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: 1944

Comment by Paul Alfred on May 18, 2011 at 10:20am
Some great tips Bert  ...LOL and funny ...
Comment by Frances Waters on May 18, 2011 at 11:07am
I agree with Paul--great tips and funny! I can relate to #1! LOL
Comment by Dylan Howell on May 18, 2011 at 11:15am
Thanks for the tips :)
Comment by Darryl Dioso on May 18, 2011 at 11:29am
LOL "Blobert Blaf" sounds like a character from one of my daughter's cartoons.
Comment by Margaret Babcock on May 18, 2011 at 11:54am
Thanks for the great tips and the laugh!
Comment by Carolyn Marotta on May 18, 2011 at 1:38pm

As a fellow corporate recruiter, I love these tips. Your sense of humor is appreciated too. 


If I may, I would add a #11: My Kid.  My baby is my world, if you remember his name chances are I'll remember yours.  Same could apply for my husband, dog or cat.  Bottom line is try to get to know me and you'll stand out from the crowd. 

Comment by Boris Stefanovic on May 18, 2011 at 1:50pm
Your mug is in the mail...
Comment by Bert Shimabukuro on May 18, 2011 at 3:25pm

@All - Thank you for your comments.  I'm glad it made some of you smile.

@Carolyn - You are so right.  Too many pitches and they all blend together. Great idea on how to stand out.

Comment by Perry Latuharhary on May 18, 2011 at 5:19pm
Great tips! =)
Thanks for sharing!
Comment by Recruiting Animal on May 18, 2011 at 6:16pm

I absolutely don't see the point of connecting on Linkedin. I never read anyone's updates and I doubt if most of the people I contact in my work have updates.


I will invite you to come on The Recruiting Animal Show and argue your points in front of people who disagree with me.




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