Greg Savage's Blog (157)

Recruiters, at last! Social Media for dummies

They call it ‘social media’ or ‘social networking’, and some might quibble at the word ‘social’ because a lot of it can be done alone, from the confines of a darkened room.

And most recruiters don’t have the faintest clue how to get the best out of the…


Added by Greg Savage on June 6, 2011 at 7:30am — 10 Comments

Recruiters. 8 resons why your client meetings suck!

For most recruiters, the client meeting is key. It is in a face-to-face meeting that the magic happens. This is where your credibility, and the business, is won or lost. It’s here that a recruiter can win exclusivity, secure multiple temp orders, and resolve pricing and service dilemmas.

In fact a great deal of a recruiters time is spent securing the visit. Planning, cold calling, referrals.

Yet, too often, the visit is a wasted opportunity at best, and an unmitigated disaster…


Added by Greg Savage on May 30, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

HR and internal recruiters, YOU need to lift your game too

There has been a great deal of criticism of Agency recruiters lately, quite a bit of it from me.

But a recent theme is emerging where Corporate HR managers and internal recruiters have launched some scathing attacks on the process followed by recruiters. A recent blog, Dear John, from…


Added by Greg Savage on May 25, 2011 at 7:21pm — 22 Comments

Great recruiters are 'talent-pickers'

In financial markets they talk about canny investors being “stock-pickers”, which refers to an ability to select ‘diamonds in the rough’; investments that will outperform over time.

Great recruiters are “talent-pickers”.

We would love to place every person who approaches us, or who we interview. But that is not going to happen.

In fact, spreading your talent activity too thin will dilute your ability to find people work. Candidate selection is key. Selecting the best…


Added by Greg Savage on May 23, 2011 at 6:00am — 3 Comments

Recruiters – tentative language is reducing your billings!

We don’t mean to be tentative, do we? We want to be bold, strong and confident when dealing with clients. Yet time and again, we use words that are stumbling blocks. Our fear takes over. And we use tentative language. Words that offer the client a reason to doubt us. Phrases that reduce our credibility.

Tentative language: How do you know you’re using it? 

Do you use words like ‘normally’? The client asks you, how much do you charge? Do you start off by saying, ‘Oh, normally’.…


Added by Greg Savage on May 16, 2011 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

Recruiters, please, don't be a LinkedIn 'tart'

I am no LinkedIn expert. But I do use it. I post status updates, I join groups, I comment in discussions, and I check backgrounds of just about every person I am about to interview or even meet.

I also get lots of requests to connect, and as a result have about 1,000 connections currently, so I suppose I could be described as an ‘active LinkedIn’er’.

Active enough to realise there are a few things LinkedIn users simply should never do!



Added by Greg Savage on May 9, 2011 at 4:30am — 26 Comments

My biggest ever recruitment screw-up!

It’s quite a few years since I worked a desk as a recruiter. But I did, for many years. And I was a pretty good recruiter too. Not great mind you. Just good enough to have a lot of fun, and make a bit of money.

At Firebrand we have hired 25 new recruiters in the past 6 months, so I am spending a lot of time training and coaching. As a result I am telling a lot of stories from my time on the desk. And it reminded me that…


Added by Greg Savage on May 3, 2011 at 1:54am — 3 Comments

“God, I hate recruiters!”

This little incident happened just the other day.

It was Sunday, so I was not in work mode at all. In fact I was watching my son trial for a Sydney Representative cricket team, and my mind was on him bowling fast and batting straight.

On the side of the field, the mums and dads congregated, and the usual banter was flying fast and furious, when one of the guys turned to me and said,

“I thought of you this week.”

The dad in question is well known to me. We have sat…


Added by Greg Savage on April 24, 2011 at 7:02pm — 12 Comments

Recruiters. Technology-driven, resume-shuffling, price-cutting drones?

This can sound like a cliché but it’s never going to be more important than in the next few years.

Recruiters must build relationships. Real ones.

So many of the people who lost their jobs in our industry over the past 2 years did so because their relationship with clients and talent were superficial or non-existent. They had become technology driven, resume shuffling drones who competed on speed and price alone.

Now, the core competence of every recruiter is the ability…


Added by Greg Savage on April 21, 2011 at 12:23am — No Comments

Being a recruiter rocks!

I love being a recruiter.

Seriously, I think it’s the best job in the world.

Yet 80% of people who enter this industry, fail in the first 2 years, leave, and are never sighted again.

And it’s true, it is tough being a recruiter. And I believe in the modern era it’s getting even harder. During the downturn it got even worse. We all worked harder and harder, and earned less and less.

On top of that, our customers seem to resent us more than ever, as can be…


Added by Greg Savage on April 21, 2011 at 12:22am — 8 Comments

Clients don’t only want resumes, they want insights!

Great recruiters need to understand their industry, their company, the competition, and the business environment for the types of people they place. You need to be a mile deep and an inch wide!

I find that recruiters are easily seduced. In fact, truthfully we can be a bit tarty. A client wants help with a hire that’s outside our area of expertise and we jump right in. And then we find we don’t have the skills, knowledge, or connections to do a good job. We waste time, we get…


Added by Greg Savage on February 16, 2011 at 11:53am — No Comments

10 golden rules of communication for Recruitment leaders

I find managing a business really difficult. Seldom a week goes by that I don’t think I could have done something better. And of course as a leader, communicating the vision, communicating change, communicating expectations – these are subtle skills, which I don’t think any of us truly master.

However, developing these skills is fundamental to our success. Particularly now, where so many employees have so much choice, engaging people with the company’s goals is, in my view, perhaps…


Added by Greg Savage on February 9, 2011 at 12:51pm — No Comments

5 signs your new recruiter is destined to fail!

In just about every country that Firebrand operates, we are finding it difficult to hire great recruiters. We have pretty tightly defined criteria, so I guess that’s not a surprise. However, what is a little unusual so soon after a severe recession, is the evident rush to hire recruiters across the board.

In Australia there is such a shortage of experienced recruiters that one ‘Rec to Rec’ recruiter told me she has over…


Added by Greg Savage on February 2, 2011 at 10:06pm — 3 Comments

Are we there yet? Is the hiring market finally taking off across the world? (an 'outside USA' perspective)

Perhaps the most common question I get asked these days is whether the dark days of the recession are truly behind us and specifically, are employers hiring again?

Well, I can certainly say that 2010 was better than 2009. But what of 2011?

As anyone in recruitment knows, the answer to that question is a moving target, hard to pin down at best, totally elusive at worst.

And of course it depends what sector we are talking about, what level of employee, and what country or…


Added by Greg Savage on January 24, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

10 massive blunders I have made in recruitment

Running a great recruitment business is difficult. The competition, the compliance, the cash flow issues and most of all, the people complexity creates an ideal environment to screw up.

Here are 10 of my biggest blunders, some of which I have made several times. I offer them up as a guide on what NOT to do when running a recruitment company.

  1. Focusing too heavily on consultant activity levels. Slavishly counting activities, measuring ratios,…

Added by Greg Savage on December 13, 2010 at 11:39pm — 5 Comments

Will clients pay 60% permanent placement fees? Well, yes actually.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I have predicted for some time that clients will expect more from recruiters as the market recovers. I have said that we can expect pressure on our fees, particularly as employers invest in other ways to access talent.

But it’s also true that market forces will prevail. At Firebrand Talent Search we have seen a marked easing in pressure on our fees and in…


Added by Greg Savage on December 6, 2010 at 11:30pm — 13 Comments

Competing on price in recruitment is a slippery slope to oblivion

Last week I blogged on how competing on speed and volume alone was not the way to be successful as a recruiter over the long term. Today I turn the attention to price.

The question of fees and margins in our industry is a sensitive and difficult one. The fact is that clients resent our percentage-based permanent fees structure, and it’s easy to see why. What is…


Added by Greg Savage on November 30, 2010 at 11:30pm — No Comments

This is what ‘competing in recruitment’ is NOT (Part 1)

The one word that seems to be synonymous with our industry is ‘competition’. We are forever telling each other how ‘competitive’ it is and how many ‘competitors’ we have.

And it’s all true.

But the areas most recruiters compete on are rarely the ones that truly differentiate us. Going forward, the recruitment industry is going to compete in totally new ways, and that’s going to leave many ill-prepared recruiters far, far…


Added by Greg Savage on November 22, 2010 at 4:30pm — No Comments

More cool tips on dealing with clients who want a fee discount

Last week I blogged about how you need to move the focus away from dollars and percentages when clients negotiate fees, and on to your value and your differentiators.

One of the comments on my blog from Matthew Lancey raised the point that sometimes clients keep pushing, and they say something like “but your competitors charge…


Added by Greg Savage on November 21, 2010 at 8:34pm — 12 Comments

Client wants a discount? Don’t talk dollars, talk value

It’s a fact of recruiting life that clients will push you to negotiate your fees. And with so many recruiters quick to drop fee percentages to secure briefs, that can be a hard discussion to deal


The starting point for successful fee negotiations is, strangely enough, to get the conversation off the fee percentage, and on to the question of what it is your fee is actually for.

And of course, bundled up in that conversation, is your…


Added by Greg Savage on November 3, 2010 at 7:30am — 7 Comments


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