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The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Articles tagged 'dailyplanning'

How-To, Motivation

The 3 Elements Of A Proactive Daily Plan

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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.


What To Do When Your Office Is In A Malaise

Bored businesswoman - freedigital

Bored businesswoman - freedigitalYou got into this business years ago. You listened and learned and you became successful. Over the years your billings grew. Some of you decided to add people to your operation and your operation grew, and was also successful.

And then it happened. It seemed to come out of nowhere. First one recruiter went into a slump and then another and then the whole office seemed to be in a funk. Even your production, your ‘money in the bank’ desk, started to suffer. What happened and how do you get out from under this wet blanket of recruitment misery?

In this article, I am going to give you a six-step remodeling plan. This plan will work for those of you who work alone and for those of you who have an office of recruiters. Here are the steps:

Ask Barb

Become A Champion Planner In Three Easy Steps

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I met you at a recent conference. You advised me to get two to three candidates on the final interview on every order I work. As a result, I’ve just had the best quarter of my five years in this business.

My greatest challenge is time management. The day just slips away from me and I constantly find myself switching gears. How can I manage time better when every phone call sees to change my priorities throughout the day?

Amanda H,

Alpharetta, GA

Ask Barb, For Managers

The Three Things Every Owner Must Do To Be Successful

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I have owned my recruiting firm for almost a year and have yet to make a profit. Before I opened my business, I was always referring my friends to people I knew and they got hired. I’m finding this profession is more difficult than I had anticipated. I have enjoyed reading your common sense answers in your column. What three pieces of advice you would provide to a new business owner?

Steven F.

Cincinnati, OH

Fordyce Forum, Motivation, The Business of Recruiting

Taking to Heart and Putting to Practice What I Learned At the Fordyce Forum


Editor’s note: The 2013 edition of the Fordyce Forum opens in Dallas in two days. One of the great things about the Fordyce conference, besides the tips and techniques the pros share, the networking, and the advice and help you can get from those who’ve “been there, done that,” is the renewed sense of excitement and the motivation to put into practice what you hear and learn. That’s what Andrew Alexander wrote about in this timely post. If you want to know more about last year’s sessions, check the agenda here.

I am not a person who enjoys conferences, and to be even more transparent,  I feel inadequate after listening to success stories. More specifically, I begin to feel inept about my skill set and performance. There are a lot of accomplishments and wisdoms shared in conferences.

But what gets me shaking my head is how the experts are executing, and I am not.  “Man, I know half the stuff they are talking about, and I am still screwing this up.” Or, “(bunch of words not appropriate for print) why did I not think of that? It is so simple. Wake up!”

I’ll quickly flip-flop to excuse making:  “That won’t work in my market,” or a huge wave of “Yeah, buts…” In a nanosecond I’ll go from “I suck “to “I am doing it right in my space.” I suppose it’s a basic maneuver by my ego to salvage the ship it just torpedoed; it’s like living with my mom in my head really. I guess another reason why I don’t enjoy conferences is because the schizophrenic conversations are just exhausting and confusing. However, one thing is common for me year after year, I am not executing.

Ask Barb, Motivation

Planning: Don’t Leave the Office Without It

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I have heard you speak several times, and I’m always impressed by your attitude. You are always positive, energetic and enthusiastic. I have a terrible time staying motivated. I have great intentions but don’t follow through with my actions. You teach us to talk to 20 new people every day, but I don’t think I make 20 phone calls the entire day. What can I do to get motivated and then stay motivated?

Unmotivated in Dallas

Dear Unmotivated:

As an owner, I’ve learned that I can’t motivate my sales team. The best I can do is create a motivating environment and figure out what motivates each member of my team. My team is not going to excel because I want a record year. They will, however, reach higher levels of success for their own reasons. You need to write down goals that are near and dear to your heart. What specifically do you want to create for yourself and the people you love? Where do you want to live? What do you want to drive? What do you want to contribute to the cause that means the most to you?

You are in the right profession at the right time in history, but no one can motivate you but you. When you admit that you are not completing even 20 calls a day, you are also probably not planning out your day. If you want to turn your great intentions into actions and results, plan out 100% of the calls you will make the following day before you leave work. No one enjoys planning, but the most successful people in our professional realize the power of planning! Control your destiny by your planned outgoing calls vs. your incoming calls and you will be more successful which will help you be more positive, energetic and enthusiastic.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

For Managers

“The Phone Rang…” The Classics of Planning & Organization

Telephone Keypad

This time when the phone rang, I knew who was calling. Benjamin was punctual and anxious to get started. During our last session, Ben and I had covered two of the five points in the Monitoring Star. We had discussed, in detail, Yearly Goals and Quarterly Goals. Now it was time to discuss the final three points of the star: The Daily Planner; Modularization & Blitzing; and The 100 Point Sheet. Once we finished with all five major topics, Ben would possess the necessary structure and monitoring systems so that he would be well on his way to achieving his recruiting goals.


Harry Joiner’s Ultimate Recruiting System


What do a Franklin planner and a $35 wrist-watch have in common?

Harry Joiner, who has made a name for himself in the recruiting world as THE e-commerce recruiter, has some secrets about these low-tech, high-value items.

“It’s about measuring, measuring, measuring — have your dashboard wherever you go,” he says.

Check out this video to see how a planner and watch become “the guts” of the ultimate recruiting system.


Certain Strategies for Uncertain Times


Consider this: there have been 10 post-World War II recessions. Do we really expect that another is not on the horizon for our industry? If you fantasize that your market is “recession-resistant,” watch what happens when hundreds of other recruiters come flooding into it because theirs isn’t. As Winston Churchill said, “Nourish your hopes, but do not overlook realities.”

Is there a solution? Can an experienced recruiter equal or even exceed his previous production in a slowing market? Maybe, but not without re-thinking, re-organizing, and re-engineering previous methodologies.

Consider the following 12 areas:

TFL archives

The Importance Of A Daily Plan


Organization and self-discipline are key traits for any profession – none more so than sales. While stellar salespeople generally possess several important key attributes such as the drive to succeed, the ability to relate well to others, strong verbal skills, and persuasiveness, a sometimes-overlooked trait is strong organizational skills.

Even the most hardworking salesperson has a finite number of hours in a day to get things done. Salespeople who use those hours most efficiently tend to be high performers. The key to maximizing efficiency is creating a daily plan every day.

Plan today for tomorrow

If you visit your neighborhood coffee shop between 9 and 10 any morning, you’re likely to see salespeople in nicely tailored suits hunched over their laptops. More than likely, they are checking their schedules and developing a plan for the day. But I strongly believe that it’s more efficient to draw up a daily plan on the previous afternoon so that you can start your day being productive right off the bat.

In my executive search firm, for instance, at 4:30 every afternoon, my recruiters and I take about a half-hour to map out our next-day strategies. We have an almost religious devotion to this practice. We compile a list of people we need to call based on our current priorities, and draw up a rough schedule of when to call them.

Because we have clients nationwide in different time zones, this schedule helps us contact people when we are most likely to reach them in person rather than by voice mail – call the east coast in the morning, and the west coast in the afternoon, for example. The schedule also helps us stick to our goal of reaching X number of people per day. If a conversation lasts longer than expected, we have the option of informing the person on the other end of the line that we have another appointment to keep – it says so on our schedules. (Of course, in special cases, particularly with our best clients, we may break this rule.)

Reduce distractions

Some salespeople may chafe at this high degree of organization, but chances are they are not setting the sales world on fire. There are so many potential distractions that crop up during a typical day that it’s crucial for salespeople to adhere to a daily plan as much as possible. Otherwise, it’s much too easy to get bogged down with non-productive e-mail messages, phone conversations, web research, and interactions with office mates.

According to a recent study conducted by AOL and Salary.com, the average employee admitted to spending 2.09 hours per day online. More than 44 percent of those polled said they browsed the Web, sent personal e-mail, engaged in non-work instant messaging, or played online games during work hours. These practices obviously hinder sales, and good salespeople do very little of this. Socializing with co-workers, the second-biggest time-waster, came in at 23 percent. Of course, some interaction among co-workers is expected, and it can help build team spirit and boost morale, however, high performing salespeople keep this to a minimum and spend as much time as possible interacting with clients and prospects.

Prioritize contacts

While clients expect us to be responsive to their inquiries – and rightly so – that doesn’t mean that we have to drop everything to answer a call or message immediately. I recommend waiting until a set time every day to answer non-critical e-mail and voice mail from clients. It’s important to respond within a few hours as much as possible, but if you fall into the trap of answering every client question or concern immediately, you’ll end up spinning your wheels too much and disrupting your daily plan. Clients may be impressed with instant response, but reasonable people don’t expect that level of service unless they have some sort of emergency.

If you’re not accustomed to a hyper-organized scheduling regimen, I recommend getting started immediately. Use either a paper day planner tool or some kind of software scheduling system. Even Microsoft Outlook works very well. It can take 30-45 days to become accustomed to a new scheduling system, but it’s well worth the effort.

What do you think? Let us know.