Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession



Time to Consider If You Really Love Recruiting

Overworked worker - free

Every boss wants employees who are excited and passionate about what they are doing. Without employees who are committed, focused and personally invested in the big picture a company has very little chance for true success. As we think about mid-year assessments and reviews it’s a good time to make sure we are in the right place with the right job and that we are committed to making ourselves and our companies enormously successful.

Are you genuinely happy to be where you are and doing what you’re doing? It’s something all of us need to stop and consider from time to time. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this what you really wanted or thought it would be? If

What Does Success Mean?

Success at sunrise-123rf

Most companies, including Versique, my own, put extensive time and energy into general planning, client relationships, and results strategy, all the while keeping a close eye on operations and service/product offerings and, of course, finances. Over the past 10 years, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of great companies, and I have seen many put so much energy into the strategic planning process only to fall short because they forget one key item – they fail to define what success means to their organization.

Success can mean different things to different people, so which definition is right?

Ask Barb, Motivation

Personal Goals Lead to Consistent Production

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

My team has very inconsistent production I actually blanked two months. In our niche, it can take anywhere from six to eight weeks for a deal to close. How can I manage my team to produce consistently when our hiring process is long? My team is convinced it is reasonable to have one good month followed by a flat or blank month and I need to turn this around.

Marsha L.
San Jose, CA

Dear Marsha:

The length of your hiring process should not prevent your team from

Ask Barb, Motivation

How Do I Motivate Them When I Can’t Motivate Me?

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Missed hearing you last year. I need my annual “Bruno fix” in order to stay motivated and enthusiastic which leads me to my question for you. How do you stay motivated and positive as an owner of a staffing and recruiting firm?

There are days when I just want to tell everyone around me to stop talking and go away. There are days when I don’t want to pick up the phone, so how do I motivate others to do what I don’t want to do? My team depends on me to motivate them and quite frankly I’m tired of motivating everyone else. I have three full-time jobs and I’m not enjoying any of them. How do I motivate myself daily, get off the hamster wheel and start hiring people who are not so dependent on me?

Dennis N., Sarasota, FL

Dear Dennis:

Your frustration is felt by many working owners in the staffing and recruiting profession. I remember once making a statement that I felt all my recruiters were attached to me by an umbilical cord. I then realized I had created the monster I was complaining about. If your recruiters are too dependent on you for motivation and answers, you need to ask yourself why.


There’s Still Plenty of Time to Become a Big Biller

ladder of success - Master isolated images - free

ladder of success - Master isolated images - freeAll of us come to our business lives with certain gifts.  When we apply those gifts, we can become successful. When we realize that we don’t possess all of the gifts we need, we can become discouraged.

Big Billers are just like us, but they exhibit one key difference. First, they use their gifts just like the rest of us, and become successful just like the rest of us. But here is where we diverge.

Big Billers realize the gifts they don’t’ possess and work to become masters in those areas while the rest of us just remain discouraged. We complain. In the words of the famous trainer, Cavett Robert, we change the old adage to say, “There but for me, go I.”

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


The Best Advice I Ever Got


Overworked worker - freeFrequently, while conducting training programs or during my in-house consulting work, I am asked to offer the best advice I can on how to be successful in this business. For 40 years I have offered the same advice;  advice someone else gave me when I was a rookie consultant. What my mentor provided me was the best “how-to” advice I ever received. Daily I focus on that advice because it’s as valid today as it was so many years ago.

The best advice I ever received was:

Ask Barb, Motivation

Start the New Year With Your Own Dream Board

Ask Barb
Note: Build your own Dream Board. Barb Bruno explained how. Click here for the details.

Dear Barb:

I saw you speak in Canada and came back to my office on fire. I had my best quarter ever by implementing some of your strategies, but I’m now falling back into some of my old habits. How can I stay motivated every day to feel the same energy level and enthusiasm? There are some days I just fill my day with busy work because I don’t want to pick up the phone. Daily motivation is becoming a real problem for me. I would appreciate any words of wisdom you’re willing to share with me.

Janice F.

Workplace Mindfulness: A Way to Be More Productive With Less Stress


Google, eBay, Intel and General Mills offer classes on it. So do Harvard Business School, Ross School of Business and Claremont Graduate University, among other campuses. Mindfulness is not just a corporate trend, but a proven method for success.

Mindfulness – being focused and fully present in the here and now – is good for individuals and good for a business’s bottom line.

How can people practice it in a workplace where multitasking is the norm, and concerns for future profits can add to workplace stress?

Even if a company doesn’t make it part of the culture, employees and managers can substitute their multitasking habits with mindfulness in order to reduce stress and increase productivity.

For Managers, Motivation

With A Performance Contract They Fire Themselves


Results-freeFor managers, there is one thing worse than hiring the wrong person and that is to keep that individual employed with their agency long after the collective experience dictates they should be terminated. Yet, in almost every case, managers will admit they have difficulty with making termination decisions.

From my many years of experience in working with managers in hundreds of staffing firms on both a national and international basis, I have concluded that the primary reasons for this apparent lack of decisive action include one or more of the following: