Question:  I am looking to measure and raise my time spent on the telephone. What are the best ways for measuring phone time? The only real way I can see is from having a VOIP phone services that you can track users’ time on a phone. Do you know of any alternatives as I am a solo operator and do not have a big phone system that does call user reporting. Steve L.whZLPZH9Qz2JTAz94yQD_Speaking_on_the_Telephone_Confidently_Speak_on_the_PhoneSpeaking_..

Coach Mike: From my experience, most of the VOIP systems, Steve, have an ability to do call accounting. I am not sure what level you are looking for in a phone system. Otherwise, we had a call accounting system called Tapit by Trisys, Inc.  There are a variety if you just Google “call accounting systems”.  They are relatively inexpensive and will track by phone extension or by phone line and will track total number of calls, average time for call, and total time.

But let me challenge with, because I know you are a tenured guy and mostly, I focus on phone time with rookies. With tenured recruiters, I am more interested in getting presentation count up. Instead of thinking of the time on the telephone, focus on the presentation count. i.e. You have one call. It takes five hours and you spent five minutes figuring out the candidate was not a fit and four hours fifty-five minutes talking about barbeque recipes. Now, that is an extreme exaggeration and I am not accusing you of that. That will be five hours of phone time and on the surface that will look fantastic, but did you accomplish very much?

I had recruiters in my office that did 25 hours of phone time a week and did $200-250,000 in revenue, which is respectable probably in the top 25-30 percent. And then, I had a couple of recruiters in my office that did 11 or 12 hours of connect time that did $500,000-600,000.

In studying this for over 20 years, I found very little correlation with raw phone time and billing success. Where I found a one to one correlation with billing success was with hitting numerical presentation targets. That is a combination of marketing presentations, recruiting presentations and then, talking about the candidates you submit with the client you submit them to.

If you hit 10 presentations as a senior person (combined marketing and recruiting) per day is probably a good target. Without knowing more detail but just a raw prescription without a terribly wonderful diagnoses, but ballpark if you focus on that your phone time will sky rocket as long as you go deep with those conversations. Again, we do not want to spend 30 minutes on the phone with a candidate we know is not qualified.

We want to push it and spend time with a candidates who may not be active.  We want to help them explore what MIGHT make them consider a change. This is kind of like that big fish you are trying to catch who is pulling out a lot of line and it will be a good catch but for whatever reason, you are having difficulty reeling it in. Investing time with this candidate is a great investment because someone like that is often says “Well, you know, I really cannot complain” but they come up with a little of imperfections.

You can then ask “So, what kind of impact is that going to have on your career, not only now, but when you almost have a year, when you only have two years, what is your ability to get where you want to be in your career at your current organization based on the structures your aware of”

We often try to recruit people we have little understanding as to what they want or what their career needs are.  When they are in the moment, right now things are pretty good. The candidate might be ticked off with a few things, but they are not looking forward. The role of a really good recruiter is to get to look out onto a horizon and to see how their existing career is going to get them to destination that they want.

That is why we get into conversations with a lot of candidates where we suggest … ‘sometimes you have to take a step sideways, laterally, so that you can be two steps ahead three years from now because right now” and “If heard you correctly Mr. Candidate, you stay where you are while it is good, there is really not a ton of upside. Did I miss anything?” Then, again, that is a deep conversation focused on your prospective candidate instead of just focusing on raw connect time.