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The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Articles tagged 'managing'


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, 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


Simplify Your Life To Reduce Stress and Bill More

stress compass illus

stress compass illusNot so long ago, the term “stress” was not part of our everyday language. Sure, we all had problems and challenges, but the prevailing wisdom and expectation of the day was to cowboy up and deal with it. Anything less was considered weak and whiney.

I am not sure why, but somewhere back in the 80’s we changed and bought into the philosophy that everybody gets to do everything. Suddenly football practice was accompanied by piano lessons, running for school president, church choir, horseback riding club and more. This do-more-all-the-time attitude soon spilled over into the business world and consequently we now find ourselves in multi-task overload with our lives and our brains overflowing with too much garbage. So, having now adopted an over-stuffed lifestyle that creates buckets of stress, we’ve got to cowboy up and deal with it.

For Managers, The Business of Recruiting

Your Big Placement Just Blew Up. Your Biggest Biller Just Quit. Now What?

Recruiter U logo

You have just spent the last seven weeks doing an in-depth search; provided a short list of outstanding candidates; were persistent with your client to drive the process forward; acted as a therapist to your finalist candidate; and, he gets an offer and accepts the position. CONGRATULATIONS!

Fast forward two weeks later. You come into the office the Monday morning your candidate is supposed to start. There is a voicemail from him time stamped 4:45 am (he KNEW I wouldn’t be at my desk that early!) which starts: “Mike, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I really need to do what’s best for my family. I won’t be showing up at XYZ Software today…” We’ve all received that call, several times, no matter how good we are.

Next situation, you as a recruiting firm owner, have tried to do everything right to retain your best billing recruiters. You have a training program, benefits, 401K, aggressive compensation plan, company trips, personal concierges, etc. One day (probably the same day as the fall-off above) one of your biggest billers walks in your office closes the door and says “We need to talk.”

Ask Barb

Changes Come When You Show They Work

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I recently spent the day in your Responsible Recruiting Clinic. I could not wait to get back to my office to implement some of the ideas you shared. I was the only person from our company who attended. My challenge is getting others in my office to try something new.

You made the statement that we are all creatures of habit; I’ve noticed how accurate that statement is since I’ve been back. We have people who barely cover their salaries and yet they are in a self-imposed rut. I’m younger than most of them, which doesn’t help. Many of them don’t even text candidates, which you said is the quickest way to get a response from many of the people we represent.

I tried to tell my owner that we needed to implement changes, but he seemed to stick up for people that have been here a long time, even if they are not producing near what I do. How do I force this issue and make my owner change some things. I know my ideas (that I actually learned from you) would increase our sales, but I’ve only been here a little over a year. Can you give me some ideas?

Rock Star from Texas

For Managers

For the Rookie Account Manager: Qualifying a Job


One of the toughest responsibilities for new account managers in the recruiting world is ensuring your recruiters are spending their time wisely. In other words, are they focusing their time on jobs that will make both of you money?

Qualifying a job is always a tough task for an account manager. Some of the ideal questions we ask ourselves can only be answered as we move deeper into the process with the client. Here are a few qualifiers that all account managers should be able to answer when they put a job in front of their recruiters:

Ask Barb

To “Manage By Numbers Not Emotion” You Need The Numbers

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I don’t keep stats on my employees because I don’t know what stats to track. I’d rather have them on the phones making calls, than counting how many calls they are making. Do you ever find keeping stats are a distraction? I don’t think that my experienced people would be willing to keep stats. What’s the point?

Steve D. Denver, CO

Dear Steve:

If there is no room for improvement and your team has 100% achieved the lifestyle they deserve to live, I agree with you. However, if you want to grow your company and your team would like to earn more money, the easiest way to get there is to manage by numbers not emotion. Keeping stats takes the mystery out of consistent production and eliminates bad months and slumps forever.

Once you know the individual stats and ratios for each member of your team, you can tell them exactly what results they need daily to achieve their goals. Tie their goals into their dreams and they will commit to achieving the daily results for their own reasons not yours. However, when you manage by stats everyone wins! Often experienced recruiters can make a subtle change that provides them with great results. They will keep their stats if they understand how it benefits them.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

For Managers

Your Data Tells A Story You Need to Know

Data - Monthly Sales Progress

My company, InsightSquared, provides in-depth business intelligence to well over 100 staffing and recruiting companies. We’ve seen first-hand how a little bit of better data analysis can lead to a lot of big, easy wins. Here are just a few ways you can move the needle with minimal effort.

Work Only on the Right Activities

Doing this data analysis directly impacts your business growth. If you know what activities really move the needle, and more importantly, what activities don’t, all you really need to do is do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Sounds too simple, right? Exactly the point. The best part is that it works.

Ask Barb

Ask Barb: Should I Hire an Experienced Recruiter?

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I want to hire, but I know my experienced recruiters will throw a fit if I throw a rookie into the mix. I thought about hiring an experienced recruiter who would bring a book of business with them, but then I worry about being sued of they have a non-compete.

How do I get my experienced people to give a new person a chance to succeed? My people know how to sell but they are all about themselves, not about helping someone else succeed. Every time I mention hiring I just get complaint after complaint. They are all convinced that a new person costs them money.

Do you hire experienced recruiters?

Bob P., Memphis, TN

Ask Barb

Ask Barb: Motivating Your Team

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How to you motivate people who just focus on what’s not going right all day long? I’ve got an office full of whiners and complainers and even my manager is starting to give me excuses. When I talk to other owners in my city, they are doing a whole lot better than we are. I don’t work a desk any more but I swear I feel I could do more than the whole bunch of them. I’ve tried contests and no one qualifies, I’ve tried treating them nice or then threatening them and I tell you nothing works. Two of them were really good producers for me until 2009, but now they complain just as much as everyone else.

I’m too old to start over, but I can’t keep putting in my own money to meet payroll. How do I get them to do what I need for them to do?

Frank H., Tampa, FL