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The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Articles tagged 'goals'

Ask Barb

Call People? Talk to Them? What A Concept!

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How do I get my younger recruiters to make phone calls? They are convinced that our candidates will only communicate by text or email, but I believe this is the way my recruiters want to communicate. They look at me like I’m a dinosaur and don’t listen to my advice. They are not hitting their goals, so how do I force the issue?

Amanda H.
San Jose, CA

Your Problems May be Opportunities In Disguise


Standing on the football field in the fall of 2011, hours before a Baltimore Ravens game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, I reached out to shake the hand of former NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol and introduced myself.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Gerry Sandusky.

He snatched his hand back, a flinch reflex as if my hand were on fire. Before I could say, “Gerry with a G, no relation to the former Penn State coach,” Ebersol had disappeared into a nearby crowd of people, a safe distance from the awkwardness caused by the sound of my name, an identical sounding name as a convicted child molester. Problem.

Ask Barb

Manage by Numbers and You’ll Hit Them

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Our sales are inconsistent and even my managers have accepted the fact that we will have at least one flat month every quarter. That’s four flat months out of the year and obviously my expenses don’t decrease during those flat months. I’m out of answers on how to get more consistent production out of our team.

I know you speak at many conferences and do some in-house training and consulting with owners. Because of your exposure to companies all over the world in our profession, do you agree that flat months are just a reality of our business?

Donna F.
Houston, TX

Dear Donna:

I don’t believe that you should accept the fact that every year you are going to have four flat months. This proves the concept: If you think you can or if you think you can’t you’re right! The only way to guarantee consistent production is for everyone to hit their individual result standards on a daily basis.

Often, a flat month follows a record month because during the record month your sales team is focused on prepping, debriefing, closing, and celebrating. They stop doing the basics that guarantee consistent production (recruiting, marketing, presentations, etc.).

If you monitor sendout totals, you can accurately predict production. It is extremely important for you to manage by numbers because numbers don’t lie. When your team is having a great time, encourage them to stay on the telephone because they are on a high and will obtain great results.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Ask Barb

Holding Staff Accountable Is Your Job

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How can I hold my team accountable to hit their goals? We set goals, but no one in my office takes them seriously. I would think that their commissions would be motivation enough because I don’t pay a substantial base salary. If I fired everyone who isn’t hitting their numbers, I’d end up firing all but two employees. I know you believe in holding people accountable, but I don’t know that it’s realistic. Any advice would be appreciated.

Debby L.
Orlando, FL
Ask Barb

Barb Bruno’s New Recruiter Production Program

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Would you be willing to share the first quarter metrics you implement for new hires? I have not hired someone new in over two years, and I’m not sure what minimum standards to implement. I plan to use your tutor to train them, but need to understand metrics. I know your average fee is around $25,000 which is our average as well. That is why I feel the metrics you use will work for my business. I hire individuals who have no prior recruiting experience.

Louise P.
Baton Rouge, LA

Dear Louise:


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.

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.

Ask Barb, For Managers

Offer Solutions to Combat Negativity

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Please give me some advice on how to approach my owner about a situation that is getting worse. I’ve been a recruiter for a little over a year and I’m now the top producer in our office. I work with people who have 10-plus years of experience but don’t make 10 calls a day. All they do is talk about why people are not hiring and how our candidates are all impossible. It’s getting harder and harder for me to tune them out. I question why my owner just doesn’t fire people who are not producing. You always say our owners are in business to make profits, well three of our employees haven’t done that for months and they are still here.

When I tried to say something before to her, she told me to focus on my own desk and not on other employees. I don’t want to quit, but I can’t stand the negativity of my co-workers. If they’d quit complaining and pick up their phone, things could be so much better. As an owner, I’m hoping you can tell me what approach to use.

Frustrated in LA

Barb Responds

Dear Frustrated:

I appreciate the fact that you obviously care about your employer and realize you have co-workers who are not adding to her bottom line. If one of my recruiters approached me and said, “I have some ideas that could increase profits,” they would definitely have my undivided attention. Your opinion is also more valuable because you are currently the top producer in your firm.

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.