listening skills.

Poor listening skills are costing you money.

If you’ve ever hung up from taking a job order only to discover later you missed an important detail and blew a placement, then you know just how expensive a mistake it was.

These things happen, but if it’s more than a once in a blue moon thing, blame your listening skills.

In truth, our listening skills have never been especially great. A 1983 study found that on average, viewers who just watched and listened to the evening news could only recall 17.2% of the content when not cued, and the cued group never exceeded 25%. A study a few years later found participants could recall only about 10% of their conversations immediately after they took place.

How-To, Jeff's On Call!

A Four Step Program to Improving Your Phone Voice

Placements and the law logo

The phone voice is almost everything in making placements. Even in personal meetings, 38% of the meaning is conveyed by the voice. Surprisingly, the words themselves only convey 23%. What you convey it is more important than what you say.

Since recruiters (and lawyers) talk so much, they tend to become deaf to their own voices. We practice a four-step program of simple voice improvement techniques. We’ve achieved unbelievable results in negotiation and trial using them. Since I introduced them to our favorite recruiters they’ve made more placements. It’ll work for you too.

Let’s get started!


5 Tips For Improving Your Social Media


social media illustrationThe way we use social media has evolved tremendously since the early days of MySpace. With the success of LinkedIn, we have begun to move our professional relationships to the web, and have slowly developed a proper networking etiquette for doing so. Recruiting through social media, however, is a practice whose rules are still being written.

Because there is no “right” way to do it, the unknown that accompanies social recruiting can make the idea intimidating to recruiters and hiring managers. However, as the power of social media continues to grow, it is important to embrace it as a crucial element of your recruiting strategy.

Here are five of the best practices for hiring via social media:


8 Tips To Help Candidates Work Best With Recruiters


Note: Do your candidates really know how a search consultant works and what they can do for them that they can’t do themselves? Knowing what we do, and how to best work with a headhunter makes better candidates and can lead to quicker and easier placements, not to mention less time explaining things to novice (and even more experienced, but still naive) candidates.

In this article, Jorg Stegemann explains how candidates can best work with a recruiter. Link to this article and point your candidates to it to save yourself time and headaches.

Want to know the best ways to use a headhunter? Do you know why you should use one? A good recruiter has what you have not: inside information and knowledge of jobs that will never be advertised.

Here are eight tips on how to choose a headhunter who will help you take your next career step:


The Power of Positive Candidate Coaching

My Fair Lady

My Fair LadyPerhaps on the classic movie channel you have seen the film, My Fair Lady. If you don’t recall the movie, check it out. It’s based on the play Pygmalian, by George Bernard Shaw. In the play, as well as the film, a professor takes on the challenge of transforming a girl of low social stature into a fine, articulate woman who could pass for royalty.

This tale has led to a popular theory, the Pygmalian Effect. Simplistically, this is the idea that individuals tend to rise to expectations. Why is it relevant to you? As a recruiter, encouraging candidates to rise to the occasion would be valuable to you, the candidate, and your client. We can’t work magic; however, the power of positive suggestions can do wonders when preparing a client for an interview. Fundamental advice and coaching are equally important.

Here are a few tips to start the transformation:


3 Ways to Research Even a Stealthy Startup

secret stealthy

secret stealthyBy its very nature, a startup has no track record, little or no story to tell, and it may not even yet have a website. This is particularly the case if the startup is in stealth mode, a sort of secret early stage, when the founders make an effort to be as invisible as possible. So how do you research such a company?

Here are three suggestions to get you started:

How-To, Sourcing

A Simple Tool So You’ll Be the First to Know When Something Changes


New-Chrome-Icon-200x200Sooner or later, the experts tell us every passive worker becomes an active job seeker. It’s just a matter of when.

Which is exactly the problem. Few recruiters can spare the time to check and recheck a person’s status, almost no matter how placeable they may be. On the other hand, when they do decide to start looking — because they don’t want to spend another winter in Boston, or they want to be closer to family, or for any of dozens of reasons — you want to be the first to know.

How-To, Motivation

Embrace Your Inner Rookie and Win

Novice button-free

Novice button-freeRookies are just awesome. Their innocence and energy for an office is infectious, and they do the things which the tenured forgot made them successful. Yet with all their mistakes and silly questions, they still bill. They bill because they follow the system. They follow the system because they do not know any better. It just has to make you smile.

A while back I had a rookie brag he had verbal approval for terms with a  former client of the office. This company had a change in HR back in 2009, which at that time issued cancellation notices on all existing service agreements and issued new service agreements that included a reduction in fee, a longer guarantee period, and a money back guarantee. We went back to all of our hiring managers, elicited their help to no avail, and finally walked away.


If You’re Not Mobile Ready, You’re Falling Behind

Glassdoor mobile survey infographic

Glassdoor mobile survey infographicInteresting fact: 91% of adults have their mobile phone within arm’s reach 24/7.

Weird (but not surprising) fact: 75% of Americans even bring their phones to the bathroom.

Mobile marketing is happening now, and it’s taking the recruiting industry by storm. Our devices have become extensions of our business and ourselves. Smartphones and tablets are bringing job boards to the palms of job seekers worldwide.

Welcome to a new era of recruiting tools! To those who are resistant to change, this is the perfect opportunity to breathe new life into your strategy.  You’ve always wanted to be the leader of the pack, right? It’s time to pick up the pace!

Ask Barb, How-To

Too Much Email and Not Enough Phone. What Do I Do?

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I know technology is supposed to help me be more efficient, but I’m buried under hundreds of emails. All technology has done is have me working 24 hours a day 7 days a week and I’m not as efficient as I was years ago without all of this technology. How can I explain to people that I would rather talk on the phone, than only be contacted by email?

Carolyn M., Seattle, WA

Dear Carolyn:

Technology can make you more efficient if utilized properly. Answer emails three