Enjoying success in the recruiting profession is challenging, to say the least. Enjoying continued success over a period of years or even decades is more difficult. However, if a search consultant is able to focus on the top factors and strategies of effective recruiting, then overall recruitment success is well within their grasp.
But once again, it’s challenging. Recruiting is, after all, a sales profession, in disguise or otherwise. Anything and everything can go wrong. And if you’ve been working in the profession for any length of time, then you’ve probably seen everything go wrong. (Or it seems like you have.)
So what can you do as a professional recruiter and executive search consultant? So glad you asked! That’s because we are going to draw upon the extensive expertise of Barb Bruno, CPC/CTS of Good as Gold Training to help provide answers.
Recruitment success and attitude
According to Barb, what recruiters should really avoid is playing the “blame game.” Because there are so many variables involved in the recruiting profession, including people on both ends of the sale, it can be tempting to play this game. That’s why, the next time you hear yourself complaining, really listen to what you’re saying.
“You could be blaming others—clients, candidates, co-workers, even the economy—for your lack of recruiting success,” said Barb. “This can greatly limit what you can achieve.”
According to Barb, the level of recruitment success that you experience in the profession is dramatically impacted by three main factors. These factors of effective recruiting are your attitude, your expectations, and your goals.
Effective recruiting starts with what you can control
Everything stems from the proper attitude. Specifically, you must make a choice regarding the attitude that you embrace on an everyday basis.
“You can’t control the economy, clients, candidates, or your co-workers, but you can control how or if you react,” said Barb. “It is extremely empowering when you realize that you have 100% control over how you choose to react.”
The bottom line is that a person’s recruitment success in the profession is determined by the following:
- 10% on what happens to them
- 90% on how they react to what happens to them
“In our profession, the best decision often is to decide not to react,” said Barb. “It’s not easy to be motivated and invigorated every day, and your attitude and expectations have a direct impact on your results.”
Below are three iron-clad facts regarding recruitment success and your attitude:
- You are responsible for your own recruitment success, not your owner or manager.
- You can control your attitude, not your candidates, clients, or co-workers.
- No one can impact your attitude, unless you give them permission.
Recruiting success and expectations
According to Barb, most individuals working in the recruiting and staffing profession are average. However, nobody actually wants to be average. It just sort of . . . happens. However, if you expect to be successful, then you increase the chances that you actually will be successful.
“If you think you can or can’t do something, then you’re right,” said Barb.
Not only that, but these expectations will also show through during your interactions with both candidates and clients. And that’s a good thing.
“The talent you are attempting to represent will sense if you have passion and confidence,” said Barb. “This is especially apparent when you are trying to entice them to send you their resume or CV, as opposed to sending it to other recruiters or utilizing your services to identify top talent.”
Barb urges recruiters to not only expect to be successful, but also to do what is necessary to enjoy recruitment success. This means tracking your activities and doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Like many trainers in the profession, she adheres to the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule.
“The 20% of what you do will provide you with 80% of your results,” said Barb. “If you consistently increase the actions that represent the 20% of your efforts, then you will improve your level of success.”
Recruitment success and setting goals
If you expect to be a top producer in the profession, you must set goals. Then you must put a plan in place for achieving those goals. According to Barb, inconsistent production is usually caused by one of three things:
- You don’t expect to be a consistent top producer (which we’ve already covered).
- Inconsistent work habits
- Lack of focus on results-oriented activity (The Pareto Principle)
The bottom line is that if you expect to be a top producer, then planning is non-negotiable. The consequences of not planning are often painfully obvious. They include fewer placements, the inability to consistently meet and exceed goals, and lower income.
“How many recruiters plan 100% of their outgoing calls before leaving work?” said Barb. “Without a plan, often the urgent things overshadow the important. We have people on both sides of our sale, which make interruptions an almost certainty.”
Planning an effective recruitment and selection process
This is why a commitment to goal setting and plan execution is key. To help with this commitment to the cause, Barb recommends the following three steps:
- Document ten (10) non-negotiable goals in ALL areas of your life.
- Follow each goal with five (5) dated action items.
- Post the goals where you can see them as you work.
“You can and will attain a higher level of success for your reasons, not because your owner or manager wants to have a record quarter or year,” said Barb.
However, that doesn’t mean your professional goal setting will not include the input of your manager. Of course it will. They want you to be a top producer just as much as you want to be a top producer, so it won’t be that much of a stretch to get their buy-in. According to Barb, if your production is inconsistent and you’re not getting the results that you want, segmenting your day could be the solution.
As a result, when you meet with your recruiting manager to discuss your goals, also do the following:
- Target clients and candidates who represent your best business.
- Break goals down into daily goals.
- Commit to achieving your goals.
- Attach your goal to your WIIFM (What’s In It For Me).
- Set your activity level to produce the daily results needed.
In this way, not only will you keep yourself accountable for reaching your goals, but your recruiting manager will also do the same. This further helps to ensure your recruiting success.
The need for effective recruiting without the ‘blame game’
Back to the “blame game.” It can be easy to develop the habit of blaming others for your lack of recruitment success. But as we’ve pointed out, that can turn into a vicious cycle that limits you in multiple ways.
According to Barb, the job of a professional recruiter or executive search consultant is simple. It’s to present talent that their clients will hire and present job opportunities that their candidates will accept. If you focus on that job with the right attitude, you have the proper expectations, and you set goals and commit to meeting them, then there’s no reason to play the “blame game.”
With this in mind, Barb suggests asking the following four questions when something goes wrong on your recruiting desk:
- What could I have done differently?
- How could I prevent this from happening again in the future?
- Do I need to walk away from this client or candidate?
- What new habit will I work on for the next twenty-one days?
“Starting today, realize blaming others limits your recruiting success and your income,” she said. “Instead, realize that every situation you face is a chance for you to learn and grow.”
Effective recruiting with an applicant tracking system
Another key to enjoying more recruitment success is using a CRM tool that can help you set goals and achieve those goals. (For professional recruiters and search consultants, CRM can stand for candidate relationship management and client relationship management.) This is especially the case when you’ve broken those goals into weekly and even daily segments.
Top Echelon offers a recruiting CRM system with a robust Activity Planner. With this feature, you can schedule meetings, events, calls, and tasks. Consequently, you will always know what you need to do, what has already been completed, and what’s overdue. You can also sync an external iCal calendar to the Activity Planner for additional flexibility.
We would love to show you the powerful features and dynamic functionality of our recruiting software solution for search consultants. And we can do that if you request a live demo. One of our account representatives will show you the Activity Planner and every other feature of the software that can help you become a top producer in the profession.
In addition, you can sign up for a FREE 15-day trial of the software. You don’t even need a credit card to do so! With this trial, you can experience the full version of Top Echelon’s applicant tracking system, with no limitations on your usage just because it’s a trial. Click HERE to start your free trial of our top ATS and recruitment CRM!