Welcome to my 8th and final (for the time being) weekly column. I have had a blast writing this column for the first 2 months of 2009 and hope that some of what I have written has proven helpful.

My last post is referencing what I believe to be one of the best monologues in movie history by Alec Baldwin in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. For any of you who want to see the clip, here is the YouTube video. (disclaimer - there is some foul language)

Regardless of what anyone might think, recruiting is sales - and in many respects, sales at it's finest. Successful recruiters are able to develop a relationship with client on the premise that they have the unique ability to develop relationships with a "product" that literally has a life of it's own. Furthermore, the "product" you are "selling" has the unique ability to turn down the buyer!

Whether you are pitching your value to a client or the opportunity to a candidate, you are selling.

Sales is a game of action and with this, I write my last column as a summary of previous posts with a simple call to action: DO.

Don't come up with excuses, don't get down because of the economy, don't avoid the difficult decisions, don't allow yourself to rationalize any irrational behavior. Simply DO.

Pick up the phone.
Launch that marketing campaign.
Spend your advertising budget.
Update your customer pitch to reflect their evolving needs during the recession.
Raise your fees.
Lower your fees.
Restructure your fees.
Build your candidate database.
Get a lead from a reference check.
Try that new product.
Ditch the old product.
Hire that new sales person.
Switch the under-performer to commission only.
Track results.
DO.
DO.
DO.

This economy is not going to get any better simply by sitting around and waiting for it to improve. Many companies that are laying off are also hiring at the same time.

Businesses grow when businesses operate. I have heard many people complain about how their customers are not spending while at the same time they are not spending any of their own budgets. You need to operate in a planned and methodical fashion, but business will not happen unless you at least operate.

It has been said that we can't control what happens to us, but we can control how we react.

Most people, surprisingly, do not take action. So stand out, and DO.

Coffee is for closers.

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Not the biggest fan of the movie, but love the monologue… Movie-wise it’s still Boiler Room and Wall Street for me!

It’s frustrating when people don’t realise that recruitment is one of the purest forms of sales… but then again, I can understand why when more than half the recruitment industry simply post an advert, search an online CV database and send improperly qualified CVs… and that’s all after accepting whatever awful terms and rules of engagement / process the client dictates to be part of their 20 agency PSL! Are these people sales people? No.

If you’re not influencing process then you’re not doing your job properly and you’re not a salesman despite what you may think. Those wonderfully crafted emails I see far too many people hiding behind are also another example. They’re a great accompaniment to a strong sales call, but if you’re just typing it, you’re not ‘selling’ either.

The crowd that really earn their money is the headhunter crowd… as soon as you’re not adhering to process and are dictating how things work, you’re partially on the way… when you’re negotiating rates which fall in line with your set of Ts & Cs rather than that of the company, you’re selling... when you’re using exclusive candidates as leverage to open the door at a company that had been shut for the longest time, then you’re selling… and when you’re befriending line managers to do your dirty work for you, well, you get the picture! And on the candidate side, if you’re not taking ‘No’ for an answer (within reason) then you’re on the right track…

The biggest challenge I / we currently face is communicating value to HR departments that increasingly have / want things their own way because there are far too many recruiters that don’t know what it is to sell or how to sell and are thus willing to bend over to get access to a low-quality job (i.e. poor commitment, low margins etc)... as soon as you lower your pants and take anything less than 20% on anything that is not a pure volume account with good commitment, you’re on that downward spiral…
Leigh,

Wonderful comment and thank you for being so thorough! I agree with you that certain technologies have allowed (and in some ways are training) many recruiters to become paper pushers.

I actually think it is kind of funny to look back at how the electronic resume at first saved a lot of time and opened up geographic doors, but now they are so overused a whole new type of technology is becoming popular - those that screen through electronic resumes.

You raise a great point about "The biggest challenge I / we currently face is communicating value to HR departments that increasingly have / want things their own way because there are far too many recruiters that don’t know what it is to sell or how to sell and are thus willing to bend over to get access to a low-quality job"

Communicating value to the customer is one of the biggest challenges of any sales person in this day and age. Now is the time to review both the content and delivery mechanism used when communicating with clients.

Thanks again for the thoughts!

Leigh McKiernon said:
Not the biggest fan of the movie, but love the monologue… Movie-wise it’s still Boiler Room and Wall Street for me!
It’s frustrating when people don’t realise that recruitment is one of the purest forms of sales… but then again, I can understand why when more than half the recruitment industry simply post an advert, search an online CV database and send improperly qualified CVs… and that’s all after accepting whatever awful terms and rules of engagement / process the client dictates to be part of their 20 agency PSL! Are these people sales people? No.
If you’re not influencing process then you’re not doing your job properly and you’re not a salesman despite what you may think. Those wonderfully crafted emails I see far too many people hiding behind are also another example. They’re a great accompaniment to a strong sales call, but if you’re just typing it, you’re not ‘selling’ either.

The crowd that really earn their money is the headhunter crowd… as soon as you’re not adhering to process and are dictating how things work, you’re partially on the way… when you’re negotiating rates which fall in line with your set of Ts & Cs rather than that of the company, you’re selling... when you’re using exclusive candidates as leverage to open the door at a company that had been shut for the longest time, then you’re selling… and when you’re befriending line managers to do your dirty work for you, well, you get the picture! And on the candidate side, if you’re not taking ‘No’ for an answer (within reason) then you’re on the right track…

The biggest challenge I / we currently face is communicating value to HR departments that increasingly have / want things their own way because there are far too many recruiters that don’t know what it is to sell or how to sell and are thus willing to bend over to get access to a low-quality job (i.e. poor commitment, low margins etc)... as soon as you lower your pants and take anything less than 20% on anything that is not a pure volume account with good commitment, you’re on that downward spiral…
I have seen the best of the matching systems and they can't hold a candle to a skilled recruiter doing the decision making. They don't even frame the decison on the correct terms: the decision being made is not a yes/no on job fit- its a yes/no on the issue of making a call (or email, or friend request etc.) to actually develop the candidate.....




"actually think it is kind of funny to look back at how the electronic resume at first saved a lot of time and opened up geographic doors, but now they are so overused a whole new type of technology is becoming popular - those that screen through electronic resumes"
I have to say and old clients stands behind that movie 100%. I'am all about the do something methodology whne it comes to business. I have a start-up firm do you have any suggestions for gaining marketshare? Please contact me with suggestions I am all ears lartemus@artemusgroup.biz...

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