Attention Agency Recruiters: You are NOT in Human Resources. You are NOT in PR. You are not in
Employment Branding, Social Work, Social Media, Job Hunting Tips, or Candidate Experience

You. Are. In. Sales. Get it?

If you are not making presentations all day, every day, you are going to fail. You know what a presentation is, don’t you? It is talking to someone about your product. And I’m sure you know what I mean by product, right? Open positions or qualified candidates. That’s it. Period!

Maybe failure is an option for you. Heck – if you keep up with all the feel-good junk on Twitter you may very well think failure is a requirement to moving forward. Here’s some news for you though – it’s not. Failure is NOT good. It is not a stepping stone. It is not a feather in your cap.

The further you get sucked into following irrelevant links, reading about the latest Google news or discussing the latest Facebook trends – during the middle of your business day - the further away from making presentations you get.

Now – go call someone you don’t know and introduce yourself.

Views: 536

Comment by bill josephson on September 18, 2010 at 11:25am
One thing, I know all my client HR contacts are doing google, boulean searches, looking at LinkedIn, careerbuilders, monster, etc...... Why would they ever work with me if I'm on the Internet finding the same candidates they are? And if your client company isn't finding people this way, they'll be put out of business by their competition.

The only assignments I'm getting today are tough ones. And my business problem is figuring out if it's hard, or impossible. Often I don't know till I take it on. Then there's the urgency test. Do they really need the person when they said they did, or don't they? You can't know till you work the process. The moment I start sending candidates who are visible, I'm "toast" with my client. If any are working in a similar manner as your clients looking for candidates, you'll render yourself obsolete at a time you least suspect.

Just my five cents in this brutal, tough and getting tougher jobs market.
Comment by Steve Payne on September 18, 2010 at 9:44pm
Right on the button, Jerry!
Comment by Lisa Switzer on September 19, 2010 at 3:50pm
Two Fist Pumps up in the air Jerry! :)

I don't care if people (me included) hate the "s" word... call it whatever you need to call it in your head to get over it and get working on it - "networking", "Chatting", "Making Nice" whatever! In the end its riding the Sales Train - and you better get good at it to be successful.
Comment by Sally Raade on September 19, 2010 at 8:14pm

Love your message. You have to love your phone and believe in your focus!
Comment by Kevin Vaughn on September 20, 2010 at 2:14am
Great post Jerry. I'm writting this comment at almost midnight, and yet, your post makes me feel like I should be on the phone right now.
Comment by Jerry Albright on September 20, 2010 at 8:29am
Thanks for all the feedback on this one everyone. As I've read through the comments - I thought I should add a little more clarity.

My original intent wasn't so much "get on the phone!" as it was a glimpse into what I feel is the most fundamental aspect of our role as recruiters. Making presentations. All day. Every day.

It's about perspective. You MUST be driven to get your product in front of your customer. For most that very well may be the telephone. For some it may be most effective to email your latest openings - or send your favorite clients a frequent "here's a great guy" email. Either way the result should be the same - that being "Is someone considering your product right now?"

I come from the bull pen recruiting days. Some times I miss those days quite a bit. There was energy. There was competition. Those around me would be see whether I was doing my job or not - so I just did it.

But now there is too much room to hide. Sitting at your desk scrolling through Linkedin profiles all day - skipping from one to the next - and on to the next. You might very well think you're doing something......but you're not.

So old school, new school (still not sure what that is by the way.....) it doesn't matter. You're in sales. And being in sales requires one constant - asking a prospect what they think about your product, refined objections and pressing on.

I use to have a rule. I would NEVER leave the office until I knew for sure I had a candidate to present to my client the next day. There were quite a few nights I'd be in the office until well after 9 or 10. In fact I recall when I started out on my own it was 11 pm every night for the longest time............

Do you have someone for your client?
Comment by bill josephson on September 20, 2010 at 8:50am
In this market? The answer is often not. The reason? The assignments we (I) get are called the "tough" ones. But are they tough or "impossible?" I know they're having trouble finding the candidates through their Internet means. There are usually a small pool of candidates in that market. Does a qualified candidate exist? Would they have reason to consider the opportunity? How urgent is the client really? How flexible are close to having 100% of what they need will they consider. How serious is the candidate really? They've given a reason for leaving, but what's the hidden agenda? When they get an offer what's to prevent them no matter what they've said beforehand from using that offer to correct the problem(s) at their current employer? You rarely know till the end of the process. How does that reflect on you when a person looking to leave a company due to excessive travel receives an offer from your client through you, and comes back to you stating they've corrected that problem and are now staying with their employer?

The issue is the assignments are more challenging taking longer to find scarce people, opportunities aren't flying at you so if you lose one there's another one, urgency questionable......and sure, you can qualify and get a commitment all you want ahead of time but at the end you never really know the conviction of that commitment.

I go back to what Jerry said initially. Best bet is to be on the phone making tons of presentations to prospective clients and passive/invisible candidates companies can't find or you're as they used to call NY GIant Cornerback Elvis Patterson decades ago, "toast."

Just my five cents........
Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on September 20, 2010 at 9:10am
Phone Power is where it is at.
Comment by Jerry Albright on September 20, 2010 at 9:13am
Bill - to your point - the positions DO seem to be harder to close. All the more reason be engaged with your candidate through the process.

On the topic of "hard to fill" jobs. I'm not a magician. I gave up my "I can find anybody!" mantra long ago. The old "give me your hardest req and I'll prove myself" approach is usually an invitation to countless hours of fruitless effort.

I have 3 criteria to evaluate before making a commitment to a client. It's what I call my CUE Principal.

C - Cooperation. I've got to have feedback (good, bad or otherwise) in a timely fashion. Many things tell me how they're going to go from the very beginning. Do they call me back? Have they signed my fee statement? Do I have their cell phone number? The list is quite long. But you get the idea.

U - Urgency. Most companies hire only when they NEED to. Does your client need to hire - NOW? Why? What happens if they don't?

E - Expectation. This is the "give me your hardest job" area. I don't want it. I'm not a magician. My client needs to have a realistic opportunity in all areas: Skills required, salary, geography, etc.

Not only are these three areas important in their own regard - an assignment MUST contain all three. A cooperative client who needs to hire right away - but is expecting a person you can not find is a bad search. A client with a realistic skills/salary requirement who claims to need that person right away - but will not call you back? - is not what I'm looking for. You can see where I'm going with this.

All right. Gotta get to work. Have a good one!
Comment by bill josephson on September 20, 2010 at 9:26am
Jerry, understood.

My point is you find out during the process urgency, criteria/selectivity, pool of candidates, articulated above doesn't occur. And you don't often know what it is until down the road. In this market that seems to happen repetitively with more frequency.

Back to work here as well.


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