Your 2014 Recruiting Resolutions: How Are You Doing?

Feb 4, 2014

2014 calendar resolutions-freeThe New Year has come and gone and already so have many of our resolutions. This was the year we were going to get more organized, start a regular workout schedule, network more frequently, lose weight, and, of course, make more money.

But statistically speaking, by the end of January’s first week 25% of us already gave up and dropped our resolutions. By the end of June, only 30% of us will still be at it, and by year’s end that number drops to 14%.

Why is this? Why do so few have the resolve to stick with it and achieve their goals? Perhaps we over think the process and make things harder than they should be. True success begins when we resolve to keep it simple. Block out all the noise and don’t get lost in the technology, social media, past failures or successes. The key to winning the recruiting game is simple and can be reduced to three basic components: Activity, Quality and our Target Market.


Consistent activity is the very lifeline of any recruiter’s desk. It’s not all about activity, but activity does account for a great deal, and leads to results. Without it you and your desk die a painful death. Focus on the activities which produce the highest returns, achieve your goals and create success as a recruiter. You must first connect to the people who complete our purpose. Make a connection with a client who agrees to pay — then with a candidate with a marketable background. Connect the client and candidate by arranging a meeting. Then connect with each for feedback afterwards. Finally consummate offers, acceptances, start dates and follow up with quality checks after starts.

Never forget that recruiting is a numbers game. Each recruiter’s success formula will be unique to their skill sets and experience but you must connect to the age old “smile and dial” principle. For each of us, x number of calls will result in one successful placement. Do your own math and make as many calls as it takes to hit your ultimate placement numbers. Without a commitment to the activity, your goals are wasted and unattainable. Make sure that the majority of your day consists of productive activity that relates directly to achieving those goals. Get on the phone, make the calls, make connections and network! Let nothing stand in your way and let your enthusiasm for activity fill the room.


As important as activity is, quality activity is the real game changer. I used to believe that if you made enough cold calls you could not lose as a recruiter. But while recruiting is a numbers game, you cannot expect to spin gold out of thin air. There must be some thought and execution behind your work. Poor, sloppy and inferior work is counterproductive. Hundreds of low quality calls, poorly thought out scripts or questions, and sloppy execution will yield similar results. Jumping on the phones armed with little more than the infamous “got any jobs” calls will pave the way for recruiter disaster. That means a very meager paycheck and an even worse reputation.

The trick is to merge high levels of activity with high levels of quality; quality that is consistent at every stage. How would your clients and candidates characterize the quality of your interface? How strong are your recruiting calls? Marketing calls? Presentations and interviews? How do you take the order? Do you present excellence in all of these areas and all that you do?

A seasoned recruiter utilizes great questions, listening skills, influencing skills and presents options that buyers select. Their ability to counsel clients, create safe environments for truthful conversation and eliminate objections gives them a measurable edge over competitors. Their negotiation and closing skills will leave the parties pleased with the person selected and the chosen career option. It is this level of quality that matters in the equation for success. Take an honest inventory and evaluate the quality of all of your activities. Determine which activity needs to be upgraded first and make that your goal for this month.

Target Market

The third and final component necessary to complete the success equation is choosing the right target market. All of that high quality activity is lost if directed toward the wrong audience. You may be a rock star call performer, but if you only speak to people unable to make hiring decisions or companies with no plans to hire, you lose. You may present a brilliant capacity for the hook and interview, but if it’s wasted on someone lacking marketable talent and skills your client is willing pay for, then you strike out again.

Again we come back to ensuring quality activity when identifying a viable target market. Invest a little time to research your client company as a whole. Is this indeed a quality client? Do they present genuine opportunities for success? If so, are you talking to the actual decision maker? Is your candidate a serious contender in the marketplace with valuable, in-demand skills? Will they interview well? Do they understand the importance of appearance, punctuality and reliability? Are they looking for a career or just their next job?

I realize all this seems like basic recruiting 101, but are you doing it?  Are you applying these principles in your daily work? Goal setting lets us visualize what we need to do but there’s little point if we don’t actually do it. The challenge is to reconcile our intellect with our actions. We know that eating a healthy diet void of sugar and fatty foods will help us achieve our resolution to lose weight, but then we must actually do it.

I’ve spent 20 wonderful years in recruiting. The experience has shown me that the keys to success are simple. We need only apply them to open the doors to our success. Since all positive progress begins with the truth, ask yourself, “What am I doing?” Are you doing enough daily activity? Is there quality in your work? Is it with the right people? The year is still young. Your goal for 2013: Just do it! Apply activity, ensure quality and identify the correct target market. I would love to hear about you success and help you celebrate a great 2014!

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti /
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