Getting Back to Being Busy

Editor’s note: Carolyn Thompson is a scheduled speaker at Fordyce Forum 2010 in Las Vegas this June.

I can’t remember the last time I had five placements in one week.

As a member of the Pinnacle Society, I challenge myself to have, or be involved in, at least one transaction each week resulting in between 50 and 80 placements a year. Last year I worked hard to hit my minimums, but this year I’m already exceeding my targets.

In my “back to basics” methods, I have been putting in more hours on the phone and in-person meetings than ever before. This leads me to mention activity levels. People ask me all the time, how is it that you bill so much? Focusing on these revenue-generating activities each week helps me exceed my target sales and revenue:

  • In-house candidate interviews
  • Job orders
  • Candidate send out interviews at clients
  • Meetings

In-house candidate interviews:
Getting to know each candidate, creating a one-on-one connection, goes a long way toward helping them find a job, especially when they are struggling with the job search process. I try to personally interview four people every day, either in-person or by phone. The majority of my work is locally based, so I am lucky that I can connect with people in person, although for distance searches I utilize my webcam to form a unique bond at the outset. This enables me to better inform candidates about my expectations of them and what they can in turn expect from me as a recruiter.

Using the candidate’s recent interviews as a launching pad to learn what they liked and didn’t like about where they interviewed often opens up a line of communication that helps you learn what is, and isn’t important to them, enabling me to be more efficient on their behalf.

Job orders:
Seem simple enough, but many companies don’t want to pay fees unless they absolutely have to. In these cases, market candidates who are a great fit for the company and the opening they have, but make SURE you come to a WRITTEN mutual agreement on the fees BEFORE anyone crosses their doorstep. Activity levels will vary by specialty, but generating 1 to 3 new job orders a week is a great goal to aim for in any industry.

Candidate send out interviews:
Whether they are phone interviews, breakfast or dinner meetings, or actual on-site interviews, this is the most important step to getting the offer. Each step of the interview process is important so attempting to have one candidate-client interview per day is an excellent goal. This could be a first, second or even third step, but it’s the ONLY step that will get you closer to an offer and acceptance.

Meetings:
Meetings are an important step when establishing relationships with candidates and clients. Again, whether it’s in person or via Skype, there’s no replacing the opportunity to put a name with a face. Your ability to make a personal connection with your clients will set you apart from your competition, who are focusing on fees.

I also count preparing the candidate for their client interview, or interview preps, as “meetings” in my weekly activity report. I learned years ago that no matter how much I planned, made great marketing calls, and even secured a signed fee agreement, if the candidate was not well-prepared for the interview, all my hard work was for nothing. I generally spend more time in the prep than the initial interview and often do them from home in the evenings so as not to be interrupted.

So how many activity points does it take to bill $1M?

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You can easily calculate that based on your specific individual fees and number of annual transactions, but I aim for a minimum of 25 activities per week. That’s only 5 a day. I have a tried-and-proven worksheet that will help you calculate your average transaction and how that breaks down into value per activity.

If you’re interested in a hands-on activity, visit my website for a webinar I recorded that many people find helpful: Goal Setting for Recruiters.

Focus on activities so the placements will follow!

About the Author

Carolyn Thompson resides in the Washington, D.C. area and has been an executive recruiter since 1988. She is Director of Human Resource Services Dixon Hughes Goodman, one of the largest CPA firms in the US. A creative entrepreneur and a certified career coach, she is frequently called upon by national news organizations such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and AOL Jobs among others to contribute content on a variety of topics. Her articles on career development and the employment industry have been published in various national magazines, trade journals, and on the Internet. An enthusiastic motivational speaker, she is a member of the National Speakers Association, The Pinnacle Society, and The International Coach Federation. She is certified by both the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) and the American Staffing Association (ASA) as a continuing education provider. Carolyn is an alumnus of Kansas State University and author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME and TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB, and TEN SECRETS TO GETTING PROMOTED available in select bookstores and on Amazon.com. Her blog can be found at www.JobSearchJungle.com.
  • http://incredibleconsulting.jp Howard Ichiro L

    Great article and great advice,

    As an owner and individual Headhunter/Recruiter here in Tokyo, I really like your emphasis on face-to-face relations versus just phonecalls. Whenever you can do it this is the way to go!, (especially here in Asia where trust is very important, face-to-face meetings are what distinguishes you from other Headhunters in the market).