Don't read this. (...unless you LOVE money.)

Get out of my way!  I'm insane in the morning.   Once my silly iPhone alarm goes off, all it takes is the tiny, little thought of firing up my Kuerig and rocking a 20 ounce coffee to get me flying. 

Mere moments into the new day, I'm already thinking and planning my morning activities at work.  Momentum in my mind builds as I travel mentally through to-do's with clients on JO's and my excitement starts sizzling.  Off to the shower and I sprint for my phone.

My favorite athlete right now is a young guy named Jose Iglesias.  You gotta see this guy!  He's one of the guys who plays shortstop with the Detroit Tigers.  He is so cool to watch.  He's a 23 year old guy who's entire persona glows with excitement for the 'the game'.  Half of you hate this expression but this is the guy who gives 110%.  I've watched him play on TV.  I've been to Comerica Park and have seen his energy first-hand live. 

Baseball is purely spectator sport and entertainment to me.  I don't really know the bells and whistles of the game.  Half the time I have to stop and try to remember what ERA, RBI, and pitch count means.  HOWEVER, I can spot passion a mile away.  And I eat it up like my dog gobbles down bacon.

Check it out for yourself, the Tigers are headed into the championship series and you can see for yourself what I'm talking about with this guy.  It's really cool!

That said.  I love making money.  Not like Donald Trump because I'll never see his kind of money.  But I love the deal.  And right now I'm batting .250.  (Half my stuff are fall-offs and I'm working on that.)

I have people who work for me and they make really good money.  Most of this success is clearly because of the infrastructure of our office.  We have the very best tools of the trade for our industry specialty.  We collectively take advantage of all of this to press on and make magic.

So here's the thing.  The other recruiters in the office aren't like me.  They are younger and to them this is a job.  They often trudge into the office in the morning and drag the lunch out an extra ten minutes.  I hear the yawns of boredom sometime around 4PM just about the time when I'm manufacturing my BIG BANG GRAND FINALE before I close the doors. 

I know it's me.  I know it's the environment.  I know it's also ten other things I can't put my finger on.

Let's put things in perspective.  These are people who yield four-figure commissions upon a successfully completed deal.  In my office, each recruiter makes either 2 or 3 placements per month.  Not bad. 

We have flex hours.  Unlimited vacation time.  Casual dress code.  An office designed to resemble an automotive shop to keep things fun.  Endless amounts of caffeine in the form of coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.  We celebrate each placement with EVERYONE getting a check to deposit.  We have an office lunch or dinner every couple months and go to an occasional game.

They lack self motivation.  Plain and simple.

Incoming money has the opposite reaction to them than it does to me.  I love it!  I pay stuff off.  I buy stuff.  I save money.  I make donations.  I say my thankful prayers in private.  I LOVE IT!!!  Let's do it again!

Not them.  The money comes in and is distributed and it's like the fizz has left the soda.  Thought bubbles float invisibly above their skulls that say in ghostly neon, "That's it?"

I train metrics.  I encourage an "always market" office strategy.  We laugh at whacky candidates together and try to keep the spirit of the office on the climb. 

Last week, I brought a huge hamburger (10 pounder - one burger) to the office for fun with ketchup, mustard, and fries.  One recruiter slumped in her chair and expressed disappointment because I forgot mayonnaise.  Two other were playing Wolfgang Puck versus Gordon Ramsey and making comments about the bun.  Am I hypersensitive?  No.  I'm past that.  It's not hypersensitivity, it's disappointment.

My placements are running around four to their one.  I heal my own pain with what I do.

Tonight the Tigers play the Twins.  I hope Jose is on the roster.  Maybe I'll be inspired to tap into THE MYSTERY OF WHAT OTHER POSSIBLE MOTIVATOR THERE CAN EXIST FOR HEADHUNTERS OTHER THAN MAKING MONEY. 

Time for another coffee.  Then a placement.

- Steve

Views: 716

Comment by Amber on September 24, 2013 at 11:57am

You hit the key point - there is that "something" that a few people have. The others will never stay motivated no matter what is thrown at them. But I did learn as a sales manager and a business owner that there is a place for those that can do the job adequately to well and the ones that exceed any expectations. I had to change my own reactions and feelings to the no mayonnaise kind of people. The people I was excited about were the ones who had that inner drive and desire - whatever their end goal was - to reach beyond what was required and go for more. Without looking for a prize from me.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on September 24, 2013 at 12:31pm

I love this post Nehez. If I was still in Detroit I would come work for you in a heartbeat :)

Comment by Jerry Albright on September 24, 2013 at 1:21pm

If each of your recruiters is making 2-3 placements/month - and, as I gather, your average fee is in the 20K range......your recruiters are all making 250K year.

What's the problem here? 

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on September 24, 2013 at 1:28pm

I've edited "five figures" to "four figures".  (Thanks for that catch.  Jerry)

Comment by Chris Wessell on September 26, 2013 at 1:33pm

I love this post. I have my own firm and a couple producers in my employ... and I could have written this whole thing almost verbatim. It's definitely challenging to motivate people, certainly have to get creative and really know what makes them tick so you know what carrot to dangle. Sometimes they get more excited over a simple contest like whoever gets the most referrals today gets a $50 gas card, than they do over a placement that would get them like $3500. So I have to suspend my own motivators and try hard to craft my goals and contests and compensation etc to what drives them. 

Also, I think there's an element in there that rarely does an employee have the same level of urgency or same viewpoint as an owner, and often we are disheartened when they don't see things the way we do.

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on September 26, 2013 at 1:46pm

This reminds me of a quote.  Can't remember who said it though.

"Money is how people with no talent keep score"

Comment by Amber on September 26, 2013 at 2:53pm

Money is how people with no talent keep score. Control is how others with no money keep score.” —Michael S. Hart.

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on September 26, 2013 at 2:57pm

"I'm desperately wondering how that quote has to do with anything I wrote."  --Stephen Nehez Jr.

Comment by Amber on September 26, 2013 at 3:08pm

Lol! Not really sure, either but thought I would at least include the whole quote. 

Maybe it was supposed to refer to, on infer, that you were saying money should motivate everyone. I know that you were pointing out that in addition to the money, you have tried to offer other incentives and rewards to your recruiters. But, as I said earlier, if people aren't the type that want to achieve goals and go beyond the expectations nothing is going to motivate them for long.

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on September 26, 2013 at 3:13pm

I don't think the gist of the article was that shallow.  Though I will say I sleep much, much more sound on my new Hungarian goose down feather bed and having no debt.  Very much unlike the time I started a recruiting agency in Allen Park on credit cards.  Talk about risk.  Whew.

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