Recruiters: Stop Emailing and Pick up the Phone…

Why are you emailing the Client or Jobseeker every little question?  stop-sign2 I was talking with another recruiter about an open req. and their response was…I emailed them.  My thought was….Why?

I find that too many Recruiters are hiding behind the computer.    Do not be afraid to hear No or an answer you do not want to hear.   Picking up the phone builds the relationship between you and the Client and you and the Job Seeker.  Email can be a useful tool and complimentary tool but I believe your main source of communication should be the phone. 

My challenge to you:  Use the phone for everything for a month, change your habits and see how many more relationships and placements you can make.   Stop hiding and let your voice be heard.

Recruiters: What is your First Impression, to Clients?

Do you know what your first impression is on others?   When speaking with your clients what impression do you leave?   These are important to think about.

I believe first impressions are one of the keys to recruiting success.   Everyone we talk to has a problem that they want us to help them solve.    Clients have a job opening that needs filled and Job Seekers are looking for a new career path.    It is the first impression that they will remember.   This post is going to focus on the client aspect and relationship.   (Candidate post coming soon.)

If you are talking to a first time client, what is the impression you want to leave with them?    Are you listening to their problem?   All clients are not the same – do not treat them that way.   You have to listen to what they are actually saying.  Listen to the big overall problem as well as the smaller ones.  When I am talking to a new client, I want them to know that I am their partner and ally, their Trusted Advisor.   That I am the “Go-to-Guy” for their Recruiting issues.  They will know that I provided them with the best service, listened to and understand their issues and was up-front and honest with them regarding the process.

Hopefully, now they have decided to give you a try but they probably want to ”test you” with a harder to fill order before they start giving you most or all of their business.     This order is probably one that has been open for months, given to many other recruiters and is that “Purple Squirrel” type of position.  What do you do?

This is your chance to woo them.   The most important task to do here is to roll out the red carpet and treat them like they are your only client.    Contrary to conventional thinking, the MOST important issue is not whether you fill this order BUT how you treat them during this hiring process.    Let them know up front, what to expect from you and as a new client, what you expect from them.    Keep them in the loop the entire process.   Tell them what is difficult about this search and what potential matches you have found.  Don’t be afraid to give them the bad news as well as the good.  Make them feel at ease while working with you and make sure they feel that they are an intimate part of this process.   The new client should be involved throughout so they can start feeling comfortable with how you recruit.   As stated above, be their true Consultant and Trusted Advisor.  This is your one chance to put yourself in that category with them, versus just another staffing firm.

How you treat the first order is the factor they will use to give you more business, all of the little things do matter.

Think back, on your last new client.   What was your first impression, on them?  Now look at that person in the mirror and commit to being even better next time!!!

Being Politely Persistent

Have you ever heard the phrase “politely persistent”? It’s not original, I stole it from another sales person a while back. The phrase resonated with me and I still think about being “politely persistent” almost every day. I take business development, or sales, very seriously, I always have. When I was young I read and studied every sales book I could get my hands on. I spent time talking with successful sales people in the effort to try and understand what is was that drove their success.

Equally, I have studied customers. I have worked hard to understand what motivates them, what turns them off, what their typical day looks like, how they schedule meetings, how they manage priorities, etc., etc. Several important things important things have revealed themselves to me over the years. For example, the higher level the executive, the more meetings they have each and every day. C-level executives in Fortune 500 companies typically break up there days in 15 minute increments. That’s why those who request 60 minute, even 30 minute meetings never get responses. Ask for a 15 minute introduction with a Fortune 500 executive and you’ll almost always get it, I do anyway.

That gets me back to being politely persistent. Customers are busy, some busier than ever before. They are trying to do far more with far fewer resources. I know too many sales people who write off a lead or a prospect if they do not get a response to their first voice mail or email. I follow-up, and I follow-up again, and I follow-up again. Honestly I will continue to follow-up until a person tells me to stop calling them. That almost never happens. Instead I usually receive an apology for not getting back to me sooner.

I actually had a customer that told me the reason they ended up doing business with me was because my persistence showed that I was genuinely interested in doing business with that person, at that company. They said that my follow-up made it clear I was not just a smiler and dialer like all the others sales people calling on them day in and day out. That customer turned into one of my biggest accounts ever, the contact became a personal friend, and she actually came to work for me when I launched my own firm.

Your customers, even candidates, get calls from people just like you 10 to 20 times per day. Email is even worse with them sometimes receiving hundreds per day. I know C-level executives who sort through thousands of emails every day. Persistence is one way you can stand out. Don’t mistake harassment for persistence. You need to be creative and non-intrusive. Add value to be sure you are not only persistent, but politely persistent and you will no doubt be viewed as different from the competition.

Sales: Where Do I Start?

It has been some time since I have been asked to contribute to a blog. When I received my login information for The Recruiter Files I did the same thing I always do… I asked myself “where do I start?” There are so many topics I could write about related to the business development side of staffing but where do I start? As I was asking myself that question I realized that is how most of my days begin. 

I sit at my desk, or in my car or even while I’m still laying in bed and think about where am I going to start today. What can I do right now to meet my metrics? What can I do right now to find that next client and to get that next opening? What can I do right now to convince this client to hire my guy, or gal? What can I do right now to increase my commission? What can I do right now to kick my competition’s butt and dominate my local market?

One of the most brilliant recruiters I have ever worked with/for once told me never hire a guy that smokes a pipe. Why I asked? He said because if you watch them, they’re always pacing around, puffing on their pipe, pondering where to start. They are usually brilliant people but they never get anything done because they never get anything started.

The point is to just start! Or, Just Do It as Nike once said. Don’t get me wrong, I prioritize and I have my running to-do list. But once I pick up that phone the ball starts rolling, momentum is gained and before I know it it’s 5pm. Then I ask myself… where will I start tomorrow?