Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


How-To, Jeff's On Call!

3 Surefire Ways to Cold Call Decision-Makers

Placements and the law logo

The first and most important thing a recruiter must do is get through the gatekeeper to the prospective client. Smiling and dialing is fine for voicemails you hang up on, but placements aren’t made that way. You might as well be talking to your kids.

If you follow me, I’ll show you where the secret passages are to get past the guards at Placeland.

1. Find the Hiring Authority

More placements are lost by calling the wrong person than any other reason. That’s why the recruiter’s bumper sticker reads, “So many sendouts, so few offers.”

In a large corporation, your most valuable source of information is some busy live operator. Unlike assistants, operators are not there to screen. They’re pressured to transfer a call as fast as possible.


Dress For Success, Which Could Be Flip-Flops and Shorts

flipflops-James Barker-free

flipflops-James Barker-freeWhen I began my recruiting career in 2010, one of my first strategies was setting myself apart from the competition — the thousands of internal/external tech recruiters around the country.

We’re all chasing 95% of the same candidates to fill the role. With zero background in technology/software engineering or recruiting, I had to approach every single single task differently or I would fail fast in this commission-only job.

One seemingly minor, yet intriguing, tactic was attire. As with so many sales jobs, I found it incredible that some recruiters still wear business formal to meet with clients and candidates; I even felt awkward going business casual or nice casual. Within a few months, I was wearing hand-me-down t-shirts and shorts just to emphasize the unnecessary attire standards encouraged for recruiters. (Yeah, so maybe I also have a problem with authority.)


Case Study: How Impact Personnel Went From Outdated to Mobile Friendly

Impact Personnel new website

When we approached Impact Personnel in Connecticut about redesigning their site for mobile it was in desperate need of a refresh. It had become static and outdated. So we set a plan in motion and got them back online in a few weeks with a site that fits any screen on any device.

Here’s how we did it.

The ChallengeImpact personnel

Turn ImpactPersonel.com into a modern website that represented the firm’s personality while optimizing all pages for mobile screens.


If You’re Still Doing What You’ve Always Done, It’s Time For An Operational Audit


Can’t see the forest for the trees.

This old cliche refers to a circumstance where an individual is so close or involved in a situation that they are incapable of maintaining their perspective or view of the big picture. This cliche applies to many owners and managers within the staffing industry.

Our rebounding economy is creating an environment in which many staffing firms are enjoying increased growth in sales and profits. However, much of that growth is due to external factors versus internal competencies. Although this may appear to be acceptable with our expanding economy, it could spell disaster when the economy slows and demand for services decreases.


No Matter How Big the Data, Don’t Neglect the Human


Big data and people analytics are two of the hottest topics in recruitment this year, but for employers yet to explore the world of HR technology, the wealth of information available can be overwhelming. Hiring managers and recruiters have a broad range of tools at their disposal to streamline the hiring process and make it easier to connect with qualified candidates – but where do they start?

In the race to attract and hire top talent, concern understandably exists over the trend toward forgetting the human element. Successful recruitment is about building trust with top performers. Automated recruitment offers time and cost savings, but cannot replace genuine rapport. 

How-To, The Business of Recruiting

3 Questions to Ask Before You Begin A Search


Recruiting is an interesting job, and can be very difficult if you’re flying blind. It’s incredibly important to know what’s going on inside the minds of both your candidate, and your hiring manager.

Here are three things every recruiter should find out when working with a hiring manager:

1. What is the hiring manager’s vision for this position?

There are generally two types of roles – roles that are expected to elevate, reach for the sky, and be strategic, big-picture thinkers; and roles that are expected to dive deep, buckle down, and get the details of execution done. Naturally, most roles require both of these elements to be successful, but some roles will focus more on one than the other. It’s important to identify what the hiring manager is looking for and expecting (whether you find out or not), and then recruit for top talent based on that understanding.


Verifying Employment Is Not Just A Good Idea


bigstock-Employee-Reference-Check-Form-How often to job applicants lie in their resumes or job applications? While there’s no solid figure, every recruiter has discovered resume embellishments, fudging and outright fabrications.

The economy may be improving, but the job market is still tough and competitive, and many applicants are simply desperate to find employment or anxious to switch jobs. This desperation leads to fibbing on applications, resumes, and even in interviews, which is why you should never send out a candidate before conducting an employment history verification check. In fact, these checks are often easier to run than traditional pre-employment criminal history checks, but can sometimes tell you just as much about the person.

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.


5 Tips For Managing A Hiring Manager’s Candidate Dreams

praying hiring manager-123RF

praying hiring manager-123RFI’d like to live on Lake Washington: 5 bedroom house, 3 bathrooms, a pool, chef’s kitchen, and sport court. The purchase price must be less than $200,000 and it can’t be a fixer upper.

Anyone from the surrounding Seattle area knows you can’t live on Lake Washington for $200,000 without an extreme fixer upper.

So what happens next? Do I search for the “perfect” house only to be let down time and again when my offers are rejected? As silly as this may seem to savvy home buyers, this is a strategy used in recruiting and it can hamstring hiring managers.


Now Is a Good Time to Remind Your Candidates About Updating Their Resume


ResumeThis is a perfect time of year to reach out to your candidates and remind them to update their resumes. It is an excuse for you to connect and keep your name fresh in the minds of your candidates in an effort to learn about upcoming job vacancies at the companies in which those people work. It’s also smart to prompt your candidates to keep their resumes current so both of you are always on your toes.

Since most candidates need a little help when updating the resume, here’s a little tip sheet you can share.