“The Top 5 things that are guaranteed to make the difference”
By Jon Bartos
Many recruiting firms and recruiters have ended 2012 in a market slowdown and started 2013 with lackluster growth as well. Hiring in many sectors has not picked up after the election as expected and most recruiters everywhere are trying to get traction. “It’s hard every day!” said a tenured recruiter I recently interviewed as a candidate for a position on my staff. I admit, it will be hard every single day – if we continue to do the business the way we use too. Before when times are good, the market is in high growth mode where demand is high (Job Orders) and supply is low (“A” Candidates), the game is easier. If you ever participated in one of these markets, it reminds you of a piranha feeding frenzy. Hiring is at its precipice, interview activity goes nuts and you seem to be ringing the bell every day. In those markets we can make mistakes, not make marketing calls and not qualify every search you get called in. However, in today’s market, you can never get away with any of that without decreases in productivity and results.
In many of markets, the Supply (Candidate) is low and the Hiring Demand (Actual Hiring) is even more cautious. The hiring managers will interview, but if your candidate is not perfect, we hear that too familiar…...”Who else to do have?”
Increasing revenue in a recruiting and staffing firm in any market is no easy task. Doubling revenue in this environment, many would claim to be almost impossible. However, I truly believe it’s probable if you are willing to strictly adhere to and focus on the 5 activities that will lead you to that promise land. That is doubling monthly revenue in 90 days. I call these 5 things – the “Easy Button of Recruiting” due the fact they make recruiting so much easier once performed consistently and here is the secret…. “They really are easy to do!”
1. Ensure You Qualify each Job Order
Realize each job order you bring in can be a blessing or a disaster in disguise. Unless you qualify each job order and insure that is an “A” job order, the disaster will be a potential outcome. In 2010, I was so excited to get 7 retained searches from a major manufacturer in the Midwest. I had my recruiting team and I in meetings with the client management team, we set expectations on working together, we got the job specifications and were very excited to get going on the searches. We thought we would quickly make some placements, ring the bell and put money on the board. To make a long story short, after 90 days we had submitted 30 candidates that were a fit, but due to the hiring process, location, compensation and lack of sense of urgency from hiring managers, we had not had anyone make it to get an offer. No one was even close. We had two people on the searches and by the end of 180 days we had a placement and had one recruiter quit due to not making any money.
Each Job order you receive CAN be a blessing or a disaster. It must be thoroughly reviewed to insure it is “WORTHY” for you and your team to work on.
Most recruiters today don’t achieve their recruiting potential;
not because they don’t make enough calls, but due to working on
poor quality job orders that have a low possibility of ever converting into placements.
Those recruiters find themselves working on poorly defined roles, non exclusive business, a lack of sense of urgency positions from hiring managers and organizational hiring processes that are impossible to keep candidates engaged. Don’t be that recruiter!
Use a tool to help you measure your job order quality. Bob Marshall came up with the Job Order Matrix and I modified it a few years ago. CLICK HERE Use it or something like to ensure you are getting great work in.
2. Only Work on “A” Job Orders or Search Assignments
Once you measure your job order quality – ensure you and everyone in your office only work on the great “A” job orders. Here is why. To waste a recruiting cycle on a bad search is like taking $6000 to $10,000 and throwing it out the window. That’s what it cost you once you put in overhead, management salaries, building, benefits, etc. Do the math. How many handfuls of cash are you going to continue throw out the window by working on less than “A” work? You are simply making an investment decision. Do I spend $6000 in overhead on a gamble with low risk of paying off or do I invest in a search that is guaranteed to pay off if I find the candidate they are looking for.
If the search is measured to be less than “A” work, don’t just toss it out or let it sit on your desk. Go back to the hiring managers and ask to make changes so the work is of high quality enough for you to pursue. You can ask for changes to make this work for you and the candidates. Exclusivity, Hiring cycle, compensation range, title, interview process, job duties all are fair game if change is needed to make them “worthy” of your recruiting time. Only work on “A” job orders and life as a recruiter starts to get fun again.
3. Deliver Two Candidates Every Day on your A Job Orders
Now that you have great work in – it’s time to deliver. Make sure you plan before you leave, use all the technologies tools (linked in, your database, external databases) to plan before you leave or get to work in the am. While at work, have a great recruiting script where everyone wants that position. Sell the sizzle on it. People want to hear about opportunity and future potential. If you can execute your plan and get two candidates of high quality to submit per day, you are cooking with Gas baby. Two per day should be the metric to target if you are planned appropriately, have a great script and execute your plan.
Not getting call backs? Change your voice mail to add a sense of urgency, value and a reason to call you back now. If you get great work in and deliver on that great work – you are almost there! You will see a major revenue spike within as little as 30 days. Now it’s really starting to get fun again.
You should be now talking to candidates and checking their references every day. Is it ok if we hit the easy button again? Let’s get more “A” job orders in the easy way, so we can continue to have more fun at this thing called recruiting. All we need to do at the end of each recruiting call and reference check is ask one more question. That’s it, just one.
Flipping a Recruiting Call
At the end of any recruiting call – simply add this question. “I have always wanted to work with XYZ organization (your candidate’s resume). Who would you suggest I talk to start a recruiting relationship with them?” If you wanted to make it even easier for you – another question to add would be… “Could you help introduce me to the hiring manager so I could have a conversation?” The majority of people want to help others be successful. If you build a relationship during your awesome recruiting call, you will have the ability to flip the call with a good possibility of work from that organization.
Flipping a Reference Check
Getting business from reference checks are even easier. Once you do a thorough job on your reference checks for a candidate’s previous hiring manager, you need to ask the following, “I appreciate your time and only have one question left. Could you use some “A” players like (reference candidates name) and an organization who is very good at finding them?” Follow up with “Who would I work with on a partnership?” as well as “Can you introduce me to that person?”
5. Hit your Activity Metrics Daily
It’s critical that once you are working on the right job orders, delivering two candidates per day and getting more work in than you can fill – we will continue to watch our activity levels, results and ratios closely.
We often get drawn in by the fallacy that activity by itself equals success. Nothing could be further from the truth. Activity equals activity period. The right activity focused on the right thing performed the right way equals success.
In order to insure we are the latter and not the former, we need to monitor activity, results and our ratios. Ensure you are planned for 80 calls with 25 conversations per day, 2 candidates recruited and 5 “A” job orders per week. Watch your ratios to determine how good you are getting at every primary activity in the recruiting game. Your Marketing Presentation/Job Order ratio tells you how good you are at Marketing. Your Recruiting Presentation/Candidates Submitted ratio tells you how good you are selling candidates on your positions. Your Job Order to Placement ratio tells you how good your job orders really are. Your Submittals/Sendouts ratio tells you how good you are at matching what your client is looking for. Focus on these activities and results daily – but watch your ratios. The ratios tell you exactly how good you are now – to help you on a path on where you need to improve. There are tools that do this for you automatically, like the Revenue Performance Managements (RPM) Dashboard. Look into anything that can help you stay on top and ahead of your metrics.
You can double your revenue quickly and make it easier on yourself and your team by doing these 5 things: Qualify your job orders, only work on “A” work, deliver two candidates per day, flip all recruiting calls and reference checks and finally hit your metrics targets while watching your ratios. By doing these consistently, you will be pressing the easy button of recruiting, every day.