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Recent Recruiter Articles

  Four Steps to Negotiating Higher Fees

About six months ago, I was marketing a senior vice president of business development who was one of the top producers in his industry. He had personally brought in several hundred million dollars of business last year, and was making a move because of some leadership issues in the boardroom. He was a hot prospect who would make millions of dollars in net profits for his next employer.

I found a possible company who was interested in him. I called the CEO, explained the candidate's background and motive to move, and the CEO seemed very interested in meeting with the candidate.

Time for the fee. Inhale. Hold breath. Pause for four counts. Exhale. Relax. Okay, now go. I said, "The way our fee structure works, Bob, is that if you hire this candidate, my fee is thirty percent of his first year guaranteed compensation. And if you're okay with that, I'll email his information to you and follow up with you tomorrow to set up a meeting between the two of you."

"Thirty percent?...Ouch!" he said with a dramatic groan in his voice. "I can't believe you're charging thirty percent when everyone else I am dealing with is charging twenty or twenty-five percent!"

  Out Recruit the Competition

We hear from our clients that they "hope the candidate takes the job." Hiring a candidate shouldn't be a guessing game. After you interview a candidate thoroughly, and spend a great deal of time and money getting them through the process, you should not have to worry about "landing them."

Donald Trump was quoted as supporting paying full price for something important to you. Many deals, both in business and in personal situations, are lost over $5,000-10,000. $5,000 to $10,000 broken down over time is a small amount. Imagine losing your dream house over $5,000. That's roughly $14 per month. That's a tough loss. Again, if there is something you must have, pay full price and don't let it slip away.

  Creating demand for the "Art of Recruiting" using ROI selling

ROI selling makes sense, but not for the faint-at-heart. As an executive recruiter, I have wrestled with quantifying the financial value of my customized hiring programs for years. The best I have to offer from tracking my performance since 1997 is that I am 93% accurate in predicting on-the-job performance.

But, what are my client's return-on-investment? Great question!

  Let the Good Times Roll

I've been waiting four years to write this article's title. Since I like to integrate music in my training, I thought I'd try it in my writing. (For the past couple of years, I've been playing "We Are the Champions" for the industry survivors.) Songs can grab attention, create a sensory reaction and generate good feelings. There's a marketing idea: Find out our clients' favorite music genre or artist and forward an MP3 file.

The last time the job market was this strong was in the beginning of 2001, before 9-11 and before the stock market meltdown. Recessions are cleansing. Today's companies are mean, lean and hungry to hire. So are search and staffing firms. If you're reading this, you're either a talented manager, an excellent consultant or you've recently begun recruiting. Whichever, here's where we've arrived:

  Blogging for Candidates 101: Nuts and Bolts

Blogging is a hot topic nowadays. Blogs are cutting edge tools for some recruiters. So, just what is a blog? Can blogs help you reach the right candidates and fill jobs faster?

A "blog" is simply an internet (web) log. Blogs are created for personal or professional use. They may promote a product or service, or merely serve as a personal online journal. There are currently just over four million blogs today, with a new blog born every seven seconds.

The problem of cocooning candidates.

Today, we work and live in an era of heightened cynicism and secrecy. Isn't it much harder than it used to be to call into a company and attempt to speak with a candidate by telephone? Central voice mail systems have grown more sophisticated and guarded. And even when recruiters are able to finally speak with an actual live person, it's often a reluctant administrative assistant or receptionist. Finally, if you are fortunate enough to be transferred to your candidate, more often than not you are greeted with that person's individual voice mail recording. It has become de facto practice by many professionals today to simply leave their "do not disturb" function turned on for most of the work day. Later, they will screen and return external calls at their discretion.

To address these changes, in recent years legitimate e-mail and web site marketing was considered a non-threatening (and somewhat successful) way to reach these "cocooning candidates." These are in fact still viable tools, but there costly learning curves associated with them.

Some recruiters have gone back to launching traditional direct mail campaigns. However, this can be an expensive and time consuming proposition to undertake with regularity. Success may be mixed until you find just the right combination of style and timing.

Moreover, most outreach marketing attempts essentially are competing for a candidate's attention today. Consider this:

What can blogging do for you?

Recruiters (or researchers) who seek candidates for open positions, or to profile candidate requirements for the purpose of building a network pipeline, there are two ways we can use blogs:

  1. The first way is to start your own blog and attract top talent to your blog site. This is not an overnight marketing cure-all, and it will require some patience. But cultivating a readership of professionals in your niche field is a highly effective means of reaching candidates who would have never otherwise learned about your career openings. The key to making this work is to learn to attract a specialized readership to your blog, just like a beacon in the night. You don't need millions of readers, just hundreds of the right readers.
  2. The second approach is to search other existing blogs and develop contacts and relationships. This is a perfectly legitimate means of networking, as any internet page is essentially public domain information. Based on posting activity and interactions you initiate, you can easily develop in-roads and find more candidates in less time.

Let's talk about both approaches.

  Are Your Goals on Track for 2005? Take This Quiz and Find Out

If you haven't thought about your goals for next year, you are already behind your best competitor. You don't have to be the best recruiter in the world. Just be better than your competitors. And if your competitors get an edge over you, no matter how slight, it's still an edge and that's all it takes to lose business. But if you can get the edge over the other guy, then you're one step ahead. And most races are won by just one step.

So here's a simple model of goal setting that you can use right away to get started and get excited about next year's success.

  Turn-Around Phrases That Work

What if there was one single phrase that you could use with all of your prospects that would turn them around to consider buying your product or service? There is.

I learned this phrase several years ago and it became a daily staple of my search practice. The phrasing isn't as important as much as the energy that you need to say it, so follow these three steps to becoming more powerful in your persuasion abilities.

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  The Magic Bullet

I'm preparing for upcoming training events and need your help. What can I share with you to help increase your income? Think about all the steps in the placement process. I'm listening. {Pause} Try mental telepathy. >>> Got it! The most common question I'm asked is this:

What one technique -- above all others -- will have an immediate impact on my earnings?

I'm not sure I know of a "magic bullet" for search and staffing. It takes a combination of the right attitude, top communication skills, ongoing training, discipline and perseverance to perform at consistently high levels. Similar to high performing sales professionals in other fields, we must be driven to achieve. Following a quality-oriented, well-honed process is vital as well.

  The Upside of a Buyers' Market

Hiring "A" talent to fill a B or C level position can be an expensive corporate mistake. Every day, we talk to candidates who say, "I just took this job to hold me over. Please keep me in mind for any other opportunities."

Even though today's candidate market is a buyers market, top logistics professionals should be offered a full salary appropriate with experience and background. If not, the overqualified candidate may accept a lower salary as a stop-gap measure until the next job opportunity comes along with an increased base salary and corporate recognition.


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