Friday, October 18, 2013

Thank You For Following My Blog - See You At My New Website

It's taken me a few years to update my website (since 2007!) but it's finally done. My blog posts will be on my website from today forward. Top Recruiter Secrets has programs for new and experienced recruiters who want to fine tune their process, and corporate clients who want to do some headhunting of their own to find those elusive candidates who are not responding to job posts.

My newest program is designed to help businesses complete their hiring suite of tools. Many times headhunters are called upon to fill positions that could be handled in-house if the corporate recruiter, or hiring managers had an additional set of recruiting skills. Passive candidates (they work for the competition) are not looking for jobs, but they will consider a promising opportunity.

Headhunters know these candidates are considered the most desirable. The best Executive Recruiters understand the predictable patterns of behavior these candidates display when considering a job change. Work with those patterns and recruiting becomes much easier. Our training empowers companies to reduce outside recruiting fees while cherry-picking the talent their company needs to succeed.

Check out 'In-House Headhunting: How To Recruit Anyone' when you stop by to read my blog!

Suggestions for topics are always welcome. Thanks for following me and hope you continue!

Kimberly Schenk, Executive Recruiter, Trainer, Coach, Author

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Craft A Killer Cold Call Script by Kimberly Schenk

A great sales script increases sales. When people want to talk to you cold calling becomes fun. Working with a high quality script saves time. It’s worth the time it takes to develop a powerful script. You’ll spend more time in conversation with decision makers and ultimately close more sales by working smarter.

An increase in sales depends on perceived value. Strike a chord by framing your offer in a way that solves problems. Sell to the right market. Use words that appeal to what matters to your customer. Talk about benefits. Differentiate between teaching and informing. Offer complimentary services where possible.

If you cold call for appointments or are selling over the phone the process is the same. You have less than 40 seconds for your prospect to decide if he wants to have a conversation with you and whether he likes you. To improve your success rate follow this format:

Your prospect must understand: (see video below)

• Who you are

• Why you’re calling

• What’s in it for me? WIIFM

When I recruit my opening is always the same. Most people are willing to talk with me and my job becomes rejecting unqualified candidates respectfully.

“Hi. My name is Kimberly Schenk and I’m an Executive Recruiter, or Headhunter if you will. Your name has come to me on a confidential basis as someone who is very good at what you do. I do have a position to discuss with you, can you talk privately?” Fine. They’re engaged or we set a time to talk later. This is only the beginning.

Some candidates get a lot of recruiter calls and try to dominate the conversation because they’re busy people. They push for my client’s name or the salary range. I give them nothing. My job requires I interview and qualify before I reveal anything about my client. I tell candidates all their questions will be answered if they are a good fit for the position. I’m selective.

The next step is critical because it sets the tone of the relationship. “In order to make a move and feel like you’re taking a step up in your career what would need to be in place?”

That question immediately gets the candidate to think. They understand no one is pushing them to do anything they don’t want to do. I do not push but manage the recruiting process with questions. This first question demands they disclose what they need and want in their career to advance. More often than not I hear, “No one has ever asked me that and let me think”. Or, “Hm. I’ve not thought about it but I guess…” And off we go.

By focusing on what the other person needs and wants you establish rapport quickly. Your sales script questions demonstrate your expertise and authority. You are a consultant. Speak slowly and clearly. Speak with authority. Expect people to sit up, take notice and pay attention. Pretend you’re the CEO of some giant corporation. CEOs do not call someone and chatter like a squirrel or talk so fast no one could understand them. Slowing down is a subtle way to demonstrate your power.

I answer my phone all the time, if I can. I take sales calls because I want to see how other sales people handle themselves. I brush off people who mumble or who don’t speak clearly. I’ve got no interest in helping someone sell me something. Like most people I like to think I make buying decisions rationally, even when I know it’s not true.

People buy from people they like and who make them feel comfortable. We’re impulsive. The “Do you want fries with that” upsell close has made McDonald’s a billion dollars.

Know the difference between a feature and a benefit. Here’s a video on script writing I found on YouTube that demonstrates what I’m talking about in a tutorial. I agree with everything said on the video.

The title is: Cold Calling, Nail the First 20 Seconds. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlVBwasfc78&feature=related

Watch this video. Take the time to craft your own killer script. Tailor it to your target prospects and your closing ratio will soar. You’ll cold call less because your conversations will last longer. You’ll make more sales in less time.

by Kimberly Schenk, Author, Headhunter,Recruiting Coach

Friday, June 7, 2013

Turnover: Can It Be Stopped? by Kimberly Schenk

While some employee turnover is inevitable rampant turnover is a fact of life for many companies. Turnover is expensive and continually disrupts customer service, and morale. The cost of constantly attracting and training new employees should be enough to get the attention of the CEO, or CFO but for over 25 years turnover has been accepted as a basic business cost.

From my point of view turnover reflects poor management and confused communication. Turnover is bad for business. Whenever I hear a CEO or VP complain about the rotten work ethic of the work force, or moaning related to the ‘Sad lack of loyalty’ I shake my head.

To the concerned leadership in high turnover operations I say, “Take a look in the mirror”.

Here’s a recipe for reducing turnover:

1. Have the guts to ask your employees where you’re failing.

2. Listen to the answers.

3. Ask each employee individually, “What would have to be in place in order for you to stay with us for the next three years?”

4. Listen to the answers.

5. Fix the problems at the core. If you pretend to address the problem with some kind of freaking trophy or false solution, you should be fired.

6. Quit being a ‘Bosshole’. Everyone who has ever held a job can give you a long list of what makes a manager a ‘Bosshole’.

7. Treat people with respect.

8. Tell the truth.

I’ve owned and managed several companies. One company I purchased in a turn-around situation was a service company with about 80% turnover a month, at the time of purchase. We were hemorrhaging employees and my first priority was to stabilize the situation and improve processes.

I walked around and asked people what they thought of the company and their job. It was not easy to hear everything they had to say. There were patterns and insights and obvious issues. I worked long hours to correct blatant policies that were unfair to employees.

There were processes that damaged the company reputation and drained resources. The cost to repair these issues was minimal compared to the benefits received. We achieved and exceeded growth goals easily. We had peace and clarity of purpose.

Turnover was reduced to less than 10% a year and that was unheard of in the industry. Morale was high. This business was in a college town and I sold it for double what I paid. The books balanced, customer satisfaction was high, expectations were clear, and employees felt respected and valued. Companies have a responsibility to make a contribution to society while they earn a profit, in my opinion.

Turnover can be minimized. Treat people fairly. Be clear about expectations. Don’t be a hypocrite. Provide employees with the best tools to do their job. Treat people like adults and open a two-way conversation. Forget about being right all the time if that’s your problem. You’re not fooling anyone.

As a recruiter I avoid clients who treat their employees poorly. My motto is, if I wouldn’t work there I won’t place a candidate with them either. I walk away. High turnover operations are a feeding ground for recruiters. No matter how many recruiting fees they pay, there are more recruiters taking employees out the back door.

Hint: Lack of loyalty, and high turnover can be cured. They are often the result of inept management. Dysfunction is a byproduct of secrets, lies, insecurity, misguided purpose, greed, mixed messages, and poor leadership. Help is available. Don’t blame employees if your company sucks.

by Kimberly Schenk, Executive Recruiter, Trainer, Coach, Author

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Recruiting and Training: The Best Combo For Success In A Recruiting Career!

To be a top recruiter one needs recruiting skill sets and a method. Think like a consultant. Solve problems for your clients. Take ownership of the process and be ready to challenge candidates, clients, and yourself. Critical thinking skills will help you improve, and practice sharpens the instincts.

Approach recruiting as you would play a game. You need to know the rules, master the moves, follow a strategy, and execute. The nice thing about recruiting is when a candidate is hired everyone wins. If you don’t take care to master the basics, you’ll lose. Understanding the principles of recruiting provides a compass to the result everyone is after.

In 2013, far too many employers are clueless about how to manage intelligent employees effectively. Well over 50% of the population is ready to change employers should the right opportunity emerge. Employers complain about the high cost of hiring candidates yet they continue to treat people like disposable commodities. There's talk but little action taken to reduce employee turnover. For new recruiters this is money in the bank.

Recruiting looks easy but it’s not. Many ruthless recruiting firms cycle in new recruiters, fail to train purposely, and hire a new batch of suckers the following month. These operations are despicable in my opinion and for years I’ve been training recruiters to succeed quickly.

Take your recruiting career seriously and behave like a professional. How should a great recruiter handle counter offers made to a candidate who just resigned? How will you get a new search assignment? What will you say and do to schedule an interview? How will you discuss your fee? When should you discuss your fee? How will you know if the person you’re working with has the authority to approve your fee?

Learn the process and memorize a series of proven statements that best address common situations. How do recruiters dismiss under-qualified candidates respectfully? How many placements a month is a reasonable goal? What industry will you work?

Purchase a training program to understand what a recruiter must do to make a placement. How does a recruiter effectively approach a passive (employed) candidate? How do you qualify, establish rapport, and engage candidates effectively? With training you’ll know if you actually want to be a recruiter before you completely commit. Recruiting is a soft sell however it is a sales position, in my opinion.

If you’re independent minded, a self starter, enjoy talking with strangers, are confident, and willing to follow a process you have a better than average chance at succeeding as a recruiter. When one knows how to recruit, there are a wide range of environments and options open to you. The key is to know yourself and choose the environment where you’ll love the day-to-day life of a recruiter. Recruiter’s are well paid and rightly so. The average recruiter earns $130,000. a year. Many recruiters make far more, and a few make less.

What questions do you have about entering a recruiting career? How will you know if this is the right career for you? If you want to succeed, learn your craft. Memorize the process and practice what you’ll do and say if events unfolds perfectly. Most of the time the process takes twists and turns before a deal is made. It’s up to you to make sure the deal closes. Everyone involved expects you to do your job well.

A recruiter has no income limits but the one they place on themselves. The better you are the more placements you’ll make in less time. Are you willing to take a risk? Are you willing to face daily mistakes (in the beginning) and self-correct? Are you a hearty soul? Do you want to control your destiny? If you can follow instructions and cultivate a few skill sets, a recruiting career may be exactly what your heart desires.

by: Kimberly Schenk, Executive Recruiter, Mentor, Trainer, Author

A no-fluff, step-by-step recruiter training program will take your production to the next level within a few months. We stand ready to place this process in your hands. Kimberly Schenk has recruited in multiple industries for 20 years, and has been coaching recruiters and business people for 10 years. Schenk cares about your success and over 1100 professionals have benefited from her programs.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Become A Recruiter: Good News For New Headhunters!

New recruiters frequently ask if there’s still a need in the workplace for our services. The answer is, ‘Yes’. A few months ago there was a survey across multiple industries and the findings were: At least 50% of the workforce in America would change positions today if the opportunity surfaced.

To excel as a recruiter one must have training. Sales skills, proven strategies, a step-by-step process, and knowledge of what to say and do during typical interactions, are a few things needed to start. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of by other recruiters, clients, or candidates.

Without training new recruiters can easily feel overwhelmed and fail. The solution is to get a grip on what your role is as a recruiter.

• What’s the process you’ll follow?

• What will you say and do to meet your objectives?

• How do you prioritize the day?

• Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?

• Have you identified training to give yourself every advantage possible in terms of technique?

The Internet is packed with information. What you need is available.

The next step is practice. Life as a recruiter will be easier for you if you memorize your introduction statements, a few dozen questions, the process, and ten ways to ask for referrals. There’s a big difference in understanding the concept that asking for names will help your career vs. literally asking and getting those names.

Arm yourself with the tools and strategies effective recruiters use and start closing deals. There’s no limit on the income one can earn as a recruiter. We are an independent bunch and there are countless ways to work as a recruiter. When you memorize and practice the recruiting process you can expect placements to be made and checks to roll in consistently.

No matter your personality or style there are recruiters like you succeeding. Find your favorite industry niche and preferred environment. This takes self-knowledge and the ability to objectively analyze your weak spots. Note, I didn’t say use information on areas that need improvement to beat yourself down. Never criticize yourself to the point of paralysis because when one cannot take action, there’s trouble.

Recruiting is a profession where intelligence and insecurities can do serious harm to us if we’re not vigilant. We need to honor our feelings and take care to safeguard our self-esteem while honing our skills.

Good recruiters all have made countless mistakes. Mistakes mark the path to success: Learn from them. When one has pride in their work, they reflect on the impact of a mistake and adjust their statements and behavior to create positive results.

The good news is: With 150 million or more people dissatisfied with their current position recruiters never run out of candidates! If every person in the US was happy with their job, another few billion employees are available.

Recruiters who manage the process with questions get the best results and make the most money. Proper training will empower you to work efficiently and help you gain credibility quickly. Results matter, especially when your paycheck depends on your performance. Be the best recruiter you can with recruiter training.

by Kimberly Schenk, Recruiting Mentor, Headhunter, Author of Top Recruiter Secrets, Cold Call Therapy, iCommunicate, and more.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Recruiting Contracts: Don't Agree To Dumb Clauses!

I’ve seen a trend over the past few months where companies are asking recruiters to recruit and then wait 90 days before the client decides to pay. What disturbs me is that recruiters are agreeing to this nonsense. This is not good for your career. In fact I think it's total garbage. I strongly recommend you DON’T AGREE TO CRAZY TERMS! If you’re going to be a recruiter the sooner you grow a backbone the better.

Just because some corporate attorney puts a clause in a recruiting contract does not mean it’s reasonable. Say NO to terms that hurt you as a recruiter. Picture this: You go to buy a set of tires. After installation the service person says, “That will be $800.” What would happen if you responded with, “Please sign this paper that says I can drive these babies around for 90 days before I pay for them.”? They would take the tires off your car.

The response to a contract that asks you to wait 90 days for payment is, “No”. End of story. Walk away if it’s a deal breaker. If you’ve read any of my advice you know I believe recruiters offer great value. If you don’t value your service and hard work, find another line of work! Don't sign an agreement that permits a company to take advantage of you. Just because something is written down does not mean it's fair. Don't permit someone to steal from you. Theft is theft.

A better response is, “I cannot agree to these terms. During the search process I work for you for free. Once you interview a great candidate I also follow through to make sure that candidate accepts your offer, resigns without incident, and starts the position with your company. A lot of effort went into finding a great candidate who fits your criteria. The day a candidate starts work is when I submit my invoice. I expect to be paid within ten days and with your payment a 90 day Guarantee For Replacement kicks in. Should the candidate you approved and hired leave your company within 90 days I will replace that candidate at no extra charge to you. How does that sound?” Tie your guarantee to the condition of being paid promptly. You're a business person and that's a reasonable request.

A big mistake some recruiters make is setting the tone to be treated like a clerk. You’re a consultant. One of the best benefits about being a recruiter is our ability to establish equal partnership-status relationships. Guess what happens when a company ‘wins’ and you ‘lose’? You won’t want to work on their search and you shouldn’t!

When you stand your ground and expect respect more often than not, you easily get what you want. It is reasonable to be paid for work completed. Those of you who’ve read my book know I usually (unless the search has caused me extra brain damage) offer a $500. Discount if my invoice is paid within 5 days. 99% of the time I get paid within 5 days.

The second benefit of saying ‘No’ to stupid contract clauses is the client begins to see you as a strong professional. Use your common sense. If you feel uncomfortable with something proposed, trust your gut. Talk about the issue and find a solution you can live with or walk away. Everyone recognizes a winner when they see one and people like to work with winners. Be seen as someone who can think and ask for what you want. Demonstrate you are nobody’s fool. Make things happen. Your client will treat you better.

Recruiting relationships are a two-way street. Stand your ground and work for only the best clients. You’ll be glad you did.

by Kimberly Schenk, Headhunter, Trainer, Recruiting Coach.

If you need a recruiting coach to help you solidify a more successful mindset, that’s my specialty. Thanks for reading.

If you recruit in the mortgage industry and want to know how to recruit Loan Officers, I can help.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How To Hire The Best Loan Officers

As a mortgage branch manager, odds are part of your responsibility is to grow your team of originators. Knowing how to recruit Loan Officers will increase your production and open up career options you may not have dreamed were possible. How do you approach, attract, and hire high quality loan officers? How do you qualify and respectfully reject sub-par producers? Headhunters don't get paid unless one of their candidates gets hired. If you're ready to distinguish yourself as an outstanding branch manager, it's time to acquire a recruiting process that delivers the results you want.

Years ago an upwardly mobile executive working in the mortgage division of a well known Big 5 bank was sent to northern Colorado to turn around an under-performing region. We crossed paths when I surfaced an outstanding loan officer who was unhappy with her current employer. I presented the candidate to my new client, who was being groomed by the home office for 'bigger things'. My candidate was hired instantly.

This executive and I started working as a team and within 8 months he was credited with achieving unheard of growth in loan production and closings not just for northern Colorado, but for any territory in the US. He attained rock star status in his company and the mortgage community of northern Colorado took notice also.

When asked to stand up and talk about how he accomplished his outstanding success, he simply told the audience, "I found myself a killer recruiter". Everyone in the room groaned, including the CEO. Working with recruiters was not exactly prohibited, but certainly frowned upon. This big bank had in-house recruiters who were supposed to serve all branches.

He thought that policy was dumb and his results proved the fees paid to me as a recruiter were minuscule compared to the 78 million dollar a month increase in loan volume the loan officers he hired delivered to the company. How else was this executive going to single-handedly create growth in a region he didn't know? He was a manager not a recruiter.

In today's market, knowing how to recruit will distinguish you from other branch managers. There's no reason to stand by and hope a killer recruiter will find you. Take charge and increase production with as little as two hours a week intelligently focused on recruiting. Save your branch tens of thousands of dollars in recruiter fees. Grab the attention of upper management with mind-blowing production numbers. You'll be seen as a leader and gain the respect and kudos that come with an awesome performance.

What are you waiting for? Recruiting is a soft-sell. With all the pain and loss the mortgage industry has endured over the past 5 years, why not prove you're exceptional? Adeptly identify, recruit, and hire the best up and coming loan officers now.

For several years tens of thousands of mortgage professionals have been leaving the industry. Now a fresh generation of loan officers are getting trained and licensed. Consider cultivating the strategies and process headhunters use everyday to earn their living. Get trained by a pro. Pick their brains and give yourself the gift of consistent growth in your chosen profession. Stop knocking your head against a wall and take the quickest path to positive hiring results. As you master the recruiting process, your horizons expand and your efforts will be richly rewarded.

by Kimberly Schenk, Headhunter, Coach, Author