QUESTION: I work with large companies and everything is going through HR and VMS systems.  How do you get around this?  – Nigel, London, UK  

ANSWER: I did not work with large companies and honestly do not know how to get around that with relatively little effort.  I didn’t target large companies when I was working high tech, and my clients that are working in almost every niche do not target large companies. They work with smaller to mid-size organizations.  Many recruiters will say that this does not work in my niche.  Yes, it does. 

I am not saying this does not work, but my honest assessment is, I have not had a client that when I took him out of the Fortune 1000 size companies and I put him into companies between startup phase and $215 million and we talked about all the marketing strategies that I teach, did not have a quick turnaround in the level of cooperation on the upside and the level of bureaucracy significantly decreasing when they went after smaller companies.

So the best advice I would give you is within that market niche that you are working, hire a researcher and/or start developing companies.  Tech startup was really viable because they were a growth, but $10 or $20 million to $250 million, and for me the sweet spot was actually startup to $60 or $70 million.  That is where the best of the best was.  The way to work around it is to avoid it.  

There are just so many levels of approval that occur in a Fortune 500 company.  The only way I have successfully gotten into large companies, and I did with a couple, was when I was walked by the hand, figuratively, down the hall by an executive who got me variances on their fee agreements and on their systems and the processes where I would involve human resources, but still work directly with the executive.  

In every one of the situations where that occurred successfully, I had a relationship with the executive from a smaller company.  So, I am not saying there is not a process out there that does not work.  Just knowing the other trainers and coaches in the recruiting industry pretty well, there are little techniques, but you might have a pocket with one person in a big company but it is incredibly difficult.

Great question.  I hope that helps.