I am constantly reminding recruiters that, while they don’t have control over very much in their professional lives, they do have control in four main areas. Those main areas are as follows:
1. Their attitude
I like to re-tell the story I first heard from Leo Buscaglia about the central character in the book by Alexander Solzhenitsyn titled, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
According to Leo, Ivan was thinking back on his day in the brutal Soviet prison camp in which he was interned. Apparently Ivan always awoke in the middle of the night starving to death. So, earlier in this day he had hidden a scrap of bread from breakfast in his shirt so he would have something to eat in the middle of the night.
Ivan then thought back on his day. He got to work on the brick wall all day and he enjoyed that type of work. And he worked on the warm side of the wall where the wind chill factor was not as high. And the guards didn’t physically abuse him this day. And the guards didn’t curse at him this day. And now he had a scrap of bread to eat in the middle of the night when he awoke starving to death. Ivan looked back on this day and thought, “Today was a great day!”
Recruiters complain over the littlest things. They complain because their database is not working smoothly or their niche is too small or they can’t reach their hiring manager on the phone and yet Ivan, who had every reason in the world to complain, didn’t. You do, indeed, have control over your attitude! More on this later.
2. The number of daily calls they make
No one stops you from picking up the instrument and talking into it. That is all about you.
3. The ability to hone their professional skills
Cavett Robert, the great sales trainer, used to say, “You can’t be so busy chopping wood that you don’t occasionally stop to sharpen your ax.”
4. Their goal setting, daily planning, and organization
This includes the tracking of numbers and knowledge of the ratios generated.
Goal setting is central to success. And these goals must be written down. If they are not in writing, then they are wishes, not goals. In the powerful words of Robert A. Heinlein, “In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.”
Daily planning is the second key to success. “Winging it” will only work in the short term and will never uncover meaningful numbers. Only by understanding the numbers will you be able to ascertain the ratios and be able to effect change when, and if, needed.
When an office (or an individual desk) goes into a funk, it is usually because we have lost control over these “givens.” We have got to regain that control and reestablish good habits.
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Bob Marshall of TBMG International, founder of The Marshall Plan, has an extensive background in the recruiting industry as a recruiter, manager, vice president, president, consultant, and trainer. In 2016, Marshall is celebrating his 36th year in the recruiting business. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 770.898.5550. Marshall’s website is www.themarshallplan.org.