Its a funny recruitment world we live in these days. Funny, in that so many new consultants (and to be fair the managers who teach them) have grown up in a world dominated by email, and on-line recruitment systems.

Gone are the niceties of speaking with people. Gone is the ability to influence and sell. Gone is the opportunity to differentiate and build real relationships with clients. Gone….

Hang on a minute. That’s not true. None of these things are gone at all, they are just not being used as well, or as often.

I have a really simple view on this. Email is great and has many, many advantages over the now antiquated technologies of post and fax. It is fast, it is effective, it is cheap. It is not a replacement for the telephone, and it is certainly not a means to have a real conversation.

When I was a very new consultant, I was sent to meet one of the company’s top billing temps consultants and he taught me a very simple lesson. He said “listen, its really simple. You pick up the phone, and money comes out of it”.

You pick up the phone, and money comes out of it.

Was there ever a statement, so well put, so simple or so true.

Phone skills are an incredibly important part of a consultants skills tool kit. In my mind, they should be the first skills taught. Learn to love the phone. Use it as a means of introduction, a door opener, use it to keep in touch with people, use it build relationships. Use it whenever the urge comes to email.

When I walk into one of my client’s offices and all I can hear is people talking on the phone, invariably the fee boards on the walls look very healthy too.

When I walk into a client’s office and all I can hear is clicking on keyboards, the fee boards are often empty too.

Co-incidence? Of course not.

Contact me

For more on developing yourself, your staff and improving the profitability of your business, please do get in touch. You can email me at, use the contact page on my website or call me on 07736 831151. Follow me on Twitter at @recruit_eagle, connect to me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Facebook.

I look forward to speaking soon.

Views: 3389

Comment by bill josephson on February 16, 2012 at 10:16am

james, couple of quick points.


Number one, I don't understand how any TPR stays in business performing the same recruiting tasks over the Internet as Corporate Recruiters coming up with mostly the same people. When I duplicate Corporate's efforts sending them candidates they already have, they don't want to work with me.  They find people mostly on the Internet--that forces me to finding people mostly on the phone--as was your point.


Number two, this means our sole relevance in the market place as I see it in my 31 years of recruiting experience is finding passive/invisible candidates our clients can't access and pray--I mean pray--that these candidates exist and meeting the hiring criteria of our clients. Left handed, 20 homer a year, and throwing out 40% of baserunners stealing catchers are rare. Just hope, if you can find one, your client then doesn't require he be able to steal 20 bases.....which is the reason corporate gave you the job in the first place.

They couldn't find this person and don't even know if one exists, thus why they released it to us.


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