The Simple Brilliance of the “I have arranged” Strategy

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Aug 21, 2015
This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.

Author’s note: I am often reminded of Big Biller tactics that work so well they bear being repeated regularly. Such is the technique that leads to a 100% presentation to sendout ratio. I learned this approach years ago from Dan Bolen, the recruiter I call Robocruiter. And just this week I was reminded again how well it works. So, reprinted below is the article I wrote about this amazing strategy.

Dan was a unique recruiter. As a student of our business, he was superb in so many ways. And he taught me so much. One of the techniques for which he is famous is entitled the “I Have Arranged. . .” approach.  I hope you like it.

Once when Dan and I were talking, he told me that he had a 100% presentation to sendout ratio on his company POEJOs. (A POEJO is an acronym that stands for Presentation On an Existing Job Order.  In other words, a JO exists and you are calling back the hiring manager to present a candidate for the opening.)  Most of us run a 25%-50% hit rate on this call, but Robocruiter was at 100%.  This is how he explained this critical call to me.

Robocruiter said that most of us make a fundamental mistake when we initiate this call. We tend to be so excited to have a recruit to present that we go willy-nilly into our presentation without re-qualifying the JO and/or setting the stage for the subsequent interview. We just call in and present our candidate.

At the end of our breathless monologue, we hear the hiring manager say, “Gee, he really sounds good, Bob. Send me his resume.” Or, “Well I don’t know, let me think about it and I will get back to you.”

So, we have basically arranged nothing.  This isn’t quite fair when you consider we were given the job order, or search assignment, with the expectation that it was an urgent matter. We already won once when we wrote the job order. Based on that victory, we then went to our marketplace and expended a lot of time and effort (for free if this was a contingent assignment) betting that anyone we would find would be a match. And now we have received nothing for our hard work. Woe is us!

Robocruiter approached this task a little bit differently. First, after he had recruited his candidates, he would call the HM and re-qualify the JO.

John, remember when you gave me the information on this search assignment you said that the title of the position was ‘X’. Is that still the same? Yes, well that’s good.

And that the duties and responsibilities were ‘Y’. Has that changed at all?  No. Good.

And that the salary range was ‘Z’. Is that still the same? Good.

And that you agreed to pay my 30% fee. Are we still OK there?  Good.

Then he would set the stage.

Then I have some good news for you. I have canvassed the area. I have talked to many potential recruits. And finally I have refined the list down to three who are qualified and are good matches for you and your company.

Then he would set the hook.

So, John, this is what I have done.  I have arranged for these three recruits to be available to speak with you next Monday and Tuesday (as was previously arranged) at 9, 10 and 11.  Now let me tell you a little more about them.

Robocruiter always presented his candidates to his client companies in this way:

  • He first re-qualified the JO.
  • He then set the stage.
  • And finally, he inserted the “I have arranged” close. His central focus was that he had arranged for those people to be there.

In his mind, it was a done deal, so to speak, because it had already been arranged.

This approach works for a couple of reasons.

First of all, hiring managers, and indeed most business people today, have meetings arranged for them. So what you’re doing is fitting into that nice neat package of how they do business anyway. Also, if something’s arranged, it’s going to take place.

Dan used to say,

When you come up to Boise, if I said to you, ‘Let’s have lunch some time while you are here,’ we wouldn’t have lunch. But if I said, ‘I have arranged for us to have lunch at noon on Wednesday at Ruth’s Chris and this is what I want to discuss.’ Now all of a sudden it’s arranged. You can actually picture Ruth’s Chris restaurant and can even visualize the table where both of us will be sitting. It’s an accomplished fact. It’s done. As opposed to me saying, ‘Let’s have lunch this week,’ and then the luncheon never taking place.

This approach absolutely works. Try it and you will see. Just like Robocruiter, you too will attain a 100% SO to presentation ratio when you call back your hiring managers on the JOs you have already written.

This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.
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