Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


Articles tagged 'Relationships'

Ask Barb

Your Candidates Want Choices



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I feel more and more that we are competing with the job boards, LinkedIn and social media for our candidates. By the time we get them through an interviewing process, they’ve found another job. I’m not seeing all of this technology as helpful. I’m seeing it as a threat. How can we compete, when it’s so easy for our candidates to find interviews on their own?

Susan P.

Ft. Meyers, FL

Dear Susan:

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.

Business Development, Cold Calling, How-To

If the Front Door Doesn’t Open, Try Going Around Back



Listening ear girl - free digital

Spying eye - freedigitalThere are numerous definitions for the term “back channels” if you were to look this up on the internet. A back channel can be as simple as students or conference attendees using IRC or instant chat to discuss a lecture among themselves. The lecture or talk is the “front channel” (formal presentation) while the chatter being the back channel.

A back channel can also be attendees of a webinar or conference posting comments to each other as the speaker is presenting.

Taking a publicly posted commentary on Facebook, and continuing the dialogue on instant messaging (Facebook messaging) can be another back channel. I’d venture to guess there’s more dialogue going on via private messaging than there is in the visible status update sections as behind-the-scenes people are willing to divulge their opinions more openly and discuss topics of a sensitive nature.

As a result the conversations are often livelier and more informative in the back channels than they are in the formal mode. The military and federal government state departments use back channels for obtaining tips from informants.

Ask Barb, Business Development, Relationships

Three Questions Your Clients Will Never Ask, But You Have to Answer



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

My owner has me schedule client visits and client lunches to obtain their temp assignments. I almost always leave their office or the restaurant with no orders and feel this is a waste of my time. Do you think face-to-face meetings are important, or do you feel telephone calls can provide you with more results?

Sophie F

Oakbrook IL

Business Development, Relationships

Work With HR and You Can Make Millions



bigstock-office argument

Almost every training class, seminar and professional group I’ve attended has warned that human resources departments are the recruiter’s obstacle. They block deals! They cut our fees! I’ve been repeatedly cautioned to avoid HR departments and get access to the hiring managers. But I would like every recruiter to know that I have billed millions of dollars throughout my recruiting career largely due to one department: human resources.

Before you call me crazy, I certainly understand the need to work with hiring managers. I prefer, however, to have human resources introduce me to the hiring managers and then have the HR manager quarterback the deal.

Yes, many of us avoid human resources because working directly with hiring managers can lead to quicker placements. But let’s face it – hiring managers can be sloppy. A “quick” placement has often not been properly screened and can be a potential landmine. Nothing smashes a relationship with a company like a candidate who doesn’t cut it at work or quits six months after starting.

Relationships, The Business of Recruiting

Why Clients and Candidates Need Independent Recruiters



Carol Schultz

There is nothing like a good controversy to stir up one’s feelings and subsequently a fierce debate. One of my favorite things about reading articles on ERE is how some of its contributors have a wonderful ability to write articles that generate comments a mile long because of controversial subjects covered. We were barely into 2013 when Adrian Kinnersley wrote an article entitled, “Why LinkedIn will never kill the professional recruitment industry,” which was very on point.

People are so polarized around this issue, but the comments section was what really made it an interesting read for me. If I didn’t know better I would have expected a fistfight to break out. One commenter even suggested that commission-only salespeople are unable to provide independent advice to candidates, and candidates know this. This inspired me to pick up my pen (figuratively, that is) and write, which I haven’t done lately.

The Demise of the Agency Recruiter

First off, great agency recruiters won’t go away until they want to, even though there has been so much talk about their longevity. It started back in the olden days (the mid 1990s) when the Internet was still in its infancy. Companies like Monster, CareerBuilder, and Yahoo HotJobs came on the market and tried to convince everyone they were a panacea to recruiting. In my opinion they were –  and are — nothing more than prettied up classified ads. Many people said companies would no longer need to use agency recruiters.

Didn’t happen

Next, companies began ramping up their internal recruiting staffs. It was predicted that companies would no longer need to use agency recruiters.

Ask Barb

When Disaster Strikes, Strike Out In Person



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

We were working on a confidential position to replace a company’s receptionist. When our candidate arrived, she announced to the receptionist being replaced that she was there to apply for the receptionist position. That is when everything went south.

This is one of our best clients. Now he won’t even talk to me. We specialize in IT and have placed five permanents and over 20 contractors with them this year. We took this receptionist job just to help them out. They also cancelled the contracts we were trying to fill. They have told five of our contractors that their contracts are ending at the end of the week instead of three months from now. I’ve sent at least five emails, with no response. I then left a couple of voicemails, and again no response. His assistant called me to cancel our open contracts.

We told our candidate this was a confidential opening, not sure of what more we could have done. You can’t control what your candidates say. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Devastated in Dallas

Relationships

The 5 Cs of Client Monogamy



5 cs honn article

I was recently reading Winner Takes All: Steve Wynn, Kirk Kerkorian, Gary Loveman and the Race to Own Las Vegas by Christina Binkley. A quote in the book sparked this article: Gary Loveman, the president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corporation (formerly Harrah’s Entertainment), said, “I’m in the business of fostering customer monogamy.”

Loveman, a former Harvard Business School professor before joining Harrah’s Entertainment, noted that Harrah’s biggest weakness was “lack of customer loyalty.” Loveman and his team were instrumental in creating the company’s Total Rewards® Program that was modeled on credit card loyalty programs, which became a major impetus in developing “customer monogamy” for the company’s properties across the United States.

It occurred to me that this idea applies to client retention. I thought hard about the manner in which I’ve been successful at keeping my best clients happy and earning repeat business – and fees. That lead to my Five C’s of Client Monogamy.

Business, How-To

Lessons From a Three Decade Recruiting Career



recruitment cartoon

recruitment cartoonHow much consistent success would you, could you earn if every top performing, most sought-after candidate in your niche (or your chosen market) knew about you, loved you and the way you treated them as an executive recruiter?

Well, believe it or not, once upon a time, third-party recruiters earned fees from candidates as well as from client companies.  And I am here, after 31 glorious years, to explain how, by living and working thru the tail end of that APF or Applicant Paid Fees era, I maintain a posture of candidate advocacy that benefits me tremendously, and how it can work the same for you.

The net-net of my philosophy is to place as much value in developing, maintaining, nurturing and honoring the relationships you enjoy with candidates as you do with hiring authorities.  After all, once you know that a client is sincerely interested in hiring one of your candidates, doesn’t that candidate become your protected product that you believe in to the max?  And isn’t it feasible, as it is evident for me, that if you stay in the search/placement industry long enough and consummate enough placements, that some of your placed and coveted  candidates will become your next clients?  The reality is that by positioning yourself as an objective adviser, as opposed to an omniscient persuader for the candidates you recruit, you will create a successful, self-sustaining executive search desk and practice.