Recruiters: When Was the Last Time You Weeded Your Garden?

Dec 16, 2009

Have you ever planted dandelions? Do you have a special garden for them? No? Then why do they show up? Why does any weed end up in your garden if it is not planted?

Weeds, like negative thoughts, spread quickly. The people we talk to, both clients and peers, spread them to us. We then spread them to our team. They are watered every day by more negative thoughts and conversations. Just like invasive plants need to be pulled from a garden, negative thoughts need to be manually removed from your mind.

I was reminded about this when I had the privilege of speaking with over 30 owners of recruiting firms in a 30-minute strategy session about setting a vision in their business.

With the exception of one person, the good news is they are all seeing nice increases in their businesses. Some even saying they are getting a consistent flow of call-in job orders for the first time in months!

Despite this uptick in the business, a few of the folks were a bit “beat up” by the economy over the past year. This is quite understandable. However, I challenged them and I challenge you to “tend to your mind.”

Let me explain with a real example from a client conversation last week.

He was weary of making calls to hiring managers because “almost no one is hiring.” I asked if he held that thought in his head when the hiring manager picked up the phone to which he responded, “well, yeah.” What he didn’t realize is that he had set a negative expectation for the outcome of the call.

Why is this bad? Well, unless someone is desperate to hire, you will probably get what you expected, which is “no opening”. Additionally, with a negative expectation, your energy is probably low and you will probably ask weak follow-up questions. You are more likely to be unattractive and unsophisticated as a potential service provider. You are very likely to make even fewer calls because “why bother if no one is hiring!”

As Napoleon Hill says in Think and Grow Rich, “Thoughts are things!”

Continuing with our analogy, thoughts can be like the weeds described above. They can be transferred to us effortlessly by others, by the market, etc. They take root and grow without any conscious effort on our part.

On the other hand, if we want good fruit, good vegetables, and the GOOD thoughts, we need to MANUALLY plant them in the garden that is our minds.

Why Did YOU Get Into This Business?

You see, in this economy, holding positive expectations and manually planting them can be a sizable effort. I speak to so many people who have lost their purpose and vision, who are living placement-to-placement.

Frankly, many are bored and burnt out. When I ask why they are in the business, they are not sure.

When I ask why they got into the business in the first place, they paint vivid and exciting pictures of what they wanted for themselves and their families.

You see the good fruit, the good thought is still there, but it is buried in the weeds!

  • First, remember why you got into the business in the first place. Go to a quiet and calm place where you can reflect on your motivations that got you into the business. What was this business to allow for you in your life? More than likely, the outcome is still there. It just needs the weeds removed around from it. It just needs some water.
  • Second, end the “pity party” and get back on the phone. The recruiting industry will still generate BILLIONS of dollars in fees this year. You heard me right. The recruiting industry will generate BILLIONS of dollars in fees this year. What insignificant piece of that number do you need to hit your goals?
  • Third, track your numbers to create predictability and consistency in your revenue streams. Focusing on placements is insane because we can not control placements, but we CAN control activity, as well as call and presentation count. Ironically, 80%-90% of the industry does NOT track presentation count even though it is the most accurate predictor of future revenues. If you are not tracking marketing and recruiting presentations along with first time interviews you choose to make your job VERY difficult.
  • Fourth, invest in yourself. If you look at going to seminars or buying training as an expense and not an investment, shift your mindset. I remember hiring a coach when I could least afford it. I needed someone to guide me and see things I could not see. It wasn’t cheap and I had to sacrifice other things short term, but it paid for itself at least ten-fold.

Times are different — but get over it! Rediscover why you chose this career in the first place. Help your recruiters rediscover why they entered the business. Set some specific goals around that and then execute your plan and invest in the areas you need help.

Aren’t you worth it?

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