QUESTION: There are four pieces to my business: Executive search, finance sales, marketing, and ops, recruiting in the same areas for middle on either temp to hire or direct, staffing for manufacturing, call centers, and biotech, and leadership development and coaching as it ties to our executive searches. Our focus is our geographic in nature. I have three recruiters, two support staff, and a brand-new salesperson, and we have lots of job orders with the big ones being retained. I am training everyone and am looking to hire a seasoned recruiter, but I am our best salesperson when I have time. Last year we did very well, but our placements are so much harder now and are taking much longer. The reality is we are losing money. I think I would make much more on my own, but I love my team. What process would you use to create some focus for a new salesperson? – LeeAnn
ANSWER: First of all, that is a good sales process to get retainers, so kudos. However, I would advise against hiring a seasoned recruiter. The reason I say that is while you will be bringing someone on that understands recruiting, you are also taking on their bad habits. It will be much harder to train them in your way of doing the search.
When I brought somebody on to do marketing or new client development, I hired them with no experience in the recruiting business. I would rather train than re-train. I have been in this business for 30 years and it is rare that a colleague wills that their most successful hire was someone with experience. There is always usually whining, moaning, and gnashing of teeth as it relates to the experienced recruiter they hired. Because if they were truly successful somewhere else, why are they coming to you? That is unless they worked in a horribly abusive environment, which they might try to convince you that they have.
In my experience, a nonperformer is a nonperformer. When they come to you with no recruiting experience, you get to mold them your way.
My challenge to you would be to hire somebody without experience and teach them your process. In our coaching programs, we have a bunch of our own processes to help with training new recruiters. Basically, I want to get them on the phone with a goal of 12 marketing conversations per day. If these conversations are successful, they would hand off taking the search to you. They would set up a follow-up conversation between you and the client so you can go deeper into your process and take the search.
The process would be to hire somebody without experience, number one. Number two, train them on marketing 101 and the way you approach the marketplace and hold them accountable to a minimum of 12 conversations a day. These are actual conversations, not email exchanges, not voicemails, 12 conversations a day. Number three, once they find out what the opening is, what the role is, what the duties are, just those two or three areas, to transition to setting up an appointment with you, and then you train them as you take the search in front of them. You might choose to hand them back the opening to work on and then train them as a recruiter.
That is our process for hiring and onboarding a new recruiter in a nutshell.