May 25, 2018

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All It Takes: Twelve Good Calls a Year

Two weeks ago I quit the business for the eighteenth time. I quit it again this past Thursday afternoon for the nineteenth time but got back into it around 3:30 when I had six Ďyessesí in a row with candidates. It was incredible. Each candidate that I talked to, one after another, six in a row, said yes, they were open to exploring other things. The recruiting gods were indeed smiling on me and I was on fire. I didnít want to stop and was disappointed that the day was ending.

This business is pure madness most of the time with minor glimpses of sanity and pleasure, just enough to suck you back into it. But thatís what makes it so much fun. Itís a game of probabilities, and if you learn how to master what is in your control and influence what isnít, coupled with a consistent habit of intense focus in the right areas with the right intention, then youíll be successful. Remember it was the tortoise who won the race, not the hare.

So if you are on the edge of quitting the game, losing your mind, or both, then consider this perspective. If we can boil success down to the lowest common denominator in our business, it would look like this: if your goal is to make one placement a month, then you only need to have twelve good phone calls a year, thatís it. All you need is one good phone call a month with a candidate who subsequently gets hired by your client. If only we could get rid of everything else. All you are looking for is that one good call a month. And thatís it.

People always ask me the secret of staying motivated in the game of recruiting. I think it is determined by what youíre looking at. If you are looking at all of the negative aspects of the business then youíll think this business is negative. Slow-paying clients. Slow-moving candidates. Candidates no-showing interviews. Candidates showing up drunk to interviews. Candidates accepting the position as Bob and showing up on their start date as Bobette. You get the picture. Things can get really weird and if you are starting to see weird things happen then that means you are having enough activity. If things arenít getting weird and frustrating for you then youíre not doing enough. Itís always a good sign when bad things happen to you because you have enough activity to see bad things happen. And when we focus on what we want and not on what we donít want, then we attract those successes to us. Think of yourself as Lance Armstrong falling off the bike. You just pick yourself up, acknowledge the sting of pain, and get back on the bike and start peddling so hard that you donít feel how painful things are. When youíve got enough good activity then you donít seem to have time to notice those little setbacks.

Staying motivated is all about focus. Focus on that next good call. And the next good call. Whenever one of the recruiters in my mentorship/coaching program asks me about dealing with a problem or crisis on their desk, I always ask them this question: "If you had three candidates accepting offers this week and six interviews scheduled for next week, would this really be much of a problem?" I rest my case.

All of our problems go away when we have activity, and activity starts with our focus. If you are having trouble getting motivated and staying motivated, just look for one good call this month, one good call next month, etc. And hopefully when you do quit the business, youíll jump right back into it thirty minutes later.

- Scott Love

Copyright © 2005 Scott Love

Scott Love is the most frequently-published trainer in the recruiting industry. His website,, is one of the top-ranked industry training sites on the internet. To have him spend a half day with your team giving them ideas that can take them to the next level, call him at 828-225-7700.