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The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Articles tagged 'management'

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

Business, Viewpoint

It’s Not Easy Building the Perfect Recruitment Company, But Your Future Depends On It



Achievement cloud - free

Achievement cloud - freeA while ago, I wrote an article that was posted on ERE.net (“Why Recruiters Will Be at the Heart of Our Corporate Future”) trying to explain my concept of what of “good recruitment” was and why recruiters will therefore be at the very heart of our corporate future. I received a lot of great feedback on the post but also some negative comments about how employers and candidates felt after interacting with recruiters. There were also some strong feelings about the impending demise of our industry due to technology improvements and in house recruiting teams.

Consequently, I thought I could extend my opinion yet further to outline another opinion of the structure of “the perfect recruitment company” in today’s world and highlight how recruiters can learn and improve using technology, learn lessons from Silicon Valley and out-compete in house teams for high margin business.

There are five key common principals to the mind-set and success of Silicon Valley companies:

Business, For Managers

Success Is In the Numbers. But Which Ones?



Dart board - free

Dart board - freeWe all have heard and most believe, “Knowing your numbers is critical in this business.” Also known as metrics, what are the most important metrics to follow? Tough question since all are important and all build upon each other. Without the desk-builder metrics of job order and candidate presentations there would be no sendouts, and without sendouts there would be no placements.

As a double bred numbers guy (CPA and banker) I have lived my life believing and analyzing numbers. After eight years as owner of an executive search firm — $8,570,487 in collections, 300,982 attempted calls, 33,523 SMP connects, 1,640 first time sendouts, 313 placements, and more falloffs than I want to remember — I am now more than ever convinced the numbers in our business never lie.

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
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.

Business Development, The Business of Recruiting

7 Steps To Saying Yes When They Ask “But Can You Deliver?”



Stairway up - freedigital

Stairway up - freedigitalIn the press to take advantage of the slowly improving economy, a growing number of recruiting and staffing firms find themselves over-selling and under-delivering. Consequently, clients are receiving inconsistent results and the quality of service standard for our industry is falling.

In response, prospects as well as clients are increasingly asking, “But can you deliver?”

You must carefully consider your response to this question. Companies are frustrated by sophisticated sales presentations that have little real relevance to the actual delivery of services. With minor modifications, they have already heard most of these presentations from your competitors. Therefore, you must ask yourself, “Can we deliver every time, on time, without exception?”

The answer can be “Yes.”

How-To, Viewpoint

There Is Not a Meeting In the Ladies Room



Business women

Business womenWhen my friends at The Fordyce Letter suggested that I write an article about specific issues facing women business owners in the recruiting industry, my first thought was, “Okay — I’m a woman. Glad they noticed.” It’s also true that I have owned a successful recruiting firm for almost 20 years. Then I tried for a month to sit down and commit something to paper that fit the bill.

The difficulty for me is that I don’t think in those terms. I was raised in a fairly average middle-class family and we all worked. We were taught the value of establishing a good work ethic and that you could go as high as the next guy if you applied yourself, worked hard and worked smart. Understand, these values were not presented as some sugary “girls can do anything boys can do” philosophy. Gender was literally never factored in. All I ever heard was hard work equals success — period. So when first entering the workforce, it never really occurred to me that being a woman could somehow be a hindrance to achieving my goals.

Ask Barb, Business

Have You Tried Calling Your Own Office After Hours?



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

Many of my IT clients and candidates call me after hours just to avoid a conversation. Then they complain that it’s too difficult to leave me a message. Do you believe in giving out your cell phone to both clients and candidates?

George W.

Victor, NY
Dear George:

I do believe in giving out my cell phone to clients. It is a personal decision if you give

Staffing, The Business of Recruiting

Misclassifiying Workers Could Cost Your Clients — Or You — Even More



Independent contractor illustration-free

Independent contractor illustration-freeAs the Obama administration continues to crackdown on the misclassification of W-2 employees as 1099 independent contractors, the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — is upping the ante on misclassification penalties.

Employers are often tempted to classify workers as independent contractors because they don’t have to pay the employer share of taxes or provide benefits to those workers. Obamacare’s upcoming employer mandate makes this type of arrangement even more tempting. Under the employer mandate, which goes into effect in 2015, employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees will have to provide healthcare insurance to at least 95% of their full-time workforce or face fines. Even if they provide coverage, they could be fined if that coverage does not meet the law’s standards.

Ask Barb, For Managers

Manage a Problem Top Producer Or It Will Get Worse



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I have a top producer in my office who has worked for me for over 10 years and she represents 37% of our revenue. She is causing major problems in my office. She comes in late, sets her own rules and has even brought other employees to tears. I can’t afford to lose her, but I dread coming in to my own office every day. I know I’m going to lose other employees if I don’t manage her, but I don’t know where to start. I would appreciate any advice you could provide.

Susan H.

Mariettta, Georgia

Barb Responds

Dear Susan:

I think most owners reading this have probably had a similar experience – myself