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December 17, 2017

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Off the Computer and Onto the Phone

"How do I get my recruiters off the computer and onto the phone?"

That's the number one question I get from frustrated managers. They can't seem to convince their recruiters that time spent on the phone is infinitely more productive than time spent online.

My answer? I tell managers that recruiters, like the rest of us, tend to obey the laws of human nature. Given a choice, they will:

  • Seek gratification that's instant, rather than delayed;
  • Select tasks that are easy and entertaining, instead of tasks that are difficult or require imagination; and
  • Settle for mediocrity when faced with obstacles, rather than fight for success.

Recruiters aren't predisposed to fail. But as managers, we often encourage them to fail, by unconsciously giving them the means to undercut their own performance.

Winning Their Hearts and Minds

When managers hire chatty extroverts and watch in horror as they morph into silent zombies, who's to blame? If your company's bustling bullpen devolves into a clatter of keyword strings and Google searches, can the recruiters be totally at fault? I think not.

Fortunately, human nature has many different faces. If you want to change your recruiters' behavior--and improve their performance--here are some common-sense leadership tips that will help accentuate the positive:

  • Never tell a new recruiter that something is difficult. If you do, it will telegraph an underlying excuse for failure--or worse, instill a sense of fear. For example, instead of describing cold calling as risky or frightening, tell the recruiter that cold calling is simply the best way to network with new people, develop new business and make a lot of money.

  • Keep your signals straight. If you want your recruiters to stay on the phone, don't confuse them with a lot of administrative instructions or technology issues. The simpler you keep their tasks, the more they'll be productive.

  • Eliminate distractions--or better yet, don't initiate distractions in the first place. If the computer monitor becomes the sole focus of attention and you feel it's a distraction, don't be afraid to take it off the recruiter's desk. Put it in the "research library" and restrict the recruiter's access.

Pinpointing and eliminating distractions is one of the most important tasks for any manager. And above all, it requires good judgment, because a distraction to one person (or one business model) may be a facilitating factor for another.

For example, there are thousands of recruiters who directly benefit from online recruiting, job boards, keyword searches, and so forth. But there are also lots of recruiters and businesses for whom these technological "tools" are nothing more than a disabling distraction.

If computer tools enhance your recruiters' performance, by all means use them. But if they start to attract too much attention--and stand in the way of performance goals--get them out of sight and out of mind until they prove otherwise.

- Bill Radin

Bill Radin is a top-producing recruiter whose innovative books, tapes and training seminars have helped thousands of recruiting professionals and search consultants achieve peak performance and career satisfaction. Bill’s extensive experience makes him an ideal source of techniques, methods and ideas for rookies who want to master the fundamentals—or veterans ready to jump to a higher level of success.

www.BillRadin.com