How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 04

Wolf cub and wolf

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 04

There is a trap that recruiters fall into. It’s a trap that is often created by the very companies that the consultants work for. Indeed the consultant’s own managers and people like myself can sometimes be guilty of aiding and abetting the construction of the trap.

So what is this trap that I speak of? …

Picture of a hamster on a wheel to reflect the recruitment hamster wheel trap

… It’s the recruitment hamster wheel!

This is a wheel powered by the sweat and hard work of recruiters as they toil constantly to find new business, fill the vacancies brought in and then go out and bring in more new business.

In theory that’s the right thing to do to grow your desk as a recruiter but done in the wrong way and it will put you on a perpetual wheel of agony that will have you running ever faster and faster to simply stand still.

So what’s the mistake that’s made? Well it’s where the new business is being won from. That’s the flaw. Let’s think ahead.

Consider twelve months ahead. Would you like it to be easier to fill your vacancies in twelve months from now than it is today? To achieve that we need to apply some strategic planning. That’s our key to avoiding the hamster wheel trap.

Strategic planning is about going after similar types of recruitment business so that you can build market knowledge, a candidate pool and ultimately market credibility so that clients seek you out rather than the other way around. (Yup, it’s powerful stuff.)

Think about this; if you, over the next three months only win business in a niche market sector and focus on a narrow range of roles within that sector you will be going some way to building your desk. Multiply that activity out across the year and in twelve months you will be able to take an urgent and hot vacancy and quickly fill it with much less effort than you would if you won that piece of business today.

If, on the other hand, you don’t focus your business development on similar companies within a common sector or at least a common candidate type in related industries you will have to reinvent the wheel every time you bring in a vacancy.

Yes you can run a desk like that and many people do but truly that makes you a recruitment hamster. You have to keep learning about a new industry, new candidates quirks (i.e. what makes them good, bad or indifferent in this new sector of business) and generally keep putting a lot of energy into getting off the ground.

And when you consider that there will be competition out there who are already established in the market space who are able to move faster and more efficiently than you because they already have the basic market knowledge this puts you at a serious disadvantage.

Now does this mean that you turn down vacancies that you stumble across because they don’t fit your strategic plan? Well possibly and that’s something I will talk more about next week when I discuss some ideas regarding how to strategically plan.

What I’m saying right now is that I see a lot of consultants being pressured into chasing after every stray lead and sniff of a vacancy and whilst that can result in vacancies being brought in it is ultimately an inefficient way of working.

To be successful consultants need to plan what direction to take their desks and be actively encouraged and supported to develop those market specialisations.

Only with that planning and support can they hope to avoid becoming a recruitment hamster!

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Until next time; be successful! 

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com

 

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 03

Wolf cub and wolf

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 03 

If you are in recruitment then you know all about fear. Your fear will take many forms and be caused by many things; to name a few examples – the fear that the candidate will let you down, that another consultancy will find someone first, the fear of calling a new decision maker or making that regretful call to let a candidate know they failed at the final interview stage.

That’s a lot of fear.

So let’s look at it, understand it and do something useful with it.

Fear is an interesting aspect of human nature. If you think about it’s place in evolutionary biology if it wasn’t for fear then the human race would probably have been eaten by wolves or bears back when we were wearing loincloths and hunting with stone axes and knives.

Fear helps us veer away from dangerous situations and people and as such it still is very relevant – Leeds on a Saturday night might not be quite the wild lands of old but it can still be dangerous.

So fear is hardwired into each one of us and it wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t feel that cold frisson of fear from time to time. 

To take one of the earlier examples I think that it’s healthy to have a fear that your client will fill their vacancy through another source, other than ourself. That might well prompt you to ask for greater commitment, exclusivity or simply to find your candidates faster.

So that type of fear can be useful – or lets call it ‘apprehension’ – because that’s a better emotional level to keep that feeling to.

Fear becomes a problem when it stops us doing what we want

In my experience, in the recruitment world, this can mean that a consultant won’t make cold calls, challenge a client on an ‘unfillable’ job spec, or frankly do anything new. And by anything new I mean anything that wasn’t drummed into them as a rookie.

The consequence of this of course is that consultants only do what they have been doing. They might learn new tricks (from someone like me) but they won’t implement them out of fear of doing it badly. Which frankly is pretty tragic and not just for the companies that employ them but for the consultants themselves.

The business world is rapidly changing and if a consultant is going to consistently win new business, expand their desks and increase their billings then they need to echo the changes in their market place through evolving their business practices.

And if you don’t accept that, then just consider that five years ago recruiters didn’t need to bother with LinkedIn but now …

So do I have an answer to fear or am i just pontificating? Well yes I think there is an answer and I believe that your fear itself gives you the answer:

Do what you fear the most

You see people avoid the things that they fear. Yet those things, in sales at least, tend to be the things, that are needing to be done. Consider head hunting or business development. Both areas that people can get very nervous about and often hesitate to do. The basis of that hesitation is fear.

Fear literally is the sign post that says ‘hey do this’. So rather than ignoring your fears open your mind up and be honest with yourself. What is it you are scared about when it comes to your recruitment job? Identify that and then do it.

The result of following that advice is two-fold; first you would achieve more of that thing that you had been avoiding and the second point is able illustrated by Dale Carnegie in the following quote:

If you want to develop courage, do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it until you get a record of successful experience behind you. That is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”

Dale Carnegie

At least that’s my view – what do you think? All comments welcomed below.

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Until next time; be successful! 

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com

 

Lessons from the Wolf Pack #9 How not to scare people when head hunting them

Picture of a wolf pack which represents recruiters

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 #9

How Not to Scare People When Head Hunting Them

How you word your questions is very important in recruitment and smart word usage is one of the keys that will take you to the heady heights of being a top biller.

There are a couple of areas in recruitment where this word usage comes into play specifically to encourage people to talk rather than scare them into silence. One such area is head hunting. So let’s have a look at making it less scary for the person you are ringing.

Now you can call up a target and straight from the gate tell them that you are a head hunter (and I have historically recommend the direct approach), however to people outside of the industry ‘head hunters’ are often viewed as scary bogey men who rip through organisations without any regard for the people in them and leave wrack and ruin in their wake. (It could be argued that some in our industry do exactly that, but that’s a topic for another day!)

By calling yourself a head hunter and using that title right at the beginning of the call you run the risk of triggering the fear reaction in the other person. I’ve even witnessed this amongst recruiters when they have received head hunt calls.

Now that’s a group of person you would think would take this in their stride but the psychological triggers of being ‘head hunted’ are strong. People have the irrational fear that their bosses will suddenly become psychic and know what is being said on the phone and people often shut down either completely or partially when they hear the title or realise what’s going on.

So what’s the alternative to calling yourself a ‘head hunter’ when you are, in fact, being a head hunter?

Well how about skipping the title completely and instead of saying

“Hi, I’m X and I’m a head hunter in your industry …”

try

“Hi Bob, we haven’t spoken before but I’ve seen you around on LinkedIn and I was hoping you could help me …”

Breaking it down:

1) Use their name to speak to them in a personal and more intimate fashion

2) Acknowledge that you haven’t spoken before so they aren’t spending the first few seconds thinking – ‘do I know this person and if so do I like them or not?’ (Or even deeper in their psyche – ‘are they a threat or is this safe?’)

3) The old, ‘ask for help’ trick – it might be old but it calls out to our better human nature

But, you might ask, isn’t this blown away when you then explain what you want their help with? Possibly but at least the opener is a little more gentle than what we had before which should increase the odds of you having a positive conversation afterwards.

Also how you then move into what the call is about, should be approached with their psychological safety in mind. Here is one way to carry the conversation on:

“Hi Bob, we haven’t spoken before but I’ve seen you around on LinkedIn and I was hoping you could help me …

…I’m doing some networking this afternoon and I was thinking that with your background in the industry you might be able to help …

… a contact of mine, who I’ve known for a number of years, has asked me to speak to some strong X individuals about an opportunity they have and I thought you might know someone who would be suitable.”

Assuming you are getting green lights and positive noises from the target present the opportunity:

… the opportunity is to do X …. I was interested in people with Y skills

etc

Now your opening is honest because you never denied it was about recruitment but equally you didn’t ram that fact down their throats from the beginning so it created a softer, safer environment for them to respond in.

After presenting the offer whether you directly ask them if they are interested in it or wait for them to voice an interest I leave to you. 

In Conclusion

Creating a safe environment for head hunt targets to open up in might just give some of the more skittish individuals enough confidence to talk to you. If it isn’t working you can always change style and be direct later in the call.

Do please understand that the principle I’m presenting above is much more important than the sample scripted questions I’ve used to illustrate the principle.

More Recruitment Advice Next Week

That’s all the Lessons from the Wolf Pack this week – tune in next Wednesday for more advice from the recruitment front lines. Or view the archives for more recruitment, sales or other advice.

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

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com

 

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 02

Wolf cub and wolf

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 02 

Preparation is a topic that I bring up, and present about, during quite a range of different training courses from recruitment inductions, sales coaching, and negotiation training to management and leadership sessions.

The reason I bring it up so much is that I truly believe it is a vital component of being successful in recruitment (and business and life generally in fact). I struggle to imagine a situation in the recruitment world where it would be better to be less prepared. 

What is interesting about preparation is that the idea of it being important is pretty much agreed upon by everyone. In fact I can’t think of a person who I’ve met who didn’t agree with that. Yet very few of us are consistent in our preparation. Those of you who know me will know that I do my best to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to the material that I present or blog about e.g. I make consistent sales calls, schedule call backs etc. and yet like all of you I struggle to always be as prepared as I could be.

Which leads us all to the key question which is

Where does this gap between what we know we should do, and what we actual do, come from?

Personally I think this has a lot to do with what I’m going to call our ‘awareness horizon’. This is the extent to which you are aware of, and responding to, future events. The longer your awareness horizon the further into the future you are contemplating what will happen and the more you are taking action on it here and now. 

The fact that most of us have an awareness factor focused on our immediate circumstances comes from our cultural evolution. Consider that we have evolved to deal with situations that are occurring at the moment.

If you think of ancient man his considerations where more focused on where could he get food now than where could he get food next week. Next week could take care of itself whilst the search for food this week or indeed that day, was potentially life threateningly urgent. To support this point consider that we were around, as a species, for hundreds of thousands of years before we invented organised farming.

The upshot of that of course is that as you sit at your desk you are much more orientated towards tackling what is directly in front of you rather than addressing something that will happen in the future.

Which is a real shame as this immediately puts a barrier up between you and your preparation. If you read this on a Friday then you know that one of the things you can do to have a successful Monday is to prepare your desk, files and calls at the end of this Friday.

Yes this does mean making a choice about what else you can do today which will have an impact on today itself and about getting prepared for the following day or future events. But if you want to improve the quality of your preparation then you need to start seriously looking not only at today’s or this week’s diary, but start considering the next few weeks and even months.

Taking this to the extreme I have read about some research that suggests that one of the key defining differences between self-made millionaires and everyone else is that they planned and took actions for the long-term. And by long-term I mean years and decades.

So in summary I believe that we all probably know what we should do with regards to preparation but we are all wired up culturally and genetically not to take action so it’s going to take a focused effort of will to prepare properly and gain the competitive advantage on your rivals. 

Possibly to do but it’s going to take determined intent but after all success doesn’t come by accident.

At least that’s my view – what do you think? All comments welcomed 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, Edenchanges.com

 

Seven Lessons Judge Dredd Taught Me About Recruitment

dredd

Seven Lessons Judge Dredd Taught Me About Recruitment

Today is a day of action by fans interested in seeing a sequel to the 2012 movie Dredd featuring the legendary British comic character Judge Dredd.

(If you don’t know who he is see footnote)

And what does that have to do with Edenchanges or recruitment? Well as a life long fan (since I was seven) of 2000AD and Judge Dredd I’m giving over this Wednesday’s recruitment slot to aid the cause … so here are seven recruitment lessons that I learned from Judge Dredd … it would be a crime not to read them!

Be warned that the quotes are taken from the 2012 film and as such might contain spoilers – you might want to watch the film first!

Lesson One – A fail is a fail

The actual facts of a candidate’s experience should be known, accepted and represented accurately. If they don’t have a particular qualification or haven’t got a certain type of experience then those are the facts.

Yes that may mean your candidate just isn’t right for the role (so find someone else) or you might need to find something else that they do have that can compensate for what they lack. Either way a fail is a fail and the facts should honestly be the facts.

“Her final score was only three points below a pass, it’s marginal.” Chief Judge Hershey
“It’s not marginal, she failed.” Judge Dredd

Lesson Two – There are no easy markets

All recruitment is hard and takes effort and dedication. Don’t waste time looking for the easy winnings but rather expect it to be tough, prepare accordingly and then work hard to apply your preparation and be successful.

“It’s all the deep end.” Judge Dredd

Lesson Three – Do the unexpected

To be successful in recruitment you have to be able to not only find candidates that your clients can’t but also that your recruitment competition can’t. This might well mean having the originality of thought and the nerve to do something original or unexpected to find the right person. 

“You’ve given us two options; defend or hide.” Judge Dredd
“Yes sir.” Rookie Judge Anderson
“What about we attack?” Judge Dredd

Lesson Four – Team work is profitable

In recruitment it is very easy to work in isolation but the real money is most easily made working in collaboration with your colleagues. Whether that’s having a dedicated resourcer or simply a fellow consultant that you swap and trade candidates and clients with; for a fair split of the fee of course. There is a lot of profit to be made through teamwork.

“Wait.” Judge Dredd
“Wait for what? Wait for me to change my mind? Are you kidding me?” Villain (who has a gun pointed at Dredd)
Gunshot – villain killed.
“No. Wait for her to shoot you.” Judge Dredd

Lesson Five – Choose what you go after

There are a lot of potential clients out there with vacancies but there aren’t as many potential clients out there with good vacancies. (The same can be said of candidates).

You can never work all the vacancies that are out there, even in a niche market, so you must always cherry pick the most profitable ones for yourself.

“We can respond to about six percent of all serious crimes.” Judge Dredd
“Which six percent?”Rookie Judge Anderson
“You chose.” Judge Dredd

Lesson Six – Judge the whole person (not the CV)

Something that elevates a good recruiter from the average ‘CV pusher’ type is being able to see past a CV and qualify the candidate on the phone, or in person, and explore if they actually have the right experience and skills combined with the right personality. Your clients want to recruit people not CV’s and a proper consultant will make sure that the person behind the CV is also a match for the role.

Additional Spoiler Warning – this is a quote from the end of the film

“So how did she do? Is she a pass or a fail?” Chief Judge Hershey
“She’s a pass.” Judge Dredd

Lesson Seven – Take the hits and keep going

There are knock backs, hits and constant disappointments in recruitment. To be successful you need to learn to patch yourself up, get back on your feet, and carry on.

Having a mechanism for copying positively with the setbacks can be useful whether that’s a good hard workout, a favourite sound track or someone who will listen to you moan for a few minutes before you get back on with the job.

“Okay basic field dressing” Judge Dredd (stitches up a bullet wound) …
and marches off to deal out more justice.

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE – Okay so this article was arguably a little funky but hey if you can’t have your information with a little style and originality what’s the point eh? Anyway 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, Edenchanges.com
 
* If you don’t know who Judge Dredd he’s a future lawman who appears in the weekly British comic 2000AD and his own monthly title, (available from all good bookstores and via http://www.2000adonline.com/).
 
There was a terrible film made back in the 80′s which is best forgotten about but last year’s movie was everything that us fans had hoped for – if you like action movies or superhero films worth trying it. Be warned it’s an 18 certificate for violence and theme reasons.

 

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 01

Wolf cub and wolf

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 01 

Okay so how do you become successful in recruitment? Well it’s a simple question with a really big answer and frankly no one really knows.

I mean I’ve got plenty to say on the topic and after twelve years in the recruitment industry and having spent the last eight years training recruiters I’ve a fair amount of up close and personal experience but the truth is no one actually knows. I can tell you that there is no single silver bullet or magic trick that will simply make you successful.

However before you despair and stop reading what I can also tell you is that there are a lot of things that can probably help you. And this new series is going to be where I start to share some of my thoughts on being successful in recruitment. This will alternate with the Lessons from the Wolf Pack series which has been very popular and will resume next week.

By having two separate series on recruitment advice I’m going to have the option of giving formal specific advice in one and more broad opinions in the other.

So if this is the opinion series (it is) then let me kick right off and say that in my experience over the last few years there has been a disturbing influence creeping into the recruitment industry. This is the trend of consultants ditching the phone in favour of email, social media or other text-based communication systems.

Now sometimes this is appropriate and just the other week I recommended a consultant create a virtual paper trail via emails when a deal went through and the client started to get iffy over payment but, and it’s a really important ‘but’ that was a specific situation that called for a paper trail. In recruitment your default action should be to pick up the phone and talk to people.

And let me be clear here, this isn’t some old school rant about picking up the phone and making business development calls (although I’m happy to do that rant if you like) but rather this is about a point even bigger than sales. What could be bigger than sales I hear you cry – well recruitment is bigger than sales.

Think about that. Sales is one of the functions that a recruiter performs to be successful in their role but sales only forms one part of the bigger function which is the whole recruitment process itself. When I advocate that your first instinct should be to pick up the phone and make a call when you are a recruiter I am talking about every stage of the recruitment process both pure sales situations and every other situation.

Recruitment is a job that requires intricate, subtle and sophisticated interactions between different people with different agendas and motives. As a recruiter you permanently work with imperfect information and have limited access to the main players – the clients and candidates.

Given the required complexity of the role and process why make it even harder, and slower, to get involved by sending emails when a phone call is faster, more flexible and much more likely to provide you with additional, unseen and unexpected, information?

Isn’t it the equivalent of defusing a nuclear bomb with a hammer – possible to do but clumsy and potentially very dangerous?

So if you want to be successful in recruitment train yourself to pick up the phone first and email second.

At least that’s my view – what do you think? All comments welcomed 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, Edenchanges.com

 

I’m sorry are you the organ grinder or the monkey?

Picture of a monkey sitting in front of an old style organ quickly Photo-shopped by Stephen Hart of Edenchanges!

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 #9

I’m sorry are you the organ grinder or the monkey?

Have you had the experience of reception putting you through to someone and when the other person answers they don’t say who they are?

Naturally the first step is to ask them if they are the person you were trying to reach. Sometimes, although not often, senior decision makers will be abrupt on the phone when they don’t know you and not introduce themselves properly although it is reasonably uncommon for them to do that.

What is more likely  when you are speaking to someone who didn’t introduce themselves is that they are another gatekeeper and someone that reception has put you through to so that your call can be further screened.

So ask if they are the person you originally wanted and if they say they aren’t them and still don’t provide a name then I do one of two things. Either I simply ask to speak with the original person or I ask for the name of the person I’ve come through to. I always word that the same way, which is:

“I’m sorry, I don’t know who I’ve come through to?”

They will in almost all cases give me their name in response to that question; make sure your tone is slightly confused or quizzical.

And my next question is always:

“And what’s your title FIRST NAME” 

(I always use their first name when asking)

You see my rule is that apart from asking them a question here or there I won’t have a conversation with someone when I don’t know who and what they are. First of all I don’t think that’s professional or polite and secondly I can’t tailor what I’m going to say unless I know the title of the individual.

Now if the title doesn’t give me enough information to assume that they are responsible for the thing that I want to talk about then I’ll ask

“What are you responsible for?”

Again I’m not willing to talk, and by extension try to sell, to someone whose areas of responsibility and power are unknown to me. That would be nonsense.

By adopting a slightly confused tone you should get answers to all three questions and thus be in a position to either hold a proper conversation with them or ask them to put you through to a more relevant contact.

Should you hit further resistance and they start demanding to know who you are then give them your name and title (business consultant is better than recruitment consultant at this point) and again ask them who they are. Explain you’ve come through blind and didn’t expect to speak with them, nor did you ask to speak with them so … who are they and what do they do!

If you’re getting bogged down or the person is totally closed off then I’d end the call and make a further call to the company at a different time.

After all if the other person doesn’t give you the common courtesy of their name and title then you aren’t going to be forming a great business relation with them anyway.

And to paint the full picture for you if we go back to the beginning of the conversation when I’ve asked for the original person and if the unknown individual brushes off the request and wants to know what the reason for the call is then I will ask them who they are in exactly the same way as I listed above.

I hold to my rule that I will not have a conversation unless I know to whom I’m speaking and I don’t think you should either.

More Recruitment Advice Next Week

That’s all the Lessons from the Wolf Pack this week – tune in next Wednesday for more advice from the recruitment front lines. Or view the archives for more recruitment, sales or other advice.

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.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com
PS No monkeys were harmed during the creation of this article although one was hastily photo-edited onto the picture of an organ

 

Lessons from the Wolf Pack #8 How Many Calls to Make When Marketing a Candidate Out

Picture of a wolf pack which represents recruiters

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 #8

How Many Calls to Make When Marketing a Candidate Out

Marketing out a candidate is a very effective recruitment activity that can be done in virtually all industry sectors and at all salary levels.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this its the process of identifying and fully interviewing a good candidate and then making direct calls to companies that might be able to create, or might have, a role for them.

Often the list of companies you are calling comes from the candidate but a lot of the time it’s to your established client and prospective client database. As well as possibly placing the candidate it’s a powerful business development tool as you are calling for a much more specific reason than simply – ‘do you have any vacancies I can help you with?’

Also by making calls on behalf of a good (or even better) candidate you are showing your market place that you work with quality individuals.

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how many calls do you make on behalf of the candidate before you call it quits. And here’s my answer …

When marketing a candidate out given that you can’t dedicate all your time to one candidate, no matter how good, I would recommend that you make two calls to reach every decision maker at companies who might be interested in your candidate and then send an email to everyone you failed to speak with introducing the individual.

If the candidate is a star candidate then you can make a further call to follow up the email but the baseline of activity is two calls and one email for every target company and then moving on to other candidates and other vacancies.

Marketing Candidate Process

Process for each target decision maker:

Key: C = Call E = Email Brackets = optional additional action

CCE(C) – this is the classic method where you phone first – it has the advantage that you can gather email addresses on the first two attempts to reach the decision maker which makes it easier to email at the end.

ECC – a popular variation – your calls are following up an email that you have sent. Naturally this requires that you already have the email addresses. I don’t agree with calling up purely to get the email addresses. If you are going to call the company then you might as well make an attempt to reach the decision maker.

There is no data as to which of the above methods is most effective. I feel that they have an equal chance of success whilst you are in the early stages of building a client base and your presence in an industry. Once established the second method is probably better as you are emailing decision makers who hopefully are at least aware of you even if they have never used you before.

Making Additional Calls

Additional calls can be made to companies you are particularly interested in doing business with. For example it might be that you have twenty target companies in total but three of those are of a size that particularly interest you.

Make your two calls and email to every company but continue to ring the three that are of particular interest by putting them into your sales system. At some point you have to stop but you make more efforts to reach them because they are a key target for you.

In Summary

Marketing out candidates is a great service to be able to offer your candidates and a great way of developing your own client base. If you’re not marketing out at least two candidates a week then you might want to give this classic recruitment process a try!

More Recruitment Advice Next Week

That’s all the Lessons from the Wolf Pack this week – tune in next Wednesday for more advice from the recruitment front lines. Or view the archives for more recruitment, sales or other advice.

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.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com

 

Lessons from the Wolf Pack #7 Four Tips for Taking a Vacancy and Making it Easier to Fill

Picture of a wolf pack which represents recruiters

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 #7

Four Tips for Taking a Vacancy and Making it Easier to Fill

Ever been asked by a client to find a left handed astronaut? Not actually of course but in the sense of have you ever had a client ask you to find someone for them who is going to be really hard to find? 

All the time I suspect.

Well I don’t have a magic wand that will turn a hard search into an easy one but I do have ideas for turning a hard search into an easier one.

The first thing you need to do is clarify and expand the search specifications.

This is the classic technique of taking what the client has requested and asking if a close alternative would be acceptable.

So the client wants a left handed astronaut? Then how about a right handed astronaut? Or an ambi-dexstrous one?

Ask the question regarding your substitute idea (e.g. right handed rather than left) and identify what the reason for the original request was.

In other words what you have to do is have a real conversation with the decision maker about their specific requirements for the person. Clients haven’t always thought about what they are asking for in as much detail as they could have done and part of the job of a recruitment consultant in my mind is to be a consultant and make the client think about what they are saying.

There might be a valid reason for the request but I’d like to know what it is.

After that I’d like to know about previous people that they have interviewed but ruled out for this role. I’d like to know what it was that made them look attractive in the first place, what the client later liked and what it was that ultimately prevented them moving further through the application process.

It is very important to know what your client doesn’t want to see as this can become a filter that allows you to quickly eliminate candidates. Similarly to the point above I’m going to explore the reasons behind the clients reluctant as this gives me a stronger understanding of their thinking and their situation.

As they have already ruled people out based on these points its going to be unusual for you to be able to over come them directly but that doesn’t stop you having that conversation with the client.

Also in the situation where a company has been struggling for a long time to fill a role it might be that they do actually have to open up the spec and set aside some points of reluctance in the interests of getting someone into the role.

There is no such thing as a perfect candidate and sometimes the client needs to be educated on that point.

Where you already have strong candidates that potentially match the role you can run a ‘compare and contrast’ exercise with the client to test the spec that they have given you. This can either be done at the time of taking the vacancy if you can remember which candidates you have or it can be done as a separate call after you’ve reviewed who you have.

It works like this – go through with the client on the phone two or three contrasting candidates who are close to the spec and see what they like or don’t like. It’s the recruiter equivalent of a test drive.

The client has said they want x, y and z however when you read through a couple of candidates who have mostly x, y and z but also a little a, b and c by way of skills and experience it can often result in the client altering what they are looking for.

It is vital when doing this exercise that you have explained to the client up front that this selection of candidates are not supposed to be exact matches but are “potentials to discuss with the idea of clarifying how you feel Mr Client about the type of people currently and quickly available.”

Two great things can come out of that – 1) the client clarifies what they really want 2) you might get one of your tester candidates an interview!

It’s a technique best done when the client themselves are a little vague about what they are after. In just the same way when people go looking for houses with initial ideas of the mansion they will buy in their head once they see the actual state of the housing market they often rethink their plans to be more realistic.

The final tip on this topic for this week is to arrange interview dates with your client at the time you take the vacancy. It shows that you are serious about working this vacancy, that you are confident in your abilities and it helps give you a little more commitment from the client.

Some of my recruitment clients take this idea quite far and actually arrange times for first and second interviews along with times to take feedback. One client even arranges a call to prep the client pre-interview so they know how to sell the role properly.

As with most of recruitment this is a great technique at the right time so don’t blindly apply it. If the role is exceptionally unusual and rare – a left handed astronaut who can speak five languages, has a biochemistry degree and lives in Sheffield, then you might want to hold back about making rash promises.

What you should do in that situation though is arrange a time to speak with the client again to give them the results of the initial search that you have done as well as warning them that, based on their specific critieria, this might prove challenging to fill.

That way you can go back to them and challenge the more limiting aspects of the spec based for example on the fact that there are no astronauts living in Sheffield!

Summary

Have real conversations with your clients about what they are looking for, challenge the requirements and expand them where you can. By acting like a full consultant not only will you take more accurate and easier to fill vacancies but you will have more grounds on which to justify your fee.

More Recruitment Advice Next Week

That’s all the Lessons from the Wolf Pack this week – tune in next Wednesday for more advice from the recruitment front lines. Or view the archives for more recruitment, sales or other advice.

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.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com

 

Lessons from the Wolf Pack #6 What to do when the client has filled the role

Picture of a wolf pack which represents recruiters

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 #6

What to do when the client has filled the role

A bit like two weeks ago when I talked about your decision maker up and moving company on you it also doesn’t take long making recruitment calls before you run into the situation where a client has just filled a role you could have helped them with.

It’s very tempting to feel down and simply end the call but of course there are better options than that and here are a few of them:

There are three broad areas to explore and you get the best returns by asking about each of them:

  1. The candidate who succeeded
  2. The candidates who failed
  3. What else is going on?

So the client says that they have filled the role. Now you and me know that clients can be a bit naive about these things and that when they say they have filled the role it doesn’t necessarily mean that the position is actually filled or will stay filled.

I’d start by asking

“When does the incoming person start?”

Your clients answer will give you clarity on how far along the offer, acceptance, resignation process the candidate is.

Depending on the answer possibly follow up by asking

“Have they resigned?”

and even

“How confident are you that they will start?”

Where the successful candidate hasn’t started yet then you must always ask the following

“What’s their start date?

As us recruiters know a lot of people don’t start when they are supposed to. What you need to do is make a note of the start date in your diary and call the company on the date, to see if the individual has actually joined. This is an excellent way to pick up a hot vacancy as you come riding over the hill like the cavalry to save the company from their candidate who has let them down!

And if you don’t think this ever works then let me tell you that I used to work for a recruitment manager who got his recruitment management job by calling up and finding out that the company’s first choice hadn’t turned up and they then extended the offer to him! (And he was an excellent boss in case you were wondering.)

The next one is less important but of interest for your future dealings with the company as it gives you an idea about how they recruit. 

“How did you find them?”

Also if they have found one person via a particular route then the will probably favour that recruitment route in the future.

You might also want to ask

“Which company are they moving from?”

If the client tells you then that gives you a chance to explore filling the gap that the individual is making by leaving that company.

Moving onto the second area to explore; offer to help those candidates who got to final interview but didn’t get offered.

Put it forward along the lines of

“I specialise in people like that and I’d be able to help them get their next job as I guess they’re still looking.”

It’s true and makes things personal. Not all company’s will hand over the details but it’s always worth asking. Only ask about those who got to final interview however as you want to be seen as only working with the best candidates. (As you should be in fact!)

The third area to explore often gets overlooked as the consultant focuses on the role that they just missed out on. Always remember that just because one role has been filled doesn’t mean that the company isn’t needing other people that you can help them recruit for.

“What else can I help you with?”

“Who else is recruiting in the organisation?”

And look to the future as you would normally

“What recruitment is coming up in the next month / business quarter?”

Summary

The key thing here, as is often the case in recruitment, just because one door appears to have closed doesn’t mean it actually has. Ask questions about the situation and then see what else you can do to help the client.

More Recruitment Advice Next Week

That’s all the Lessons from the Wolf Pack this week – tune in next Wednesday for more advice from the recruitment front lines. Or view the archives for more recruitment, sales or other advice.

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.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com