by: DOUG BEABOUT, CPC
billing search consultants or recruiters are always in the right place at the right
Is this an accurate
statement? Sometimes it seems so. However, the most successful and powerful people in the
history of the world are always in the right place at the right time with the insight
necessary to succeed. The most successful and powerful search consultants seem to share in
that same advantage of "being in the right place at the right time".
Does this all depend on being
lucky? In a word NO! Successful search consultants make their own
"luck". To gain the necessary insight in a situation, a search consultant must
do several things. First, ask the right questions. Second, have the judgment to
effectively discern the answers or "read the green" as duffers say.
If you distill everything we
have to sell in the placement business down to its essential elements, you only have time
and information to sell. Given that time is a static reality providing all of us the same
168 hours each week the obvious variable in success or failure must be the
element of insight. Insight is simply INFORMATION, in the possession of the
individual at a certain time that enables that individual to proceed--- and make their OWN
LUCK by exploiting the INFORMATION appropriately. Those are the ingredients required
making a success of a circumstance and an event in time. Therein lies the power!
Nearly every placement that
failed can trace the cause of its demise to a critical piece of information of which
we were not aware, should have asked for, or worse, glossed over in our efforts to
"hustle". Hustle is very critical in a time sensitive business like ours. Hustle
for the sake of speed without direction reminds me of a speedboat without a rudder.
Knowing how to evaluate and use the information we gain is the insight that brings
The sources of information
are many and vary from deal to deal. No one answer is correct for every situation we
encounter. The information we require IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE. The basic information given by
our client in the form of a job description always falls short of what we need to help
them solve critical talent requirements. Suppose, for the sake of argument, we take the
best qualified candidate and we simply read the "job description" to him or her.
Gauge their reaction! Do they fall all over themselves to leave work for an interview? Put
their home up for sale? Leave the political inner-circle at their employer (they have
sweat blood to be accepted into)? relocate their children?, convince their working spouse
to do the same?, and completely change their lifestyle just because you and your client
want it? Obviously, they need to know a lot of information to accept the offer.
Serious candidates need to
know why the job your client wants to fill is an opportunity for their career and family.
That is right
I said family. Face it, the Eighties are over. The Nineties are nearly
over and quality of life rules the hearts and minds of our candidates, not
greed. Some one grumbles, "Well, it used to be that way." And it was! This adage
is getting enough age on it to be called an "old adage", Nine out of ten
candidates turn down offers for reasons other than money". Candidates will accept an
offer of employment if the "money is right", but only after personal, career and
family issues are satisfied. They also lean very hard on the excuse of inadequate
compensation when rejecting an offer. The truth, in many cases, is that hidden issues left
unsatisfied or ignored often causes the "turn-down". In other words, a lack of
INSIGHTFUL INFORMATION killed the deal.
How do you find this golden
Start with the search
assignment. Probe your client contacts thoroughly to learn every single advantage of the
position. Know what the recent history of the position reveals. Did your client promote
the predecessor? Is the manager on an upward track and about to leave an opportunity for
advancement in his or her wake? What side roads exist to other technical or professional
advancement opportunities in the company or its divisions? The insights as to why the job
is an opportunity must be discovered when you take the search. What must the successful
candidate do in the first thirty days, sixty, ninety days, six months or first year to
succeed? These nuggets lead to the main vein of gold.
You need to understand why a
candidate would leave their current situation. Determine everything they would love to see
in the right position, employer, community and manager. Once your candidate feels you
understand these things. You then align the specific advantages of the
"opportunity" to the needs and desires of the candidate. Do not fall back on the
weak tactic of using clichés. Do not tell them it is a "great" opportunity with
a "really good" company. Tell them why the opportunity is great and why the
company is a good employer.
Demonstrating your knowledge
as an extension of the clients company will aid you in gaining control over the
decisions and actions of the candidate. Techniques and tips on how to gain these insights
are thoroughly discussed in the Power Recruiting seminar.
Candidates rarely do what we
tell them to do because we want them to do so. They will do far more for us if we first
make them feel understood. Many minor candidate concerns vaporize once they fully
understand how a position can address their perceived needs and value system. Learn it!
Once we have clearly aligned the advantages of the position to the needs of the candidate,
the candidate will start demonstrating emotional attachment to the opportunity. Candidates
must show this level of desire or they cannot be closed!
Why go to all this trouble?
The majority of our
candidates have families or significantly positioned people in their lives when we call.
This reality poses a challenge to search consultants. This challenge lies in the fact that
our candidates rarely make totally autonomous decisions in considering an offer of
employment. A partnership-based decision is typically the norm. We need to find out, from
the "other partner" what is most important to them as well. Beware of the
candidate that puffs up their chest and says "Dont worry, I make the decisions
in this situation". That is the one who comes to us, tail between their legs (usually
on the Friday before the start date) and says" I have been doing some thinking
I dont think I can accept this offer
there are some things my
partner doesnt like about this whole thing". Be the caring
professional that shows honest interest in the needs and wants of the "other"
person in this decision process. Stay in touch with all parties involved. Find out
whatever they need to know and care about having. Information overload is an essential
practice of the best billers. The "other" person, once sold on the opportunity
and its advantages, becomes your advocate not your nemesis.
Search consultants do not
employ the services of fortune-tellers or mediums to succeed. Therefore, we must learn
everything possible in advance of the cold call to our prospective candidate. We first
establish an awareness of the clients opportunity, the advantages of the company as
an employer and the community as a place to relocate to and live. We then "mine"
out the additional facts as our probing efforts reveal the candidates specific areas
of concern and interest. The power and advantage of knowledge is indisputable in our
business. The top billing search consultants learn what they can in advance. They
cultivate further sources of information as required. They probe clients and candidates
early in the process. They have the required insights and information as objections arise
or questions arise. They are proactive, not reactive.
When we pick up that phone to
call a prospective candidate and possess an in-depth understanding of why this really is a
"great opportunity", we are infinitely more effective at recruiting the
Our knowledge becomes belief
and belief is very compelling to the listener. Real power lies in knowing what we need and
settling for nothing less than professionalism. Do not be led astray by the heat of
battle, the infatuation of a search or the pressures of commissioned income. To become a
top billing consultant find the GOLD in the information you acquire and the
insights it provides you to be in the right place at the right time.