I have heard you emphasize repeatedly the importance of metrics with the end goal of hitting a goal of certain number of presentations per day, per week. What counts as a “presentation”? Ken from Denver, CO

ANSWER: Great question with a very simple answer.  But first, let me explain why physically counting presentations is so important.  The biggest mistake I made earlier in my career and that I see recruiters make now is that the only thing they really count are placements!  The placement is a RESULT of a lot of hard work.  We all know we need to have job orders and that we need to arrange interviews to make placements. We know to get job orders and interviews we need to have conversations with hiring managers and candidates.

` Most recruiters don’t realize they can actually set a billing goal and reverse engineer, PRECISELY, what needs to happen on their desk every day to hit their billing target.  The reason we count presentations is to know if we are on track for our billing goal!

Having said that- a marketing presentation would be a phone conversation with somebody in a position to hire. The call could be short as you hearing, “All recruiters are pond scum, we never use them” and they hang up on you. This is a worst case scenario, but it counts.  Same thing on the candidate side. You are looking for an engineer, you talk to an engineer (not their spouse, wife, significant other, partner, son, daughter, relative) and, again, they can be short and blunt “I do not want to talk to recruiters,” and hang up on you. If it is a live presentation, it counts.  A returned voicemail with the same thing does not count because you do not have the opportunity to ask follow up questions.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you can count whatever you want. The way I kept myself honest with myself is I did not count return voicemails and emails that were not what I wanted because neither offered the opportunity for dialogue. So, I had a strict definition of presentation–that required I was on the phone with them live. Now, I might talk to somebody, just to further that definition. Ken, I call you today and you say “Hey, Mike, you know, call me on Monday. I do not have any time to talk right now,” I am going to count it as one now. When I call you back on Monday, I am not going to count it again, because it is a continuation of the same phone call.

Now to a totally different scenario:  I talk to you today and I say “I’m working with a small company, blah, blah, blah. You’re a candidate,” and you say, “No, I do not want to work for a small company. If I ever left, I would like to go to a bigger company with more stability” and they describe something. I call you back early next week because I ran across a new opening at a larger company, and I call you a second time on a different opportunity. It is a new presentation because it is not a continuation of the same phone call. That’s just the distinction.

For example, sometimes when you start doing an assessment of a candidate, doing a data sheet on them, or same thing on the marketing side–you start taking a job where it could take two or three calls to complete, you do not count each one of those. That is a total of one.  If you have different opportunities to present a candidate, each one counts as a different one.