Mar 1, 2008

Q. I’ve been a recruiter for only six months and don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I work harder than everyone else in my office, but I’m not hitting my goals. What advice would you give someone who really wants to get good at this job?

Frustrated Rookie, Houston, TX

A. Dear Frustrated: You are in the best profession at the best time in history. Unfortunately, hard work does not ensure success. You need to focus on results-oriented activity and know exactly what “RESULTS” you need to achieve on a daily basis to hit the goals you set.

Your job in two words is “BOOK SENDOUTS.” My definition of a sendout is an interview (either phone or face-to-face) between a candidate and a decision-maker. Every day ask yourself “where is my sendout today?” and focus on increasing your number of sendouts every month. Go over your personal stats for the first six months and calculate your sendout-to-placement ratio. If you have to send out six people before one gets hired, you now know exactly how many sendouts you need to book to hit your production and income goals.

Also observe where the top billers in your office are putting their efforts. They know how to smell money and only work on hot orders. Also research where your office has made placements in the past 12 months. If you duplicate the same type of job order, chances are there are candidates in your database who surfaced after the placement was made who could possibly fill your order. Don’t give up – this is an incredible career!

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS

Q. Dear Barb: Please accept my condolences about the death of your mother. I understand that she worked for you and know what a special arrangement that is – my daughter works in my office. I couldn’t help but think of the advice you gave another owner about living trusts vs. having a will. You are obviously dealing with the passing of a loved one right now and I wondered if you still feel the advice you gave was worth investigating?

John P., Las Vegas, NV

A. Thank you for your kind words. I feel stronger than ever that every person who has assets worth more than $50,000, should have a trust. You want to CONTROL everything but personally own nothing! You don’t want the government or the probate process to deplete the assets you want to leave the individuals you love. I am not an attorney but could refer you to someone who is an expert in this field and actually designed my trust. I feel very comfortable referring you to Steven W. Allen at email:

Q. We are writing 10 times more job orders than we’re filling. I need to hire but don’t know where to start. My last two hires didn’t last 30 days. How do you identify someone who has the potential of being successful in our profession? I can’t afford to take time to train a new hire, but I can’t afford not to hire. I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. When I think of all the money being lost by not filling 90% of the orders we’re writing, it’s frustrating. I know my current team doesn’t want to break in a rookie, but I have no choice.

Steve R., Boise, ID.

A. We are experts at finding top talent for our clients, but often find it difficult to find talent for our own offices. Take time to review your current hiring process. If you do not have a system for hiring, consider the following:

1. Create a detailed job description, including the good, bad, and ugly about our profession. Include in the job description the traits you look for (i.e., self starting, high achiever, great communicator).

2. Write down expectations that you share with potential new hires. One list is what they can expect from you, the other what you expect from them – minimum standards of performance.

3. Create a structured interview consisting of the top 20 questions you want answered.

4. Only hire individuals who have sales experience.

5. Involve your sales team in the interview process – off premise. It’s amazing what you learn over lunch when the setting is more informal.


6. Ask the prospect to spend three hours in your office “observing.” After 30 minutes of observing your team make recruiting calls – bring them in and ask them if they could make those calls. One out of three will either say no or “how long do I have to make those calls before I don’t have to make those calls?” Obviously, these are screened out.

Give them a 10-minute train-ing session, give them a list, and ask them to complete recruiting presentations with the goal of getting resumes emailed to your office. Actually DOING the job is much different than HEARING about it.

7. Check business and personal references. Personal references have no filter.


We have had tremendous success hiring individuals with the following experience:

1. Hotel Sales (sales or catering office)
2. Retail Sales (multi-unit supervisors)
3. Outside Sales Reps

The individuals with hotel and retail experience work 60+ hours a week, plus weekends, evenings, and holidays. Many outside sales reps are tired of the travel and door-to-door aspect of their career. As these individuals are selling their services, you are conducting an interview. Always look for over-achievers. If someone has been an over-achiever for someone else, they will do the same for you.

Once you hire this person you must provide them with consistent training throughout their career if you want them to become a top producer for you.

It is really not the job of your current team to “break in” the new hire. Training also helps you retain your high achievers. Hire them right, train them right, and watch your profits SOAR!

If you do not have a consistent training program, or if your program is information overload, call 219.663.9609 to schedule a demo of the Top Producer Tutor, the #1 Web-based training program that jump-starts new hires and elevates experienced recruiters to a new level of success. If you complete a demo you will receive one of Barb’s 14K Gold Series Books (value $99) FREE. Hire them right, train them right, and watch your profits SOAR!

Q. You referred to “climbing the ladder” in your last free owner teleconference call and you lost me. Can you explain what you meant?

Joan T., Elkhart, IN

A. I suggested that you should become proficient at the level of candidate you are currently placing. You want to establish strong production and a reputation of expertise. Once you have attained success for two years, it’s time to climb the ladder. You should now also place the supervisor, of the level of candidates you currently represent.

The easiest part of climbing the ladder is you have talked to these candidate each time you checked a reference. You also have hundreds of candidate names in your files; they are listed as the supervisors of your current candidates. When you climb the ladder, fees escalate because salaries are higher, which of course translates into increased income for you! You now develop an expertise at this new level for two years and then you “climb the ladder” again.

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS, offers a weekly FREE training article – go to If you’d like to hire Barb to mentor and train your new hires as well as elevate your experienced recruiters to new levels of production, you OWE IT TO YOURSELF to call her office today at (219) 663-9609 and request a demo of her Top Producer Tutor, which is revolutionizing the way training is being offered in recruiting firms in the United States as well as abroad. Anyone who schedules a demo during the month of March will receive a free PDF copy of Barb’s book “Attract, Hire, Train and Retain Top Producers,” which outlines Barb’s hiring process. This Web-based program is a Lifetime Training Tool that will become the way your company delivers consistent training. You can download your current training materials into the tutor.

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