Nudge Neil: Boost Your Network

Jan 20, 2010

Q. Neil, I have been trying to take advantage of the slowdown to network with a lot more candidates for my future relationships. However, I was wondering if you have any tips to make it easier to source names?

A. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that I am now getting more and more questions about the candidate side of the biz!

Sure, job orders still aren’t the easiest to come by, but the good recruiters know that the Yin to the recession Yang is that there are now great super candidates around who would have been virtually impossible to connect with a few years ago. The GOOD ONES know that this is the time to seize those relationships that will yield plenty of fruit in the future!

It makes me cringe when people tell me that they aren’t recruiting as much because they “don’t have to.”

“Job orders are what we need,” they tell me. The candidate flow drops and the focus on recruiting dwindles. They say they have plenty of people to fill any jobs they get. BUT THEY MISS the point, don’t they! So, I hope you are a good one and that you get that this is the time to CARPE DIEM! Work your tail off to meet and network with as many candidates as possible. You know how that works. Just like LinkedIn, they tell someone about you who tells someone and voila. The more you meet, the more leads you get (that’s a whole different topic), the better the quality of your sendouts (or temp fills), the less likely a falloff will be (or shortened assignment), the more likely you will get unsolicited candidate referrals from them, the more likely some will turn into clients in the future, yada yada yada.

So, start recruiting and sourcing! Now, remember this very simple tip. First, NEVER ask someone “who do you know who is looking.” UGGGGH!!! We never care about that. We just want to know good people. In fact, we just ask them to point us in the direction of any good people, “regardless of whether they are looking or not, in fact, I am sure they are not.”

That said, this still doesn”t work well, and you know it. That is why most recruiters stop asking it all of the time! Lets face it: when you ask someone that, even if you ask it the right way, they will likely tell you the famous “nobody comes to mind.” Well, that is the normal reaction. So, what you have to do is make them “come to mind.” And you simply do that via the power of visualization. It is quite simple, but to get someone to come to mind you need to direct the mind and put them in the mind.

ALWAYS ask very specific visual questions when sourcing. For example, instead of “who do you know who is really good,” you can ask a better question: “who do you know who is really good in your current department.” Even better: ask them to “picture their office right now and think of all of the players there in your discipline. Then ask them to think of the person or people who everyone seems to respect or who the go-to people are. Get it? If you recruit BIG 4 CPAs, for example, ask them to go back to last year when they sat in the bullpen waiting for an assignment and ask them who those people were and who were the good ones who were always requested. In other words, just ask very specific questions so that they can place their mind in the right place. Then, it’s just about impossible for most people to say that “nobody comes to mind.” Happy sourcing!

Ask Neil any question that is vexing you! Have trouble closing deals or selling? Neil can help! To ask your question and possibly have it published online, email Neil at and put the words Nudge Neil in the subject.

Neil Lebovits, CPA, CPC, CTS, before taking the industry by storm as a trainer, was a global president for Adecco, where he sat on the global executive team. Previously, he was the president and COO of Ajilon Professional staffing for North America, where he oversaw over 100 offices. He has done it all in the industry: Permanent & Temporary Placement, Sales, Branch Management, Regional Management, COO, & President. He founded his industry training & development company, http://www.TheDynamicSale.Com, in 2009. He shares the secrets and systems that he has developed and harnessed while working himself up over his 20+ years in the industry. A renowned leader, motivator, trainer, and speaker, he has appeared on Bloomberg TV, CNN, ABC news, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Smart Money. Learn more about Neil and sign up for his free online training course at www.TheDynamicSale.Com.

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