QUESTION: What do you do after getting a search? How do you organize it? My process right now is sending out the roles to our team of independent recruiters, checking submittals from similar searches, and then writing to LinkedIn/Monster. If I do not find anything for a few days, then I involve my offshore researcher to find folks on LinkedIn. The issue is it tends to take too long to find people. Does it sound reasonable or should I be doing something different?  – Jen

ANSWER: First, I would be getting it to the offshore researcher straight away. Second, when you get a new search, I do not do anything on it that day. The reason is if I have done everything properly, avoiding the word you used, react, or reactor/reaction mode, I do not jump on a new search. I put it into my plan at the end day, and I build it in going forward. Then hopefully I am still working on other searches so then I really have to prioritize where this fits into my existing plan and priorities.   

A team of independent recruiters, those are 50/50 splits if I am not mistaken. If it is a search, I do not want to split it. If you have nine positions, that is different, but just as part of a normal process, if I think I can fill it, why would I give away half?  

If it is something I really do not want to work, that is a great place for a split network. I really do not want to work it, but I have had decent terms. It is a good company with a good story, then I am going to put it out to my split network because I am really not going to invest a lot of time in it.  

To your next point, checking submittals for similar searches, it is not just checking submittals for similar searches, it is doing a keyword search in your ATS for anyone in that geography with that skill set that you have talked to versus just anyone that is in your database.  

Then over to LinkedIn, I would say build a list with your offshore researcher, not just with people on LinkedIn. If the search is something you are truly working on, meaning you have got an exclusive or money upfront, you want to put together a list, depending on your niche, of 50 to 90 people.  

The beauty of this is you might say: I do not have time to do nine searches. Great. Which two have the greatest likelihood for you to fill based on the terms and degree of difficulty? Those are the ones I am going to search on and maybe the remaining seven I turn over to my network.  

Doing this also now gives the ability to top grade, meaning now is the best time for you to market for new business. You do not need more nonexclusive contingent work when you are marketing. You are going to be much more likely, Jen, to have the right dialogue with somebody around the concept of filling the job with the best available person. You can really dig deep for the consequences of the position remaining open, and then reject their terms if they are mediocre or bad.  

In regards to the second part of your question, What resources have you found helpful in learning how to ask better questions? That is a great question. Asking great questions is a lifelong study. A comprehensive book of great questions does not exist. 

The art of asking great questions is the ability to enter the conversation going on in your client’s mind. If somebody gets on the phone and has a need that appears urgent, but they do not want to go exclusive with me or pay my fee. My initial reaction, early in my career would be: I cannot believe they do not want to work with me. 

Over time you begin to learn that this reaction is not productive. Instead, ask yourself: What was it in me that was causing that reaction in them? When I started reflecting on the conversation in that way, I started having better conversations. I would walk people through each section of the search assignment, and get them to imagine what success looks like in that role.   

Part of asking great questions is creating images in your brain. When talking to clients, have them create an image around the situation is regarding the background, and the roles and responsibilities. The real route to do this effectively, Jen, is reflection. When you have an outcome that worked and you maybe you asked a good question, make a mental note and study that specific situation.  

When I do not get the reactions I want, or I was unpersuasive, I always take ownership of those situations and ask, what was it in me? What was it in the way I asked the question that did not help create the clarity with the person that I wanted? Your best resource is your frontal cortex to do that, and it is really becoming a student of what is going on.  

Great question. Thank you.

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