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They Know

14 Apr

Without question, my job has gotten much more difficult when it comes to getting people on the phone.  Answer your (expletive) phone!  (I often whisper this before you pick up the receiver)  I promise this works as well as pushing the elevator button repeatedly. 

It is tough to get people on the horn – they are busy, time is precious, prepping for a meeting, in a meeting, they don’t recognize your number via caller ID, all that.  It is a challenge.  You need to be ready to compete.

I am completely averse to making these posts about 7 tricks for getting past gatekeepers or 5 words you must use when marketing yourself – just don’t like it.  I will say though – the key is understanding that these calls are a mindset.  I have the tricks but I choose not to post them here because, in all transparency, they are not very glamorous and I choose not to.  If you want some tips and tricks in this arena, you will have to call me.

Recruiting calls, marketing calls are a grind if done with a sauntering spirit.  You better be on a mission.  Recruiters understand this, most jobseekers do not. 

You may be surprised that I still write scripts about my candidates and the positions I am working to fill for my clients.  I have been in this business for 13 years but I need to make stories compelling and even more so -concisely compelling.  Concisely compelling involves wordsmithed thought.  You need to be concisely compelling because the goal is a brief, meaningful conversation that opens a door.

Do you even have a positioning statement?  an elevator pitch?  What do you want to do?  How do you articulate your skill set?  Do you have depth of conviction in these calls or is this a stroll down potential hiring manager lane?  If you sense an interest, do you have a few key questions for the “what next” or are you going to wing it?

Back to the mindset.  You are going to get rejection, you are going to get voicemail, you may get hung up on, and you are going to get frustrated.  It is hard work making these calls but in my professional opinion, it is imperative you reach the hiring manager/decision maker.  A person is going to find you your next position.  It takes people.  It takes connecting with people.  It takes work. 

This post has rambled on all so I could say this – you must be persistent and know that it will take more than a few calls.  Out of my own frustration came the latest epiphany – you gotta earn the right to talk to them.  Your persistence will pay off – it will.  Here is what these decision makers know -

They don’t have to answer.  They don’t have to call you back.  Because THEY KNOW I will go away.  THEY KNOW you will go awayTHEY KNOW.

So DON’T GO AWAY.  Sounds so simple but it can be so difficult.  I am amazed about how many jobseekers go away.  They call me once, leave a half a…you know… a weak voicemail and expect a callback.  I never hear from them again. 

Don’t go away.  Don’t show frustration.  If you aren’t feeling it today, don’t make the calls.  But when you are ready to be “on” – Be on a mission armed with clear, concise, compelling words, conviction in your voice and key questions for the what next.   Just like my mentor always said, “Get on the phone!  I don’t want to see the phone in the cradle today.”

Headhunting Is Dead

4 Nov

It really is too bad that headhunting is gone.  I have always loved that term and finally we bury it in 2009.  Yesterday’s sense of urgency filled headhunter, recruiter dude is a soft, opportunity vending search consultant.  The flesh peddler of old, personnel pimp is nothing more than a clumsy, unassuming boy scout selling popcorn door-to-door to the willing neighbor that feels somewhat sorry for the young man on his merit badge quest.  Would you like to order?  Here is the form.   

It was so much fun while it lasted – yet it is time to put the face paint and war regalia away.  It really is a shame because the concept of headhunting makes complete sense.  Afterall, people do get paid for what is between their ears – their big brains filled with their skill set, business savvy, industry expertise and the sum total of their collective work experience.  We don’t need that though – clients can do it themselves, job seekers can be their own recruiter.  Time is abundant and nightly networking events are there for the taking.  If you are not having a little booze with your schmooze – face it – you will lose.   

Cold calling is dead too – don’t ya know?  The word “phone” has disappeared.  I have a personal communication device.  Exactly.  It’s right here with me and my butt dials it more than my fingers push 7 digits consecutively.  I can friend you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, add you to my network on LinkedIn – all if YOU allow.  Then and only then.  It is progress but social media is taking over and well, that close human interaction of actually conversing, speaking, listening, understanding is just not the direction thought leaders are pointing us.  You can’t just reach out and touch someone.  No, no. 

I need to email you first.  I need to review a job description and get back to you sometime before Christmas.  Look, I am cringing as I write these first few paragraphs.  I love the social media stuff.  I love twitter – I have met some great people on there.  I think LinkedIn is a great tool.  Facebook is a great place for me to put pictures of my 2 cute offspring and share my drunken exploits and rock star lifestyle with my friend portfolio – and the vast number of groupies – gotta keep the groupies happy.

Yes, the landscape is changing.  Recruiters are dropping out of the biz because of all this, you can get access to people like never before, but heads are still being hunted.  Oh, yes – they are.  Here is the world according to me (I love this part) - a recruiter that “gets it” brings a sense of urgency, engaged ears, and a professional opinion that manages interactions in a depersonalized fashion.  In other words, you can’t say what I say.  The new recruiter is an artisan of seamless, defining moment creation.  Kumbaya.

The candidate experience.  Wow, that sounds heady.  The total interview experience needs a filter – a filter that manages the message, that eliminates guesswork, that spews reassurance, that capitalizes on momentum, that constantly qualifies, that looks out for selfish interest yet keeps you realistic, that only brings people together that are heading on a collision course, a filter that tells the truth and does the work.  Headhunting is not dead – it just looks a little different.  Instead of telling you that you look like crap – we walk with you to the mirror, ask you to take a good long look at your own self, describe what you see and have an image consultant waiting in the next room.  So – while I may not be hunting heads – I still carry a spear wherever I go – I hand it to you – let you impale yourself and I will take it from there. 

by Andy Gregory

Let’s Get This Candidate In For A Pageant – Part 1

2 May

Given that I am Thought Leadership for you people, time to lead with some thoughts.  The recent Miss USA pageant was wrought with controversy and I think we can learn something hear to revolutionize the hiring process.  More on the controversy surrounding later.  Let's highlight a few lessons.

I like the fixed time frame of a pageant.  When you tune in everyone knows, by the end of the evening we will know who the next Miss USA will be.  It is a closed-ended process.  At the end of the night, Donald Trump is not getting out of his seat and saying, "I am sorry folks we are still looking for Miss USA."  What way do you approach your hiring process?  Hiring Manager – do you show up for the interview anticipating hiring someone?  ready to crown your new CFO – Miss CFO of the company?  Do you expect to like someone?  Are you in the mood to establish chemistry?  Are you ready to sell the opportunity on why people want to work at your place, on your team? 

Candidates – do you have Vaseline on your teeth and other pageant tricks - ok – maybe a breath check?  the right tie?  How is your presence you as you walk across the stage of questioning?  Are you serious or are you just really hoping to get Miss Congeniality or as some would call this – interview practice.  I cringe when I hear this.  C'mon.  If so, stay home and you won't have to be all nervous and anxious if you get to the talent competition.

Some of you on both sides of the interview equation are coming to the party far too concerned about the process, concerned with getting practice.  Let's enjoy the pageant and refocus on the prize – a new gig and someone who complements the team.  Congratulations.

I’ll Have What They Are Having

17 Mar

I have been recruiting for 11 years now.  I have seen a lot.  A lot of mediocre offers.  A lot of good offers.  Some great offers.  Incredible benefit packages.  Flexible schedules.  Companies where you get your birthday off.  On-site health clubs.  On site dining.

Tobacco companies where you can smoke at your desk.  Stock options, equity positions.  Ridiculously flexible work from home type scenarios, nice education benefits, relocation packages that went over and above. 

Companies that provide coaching from the start for key executives to help ensure their success.  Great work environments, memberships to clubs,season tickets, company cars, access to suites at sports venues, all that perk crap you see.

However, the one thing I have never seen is a contractually obligated bonus.  These three words have never been used consecutively until now.  It doesn’t exist – oh but at AIG it does.  Shame on the individuals that took taxpayer money and paid these bonuses.  Shame on AIG.  The people that received the bonus are not the bad guys – although they will get their judgement when seeking their next gig. 

I think we all need to agree with Leno – “AIG stands for Adventures in Greed.”  Well said, Jay.  Hey, AIG employees get your resumes ready and be sure to return your contractually obligated bonus so you can say you did, when you are seeking your next gig.  That will set you apart and salvage your future career because you will not retire from AIG.  Too big to fail – hilarious.  Too stupid to succeed – i think that’s right.  I think I read somewhere it is pride that comes before destruction. 

You have never received a contractually obligated bonus but you are paying them.  How about paying attention?

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