From the moment we meet Julia Stone, the playfulness behind her dark eyes teases unceasingly. However, it can be quickly ascertained that those eyes see and know so much more than one might initially perceive. Since 2006, Julia has owned and managed her own recruiting agency, BizWerks. Her niche market is technology and scientific industries. I caught up with Julia long enough to ask her about her database of candidates and how she maintains communications and responsiveness.

When asked about her commitment to candidates, Julia stated, "We spend a lot of time contacting new and passive candidates and I think we have a reasonably good response ratio, 30-35% response ratio. We have had to beef that up a bit and make sure that we are finding the right candidate." Julia responded further with the importance of personalizing everything and not just sending out blanket information. An initial contact requires special attention and even spelling a candidate's name right is something small that can mean a great deal. Attaching a level of respect to each conversation reduces the risk of misunderstanding. Julia approaches each search with a thoughtful, focused message about the job, giving client information in the biggest terms and specifically targeting the right person for the right job.

Relying on certain tools to assist in the quest, Julia has found InMail through LinkedIn to be the best way to contact passive candidates. The phone comes in a close second, but given that a candidate may not know you or remember you, receiving a call back from a voicemail is rather chancy, so why stop there? She is quick to say she follows up a voicemail with an email as often as possible. "There cannot be too many ways to contact a candidate. I have found that I have used three to four different media before a candidate has finally responded." Julia continues, "Sometimes I'll conduct a google search but I really like to start at LinkedIn. I have found that my general approach is to do anything I can to get a conversation and if at all possible, meet with them face to face. I am absolutely diligent in following up on referrals. I make it a point to follow up with the referral and the referrer." Julia recognizes that follow through is crucial to maintaining the image you have worked so hard to establish.

Setting expectations and then delivering on those expectations is clearly a vital part of Julia's business practice. "Close the loop when you give them information. I am pretty honest with people about where they stand in any given recruitment. Maybe I do it because I have been through it, " Julia ponders. She has no issues with working around recruiters that fail at this. Julia recalled a time when she failed to follow up and how that indiscretion still haunts her. Experiences like this make better recruiters: learning and growing from your failures.

Julia calls herself an instinct hound. Relying on first impressions - going with your gut - can save a lot of time in the end. Working around those initial negative feelings by asking the right questions and then ask even more questions, this usually confirms suspicions. "I am always right. I am usually always right," she readily admits.

One story Julia was happy to share was about a candidate that had a somewhat sketchy job history with a degree of bouncing from job to job. She went back to the candidate with a few questions about consistency. The candidate responded with a flaming email stating that Julia didn't know what she was talking about. Given the response, clearly, Julia was right, "You have to delve into anything that doesn't add up. At the end of the day, it is my reputation on the line. I won't represent someone with an attitude or who will not represent me in a positive light."

Hiring Managers and clients engage with recruiters because of our ability to get the job done, read between the lines on a resume, and make a judgment call. "I plan for all contingencies. One time, I picked up a candidate at the airport who had flown in for an interview. I tell you, I have never seen anyone so wrinkled in my life, it was like he rode in the overhead bin." quipped Julia. You can almost hear the smirk in her voice as she goes on, "Do I take him to Nordstrom and buy new clothes? I ended up taking him to the dry cleaner and made him strip down while they pressed his clothing. He got the job. I really do what I say."

That she does.

You can catch up with Julia Stone at RecruitFest and Kennedy ~ Vegas in May.

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A long time ago, I was going to take a candidate to the dry cleaners and have him strip while we had his clothes pressed but I thought to myself, "No one in my position would ever do this; a cup of coffee is so much easier."
I did NOT have coffee with him while his clothes were being pressed though, just to be clear!

Steve Levy said:
A long time ago, I was going to take a candidate to the dry cleaners and have him strip while we had his clothes pressed but I thought to myself, "No one in my position would ever do this; a cup of coffee is so much easier."
Hi Juliya,

I would like to say, i'm also using same technique of linkedin and it is working well. you can also use google groups fro US IT requirements. i have one question for you if you like to answer, i'm working from India with Laptop,internet,portals, voip phone and my own database. i dont have any client developed by me, or any prefer vendor. so can you advice me how i can make small client or how i can work for prefer vendor of client. i did engineering in IT and working as Technical Recruiter since last 3 years. you can send me your reply at mchauhan@infovisioninc.com.

Thanks & Regards,
Mithun Chauhan.
I love Julia's stories and try to learn from her and follow her advice. (I'd add that following someone's advice is not very typical of me :))

I think Julia is one of the best RBC contributors. The content she adds is always meaningful.

-Irina
Dear RBC Friends,

The title caught my attention. Specifically the word "Control" so nearly placed beside "Candidate".

The post doesn't really dive into the pros or cons or lack thereof in even considering whether the two words should be together. For the record - I feel strongly that there is no such thing. We can only make agreements and expect them to take place as actions and time move us both forward. But control? I don't think so.....

Thanks Rayanne and Julia. I did enjoy the read! Luckly no brainwashing or mind control was demonstrated. You never know when kids are gonna read this stuff and try it at home!
Well, If LinkedIn is working well for you on candidates, maybe you should use the same techniques to reach out to target clients. I don't know if that helps, but that is worth considering.

Mithun Chauhan said:
Hi Juliya,

I would like to say, i'm also using same technique of linkedin and it is working well. you can also use google groups fro US IT requirements. i have one question for you if you like to answer, i'm working from India with Laptop,internet,portals, voip phone and my own database. i dont have any client developed by me, or any prefer vendor. so can you advice me how i can make small client or how i can work for prefer vendor of client. i did engineering in IT and working as Technical Recruiter since last 3 years. you can send me your reply at mchauhan@infovisioninc.com.

Thanks & Regards,
Mithun Chauhan.
Thanks Julia,

This is not the answer i was expecting from you but i would appreciate your reply, thanks for your time.

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