10 Tips on Getting a Contract with an HR Gatekeeper

1. Cold Calls. If you are cold calling me from any company that rhymes with Blobert Blaf or similar companies, call me from your mobile because I can see your company on my caller ID.  Expect me to still blow you off, but call me in 6 months to show me you made it. We may talk then.

2. Warm Intros. Get a warm introduction.  It can be from my neighbor, book club pal, former coworker, or my dry cleaner. I'll be nicer because I want to keep my friends happy.

3. Link. No mattter what, ask to connect with me on LinkedIn. Send me the invitation while we are talking on the telephone. It is easy for me to say yes and get rid of you, but I'll see your updates and remember you. 90% of you don't do this.

4. Timing for Calls. No time is a good time, but there are definitely bad times. Call anytime but during payroll cycles, open insurance enrollment, and merit raise cycles.

5. Solve My Problems. Research my company, show interested in my business, and then ask me about my business. Get me to complain about how I can't find a SQL Developer (because I don't know it is different from a SQL DBA), and offer solutions.

6. Payrolling. Offer to payroll the people I find at 30% or if you really want my attention, 25%(ouch) .  Refresh the offer by email every 60 days.  I'll call you the next time my CEO/CFO/CIO is breathing down my neck to get the person in today. This is your foot in the door.

7. Lunch. Find me on Yelp.com to see where I really want to eat.  I could eat steak and lobster everyday for lunch if I took all of your invitations. 

8. Outings. If my boss finds out I was golfing with you during the day, I'm dead so invite me to a seminar you are sponsoring on social networking or SharePoint. Schedule it to end at 4:00PM so I can't go back to the office (darn!) and we can have some time to talk. 

9. My Ego.  Emphasize how you know I'm too busy to recruit.  By bringing you in, I'm admitting I can't do my job.

10. Small Gifts. Give me a ceramic coffee mug. A mug? Why? I'll throw away portfolios, candy, business card holders, and pens with your logo. I won't throw away a heavy mug.  It just doesn't feel right. It can still be a pen holder or displayed on my shelf.

Views: 1816

Comment by Bert Shimabukuro on May 18, 2011 at 6:57pm

@Recruiting Animal.  The updates come on the first page so I can't miss them.  When they post positions on the updates that are similar to my requirement, they'll have a better chance of getting a call from me when I add more vendors.

Comment by Candice Rookes on May 18, 2011 at 11:05pm

Hi Bert,


Very funny, loved it, great tips and I would link to you and bring you a mug....

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 19, 2011 at 11:45am
In all humor there is truth.  Love it Bert.  I bet you are fun to work for.  If everybody else is sending mugs how about i send coffee.  Ya gotta love those recruiting firms who use an 800 number and anonymous on the caller ID then call you 10 times a day.
Comment by pam claughton on May 19, 2011 at 12:30pm
Love the tip about the coffee mug...something that will actually be used and maybe stick around...even if just for pens. Putting my order in now....
Comment by Bill Ward on May 19, 2011 at 2:08pm

Come on Bert. You mean to tell me you don't want another cheesy salary guide from some Robert Half flunkie looking for any excuse to "drop by?"

Warm intro from your dry cleaner? Classic. "hey Bert, I know this recruiter. Great guy. Likes his shirts with just a hint of starch. I think you should meet him. He asked me to give this salary guide."

Comment by Bill Ward on May 19, 2011 at 2:39pm
I think most of the agencies that contact you would be wise to send you a trash can with their company logo/information on it. Since most the CV's they send you are probably garbage. Or how about a dart board from that agency that subscribes to the "throw enough crap at the wall and see what sticks."
Comment by Bert Shimabukuro on May 19, 2011 at 4:59pm
Thanks Bill.  Man, you are cold, but I've seen from your history you are in a better place to judge. I wouldn't take a salary guide from my dry cleaner, but he is a social enough guy that I would give his referral 5 minutes on the telephone.  I won't let a rookie cut her teeth on my job orders, but I want to reward tenacity. If she sticks it out and develops into a decent professional later, I'll throw some short term contracts her way. That being said, it hasn't happened yet.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 20, 2011 at 12:08am
Ward you are a classic.  I may actually do that with a little twist to it with the garbage can.  I have seen the salary guides of which you speak they would go well with wine.  Bert, Bill is not cold he is a walking, talking recruiter reality show.  God that's funny, i wish i had said it.  Stand by for plagarism.
Comment by Ari Waller on May 21, 2011 at 11:32pm
I enjoyed number 9. :)
Comment by Bert Shimabukuro on May 23, 2011 at 12:23am
Ari, #9 is critical. Too many HR generalists don't understand the basics of recruiting and admitting it is a blow to their egos.  If corporate HR tells you, "I've been looking for months, and I can't find anyone." it means that they have posted on the company website and Monster, and don't know what to do.



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