Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


How-To, Motivation

The 3 Elements Of A Proactive Daily Plan

2 minute coaching logo

When I first started in the business back in 1994, I was fortunate to hear Peter Leffkowitz speak at a recruiting seminar in Los Angeles. One of the sections of his training that particularly stood out to me was his approach to time management and planning. He described the two main ways that recruiters tend to work a desk:

Reactively working a desk: This is the method that 80% of recruiters use to work a desk. This method can best be described as S-T-R-E-S-S. This is the land of soaring peaks followed by deep, dark valleys. It entails little planning, sporadic execution and lots of reacting.

Reacting to incoming email, incoming calls, interruptions, client demands etc. It involves chasing deals, working from adrenaline and a production-oriented focus. Essentially it’s a neurotic way to work a desk and often leads to burnout.

Proactively working a desk: This is the method that 20% of recruiters use to work a desk. There is a subtle but powerful difference in focus. Instead of simply focusing on production, proactive recruiters concentrate on building the activity that generates production. This involves planning and then executing from a proactive stance.


‘Time At Work’ Is Not a Success Metric

image source: Letheravensoar

image source: Letheravensoar

He can’t be serious, Jim thought. Jim been recruited away from a Fortune 500 firm by a fast-growing start-up, and it was his first day. The president of the company had just handed him a BlackBerry and said, “Keep this with you at all times.”


That Saturday morning, one of the founders sent an e-mail to the senior leadership team. By 5:00 p.m., there were more than 30 replies.

Jim soon learned that at this company, there was no concept of detachment from work. He grieved the loss bitterly, and his friends would mock him for stepping out of the bar to check e-mail at 10:00 p.m. while they were out for a few pints of beer. In a matter of months, Jim’s job began to seriously interfere with his relationship with his wife.


Here’s How to Stop Putting Important Things Off


ProcrastinationHere’s a secret about procrastination: everyone is guilty of it.

Even that super achieving, highly organized CEO will put off a task that really needs to get done. The difference between those people and the rest of us is that for the them, pprocratination is a rare event. They have what psychologists refer to as high conscientiousness. They will self-correct.

There are chronic procrastinators; people who put off all sorts of important tasks, both professional and personal. For them, professional help is necessary to help resolve what is, or will become, a debilitating habit.

For Managers, Motivation

Good Leaders Are Made, Not Born

Demanding Boss

TeamLeadWhy won’t my employees just do what I tell them?

Why am I struggling to motivate my team?

Why aren’t they giving me the performance I need?

If any of these questions sound familiar to you, you’re not alone.

You were probably promoted because you’re a competent technical professional. You know how to build a bridge, negotiate a deal, or justify a capital expenditure. But whether you’re a team leader or a branch manager, your technical skills usually won’t help you be a better leader.

Effective leadership has an undeniable business value. In one study, Jack Zenger and colleagues (“How Extraordinary Leaders Double Profits”) examined the best (top 10%) and worst (bottom 10%) leaders at a large commercial bank. On average, the worst leaders’ departments experienced net losses of $1.2 million, while the best leaders boasted profits of $4.5 million.


Your 2014 Recruiting Resolutions: How Are You Doing?

2014 calendar resolutions-free

2014 calendar resolutions-freeThe New Year has come and gone and already so have many of our resolutions. This was the year we were going to get more organized, start a regular workout schedule, network more frequently, lose weight, and, of course, make more money.

But statistically speaking, by the end of January’s first week 25% of us already gave up and dropped our resolutions. By the end of June, only 30% of us will still be at it, and by year’s end that number drops to 14%.

Why is this? Why do so few have the resolve to stick with it and achieve their goals? Perhaps we over think the process and make things harder than they should be. True success begins when we resolve to keep it simple. Block out all the noise and don’t get lost in the technology, social media, past failures or successes. The key to winning the recruiting game is simple and can be reduced to three basic components: Activity, Quality and our Target Market.


13 Exercises To Help You Grow Mentally and Emotionally

13 things mentally

13 things mentallyIf there’s one thing the Internet loves better than celebrity news and cat videos it is lists. Especially lists about how to succeed at something.

There are “Six Steps to Successful Menu Planning,”Ten “Easy” Steps To Financial Success,” even “7 Steps to a Successful Bake Sale.” And that’s just the tip. But when Amy Morin, a psychotherapist who specializes in parenting issues, wrote about the 13 things mentally strong people don’t do, she couldn’t have guessed how popular it would become.

Since her article first appeared on LifeHack, it has become a viral sensation, reposted or written about thousands of times. The Forbes version alone went viral, getting some 4.5 million views.

Business, Motivation

Why the December Holidays Are Great for Recruitment

productivity - free

productivity - freeYears ago a recruiting colleague of mine and I had a difference of opinion.

We placed in exactly the same specialty niche, but we disagreed about which time of the year was the most productive for our business. He thought that the end of the year was the best for making placements. I thought the summer was best. So, he always made placements during the winter months and I did not. And I always made placements during the summer months and he did not. It wasn’t our niche that was operative here—it was our perception. We were living the life of self-fulfilling prophecies.

Now when recruiters call to ask my thoughts about shutting it down for the December holidays, I always relate that story. I remind them that salaries are still being paid and interviewing is still taking place. And then I add what I remember of an article I read some years ago discussing the reasons why recruitment flourishes during this time of year:

Ask Barb, Motivation

What Do I Do To Motivate a Stalled Team?

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I know my recruiters could produce more, but I don’t know how to motivate them. It’s like I want more for them than they want for themselves. My four senior guys seem burned out when the economy was difficult. Right now, we have business, but many of our good orders are not being filled, which is very frustrating. I’ve tried to encourage them. I’ve offered contests. I threatened to take action, and I even became a micro-manager, which I hated and so did they.

They are not costing me money, but they are not making me the profits I would like. I feel I already overpay them, so I’m not willing to motivate them with more money. Any other suggestions?


5 Techniques For Dealing With Professional and Personal Setbacks

Vinay Nadig
Vinay Nadig

Vinay Nadig

I talk about 20 core leadership secrets in my executive coaching, speaking and writing. But if someone asked me to name only one that can make an immediate impact, I would pick the behaviors to counter setbacks.

All of us have had (and will continue to have) some professional setbacks – prospects breaking off at the last moment after a seemingly agreeable interaction, clients refusing to renew, etc. While these examples are very specific to my situation, we all face setbacks as we strive to achieve our goals. It may be in our personal or professional lives, but setbacks and obstacles are here to stay with us.

Cold Calling, Motivation

How Spinning Can Make You A Better Recruiter

spin class recruiting

spin class recruitingFor the past few months I have been engaged as a consultant/mentor to a team of 35 IT recruiters, and I’ve been trying to figure out the activities that separate top performers from their less successful colleagues.

I think I’ve cracked it:

Uncomfortable is where the rewards are.

Funnily enough, it came to me in a spinning class (indoor cycling). I am a spinning instructor in my spare time, and teach three classes a week at Almaden Valley Athletic Club in San Jose.

Now, anyone can sit on a spin bike (or at a desk) and look like they are working. But to truly experience the magical powers of indoor cycling you need to get outside of your comfort zone and really pick up the pace. The payoff is huge: lower blood pressure, cardiovascular supremacy, rapid weight loss, improved strength and endurance, high self-esteem, improved appearance, to name a few. And you learn to love it because you love the results.

Bit what could this possibly have to do with recruiting?