How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 08 Money Grabbing Candidates

Wolf cub and wolf

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 08

Money Grabbing Candidates

What would you do for a thousand pounds?

Yes there you go – one thousand pounds on the table right now– what would you do for it?


If I was to give you £1000 right now to do something I wonder how far down the moral rabbit hole you’d be willing to go, and how willingly?

Hand grabbing a fistful of twenty pound notes

Okay time to take a step back. First I’m not actually offering you that £1000 – this is a mental exercise only (sorry to disappoint)– and secondly I do think it’s healthy to maintain a certain moral equilibrium!

Putting the question this way –

“Within normal moral and ethical parameters, what would you be willing to do for £1000?”

Now I know ‘normal moral and ethical parameters’ could be interpreted in a number of ways but think of it like this – within the bounds of what you would be willing to tell your parents and colleagues that you did – or possibly “willing to tell your partner as long as they promised to tell no one else” (which is likely to be a broader definition than the parents one!)

Now I don’t know what you’ve been thinking of, (feel free to email me as I’d be fascinated to learn what you considered) but were there things that you were willing to do as a one off or in the short term that you wouldn’t do in the long term?

I image there were. Give someone a lump of cash to do a certain thing and it’s easy for people to do that; particularly when it’s an attractive sum of money.

But the problem with money is that whilst it can be a great immediate motivator, over the long haul its power fades. It doesn’t have any intrinsic value in itself and it doesn’t have any variety.

Whilst it can buy things (and we might decide to perform action X to earn Y so we can buy Z) but once Z is bought the thrill of the money earned fades.

Offer the same deal again and the amount y starts to fade and grow dull.

Think about your own careers in recruitment – remember that first commission cheque? I bet that was exciting but I’d be willing to bet that getting the same size of commission cheque now would be something of an anti-climax.

The trick with money as a motivator is to know it’s place. For yourselves you need to think not about the money but about what it can do for you. If you are trying to motivate yourself towards higher billings; which naturally means you have to work harder and smarter, then consider not the amount extra you can earn but what you can buy with the extra money.

Indeed start with the thing that you want to buy or do and work backwards to understand how many extra billings you need and then carry on backwards to work out how many extra interviews, business development calls etc. that you need to perform to generate those billings.

Then motivate yourself to do it by remembering what you are going to do when that happens. Keep changing the thing you are going to purchase or experience which will keep your motivation fresher.

For candidates when they start bleating about their counter offers and the extra money on the table then you need to make it very clear to them how dull that offer actually is.

Divide the money out over the year and break it down to a weekly and daily amount.

Imagine a candidate getting offered a £5000 salary bump (and just remember what you were willing to do for £1000!)

“So Mr/Mrs Candidate, remember how you said you hated your boss, there were no promotional opportunities and they didn’t respect you? Well what they are now offering is £60 approximately, after tax, a week in compensation. That’s a little over £10 a day – so they are kind of offering to buy you lunch. How do you feel about that?”

I bet we’d all do a lot of things for £5000 but that we’d do far fewer things for £10!

All that is gold does not glitter so don’t be blinded by the dazzle of money – understand it’s truer value and work with that for yourself and your candidates.

Expanded Material

Candidate motivations, motivators and inspiring yourself are all going to be discussed at length in the new, subscription only podcast, from Edenchanges coming in August 2014, aimed at all career minded recruiters.

Edenchanges podcast alert - the podcast is coming soon

Until next time; be successful

Stephen Hart

Development Specialist,



Motivational Monday #82 The Less Travelled Road


Motivational Monday #82 The Less Travelled Road

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost

The fact that we have more choices actually means we have to work harder explore all of them.

This age that we live in is the most connected age the world has ever seen. If our google-fu is up to scratch then we can pretty much find anything we want out there on the internet.

An almost infinite number of choices is open to us just brimming with potential. And yet one of the biggest ironies of this age is that those very same tools that provide us with so many options are being used to filter us down to fewer choices.

Take Amazon – if you look at a product on Amazon then it recommends similar products that other people have also looked at. Now from a searching point of view this is useful and I’m sure like me there have been times when you’ve then gone on and bought one of those suggested products.

But from a choice point of view it narrows down what you might find. Amazon is making the choice for you by saying ‘hey look at this one here’ rather than you simply continuing to browse.

And yes that can be useful but it is limiting. I don’t think the feature should be removed but I do think we need to be aware of what it is doing. It’s good for us to remember that we are in the driving seat when it comes to searching for what we want.

Because there are so many choices available, companies like Amazon have introduced these mechanisms to attempt to make our search time quicker. But quicker isn’t always better.

I’m not really interested in quickly finding the next book I read, I want to find a really good book that I will enjoy. Those two things are not the same.

And maybe the real joy will come from reading something that no one else has read. Maybe the book, poem or blog article that has only a handful of views or readers has the most potential.

At the very least that journey will be different. Take this anthology of short stories for example:

Gem Street: Collector’s Edition

Gem Street Book Cover

It’s limited to 150 copies and, at the time of writing, only 70 are left.  So you get to read something that only a handful of people in the world have, or ever will, read.

(Available for on-line order here from Labello Press – I am not affiliated in any way)

Doesn’t that create a different experience right away? Whether the stories are good, bad or indifferent surely the experience of reading something so rare and unique is worth it?

I think there is a real pleasure in going down the untravelled path, simply because it’s untravelled. It’s a voyage into the unknown and of course that might end in disappointment but the compensation is that you travelled a fresh path. You went where others did not and I think you can feel good about that.

And just think how good it will be when you discover something that’s actually really good. A hidden gem just waiting for you to uncover it.

Now in this world of recommended books, blog posts and products, what it will take is a certain force of will and a confidence to experience disappointment as just one of a few results options  of the choice you made. So let me offer you this thought.

Don’t nervously think “will I like what I find?” rather think “let’s experience what I find” And if you do that, I think it will make all the difference.

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE – If you’ve liked this article then you might like to subscribe to emailed updates (it’s free) – simply add your email address into the box on the right of your screen

Until next time, be successful!

Stephen Hart   

Development Specialist,

Five Lessons for Recruitment from the Professional Sports World

Sports man

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 09

Five Lessons for Recruitment from the Professional Sports World

Today marks the launch of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and I’d like to say good luck to all contestants. 

I’ve often thought that recruiters live in a similar world to that of professional athletes. In both worlds there are great prizes that can be won however those prizes are at the end of a long journey littered with obstacles and tough competitors.

So to celebrate the launch of the Games here are some sports quotes and a quick thought about how they relate to recruitment:

 “Things happen throughout the season that throw you off sometimes but you have to learn from your mistakes”

Usain Bolt

One of the most powerful things you can do to accelerate your success in recruitment is to learn from your mistakes. The bigger the mistake hopefully the bigger the lesson you learn. And look at it like this. Think of it like this – when you have a big deal drop out make that lost commission at least pay for some education – work out what went adrift and understand what you could have done differently. The different steps you could have made might not have solved it but they might be strategies that are worth trying next time.

“The road to easy street goes through the sewer.”

John Madden, American Football Player and Coach

Most people when they come into recruitment and see the results the big billers get, and how easily they appear to get them, feel a level of jealousy. The thing with those results is that they are at the end of a long hard road … through the sewer as John puts it. You are going to have a long slog in recruitment before you are sitting pretty with good consistent income. Manage your expectations, work through the tough stuff and realise that every hard day is a day closer to better times.

“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.”

Arthur Ashe, Tennis Player

Consultants very often get caught up with the results and successes of the colleagues in the office. Far better I think to focus on your own efforts. Keep an eye on how they are doing but focus your main efforts on your own progress. At the end of the day you can’t spend their commission but you can spend yours so focus on what is making you money.

“It’s really important for me to look good before a race. I definitely think if I feel I look good, it makes me feel more confident.”

Jessica Ennis, Olympic Heptathlon Champion

It’s important to find what makes you feel confident. For some people, like Jessica, it’s appearance for others it might be a morning ritual before making those business development calls. Find what makes a different for you and make that part of your work routine. I guarantee there will be something that will put you in the zone and make you feel good!

 “Don’t quit, suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

Mohammed Ali

It’s not just the early years where you can suffer in recruitment. Most big billers have had periods of bad luck, low billings and doubt about things ever coming good again. Listen to Ali and suffer through it. Keep the faith that things will come good and keep working to build your success back up and ultimately achieve the life you want. And always remember that by keeping going whilst you are suffering you are forging a stronger version of yourself.

Expanded Material

I might not be going to speak directly about sports people but I will be speaking directly about how to win in recruitment – whether you are an in-house recruiter or an external one I’m here to offer the best recruitment advice, tips and techniques.

Edenchanges podcast alert - the podcast is coming soon

After all as Bill Gates said

“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.”

But he’s not a sports professional so let’s keep the theme and end with a final sports quote:

“I learn’t teaching from teachers, golf from golfers and winning from coaches.”

Harvey Penick, Golf Champion

Until next time; be successful! 

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,


Motivational Monday #81 Persistence Your Best Tool

Robert the Bruce

Motivational Monday #81 Persistence Your Best Tool

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.”

Calvin Coolridge

Last week I wrote about the power of stories and I was raised on stories of all kinds – from first- hand accounts of the antics my dad got up to in post war Glasgow to mythical legends of King Arthur, Cuchulain or Robert the Bruce.

One story that every Scottish child is taught, about Robert the Bruce, is how when he was on the run from the English after being defeated in battle he hid in a cave to gather his strength.

He had been running and hiding for days with the English patrols close at hand. His supporters had been scattered and he was alone, wounded and demoralised. The struggle against the English oppressors seemed un-winnable.

The legend goes that whilst this would-be saviour of Scotland was hiding in his dank, dark cave he reached a crisis of faith. The struggle seemed too much, the fight too hard and the chance of success too slim.

It was then that he spotted a small spider struggling to climb up the moist walls of the cave. Time and again the spider would climb up, a quarter or even sometime half the way up the height of the cave only to slip and fall back.

And then it would start again.

After watching the spider struggle for hours before it finally succeeded, Robert the Bruce picks himself up, dusts himself down and goes out and continues his struggle against the English and ultimately defeats them at the Battle of Bannockburn.

Now the thing about that story, which I heard from my parents many times as I was growing up, is that whilst it is concerned with a historical leader who then freed his people from oppression he isn’t the hero of the story.

The hero of the story is the humble spider. An insect not concerned with matters of state and power but simply trying to make its way in the world. And it had to make a real effort to do that.

And that’s the relevance that I see in the story for all of us. Even the small things in life take a level of persistence if we want to achieve our goals. Simply paying the bills, having a good relationship with your partner and family and maintaining a normal job take persistence.

Life demands constant effort but I think that’s okay because by putting in constant effort we get constant rewards. Sometimes these are less than eye catching but a quiet evening inside your own home with people you love has a deep value and is a wonderful reward if looked at from the right perspective.

If you are wanting more from life – whether that’s a bigger house, deeper relationships or a special career then your best tool to make that happen is persistence.

Be aware however that there will be other people who want the same goals as you and that puts them in competition with you for it. Further, consider that you probably are not the most talented, the most skilled or the most qualified out of all the people who want to achieve those goals. However if you are the most persistent then you will outdistance those that lack your perseverance.

The full quote from Calvin Coolridge is worth considering at this point:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

So you don’t have to be the most talented, the smartest or the best educated … and I don’t know about you but I find that reassuring!

And consider this as a final point – maybe your real impact in the world will come from someone seeing your efforts and being inspired by your persistence to go after their own goals.

In other words maybe you’ll be someone else’s spider and that would be a pretty good legacy I think.

But what do you think – is persistence your best tool or is there something else that eclipses it? Do please comment below.

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE – If you’ve liked this article then you might like to subscribe to emailed updates (it’s free) – simply add your email address into the box on the right of your screen

Until next time, be successful!

Stephen Hart   

Development Specialist,
Image Credit: The headline image created by Edenchanges. Model is Jason Baca, international cover model. Click on the image for a larger version which you are welcome to download.

Lessons from the Wolf Pack #11 Keeping Hold of Candidates

Fractal fish on a wavy blue background - groovy!

Lessons from the Wolf Pack is an ongoing series of recruitment advice articles taken from, or inspired by, situations and events observed during our phone coaching sessions with recruitment consultants making real, live calls to win business and find candidates. This is advice directly from the recruitment front lines!

Lessons from the Wolf Pack #11

Keeping Hold of Candidates

Candidates can be slippery fish. Just when you think you’ve landed one they slip from between your fingers and dart off out of reach.

So what can you do about it?

Here are a handful of quick tips:

Treat them like people

And yes this applies to contract candidates as well. Too many consultants are still treating them like they are some form of poker chips that they can gamble around with.

If you want to gain traction with candidates then treat them as people. Discuss how they are feeling about their job search, find out what their actual aspirations are, what they are afraid of, what they are hopeful about.

The more deeply you talk with, listen to, and understand a candidate’s aspirations, hopes and fears relating to their job search then the stronger the relationship you will have with them.

You will also be differentiating yourself from those CV-shuffling recruiters who don’t care one bit about their candidates. And that’s going to lead to you establishing a much more positive reputation in the market place. In the long term treating candidates like people is an excellent way to win clients.

Understand their pressures

Many people have significant others in their lives – wives, husbands, children and even pets can be reasons for candidates not to take job offers. Make sure that you understand the full family that your candidate lives within.

The reality is that unless the candidate is entirely alone then you are actually dealing with a decision making unit when it comes to accepting the job offer.

Very few married people are going to accept a job offer without talking it through with their other half and that ‘talking it through’ is not going to be a casual conversation but rather a full on discussion of pro’s and con’s.

Whilst you can’t be in that conversation if you know about their situation you can have discussed things with the candidate (and even the partner in some situations) prior to the day they talk about the offer. Which means you can set things up positively to hopefully influence the outcome of the discussion.

Maintain regular contact

The quality of your relationship is going to be enhanced when you make regular contact with the candidate. Too many consultants wait until the back end of the recruitment process before doing this. Cultivate the habit of communicating with your active candidates once a week (at least).

And by active candidates I am meaning any candidate who is actively involved in a recruitment process with a client of yours – in other words – any candidate who has an interview arranged – whether first, second or later.

Not only will you establish better relations with that specific candidate but in addition you are much more likely to spot any change of heart or weakening of interest in the candidate when you have been in regular contact rather than when you contact them sporadically.

The earlier you are warned the sooner you can do something to fix the situation – whether that is bringing in another candidate or re-igniting the enthusiasm of the first one!

Give them free advice

You have a candidate on one side, a client on the other and you, the recruitment professional are in the middle. You are in an  ideal situation to offer recruitment, interview and CV advice to both parties. For the purposes of this article let’s focus on candidates – … what could you offer them free advice on?

Well it’s obvious – their CV, their LinkedIn profile, interview tips, job hunting generally … the list goes on. The real trick when it comes to building rapport with your candidates is to offer them that advice before it benefits you.

In other words when you first speak with a candidate and you can see that their CV could do with a bit of a reformat then tell them at the time – whether or not you are going to put them forward to an interview.

That way you are selflessly helping them and if you then subsequently do need to submit their CV they will remember you as the person who helped them before. (And they will remember because you are going to ask them for that new well formatted CV!)

In Summary

Now the above tips are fairly easy to understand and I would wager that most, if not all, recruiters will know to apply them but it’s actually doing it that I think is the issue. What all of the above techniques have in common is that they take time. But I think that it’s time well spent.

Time spent cultivating stronger relations with candidates earlier on will save you time having to find replacement candidates when the unengaged ones slip through your fingers later on!

More Recruitment Advice Next Week

That’s all the Lessons from the Wolf Pack this week – tune in next Wednesday for more recruitment advice or view the archives for more recruitmentadvice.

And remember if you’re looking for recruitment training or recruitment coaching for yourself or your team give Edenchanges a ring or drop us an email today.

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE – If you’ve liked this article then you might like to subscribe to emailed updates (it’s free) – simply add your email address into the box on the right of your screen.

Also comments, debate and discussion are always welcome. Share your views below!

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,
Image credit: Created by Edenchanges from artwork by Gem Hart who was recently made redundant due to the collapse of a company. She is looking for work and can be contacted via the above link.


Motivational Monday #80 Clay Diamonds

Clay Diamonds

Motivational Monday #80 Clay Diamonds

“Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger”

Ben Okri

There are few absolute constants in life but one of my personal ones is that every time I have ever had to fill in a form that lists ‘hobbies and interests’ I have put ‘Reading’ down.  And that hasn’t been out of habit but rather for a genuine love of written literature.

Since I can remember, stories of every kind have formed a backdrop to my actual life. Sure I’ve gone through phases preferring one medium over another – novels, short stories, comics, magazines etc., but there has never been a time when I haven’t been reading something.

My fiction reading has slipped a little over the last few years with a lot of my reading time being taken up with personal and business development material. I recently came across an interesting piece by Tom Peters, the business management guru, who made the point that non-fiction ‘text books’ only contain what people think at the moment. If you want the real ideas then you should read fiction.

I think both are important but where fiction can win out is that the ideas contained in it can be expressed in a way that grabs your attention and stays memorable long after the specifics have faded away.

The Pew Research Centre conducted and published a survey in 2014 that found that almost a quarter of American adults hadn’t read a single book last year and that the average across the country was five books a year – less than one every two months!

Now if you’re looking to be successful in your field of business I’m thinking that by reading something, anything, you immediately put yourself ahead of almost a quarter of your competition. If you are the one reading then you’re the one learning new things, getting new ideas and frankly you’re the one feeding your brain!

If the argument from the early computer days stands – Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO) then nothing in must surely mean … well, nothing out!

So why not take a quantum leap past your peers by cracking open a book or powering up a Kindle?

And whilst we are talking about all this let me share an experience I once had.

A long time ago I read a novel which had a scene in it where two people were talking. One character was complaining because they felt they needed a lot of resources and help that they didn’t have. Their friend who was listening to this, and getting a little fed up, told a story.

The outline of the story, as best as I can remember it, was that there were two poor families years ago. They lived in a mining village and scrapped out a living digging for precious metals in the mines and trying to raise some meagre crops in the local fields. One Christmas the first family gave the second family a gift of a clay vase whilst the second family had put together a very precious food bundle of the finest meats available carefully seasoned to perfection.

Both families expressed gratitude publically although the family who received the vase were privately underwhelmed. It was a fairly crude looking vase and they stuck it on their mantelpiece as far to the back as manners would allow.

Over the years other gifts were exchanged and the families both continued to struggle to get by. The vase meanwhile had moved further and further back on the mantelpiece until eventually it ended up in a box in the back of a cupboard.

Time moved on and the first family achieved a level of success through their hard work and constant effort. The second family struggled however and they began to become bitter of their friend’s success. One day the second family confronted the first and demanded to know why the first family hadn’t helped them more.

The first family were a little surprised and explained that they’d given all the help they could many years ago. The second family wanted to know what they meant and they referred to the clay vase.

The question of ‘what value does a clay vase have?’ came back angrily, to which the first family reacted by urging the second family to examine it more carefully.

In angry confusion the vase was dug out of the box from the back of the cupboard and for the first time since they owned it the second family looked it over carefully. Inside the clay vase stuck into the bottom were three perfect diamonds of significant size. The diamonds had been in the vase since the gift was given and were the real gift.

I don’t know about you but what I’ve taken from that story, and it’s remained with me for years, is the idea of ‘clay diamonds’ and of looking through what I have first before I get something new.

I read that story so long ago that both the author and the book I read it in have faded from my mind. The lesson has stuck with me however and that’s the power of fiction.

So I don’t know what books you have that you might want to dip into to advance yourself in life but I bet some of them are already on your book shelves!

 SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE – If you’ve liked this article then you might like to subscribe to emailed updates (it’s free) – simply add your email address into the box on the right of your screen

Until next time, be successful!

Stephen Hart

Development Specialist,

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 08 HR: A Recruiter’s Friend or Foe

HR and a recruiter fighting

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 08

HR: A Recruiter’s Friend or Foe?

Traditionally in the recruitment industry there has been a reluctance to approach HR. Indeed many recruiters start their time in the industry being specifically trained and instructed to avoid HR.

And the problem is that when something like that gets repeated over and over it tends to get exaggerated. The repetition of the instruction builds the negativity. HR go from people to avoid where possible to people to guard against at all costs in case they steal your deals right off your table!

In turn HR, having been avoided and shunned by recruiters for years, have grown to be mistrusting and doubtful of recruiters.

In essence we’ve had our very own little cold war whilst the rest of the business world has carried on regardless!

Personally I think it’s time we all took a deep breath and a real look at the actual situation.

Before I give you an opinion let me give you some facts.

Executives Online ran a survey in 2012 with over 1200 companies and collated some very interesting results:

They identified that HR determine the recruitment process in 47% of all companies.

Further that number rises to 67% in companies with over 5000 people.

So, pretty much a good half of the time, a recruiter can expect HR to officially be the people making the recruitment process decisions.

Now in my opinion those stats alone mean that HR should be approached and spoken with.

Based on my own experiences, both as a recruiter and as a development specialist, I feel that HR can absolutely be your best friends and it’s entirely possible to have profitable, long term business relationships with HR professionals.

I’ve made placements as a recruiter with and through HR and I’ve arranged many training and coaching sessions again with HR being my main contact.

I think that a modern recruiter, rather than shunning HR, should endeavour to cultivate a practical relationship. And by that I mean a relationship where the recruiter doesn’t attempt to cut out HR and HR doesn’t attempt to block the recruiter.

Like all good relationships a little give and take is necessary. Recruiters should have direct line access to managers to ensure that they can take the full job and person details from the person that the new hire will actual work for.

A good recruiter asking the right questions of a line manager can pinpoint the personal quirks and specific job requirements to a finer level than when speaking with HR. This isn’t a negative reflection on HR simply a reflection of the fact that they are departmentally removed from the hire.

Similarly it is hugely helpful if feedback can be taken directly from line managers – whether that is in respect to submitted CV’s, candidate profiles or after interviews. Getting the story of what happened in a meeting is always going to be better first hand than from someone who wasn’t there!

That’s the type of access that recruiters need to do their job and should reasonably ask for when dealing with HR.

In turn the recruiter should accept that HR have a part to play, will co-ordinate interviews and the recruitment process generally as well as very likely negotiating rates.

Strong relations are based on trust and one of the things that helps build trust is transparency. Recruiters should approach HR with a constructive mind set and positively present themselves and their services. When discussing the recruitment process recruiters should clearly state the kind of access they would like and explain how they work.

Surprises in recruitment are seldom positive and few HR departments are going to warm to recruiters who talk to them one day and then go and talk to the line manager the next without warning HR first.

Explain at the outset how you, as a professional recruiter, want to work, why you want to work that way i.e. the benefits for both parties, and be clear that you understand that ultimately decisions will be made, or at least processed, through HR.

On the other side of the fence HR departments often work within a more structured and formal model than recruiters and it’s fair to expect that HR will have certain procedures and ways of doing things or processing applications. The best thing a recruiter can do is seek to understand how and why the HR department works as it does.

As to whom you should approach first in a company to identify if there are recruitment needs, then I do hold to the traditional recruitment method of approaching the most senior relevant decision maker and working from there. If they instruct you to go via HR then establish a relationship with the decision maker and then go have the conversation with HR.

As pointed out by the survey above, HR very often determine the process, so a smart recruiter anticipates this and works with HR to establish the right kind of relationship.

I genuinely believe that if the recruiter and HR can work together then it increases the chances of a successful hire which is beneficial to everyone.

Always interested to know what other people think so feel free to comment below.

Expanded Material

This topic will be expanded upon in the new subscription only podcast that will be coming out from Edenchanges shortly, aimed at all career minded recruitment professionals.

Until next time; be successful! 

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,