Jon Bartos’ Tips to Recruiting Success

Jun 9, 2010

On a 99-degree day in Vegas, Jon Bartos told Fordyce Forum attendees some of what’s made him a recruiting success.

  • Attitude matters. “There’s no time for loser recruiters,” he said, smiling (as he played the Queen song “We Are the Champions”).
  • Practice the “golden rule.” Bartos’ gold-plated guideline is to never let an offer go out that could cause a candidate to say, “let me go away and think about it for a while.” You need to know what they need and want before the offer comes in. Bartos will kill a deal partway through the hiring process if it’s not going to work out, but he doesn’t wait for surprises at the end.
  • Manage time better. “We all just have to watch what we spend our time on,” he says. Some of the culprits he mentions: chatting with family on non-emergency calls, as well as picking up the phone to take incoming calls when you’re not sure who’s calling.
  • Change how you seek new business. You may be spending too much time pursuing new clients, and not enough getting more business and connections from existing clients.
  • Use technology more wisely. Repeat the same processes (if they work), rather than reinventing them. Develop a research/recruiting checklist that works for you and stick with it.
  • Deliver within 3-5 days.
  • Make sure you’re working realistic, quality assignments. Bartos measures job orders on an A-B-C scale; if a client wants a VP who it’ll pay $50,000, for example, in a region where salaries are $75,000, that’s a red flag.
  • Pre-qualify and re-qualify. You may, for example, be very surprised to find your candidate — even a very high-income earner — has declared bankruptcy. Depending on the job, that may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s the kind of thing you can miss by making assumptions.
  • Set expectations. The candidate needs to know what to expect from you, such as when you’ll be returning their calls. At the same time, they should know what you expect from them.
  • Be insightful. The more you know a client, the more you know a candidate, the more you know an industry, the better off you’ll be. “You have to know the marketplace better than everyone else,” he says. “You get that, and guess what: game over.”
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