It pains me to say that far too many in the recruiting, placement and staffing industry are trying to build their businesses by giving up the single most important and effective success strategy….the personal relationship. Building a “brand” on Linkedin is time away from building a personal relationship with a senior team leader in your targeted prospective client. Oh sure, being able to check all the boxes of marketing is more than a good idea, but a good website, Instagram and other social media accounts are not what earns you exclusive assignments.

So….why have so many fallen prey to a “soft and indirect” sales approach versus the sales strategy truly used by the top 10% producers in each prospective niche? Here’s my take; “soft and indirect” looks busy, feels safe and has virtually zero rejection involved. Typically, this indirect marketer even choses an indirect path to the actual hiring authority decision maker. News flash….HR is not the hiring authority for any key role within a company. Obstacle…absolutely….to the highest degree, but just not who you can build your business with.

The professional placement industry looks easy on paper yet how could in reality any industry where the top producers routinely make mid six figures and higher be easy. To be good, one has to work both with full intention and attention. The full intention of meeting and developing a working relationship with the senior leadership team of targeted client companies you have intentionally selected to “invest” your time and energy. Full attention to the questions you ask in your information gathering efforts each and every day. For example; do you know where your target works out in the morning or what community give back projects she is involved with? Are you picking the fitness center most convenient to you or did you join where your target likely has a corporate account? Are you “working” Saturday mornings giving your time to the same charities as your target clients? 

Full intention and full attention marketing is “clear and direct”. Your relationships are with senior leadership. You use your phone, text and email as a tool to reach your target. Your target prospects work hard; often the first to work and often the last to leave. Those that make things happen, simply do the things necessary to make things happen.  Model their behavior….allow them to see you as a peer instead of an inconvenience. Call early and late. Get some coaching on how to leave compelling messages. Referral market and tastefully name drop.

Quality activities produce placements….in fact, the only possible way to make a placement is when your client is interviewing your candidate. Separate yourself from your competition by recruiting candidates that are currently employed and not looking. Represent the quality candidate your employer wants to hire and has proven incapable of reaching on their own. This has to make some of you cringe….first you want me to intentionally build relationships with senior leaders and now you expect me to directly recruit a currently employed top candidate?!? Yep… or resign yourself to being mediocre with your biggest competition being online job boards. In the world of true top production there is no place for “soft and indirect”. Yes it might sound unreasonable to 65% of you, but I promise you there are 10-15% of you reading this, regardless of your background or industry, that are nodding in total agreement. The economy is absolutely perfect for a real recruiting professional to totally succeed; the supply and demand ratio for good people is off the charts in your favor. Companies aren’t coming anywhere close to being able to attract the talent they need to stay competitive. It IS time to get the training you need to succeed and it IS time to get to work!