Over the next eight
weeks, you have a chance to learn what it takes to become one of the top
recruiters in the country. This means you'll be able to make at least
$150,000-$175,000 per year; you'll be seen as a true career consultant
by your candidates and a true partner by your clients.
Bottom line: What this means is that you'll
make more placements with better people more quickly while negotiating
on opportunity, not compensation. However, to get to be a high-earning,
well-respected recruiter, you'll need to try out the techniques
presented in this article.
Most likely, many of them will run counter to
your current approach. It's in these areas that you'll have to work
harder to overcome your beliefs and still try out the ideas. This is how
you grow, and getting through these rough spots is the key to personal
change management. So, put some extra effort in here. But enough of the
talk. Let's get started on getting better.
First, I want you to write down the one single
thing you need to do to become a better recruiter. Whether it's making
cold calls, taking the assignment, negotiating offers, or whatever, I
want you to focus on improving this one skill over the next eight weeks.
This focused intensity will allow you to extract something meaningful
from each of these articles and apply it directly to your work. Feel
free to email me the area
you've chosen for personal improvement, but beware if you tell me now,
you'll need to tell me in eight weeks how you got better.
Here are the eight key topics we'll be covering during this series, and a few tips to get
you started right away.
Benchmarking your performance. Since this a project, and
not just a series of articles to read, you'll first need to figure
how good you are today. Take this
right now to get started. At the end of the project, you'll take the
same diagnostic again to see how much you've improved. We'll also be
taking a big survey as part of this. It will be the first to collect
critical recruiter performance metrics like requisitions handled by
recruiter, sendouts per hire, placements per month, and income.
Sign up here
if you want to be part of this important study.
Taking the assignment: To ensure that you don't exclude the best
people from consideration, you'll need to convert job descriptions
into career opportunities. I call these "performance profiles."
Preparing these will instantly create a partner relationship with
your clients and allow you to become a true career consultant for
your candidates.To get a feel for this, the next time you take an
assignment, ask your hiring manager client these two questions: 1)
What are the two or three things that a person taking this job needs
to do to be considered successful during the first year? and 2) Why
would a top person want this job? At the end of the meeting, ask
your client if he would see a person who could do the work described
even if the person had fewer of the skills or less experience than
what was listed in the job description. This will get your client to
start thinking about performance rather than years of experience or
Active candidate sourcing. You can find great, active
people if you know the secrets of maximizing the effectiveness of
job boards, aggregators, job posting management systems, web
analytics, and your applicant tracking system. Here's a test to see
if you're even in the game. Assume you're a top candidate who is
only going to use Google to find a job. Put in the generic title of
the job, the core skills, the word "jobs," and the location. Did
your job show up on the first page? If not, figure out what search
terms a person would have to use to find your job within five
minutes. This will give you some clues on how to redesign your ad
strategy driven by the need to find your jobs quickly. Of course, if
your ads are boring, it doesn't really matter.
Passive candidate sourcing. My mantra is that with a phone
and ZoomInfo or a list developed by Shally Steckerl, you can find
three to four top people for any assignment within two days. You've
got a month before we get to this topic, but start tracking these
metrics now: number of cold calls per day, percentage of returned
calls, number of people open to considering your opportunity, and
the number of good referrals per call. Now, track the same metrics
for these referrals. What you'll discover is that working the
referred list is three to five times more productive than
working the cold list. So, the secret to passive candidate
recruiting is getting good referrals. We'll show you how when we get
to this upcoming article.
Using the interview to assess competency and create opportunity. Some
of you think that the primary purpose of an interview is to assess
candidate competency. This is only one of many competing objectives.
In my mind, there are even a few that are more important. One is to
enable the recruiter to identify areas of job stretch to the
candidate while the interview is being conducted. Of course, you
need to have prepared a performance profile before the interview and
also be able to conduct a
Together these two techniques allow you to conduct this type of
career gap analysis in real time. Not only will you gain instant
respect from the candidate, but more importantly, you'll be able to
recruit the candidate based on opportunity rather than compensation.
Try this as a starter: Ask your top candidates if they would be open
to exploring a career opportunity if it offered 20-25% job stretch
and job growth even if the compensation increase was modest. You'll
discover that most will say "yes." Then, of course, you've got to
prove it. But proving it is why you must be great at interviewing to
be a great recruiter.
Using the interview to defend your candidate against managers who make dumb
decisions. Another important purpose of the interview is to
prevent good candidates from being excluded from consideration by
those who conduct superficial or biased interviews. If you've ever
lost a good person because someone on the interviewing team was
unprepared, emotional, or a weak interviewer, you know how
devastating this can be. Equally as bad is having great candidates
not even be considered because they didn't have the right skills,
experience, or academic background. Good interviewing skills can
minimize these types of non-hires.
Knowing the job and conducting an in-depth,
performance-based interview provides the recruiter with the evidence
needed to overcome these types of bad decisions. Here's a test you
might want to try out to prove this. First, ask your hiring manager
client what it would take for him to see and hire a candidate from
you if the person had half the experience listed on the job
description. He'll probably say, "Demonstrated proof the person has
done exceptional work doing similar things required on the job."
Then, ask the manager to describe some of these typical projects.
Now, use the interview to get the proof you need that your candidate
has done exceptional work in these areas. This test also
demonstrates a core secret of great recruiting: By getting the
hiring manager to switch the hiring decision to performance
objectives rather than skills, you can cut your sendouts per hire in
Advanced recruiting and negotiating offers. Handling
objections, overcoming concerns, dealing with counteroffers, and
candidates saying "no" are part of the daily grind of every top
recruiter. In this article, you'll discover what you need to do to
cut lost placements by 50-75%. While you won't close every deal,
you'll have the tools and techniques to improve your odds. Remember
that if a deal turns sour in the final stages, you have to do the
search over again.
Here's how to get started on this: Start
keeping track of why your candidates say "no" or opt out of the
process, whether it's at the beginning, midstage, or after an offer
is extended. Bunch these into groups and put a graph together from
most common to least common. (FYI this is called a "Pareto
analysis.") The top two or three of the most common concerns
probably represent more than 50% of all of the problems. So if you
eliminate these, you'll be 50% more productive. For now, just write
down what you normally do when you hear these problems, and the
outcome. In the article, you'll find two techniques to eliminate
these problems. The first is to have a well-developed, clever
counter every time a candidate raises one of these concerns. The
second and better approach: Anticipate the counter in your pitch or
presentation before it gets brought up.
Keeping the deal closed and tracking your performance improvement.
The fight for top talent is intense, so expect a counteroffer or a
competitive offer. How you keep deals closed is part of being a good
recruiter. Getting hiring managers involved in this stage is vital,
as well as some serious handholding and visualization exercises.
Keeping deals closed at the end actually starts at the beginning by
converting boring job descriptions into compelling career
opportunities. Collectively, this is how good recruiters earn big
bucks. In this final article, we'll tie all of the pieces together
into an easy-to-use checklist. You'll use this as your personal
improvement guide and, in combination with the survey and diagnostic
test, you'll have your own career game plan locked in place.
Once you successfully complete the exercises contained in the interactive
series of articles, you'll be a better recruiter and on a faster personal
growth curve. Once you experience it yourself, you'll be able to confidently
say to any top candidate, "Would you be open to explore a situation if it
was clearly superior to what you're doing today?" Better yet, 90% will
say "yes" to your offer. Of course, now you have to prove it. But
showing you how is the whole point of this series on becoming a great