July 16, 2018

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Core Competency #7: The Power of Hourly Focus

Two years ago I was watching a documentary on PBS about monkeys who lived by a river. When they showed how a monkey went about foraging for his food, I felt as if I was watching a big billing recruiter work his magic.

The monkey was looking for insects underneath river rocks. He would pick up a rock, look at it, and put it back if there was no insect. Then another rock. And another. After about a dozen rocks without a juicy insect underneath, he finally found one. He quickly picked at it and ate it, then put the rock down. He did not run around the office telling his friends how good the insect was. He did not tell his manager how great the conversation with the insect was. He did not get up from his phone and run out and take a cigarette break or refill his coffee. Instead, he quickly picked up another rock.

The monkey developed a rhythm to how he would pick up the rocks and maintained that momentum. There are three lessons we can apply from this metaphor: First, that eventually you will find good insects if you turn over enough rocks. Second, that you need to turn them over with a specific pattern and rhythm. Third, that if you ever need to hire another recruiter, consider hiring a monkey who lives next to a river.

Be the monkey. Start by understanding that your year is a compilation of well-executed hours and that if you slack off on just a few hours each day, it will add up to an unfortunately large gap between where you are and where you could be on your desk. Here are four tips to keep you turning over enough rocks and building the right momentum in your day:

  1. Break your day into an hour by hour rhythm. Use this free download, the Telephone Discipline Tool to help you build and develop a rhythm and a momentum on your desk. Do not let the simplicity of this tool keep you from using it. Recruiters from all over the United States and eleven foreign countries use it to keep them focused and on the phone. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the business, either. You can always get better. Use this free tool to help sharpen your hourly focus. (The tool is located near the top of the page HERE

  2. Understand that your day needs to have a specific direction. At the beginning of each day, ask yourself this question: ‘What are the two or three things that I need to accomplish today to be considered successful?’

  3. Understand the power of one extra call per hour. If you spent 1,000 hours on the phone all year and was able to connect with only one more person each of those hours, you would have 1,000 more candidates and prospective clients in your database. What would that do to your income? Whenever I ask that question at my seminars and in-house training programs for search firms and staffing agencies, the answer is always at least $30,000 - $100,000 in W-2 earnings. Add it this year to your income by committing to reach one extra person per hour. The tool will help you do it.

  4. Get excited about planning your day and make it a tight plan. For more information on planning, read this article. Each phone number that you have to look up during your prime calling time keeps you from developing the rhythm and the momentum. (Planning article HERE
Bonus tip: Keep track of how many ‘connects’ you make each day and start charting it on a graph. Do this with your colleagues in your office over a thirty day period, and see how your ‘connects’ numbers increase by at least twenty or thirty percent in just a month. Be cognizant of how you deliberately focus your intention on connecting with others. This will cause an immediate increase in the likelihood of you developing this rhythm.

Copyright © 2004 Scott T. Love

Scott Love improves recruiter performance and expands the margins of search firms. He is the most frequently-published trainer in the industry and the only one who is a member of the National Speakers Association. To book Scott Love for your next association or franchise meeting or to have him conduct in-house training, call him at 828-225-7700 to check his availability. and