January 2011

Tragic Actions

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Last week my city of St. Petersburg, Florida experienced the shocking loss of Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Sgt. Thomas Baitinger in the line of duty. As I passed through the miles-long funeral procession route on Friday, I witnessed hundreds of citizens of all ages, some proudly waving American flags, lining the roads to pay their respects. I could not help but feel a combination of deep sadness for the circumstances and inspired joy at the support shown through the actions of the men, women, and children of my community.

Sudden tragedies often bring out the best in us and seem to resonate as a call to action. It’s left me wondering what would happen if people took these kinds of actions more often without the tragedy having to be attached. How would companies be transformed if coworkers consistently paid this type of respect, typically reserved for the departed, to one another every day? How much better would customers be served, as a result? What impact would this better service, in turn, have on their customers? And their customers’ customers? And their customers’ customers’ customers…

Scott WintripTragic Actions
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Top 25 Jobs – The StaffingU Market Demand Report

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Year-over-year increases continue for all but two of the top 25 candidates most in demand. Healthcare jobs continue to be a bright spot along with healthy increases in sales roles, which demonstrates the continued strength of the recovery.

Firms are advised to actively recruit for these roles as 25% or more of the demand will convert into usage of staffing and recruiting firms.

TOP 25 JOBS
Volume added in the past 60 days and the percentage increase compared to the same period last year.
Data: WANTED Analytics | Analysis: StaffingU

Scott WintripTop 25 Jobs – The StaffingU Market Demand Report
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The Myth of Client and Candidate Control – Eliminating One of the Most Damaging Business Practices of Our Industry

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On April 20, 1999, Cassie Bernall, a 17-year-old student at Columbine High School, faced a life and death choice — tell the boy with the gun what he wanted to hear or tell him the truth. Being strong in her convictions, she chose the truth and he choose to end her life. This tragedy is one of the saddest moments of that decade and it holds for us a powerful truth about control over others: we have none. Each and every person we work with has the power of choice and nothing we say, nor how we say it, gives us any dominance over the decisions and actions that individual will make.

THE DAMAGE OF ATTEMPTED CONTROL

What makes matters worse, for us, are the three types of fallout from the supposed best practice of controlling the client or candidate:

  1. Irreparable Harm to Our Industry. For decades, our business has often been referred to as a necessary evil or only worthy of engagement for problematic hiring. Yet, ours is a service that impacts the most important asset of every company, its people, along with of the most important aspects of peoples’ lives, how they financially support themselves and their families. Given the worthiness of what we do, it’s no stretch to conclude that our reputation is a result of the tactics we employ.
    If you have any doubts as to the persistent poor standing of recruiting, watch Pursued staring Christian Slater, the only feature film about our business. The movie portrays a headhunter, played by Slater, who has a special knack for making candidates sign on even when they don’t want to.
  2. Control Invites Rebellion. Cassie Bernall’s story points not only to the futility of attempted control, but magnifies the opposite reaction often evoked: defiance. This skill is refined during our teenage years and stays with us, ready to be employed the moment someone pushes us in a direction we don’t wish to go. Even when our attempts to control the process are in the best interests of the client or the candidate, we may still get an adverse reaction because of the negative perceptions and feelings triggered by our actions.
  3. The Seduction of Power. The perception of having power can go to your head and did so on more than one occasion in my early years as a recruiter. Because I could justify that I was doing what was right for a client or candidate when I exercised control, I pushed the boundaries of acceptable professional behavior. At the time, I justified the “white lies,” the rusing, and the wordsmithing of the truth as a necessary means to an end. In less than two years, I was burned-out and ready to throw in the towel as I recognized the conflict between the nice-guy I was being at home versus the control-freak I was being at the office.

Fortunately, it was at that juncture that I learned there was a simpler and more positive way to manage a recruiting process.

FOUR STEPS TO THE BETTER WAY

Candidates and clients will willingly participate in a process that provides them with tremendous value. It requires no control, zero coercion, and less labor intensity than the oppressive methods still perpetuated by trainers and managers alike. This process, called Enrolled Engagement, facilitates an inviting and positive relationship in four simple steps:

  1. Ask Lots of Radically Provocative Questions. Get clients and candidates talking, get out of their way, and watch as they give you reams of information as to how to meet their needs, exceed their expectations, and nurture a lasting relationship. More importantly, provocative questions enroll them in selling themselves on commitment and changes. Candidates and clients always believe what they have to say while they will pick and choose what they believe from you.Three engaging questions to use immediately include:

    “What would be your objectives if we were to work together?”
    “What would make you happier compared to your current situation?”
    “How can I bring tremendous value to our relationship?”

  2. Draw Attention to Incongruity. People often have difficulty seeing the inconsistencies between their words and their actions. You’ll bring valuable insights to the process as you level with those you work with without leveling them with drama, fear, or coercion. For example, when a client expresses that a need is urgent, yet, delays making a decision, ask permission to give feedback and share what you are observing in a succinct and neutral fashion. To drive home the point further, follow that up with a parachute story.
  3. Drop In Parachute Stories. Just like a paratrooper floating into a drop-zone, parachute stories are short (no more than two to three sentences), factual mini-case studies used to illustrate an important point. In the example above, the parachute story could be:

    “XYZ company just made this mistake. They found someone who fit, but delayed their decision a few days. By the time they were ready to move, the candidate had already taken another offer.”

  4. Utilize Facts and Figures to Encourage Urgency. All too often, recruiters try to control situations by using tired statements like:
  5. “The market is tight and you may lose this job if you wait.”
    “Lots of companies are looking for the same type of people, so you better move fast.”

    Instead, let true facts and figures do all of the talking:

    “There are 17 other companies looking for the same candidate profile. Knowing that, how prudent do you believe it is to wait?”

NEXT STEPS

I’m not suggesting you throw your arms in the air and let candidates and clients run your process; that would be almost as destructive as being controlling. What I am encouraging you to do is to facilitate a positive process that creates ravings fans of your work. While this may sound like semantics, the subtle distinction between control and Enrolled Engagement completely changes the dynamic from a business transaction   solely focused on getting the deal done to a relationship where the interests of all parties are well served. When you achieve that, you’ll be perceived as different from all of your domineering competitors.

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This article by Scott Wintrip was originally published by The Fordyce Letter, an ERE Media publication, on January 17, 2011.

Scott WintripThe Myth of Client and Candidate Control – Eliminating One of the Most Damaging Business Practices of Our Industry
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Competitor Insight – The StaffingU Market Demand Report

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Here’s your latest peek into the job titles your competition is currently seeking.

Our data comes from 14,793 staffing and recruiting firms, from which, we’ve listed the top 25 candidates being sought and the number of jobs posted for each in the past 60 days. In addition, we’ve included the increase or decrease in demand compared to the same 60-day period last year.

Data: WANTED Analytics | Analysis: StaffingU

Scott WintripCompetitor Insight – The StaffingU Market Demand Report
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Prophet for Profits

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Profound visionaries have reaped financial rewards as they’ve changed our world by anticipating our needs and desires. For example, the iPad I am using to type this post has improved my mobility and productivity while allowing me to maintain great work-life balance.

As a prophet for your customers, you’ll bring them tremendous value by thinking four steps ahead on their behalf. Anticipate the needs they cannot envision or even create the need they will willingly adopt. Your vision becomes their benefit and engenders a lasting relationship built on an unshakable foundation of trust.

Scott WintripProphet for Profits
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Talent Tracker – The StaffingU Market Demand Report

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Where are the best places to find candidates? Our new Talent Tracker blog post has the answer and will appear from time to time as part of the StaffingU Market Demand Report.

This week, we’ve measured some top cities to find web experience in IT, nurses in Healthcare, and designers in the creative niche.

In each chart, you’ll see the total number of workers in the United States, the city we measured, the functional area of employment, the occupation, the specific industries for that occupation, and our delineating keyword to specify the title or type of job.

If you’d like us to measure a specific type of talent in the coming weeks, post a comment with your request and include the following:

1. Location
2. Occupation
3. Industry
4. Job Title

Data: WANTED Analytics | Analysis: StaffingU

Scott WintripTalent Tracker – The StaffingU Market Demand Report
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Top Ten Hires

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Finding experienced staffing and recruiting talent continues to be a common challenge across the globe. Many organizations report that even when you can find experienced people, they are often disappointed with the quality of these individuals.

As a result, more and more companies are looking outside of our industry when hiring additional personnel. Which job types make for the best hires? Through our research and interviews with firms around the world, the following ten candidates have gotten consistently high marks:

1. Commercial Realtors: The complexity of the commercial real estate sales cycle combined with the multiple players involved in the decision process often gives these individuals solid transferable skills for our business.

2. Professional Fundraisers (also go by the title of Director of Development in the nonprofit sector): Anyone who can ask people to part with their hard-earned money for a cause is worth some consideration.

3. Medical Sales Professionals (such as equipment, supplies, and medical devices): People in these roles often have a thick skin, since doctors and healthcare professionals can be some of the most challenging buyers.

4. Pharmaceutical Reps: Same reasons as number three.

5. Car Rental Representatives: In particular, look at individuals who have been in the customer service and management training programs of firms such as Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis.

6. Retail Salespersons: Especially for firms with storefront operations.

7. Military Recruiters (current or former): Recruiters for all branches of the military have had to become quite resourceful in finding viable candidates.

8. Account Reps from the Chamber of Commerce: Often have great networking skills and typically are grossly underpaid.

9. Door-to-Door Salespeople: Yes, they still exist and can be great for outside sales positions.

10. Subject Matter Experts: Must have solid interpersonal skills; an example would be an engineer with great communication skills.

Of course, not every person in each profession listed above makes for a good hire for our business.  A solid screening and interviewing process combined with reference and background checks remains key to making a sound decision.

Scott WintripTop Ten Hires
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Top 25 Jobs – The StaffingU Market Demand Report

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Healthcare jobs continue to lead the way as the recovery steadily picks up steam and, as a result, firms should focus their efforts on recruiting and onboarding therapists and nurses to ensure that inventory is immediately available the moment new orders are acquired.

The continued increase in demand for project managers in IT points to a coming surge in application development and infrastructure roles in the next three months. Also on the technical side, the demand for engineers, especially of the industrial variety, will continue to climb as manufacturing operations throughout North American plan for substantial growth in 2011.

Modest declines in accounting roles are temporary as hiring will quickly peak for year-end, tax, and compliance activities common in the first quarter. However, firms specializing in these areas should plan for unusually high demand as many organizations are still rebuilding their accounting teams from the massive layoffs of the recession.

TOP 25 JOBS
Volume added in the past 60 days and the percentage increase compared to the same period last year.
Data: WANTED Analytics | Analysis: StaffingU

Scott WintripTop 25 Jobs – The StaffingU Market Demand Report
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Zebras and the New Year

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The most discernible difference between an elderly zebra and its offspring is the fading of the older animal’s stripes. Yet, it’s still a zebra, with all the characteristics that differentiate it from other species. Like these majestic equids, we remain much the same throughout our lives. Our “stripes” (character, personality, integrity, and behavior) may fade as we mellow and grow wise with age, however, our core attributes, such as our strengths and weaknesses, are always with us.

Unless you’ve figured out how to leave yourself at home when you go to work, you bring all of you, strengths and weaknesses included, to the office each day. That’s why resolutions of any kind are pointless and a complete waste of time, energy, and effort. What is worthy of your attention in this New Year is focusing more on using your strengths and delegating to others where you are weak. As you stay resolved in this manner, you’ll lead the pack in making 2011 your best year ever.

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Learn how to increase your fees and pass on higher rates to new and existing clients and have them thanking you when you do. The all new TeleClass, Raising Your Rates and Fees, is on January 18th. Learn more or sign up

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Scott WintripZebras and the New Year
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