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NAPS 2012 – Lessons for Staffing Firms (part 1)

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Just got back from the NAPS 2012 conference. Terrific event!

If you missed it, I’m going to share a few blog posts this week recapping some of the lessons I learned. Let’s start with the opening Keynote presentation from one of the recruiting industry’s favorite trainers, Danny Cahill.

Lessons for Staffing & Recruiting Firms from NAPS 2012

1) Lessons on Human Nature and Recruiting

  • To improve productivity, create quiet time for your recruiters — time to think — time where they are not on the phone or email. For example, at Intel, managers and engineers are not allowed Internet access on Tuesday mornings.
  • Today, we are so overwhelmed with information that we have become afraid that no one is listening. To engage people, show them you are interested in what they have to say.
  • Candidates are lost in regard to whom to trust. You will never get the right to represent a candidate unless your first gain his or her trust.
  • We want someone to tell us what to do (candidates especially). But it has to someone with whom we have a real relationship (one consisting of mutual dependence and mutual obligation).
  • When you are fully committed to do something you don’t need will power. When you are forcing yourself to have will power, you probably won’t stick with the activity for long.

2) Lessons on Time Management

  • Be ruthless with your time.
  • Create templates for all your common emails.
  • Start every search with an email blast to potential candidates, then direct recruit.
  • Only reply to emails when necessary (it’s okay not to respond).
  • Multitasking is a myth – focus!
  • Work in blocks of time on a focused activity and take breaks.
  • Make plans for each month, week and day.
  • Only gather deep information on people you can help. Tell others to go away (nicely).
  • The role of a researcher is find contact information and prepare plans, not to dig up names.
  • Shorten emails by 50% – people don’t read.
  • Email must fit on one phone screen.
  • Only purpose of email is to get people to engage.

3) Tracking Performance Metrics

  • Momentum matters. Number of calls doesn’t! Momentum are activities that are advancing the outcome you want.
  • When determining what activities to track, review:
    – What is the activity?
    – What is the trajectory of activity? (Is it moving a sale forward)
  • Check out Insight Squared, a tool for metrics. It can help you make sense of your CRM data.

4) Differentiation and Marketing

  • Speed is the solution, and the best value proposition that HR hears.
  • HR believes they can find quality. Tell them we can find a candidate faster!
  • Get a resume in to the employer within 24 hours.
  • Focus on clients that will hire fastest.
  • Speed validates value of fees (people will pay more for a faster hire).
  • Speed allows for coasting – best people can’t work hard all the time.
  • Prorate fees based on time to fill, for example:
    – 7 days 1/3 fee
    – 14 days 30%
    – 21 days 25%
    – More than 28 days 20%
  • We must become referral centric not match centric – focus your recruiting efforts on getting a referral rather than trying to find the perfect match (referred candidates get placed more than direct recruiting!)
  • LinkedIn is killing us – made us lazy not doing real recruiting. If all you are doing is finding candidates via LinkedIn, you are not digging deep enough – or doing things HR cannot do for themselves.

Thanks to Danny Cahill for the excellent advice. Although I think I just failed at his recommendation to keep things shorter–there were just too many good ideas!

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