The Art of Talent Acquisition – AKA: Head Hunting

Written By: Bryan Bero

 In 2012, I hung up my uniform and entered the world of civilian employment. Having joined the military also immediately after High School, I had only a vague idea of how to find a new career or even enter the work force. I had a Bachelors degree in Business and 14 years military service under my belt. Surely finding a job wouldn’t be difficult. So I followed the standard path, I submitted my resume to all the major job boards at the time Monster and Career Builder. Thinking the phone was going to ring.

A former army buddy of mine had seen my resume online, he had left the military and had successfully entered into corporate America. He then decided to leave corporate and open his own Staffing and Recruiting Business, Certa Group. At the time he had been open for 1 year had seen some success and was looking to expand his business. This was to be my first experience with head hunting, though I had no idea at the time.

After accepting the position to work for Certa Group, I was introduced to the world of corporate recruiting and specifically head hunting. Over the last 3 years, I have learned this trade thru, knowledge past along thru my employer, trial and error and reading articles posted by other professionals in this area. During this time period, I have identified many different issues that really do make Head Hunting an art form. In order to be a successful head hunter, you must be able to recognize, indentify and overcome these obstacles in order to make the placement.

The first issue that I recognized quite quickly is that everyone lies. A potential client may lie about open positions’, the time frame that they are planning to hire, and what they are looking for in a Candidate. Candidates lie about the ability to relocate, their skills and experiences, their knowledge base, their salary requirements. In order to overcome these obstacles it took months of listening and interviewing people. Listening not so much to what was said, but how it was said. Another issue quickly identified is that many job titles were the same, between different business units of the same company. To overcome this obstacle it is imperative to have an open dialogue with the HR rep as well as the hiring manager, as well as in depth knowledge of the company, their products and their industry.

After understanding the company and position fully knowing exactly what the company is looking for, finding the right candidate for that position takes knowledge of the market, known competitors, and structured job boards. With the ever changing multi-media market, finding the right candidate is a continually changing process.

At Certa Group we take pride in being able to identify and overcome most issues that plague our clients ability to locate and hire the best talent available. We partner with our clients, gaining intimate knowledge of exactly what they are looking for in a specific role. We then hit the trenches, identifying the best possible candidates for the position, weeding out the candidates that will not pass the interview process or who may turn down an offer that is made. Our processes minimize lost time/ revenue – often experienced during the interview process through more traditional methods and our placement guarantees hold truth to that fact.

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Business Development in the Staffing Industry

Business Development in the Staffing Industry

By: Jill Friedmanblog photo

To be successful at business development you have to truly believe in the product/service you are selling. It takes an outgoing personality and having thick skin, as rejection is a common occurrence in this industry, especially on the business development side. Business development in staffing has two key components, these two components are field recruiting and cold calling. Persistence and follow up are essential areas in this highly competitive industry.

Visiting potential clients in the field can be very challenging yet highly rewarding. Since I have been working in recruiting I have found myself paying attention specifically to industrial areas as I pass them on the road. This is because during client visits’ I try to knock on as many doors as I can, it also helps me create a game plan. In addition to visually seeing places and making a mental note, the internet and several databases are great resources to locate your target market.

In order to be the most successful on field days you want to map out your route, to use your time in the most effective manner. I spend about 3 days a week in the field, trying to visit between 30 and 50 locations each day. I keep a list of every location I visit and reference back to it when I get back in the office.

While on location, the goal is to speak with a Human Resources professional face to face, this proves to be a challenge many times, being HR is usually busy with various tasks throughout the day and do not have time for “walk-ins”. When I encounter this situation, I speak with the receptionist, explain my purpose for my visit, and leave some information on my company, in hopes that I can get a meeting scheduled.

After a full day out in the field, I come back to the office and go to work with my list. Using multiple databases, I can locate the HR’s name and contact information such as email address and phone number. This is where persistence comes in to play and hopefully pays off. Using the information I collect, I can now follow up and formally introduce myself to the Human Resources Manager through email and over the phone.

I spend the other 2 days of my week in the office cold calling. Cold calling is an incredibly important aspect of business development. The goal is to make 60-70 cold calls a day. The success rate for cold calling is very low, but the reward is worth the work. For every thousand cold calls you may yield between 3-5 lunch meetings. This is where thick skin really comes in handy, as you will have a lot of hang ups and more often than not – rejection. I personally have experienced everything from the “brush off” to getting hung up on, however making a connection and scheduling a meeting makes all of the rejections worthwhile.

When you land a meeting with HR, it more often than not leads to a contract. A contract can yield big money for the company, thus making all the work and rejection worth it! In closing, Business Development in the staffing industry is much like any other industry – BRUTAL, but unlike any other industry, a good client can land you millions of dollars of revenue, Happy Hunting!