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Five Marketing Tips to Promote Your Company’s Career Site

Utilizing your company’s career site is a great way to incorporate free job postings in your recruitment strategy.  There is a lot of information on the web about creating the perfect job posting, but how do you get needed web traffic on your site to view them? Your agency’s online source of open opportunities is a centralized location where engaged candidates can easily check and apply for jobs and can potentially be a cost-effective advertising method. However, without frequent site visitors it can be difficult to maintain applicant flow from your career page alone. By implementing the below marketing tips, you can help drive traffic to your company’s job site without a hefty advertising budget.

  1. Email alerts

Send emails on a regular basis alerting passive candidates of current opportunities. This will position your staffing agency as a continuous source of available opportunities and keeps your brand at the forefront of candidates’ minds when actively searching for new jobs.

  1. SEO

When a job seeker uses Google to search for opportunities in his or her local area, ideally your website appears on the first page of the search results. This is accomplished through developing and implementing an SEO strategy. The many benefits of an SEO-friendly job posting contribute to your overall site’s search rankings. By creating new site content regularly, implementing keyword strategies and ensuring meta titles and descriptions are well constructed, your agency’s website will have the basics needed for competing with other companies for better online visibility.     

  1. Social media

When used effectively, social media can help develop a community that’s dedicated to your brand and what your business offers. Some staffing agencies use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as job feeds, which is a risky approach. If your company’s career site is updated with new opportunities as they become available, advertising each individual position on social media can be repetitive work for your team and does not resonate with brand followers who are not in the market for a new position. Instead, look for ways to visually personify your agency while continuously reminding followers to check your website for new job postings. Ideas for this approach would include:

  • “We’re always looking for night owls interested in 3rd shift positions, check our site frequently for any opportunities near you!”
  • “Welcome to our new recruiter Emily! She might call you if you’re a qualified applicant for one of the positions listed on our website.”
  • “We’re gearing up for seasonal jobs this holiday season, keep an eye out for overtime opportunities on our website!”
  1. Submit your site to job posting aggregators 

Job aggregators collect job posting URLs on one site so job seekers can view multiple opportunities at once, such as Indeed and Simply Hired. You can submit XML files to these types of sites provided from your IT department or recruitment software provider. Your company’s job postings will perform better with a SEO-friendly URL, contact us today to learn more about how our digital job posting solution will give your staffing agency this type of advantage!

Driving continuous traffic to your company’s career site ultimately can help save time on sourcing for hard-to-find talent. If your recruitment software is not designed to keep your teams efficient and help improve candidate engagement, contact us today to learn more about how our staffing technology solutions can help make your staffing agency more profitable!

Five MORE Work Hacks for Successful Full Desk Recruiters

Are you new to recruitment or looking to develop your work ethic?  Here are  five more invaluable work hacks to help you make the most of your time; and offers heartfelt advice to those considering a career in recruitment… 

Miss the first five work hacks for full desk recruiters? Check out the first post on our blog to catch-up.

  1. Start early, leave late

When I was new to the industry, I was always interested in how full desk recruiters who started early and left late tended to be the most successful.  It’s not about being seen in the office at those times, it’s about maintaining a busy day.  There’s a lot to do on a recruitment desk and 9 to 5 simply isn’t enough time to cover it.  Always be conscious that arriving early to learn, make contacts and post and fill jobs is what makes one recruiter stand out from another.  You don’t need to be ‘always on’, but you do need to put yourself in your clients and candidate’s shoes.  Your clients don’t want to speak with you outside of office hours but your candidates might!  So, if you want to speak with them, you must be available.

  1. Take a lunch hour

Calling candidates on their lunch hour may seem like a good idea but, in my experience, it’s rarely successful.  Lunch hours vary from company to company, so you’ll need to know when your candidate takes lunch and have their mobile number…it soon becomes tricky.  If you’ve made previous contact with them and you’re building a good rapport, they’re more likely to take your call during lunch.  So, my advice is – take a lunch hour and give yourself a break.

  1. Have an ‘open phone’ policy

Depending on the market you staff for, most jobs are 9 to 5 so you’ll probably be speaking with candidates outside of these hours.  Have an ‘open phone’ policy where you’re willing to take calls before and after your working hours (including starting early and staying late).  Say, anytime between 8am and 11pm.  Give your candidate time to get home, put their kids to bed, have dinner and then have time to speak with you.  If 10:30pm is their only free time, call them at 10:30pm – especially if they’re a good candidate – it’s worth your time.  That half hour outside of office hours will pay off.  Sometimes, it’s the most important half hour of your day, and sometimes it’s the most important half hour of the day you never had.

  1. Don’t be ruled by email

If someone wants to speak with you, especially if it’s urgent, they will call you.  If they email mentioning they would like to speak with you at some point, it’s probably not that urgent.  When you finish for the day, have a family life, have a social life, put your phone down and forget about it.  If you’re constantly checking emails, you’ll feel like you’re working all the time and risk burning out.  If you need to make a call at 10:30pm, make that call and put your phone down again.  Build some boundaries into your busy day.  Move from ‘I’m working all the time, I’m checking my emails.’ to ‘I don’t check my emails between 5pm and 8am.’  Consider an out of office email response with words to the effect of: ‘If you’re a client or a candidate with an urgent issue, please call me on my cell phone now.  Otherwise I will respond to your email tomorrow.’  It’s not going to benefit you, your client or your candidate to reply to emails in the late evening, it might make you look like you’re working hard, but I would prefer seeing someone working smart.

  1. Remember, recruitment is not an easy option to make money

Recruitment is a long game.  Once you’ve developed your pipelines, you may be able to take more work home with you (and I recommend doing some aspects of your work outside of office hours, such as client research), but the important thing is your mindset.  Get into the same mindset as other full desk recruiters and let your Manager see it.  Prove to your Manager that you’re a recruiter for the right reasons and you’re not expecting an easy money-making option.  You can earn a lot as a recruiter, but it’s not a quick and easy 9 to 5 job.  If you treat it that way, you’ll see your colleagues performing better than you and get frustrated – or you simply won’t deliver what’s required to sustain your desk, or your job.

Is recruitment right for you?

If you’re questioning whether recruitment is right for you, if you will like it, if you can do it…you may need to take a step back and evaluate what you really want from a career.

Full desk recruiters can’t make everyone happy all the time.  Colleagues, clients, candidates – you’ll do everything you can, but due to the nature of the job you might not make them happy.  When you put five candidates forward, only one is going to get the job.  When you put five candidates forward and none get the job, you’ll upset six people – five candidates and your client…

Recruitment is a lifestyle in how you get out there, meet people, engage them, learn their needs, aspirations, and genuinely help them.  Whether it’s helping an organization to succeed or helping someone find their dream job, working as a recruiter can be extremely rewarding – if it’s right for you. If you’d like to learn more about how your recruitment software can help streamline your workflow for maximum efficiency, contact us today! 

4 Tips for Creating the Perfect Job Posting

Because of the many challenges that come with recruiting in a tight labor market, recruiters often publish job postings on company websites and online job boards. When enough responses are collected from qualified applicants, this tactic can save recruiters time on sourcing for candidates. Online job postings are a great way to not only promote open positions, but to also expose online visitors to your business. Since a lot of companies and other staffing agencies utilize online job postings as a method for sourcing candidates, the below tips and tricks can maximize your chances of reaching your targeted talent pool toward order fulfillment.

  1. Pick a simple, searchable job title

The job title is the most important part in a job posting since it needs to match keywords that job seekers use in search queries. The client might say he or she is looking for a Customer Success Advocate and sends you a job description that describes a typical Call Center Customer Service Representative. Choosing to advertise an opening under a job title that is not commonly searched can be detrimental to your response rate. Make edits to client-specific titles and verbiage within a job description so that candidates will easily find your position.  

  1. Do not use the job description sent from the hiring manager without editing

After you have determined a simple, searchable title it can be tempting to simply use the job description provided from the hiring manager to save time. This approach risks a negative impact on search engine rankings and could potentially confuse job seekers. By developing original job posting content, you can easily ensure the verbiage is understandable and contains correct information.

  1. Point out perks, but don’t look like spam

When competing with other organizations for filling the same type of role, promote the company-specific perks that come with the position you’re staffing for. For some job orders, this may require some creative thinking and in-depth knowledge of the working conditions. For example, you might not see any competitive advantages for a data entry position in a typical office setting. Highlighting small perks like free coffee, a positive work environment, training opportunities, or any other benefits could potentially make your posting stand out and motivate job seekers to apply.

When identifying positive aspects of an assignment, be sure to avoid writing styles that could come across as spam, such as typing with the Caps Lock key on, excessive use of punctuation to emphasize something, grammatical errors, and being too vague in the job description. By presenting assignment information in a clean, professional format your posting is most likely to appear as a credible opportunity.

  1. Follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) guidelines

Following SEO guidelines for job postings is important for your website to become more visible on search engines like Google and Bing. Since job boards also use search engine technology in presenting opportunities to candidates based on keyword relevancy, it’s a beneficial strategy for most posting platforms. Although very much worth the effort, it can be time consuming for recruiters to create a job posting that meets all the necessary SEO requirements. Consider creating an SEO-friendly job posting template to easily input specific assignment information while maximizing your chances of getting the most online visibility.

Job postings are a great way to find new talent and engage passive candidates in your database, both on job boards and your agency’s website. By implementing best practices such as choosing a searchable job title and writing for SEO in a professional format, you’re more likely to receive applicant flow from qualified candidates. A recruiting software that is designed to keep your team at maximum efficiency will allow you to spend more time sourcing and less work on administrative tasks. For more information on how our front office solutions can make your recruiting processes more profitable, contact us today!

Five Work Hacks for Successful Full Desk Recruiters

New to staffing or looking to develop your work ethic?  Below are five invaluable ‘work hacks’ for full desk recruiters new to the job to help you get up and running, make the most of your time and achieve more every day… 

During my time as recruiter, I noticed several behaviors which were very telling when it came to how long people stayed in the staffing industry.  People who did certain things and behaved in certain ways tended to stick around and keep their jobs, and those who didn’t often struggled.  The following tips aren’t ‘bullet-proof’, but they can certainly aid your development as a recruiter from day one.

  1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

I’ve seen a lot of people hiding in corners, trying to avoid making phone calls for fear of making mistakes and facing the criticism of their peers.  It’s not worth it.  Office criticism is just something that happens and, more often than not, it’s a term of endearment helping you to become part of the team.  Everybody’s been there, nobody makes a call and ‘nails it’ on their first attempt; and your colleagues know that.  It’s all about practicing and developing your phone skills.  When you ‘fluff’ a call, roll with the punches and soon enough you’ll improve.

  1. Research outside of office hours

When I started as a recruiter, one thing that helped get me up and running was doing my research during the evening or outside of office working hours.  That way, during regular business hours I would have my research ready with a list of numbers to call, and I would be on the phone non-stop.  Allocate an hour to business development, start dialing and as soon as you hang up (and document the call in your recruiting software), dial again.  If you stop dialing and start looking-up company websites, you’ll break your flow (and it is possible to find out too much about a company).  The most important thing is to get on the phone and talk with people.  Unless you’re an extrovert it’s uncomfortable initially, but if you develop your research and calling ethic, both will become second nature.

  1. Listen to your Manager

Genuinely listen to what your Manager says.  They’re not there to make you ‘do stuff’ that’s irrelevant or unimportant.  Do what they say, don’t over-complicate it, don’t turn it into rocket science, literally do what they say.  If they say ‘Call this person, find out where they worked in their last five jobs and what they expect out of their next position.’ – do exactly what they ask because they are giving you the best way to get things done.  Recruitment Managers or Owners haven’t just fallen into their positions by luck, they’re there for a reason and they want the best from you.  As a rookie  recruiter, I was guilty of over-thinking things, but you can keep it simple and succeed quicker than I did.

  1. Quality and quantity

When it comes to business development calls, being successful is very much a case of making a high-volume of well-informed calls.  I’ve seen people make calls and obtain insightful information, but not enough of them; talented people who eventually dropped out of recruitment because they were unable to meet the required volume of calls.  When you’re working through a call list, it may seem a little monotonous at times but it’s part of the job.  Hang in there, be tenacious and get through your lists – your effort will be rewarded in the long term.  Recruitment isn’t about a quick deal here and there – yes, those are cool – but it’s about building-up your contacts and the future pay-off.

  1. Play the long game

I’ve seen plenty of people get caught-up in the results others were getting.  Recruitment isn’t about short term gain.  You can deliver a hundred perfect phone calls every day for two weeks and your colleague can still pick up one incoming call and do more business then you’ve done in all that time.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s not about answering that one phone call, it’s about being persistent and doing the right things – long term.

Remember, it’s ‘water off a duck’s back’

Successful rookie full desk recruiters develop a thick skin.  Think ‘water off a duck’s back’, don’t think about what your colleagues are doing.  Listen to your Manager, forget about everything else, focus on your work and it will work for you.  Staffing and recruitment is an interesting, rewarding profession and getting to the stage where it becomes fun is just brilliant.

Contact us today to learn more about how our staffing software solutions can keep you efficient!

Using Effective Recruiting Metrics to Drive Results

Every good recruiting agency has a mission and every mission includes a path to success. In some cases, the path to success is unplanned and even driven by luck, but generally, the most successful recruiting agencies have a thoughtful, well-defined plan. They know what they need to do to be successful. Defining your path is only the beginning. You must also ensure you are following that path. This can be achieved by using and measuring effective recruiting metrics.

Why track metrics?

Metrics offer a variety of uses. First, they are used to keep your team focused on the path to success. In their busy day to day lives, recruiters and sales reps often turn their attention to the next trend, technology, prospect, or client request that comes across their desk. If it doesn’t fit into the company’s mission, then it is a distraction. Publishing metrics reminds team members of which company priorities should receive their focus.

Second, metrics help you identify areas where the company is straying from the plan. Exception reporting in your metrics allows you to easily and quickly react to things blocking your path to success. If customer satisfaction is a major driver of your success, then you can use exception reporting in your metrics to identify low customer satisfaction scores to prevent one time service failures from turning into unhappy customers.

Which metrics should you track?

There are an endless number of different metrics that can be tracked for your recruiting agency. Your agency must narrow down the choices to find the metrics that are most effective in driving your success. Where do you want to focus? Customer satisfaction, speed of service, candidate retention, or something else? ERE Media offers a standard set of recruiting metrics that might be a good place for you to start.

As you evaluate which metrics will best drive the performance of your team, remember the following:

  • Too many metrics can lead to a lack of focus and an inability to excel in any one area.
  • Too few metrics can lead to adverse effects. For example, if you focus strongly on speed to interview, then you may sacrifice candidate or customer satisfaction when trying to decrease the time spent leading to the interview.
  • Complimentary metrics lead to balance and focus.
  • Time is of the essence. Too much time spent on a specific metric calculation and you might find yourself racing against the clock on customer and candidate workflows.

How do you use metrics to drive results?

Once you identify your metrics, there are a few processes to implement in order to use the metrics to effectively drive results.

  1. Define the metric. Metrics can be interpreted differently, so ensure that your metric is well defined. For example, if you are tracking candidate satisfaction, then the candidate needs to be defined. Will it only be candidate’s you place on jobs or any candidate that comes to the recruiting agency?
  2. Communicate the metrics across the company. When you first introduce the metrics, present them and their definitions. Share the results you are expecting from driving the business with the metrics.
  3. Measure the metrics frequently and publish the results.
  4. Celebrate the wins and dig into the losses. Evolve as needed.

How can your recruitment software help?

Effective recruiting metrics can play a large part of driving your success, but the measurement process should only be a small part of your efforts. If you have the right software, then you should be able to track and display your metrics in a dashboard or a report. Tracking metrics directly in your staffing and recruiting software means they can be easily and frequently accessed and provide your team up-to-the-minute views of how you are doing.

Analyzing your metrics directly in your software centralizes the data and simplifies the process. The activity performed by your team is facilitated by your recruiting software and the metrics are reported from the data created. By tracking your metrics directly in your recruiting software, you enable your team to drill-down for immediate exception reporting of areas where you failed to deliver instead of waiting for a monthly or quarterly review of metrics. Adapt’s Reporting & Analytics tool provides you that functionality. To learn more about our recruiting software, please contact us for a demo.

Master Body Language and Become A Better Recruiter

Our bodies create up to 700,000 different signs, according to one expert. That leaves recruiters with a lot of body language in interviews to read as they determine which candidates will be “just right” for their staffing firm’s valued clients. Although people realize at a young age that a frown means displeasure, did you know, for instance, that a candidate’s feet in an interview might be the best signal of how they truly feel?

Recruiters’ body language during interviews can also convey subliminal messages. Are you conveying interest in your candidates by facing them squarely and leaning in when listening?

Learn about body language in interviews with our visual representation of how recruiters can better interpret candidate body language and leverage their own.

Master Candidate Body Language and Become a Better RecruiterClick for the full infographic.

Learn how body language for recruiters can help you build rapport with clients, body language for sales can help recruiting salespeople make a killer first impression, and management communication skills can be improved with our tips on how to master body language and become a better recruiter.

Studying the Stars: What Recruiters Can Learn from Understanding Celebrities’ Body Language

To help recruiters study and understand nonverbal cues, we’re looking to the stars. Check out these celebrity photos for insight into understanding body language. The next time you’re interviewing a candidate, what they do may tell you clearly what they’re saying, even if it conflicts with their words.

Between 65 and 95 percent of what you say is said through body language, not by what you say out loud, so understanding body language is extremely valuable when you’re working with candidates.

  • Understanding Body Language From Celebrities’ Photos Gives Recruiters Insight into Candidates from the Bond Blog.

    Looking relaxed and confident
    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Between 65 and 95 percent of what you say is said through body language, not by what you say out loud, so understanding body language is extremely valuable when you’re working with candidates.

    If you ask a candidate how likely they are to take a job and they look around the room, you can take that body language as a clue to follow up with a question about any concerns holding them back. Schedule a reminder post interview in your recruiting software to send the candidate more information about their concerns.

  • Understanding Body Language From Celebrities’ Photos Gives Recruiters Insight into Candidates from the Bond Blog.

    Looking up and to the left: is she telling the truth?
    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The Eyes Have It. Where a candidate is looking can give clues into what they’re thinking, and maybe even let you know whether or not they’re telling the truth. According to changingminds.org, looking up and to the left, like Lindsay Lohan, may indicate recalling a memory. But looking up and toward the right conveys using one’s imagination.

    Depending on the person’s body language — and what they’re saying — that might mean they’re lying. It’s not fool-proof, but understanding body language like this can be helpful when you’re talking to clients about a sensitive topic, such as if you ask, “Are you working with other recruiting agencies?” or “How happy are you with this job opening?”

    Staffing firms’ sales teams can advance their careers by understanding body language to better connect with clients. That advice can be found in Part One of our series, Killer First Impressions: Body Language Advice for Your Staffing Sales Team.

  • Understanding Body Language From Celebrities’ Photos Gives Recruiters Insight into Candidates from the Bond Blog.

    A powerful stance improves poise.
    Photo credit: Entertainment Weekly

    Standing Tall. If someone needs to boost their confidence, they should remember what their mom instructed and stand up straight. Assuming a powerful stance can help someone feel assured. Researchers found that holding one’s body in a high power pose for even two minutes, like Taylor Swift is doing in this photo, gives more empowered feelings.

    Candidates who are standing powerfully may be feeling very confident about the meeting … or they may be trying to use the pose to feel more in control.

  • Understanding Body Language From Celebrities’ Photos Gives Recruiters Insight into Candidates from the Bond Blog.

    Is your candidate bored?
    Photo credit: Chris Pizzello

    Heavy Head. Remember your most boring high school teacher and think of your classmates, slumped in their chairs, hands under their chins, trying to stay awake. Hopefully your candidates are alert and engaged during interviews and actively listen. If they put their head on their hands, like Robert Pattinson’s posture in this photo, they might be bored.

    Other signs of indifference include doodling and drumming fingers, according to Carol Kinsey Goman, PhD, Forbes leadership blogger and an expert on understanding body language.

    “When you see people turn their shoulders and torso away from you, you’ve probably lost their interest,” says Goman. If your candidate is looking bored, ask questions to discover whether they really want a new job or are merely using an offer to get a raise or promotion at their current company.

  • Understanding Body Language From Celebrities’ Photos Gives Recruiters Insight into Candidates from the Bond Blog.

    Do her crossed arms indicate that she is unhappy with her title?
    Photo credit: Newsweek

    Crisscross. When 3-year-olds get cranky, they often cross their arms in front of their body, go “Hmph!” and glare. Crossing your arms in front of your body is a natural way to show that you don’t like what you hear. On this Newsweek cover, Hillary Clinton has been posed with her arms in a certain way. But her body language is reserved and relays that she possibly feels closed off.

    According to Goman, crossed arms almost always indicate a closed sign of resistance. Watch how candidates hold their arms; crossed arms may indicate they’re unimpressed by the company, salary or their new title. Find out if they expect a better offer elsewhere or had a certain rate in mind.

  • Feet can indicate nervousness.
    Photo credit: Buzznet.com

    Footwork. Feet shuffling and shifting show signals, too. When people are making an effort to appear a certain way, they usually concentrate on controlling their facial expressions, overall posture and what their hands are doing. Their feet, however, may display their bona fide feelings.

    Britney Spears is trying to smile on the red carpet, but we know by understanding body language that she’s nervous by her shifting feet. During meetings, keep an eye on candidates’ feet. If they’re shuffling, stretching and curling, or kicking as if they want to run away, your candidate is showing that he or she feels anxious. Ask if they’re having second thoughts about a career move.

  • Understanding Body Language From Celebrities’ Photos Gives Recruiters Insight into Candidates from the Bond Blog.

    Crossed legs show engagement.
    Photo credit: Jimmy Kimmel Live

    Sitting pretty. Even when a person is sitting, their feet can give clues about their feelings. “If someone is sitting with ankles crossed and legs stretched toward you, they probably feel positively toward you,” says Goman. “But when you see feet pulled away, wrapped in a tight ankle lock, pointed at the exit or wrapped around the legs of a chair, you would be wise to suspect withdrawal and disengagement.”

    In our photo, Justin Timberlake’s top foot angling toward Jimmy Kimmel shows that he’s most likely enjoying their conversation. Recruiters who can view candidates’ feet may be able to glimpse hints into whether or not they feel engaged.

  • Understanding Body Language From Celebrities’ Photos Gives Recruiters Insight into Candidates from the Bond Blog.

    Why is she moving away from you?
    Photo credit: FlynetPictures.com

    You Turn. There’s a reason that the phrase “cold shoulder” means being rejected, and yep — it’s all about body language. A person’s shoulders and torso can tell you what they feel. In the photo, Liv Tyler is about to turn away from the camera and head in a different direction.

    Candidates who move away from you physically by leaning back and creating space may disagree with what you’re saying, be uncertain about the situation, feel defensive or be uncomfortable. Mention other positive aspects of the new job, such as benefits, 401k match, a generous vacation policy or telecommuting opportunities.

  • Understanding Body Language From Celebrities’ Photos Gives Recruiters Insight into Candidates from the Bond Blog.

    Natural smiles relay positivity.
    Photo credit: Blackenterprise.com

    Smile. A smile is more than just a pretty expression — it helps create feelings of positivity in both the person smiling and the people around them, too. A genuine smile, like the one above from Oprah Winfrey, relays that she’s approachable and feeling cooperative.

    Candidates’ smiles can convey whether they feel upbeat and if they view you as trustworthy. Forced smiles or grimaces might mean that a candidate feels uncomfortable or on edge. Mention some of your best success stories and testimonials from candidates whose careers have skyrocketed with your help.

  • Understanding Body Language From Celebrities’ Photos Gives Recruiters Insight into Candidates from the Bond Blog.

    Are your candidates interested?
    Photo credit: ekimeeza.com

    As you interview candidates, you know they’ve prepped by practicing what to say and how to say it. They understandably want to do a good job at the interview. As you get into the nitty gritty details about job tasks, salary range, benefits and other specifics, you want to know if they like what they hear.

    Knowing what nonverbal cues mean can tell how they truly feel, or give you hints about following up with more information that’s helpful to them. Whether candidates have nervous feet, defensive arms, a powerful stance or a relaxed smile, understanding body language helps you gather a clearer picture of their true message.

    For more fascinating body language insight, learn how staffing firms’ sales teams can connect better with clients in part one of our series, Killer First Impressions: Body Language Advice for Your Staffing Sales Team.

How Recruiting Managers Can Improve Communication With Body Language

Previously, we discussed how your sales team can use body language to improve performance. This week it’s the managers’ turn to learn how to improve management communication skills, connect with your team and know what they’re really saying, with words and without.

Effective leaders understand how to use body language. When you’re giving your recruiting team a LinkedIn networking training session, explaining a new industry your firm is targeting or going over staffing software statistics about close rates, you want to know if your team members grasp what you’re saying. The body language you employ can strengthen or dilute the effectiveness of your message.

Manager Communication Skills

Use body language to reinforce your message.

Along with using management communication skills to emphasize your meaning, reading the body language of your team can offer insight into their receptivity. Certain physical cues communicate openness, confusion, or reluctance. As you denote cues from your team, you’ll be able to give more details about, for example, why you’re increasing follow-ups with placed candidates. Whatever the message you’re delivering or receiving, there are a number of ways to utilize body language for better communication with your recruiting team.

As you work with your team to develop a performance-driven culture, learn more valuable strategies to help your team grow by downloading the Bond US Sales Selection, Training and Development Report 2014

Ways to Be a Better Communicator with Body Language

If failure rates are up and job placements are down, you’re going to have to lead a tough conversation with your team. You may spend part of the meeting discussing topics you view as closed — such as requiring recruiters to spend more time connecting with passive candidates. However your body language might become more open when you begin a brainstorming session about strategies for coaching candidates for upcoming interviews.

Any time you are communicating with your team, especially in a tough situation like this one, you can use these body language tactics to give the right message to your team about your expectations, authority and openness:

 Have open space between you and your team

Have open space between you and your team

  • Remove physical barriers if possible. Take away anything that blocks your view or forms a barrier between you and your team, especially if you’re seeking their input about new companies to contact or ways to use LinkedIn to find Java developers. Barriers include larger physical obstructions such as podiums and smaller items such as coffee cups.
  • Think tall. By standing tall and assured, you’ll feel more confident and positive. Carol Kinsey Goman, PhD, Forbes leadership blogger and body language expert says that leaders can send signals of status, authority and power by standing tall and taking up more height and space. Moving around the room also affirms the perception of having influence when you require that every salesperson brings clients a minimum of three candidate resumes.
  • Keep palms down. If you want to look decisive, stand with your palms down — palms up signals openness to negotiation. Palms down on a table signals “no questions asked” as you relay that every salesperson needs to call the managers of your top candidates so your firm will be in a position to offer replacements when the candidate resigns.
  • Stand open to increase collaboration. If recruiting managers stand in a relaxed posture, open with arms uncrossed, you’ll send subconscious cues that you’re open to suggestions and are inclusive. Your team, which unconsciously watches your nonverbal cues, will likely respond with feedback and input about the best ways to get testimonials from repeat clients and placed candidates.

    “Nonverbal signals can also convey empathy, likeability, friendliness and inclusiveness,” says Goman. “These signals include open palm gestures, leaning slightly forward, giving people eye contact when they talk, nodding your head when someone is speaking or tilting your head slightly to encourage them to speak more. When you are trying to engage people or foster collaboration, these are the more important signals.”

A true smile lights up someone’s face.

A true smile lights up someone’s face.

 

What Others’ Body Language Can Relay

Some of your recruiting staff members are outgoing and readily speak their minds, while others may be more reluctant to voice their opinions. Not only can you use body language to back up what you’re saying, but you can improve your management communication skills by watching team members’ nonverbal cues for hints into what they think. For example, if you’re implementing a new process to follow up on leads and members of your team have a defensive posture, ask if they see obstacles to your plan of which you’re unaware.

  • Watch the eyes. The pupils of someone’s eyes can give you clues into how someone is responding. If you’re near enough to see someone’s eyes up close, dilated pupils show interest. Your team member might be on board with a strategy for pinpointing potential clients. Pupils that are constricted mean that your team member is feeling less receptive to your ideas. Follow up by helping them locate start-up companies in your niche.

    “When someone is disengaged, the amount of eye contact decreases, as we tend to look away from things that distress us or people we don’t like,” says Goman. “Team members who feel bored may avoid eye contact by gazing past you, defocusing or glancing around the room.”

  • Gauge smiles. A genuine smile usually signals agreement, while clenched jaws and pursed lips mean disagreement — even if it’s not being said out loud. A bona fide smile will be reflected in the eyes, not just the lips, and light up your recruiting team member’s entire face when they find their social media training compelling and engaging.
  • Feet can show stress.

    Feet can show stress.

    See the arms. Open arms typically signal openness, as do movements reaching toward you and welcoming gestures. Closed arms or clenched fists indicate defensive or angry feelings, which is not unusual when you’re going over missed placement goals. Doodling, resting their head in their hands or tapping fingers may indicate that your team member is bored. Ask them questions to get them engaged in the conversation.
  • Note feet. Although you shouldn’t be staring at the floor, keeping your eyes on someone’s feet in your peripheral vision can be telling. If someone’s feeling stressed, they may have fidgety feet that shuffle or wind around each other — perhaps your new salesperson fell short on his quota of face-to-face client visits. If your team members have their legs stretched out toward you, they are more likely to be feeling positive.

“Remember, with nonverbal communication, it’s not how the sender feels that matters most, it’s how the observer perceives how the sender feels,” says Goman. “If you frown in a staff meeting, your team will think you don’t like what you just heard, and they’ll keep their opinions to themselves.”

There are a number of insights you can take from nonverbal communication. From being able to better read your recruiting team’s reactions to asserting your authority or conveying openness to ideas, body language can help you improve your management communication skills. You’ll be better at communicating to your team and also better at reading what they’re thinking so you can be a more effective leader.

Learn how to improve your management communication skills further by building a performance-driven culture and developing an outcome-driven sales funnel with our webinar, Discover the Metrics That Will Drive Your Growth and Profitability.

 

Developing Your Internal Sales Team: Retention Strategies That Prepare Your Best People for Future Leadership

Now that we’ve figured out how to select top performers and learned how to keep our teams motivated we should be in the clear, right? Well, if your firm is like the vast majority of those in staffing struggling with turnover in the 30 to 70 percent range, there’s a lot of work left to be done. It’s not enough to select the right people and keep them motivated. Attention needs to be paid to understanding why they stick around.

Firms in every industry find themselves in situations where they have found great talent and invested in them only to lose them when the employee “was just starting to get good.” So what really happens in these scenarios? Understanding why people leave a company is the first step in stopping the bleeding and developing strong retention strategies. There are tons of reasons why someone will leave a company but the most common reasons people leave an organization are due to conflicts with their immediate supervisor (leadership issue) or lack of professional growth (leadership issue). The top three reasons an employee leaves an organization are directly or indirectly attributable to leadership issues.

So recognizing that the most common reasons for why an employee leaves a company has to do with leadership, how can we fix the situation and hold on to our best talent? The answer to that question is actually simpler than what you may think. It starts with understanding that under most circumstances, an employee leaves an organization because of something they’re missing from us. Simply put, it’s not them, it’s me. When we think of leadership as a concept, it’s made up of three aspects: supervisory activities, mentoring activities, and training/coaching activities. As leaders of our organizations and teams, most of our time should be spent doing mentoring and training/coaching activities. Unfortunately, most managers end up spending most of their time managing the metrics-oriented supervisory aspects of their role.

In order to shift this supervisory paradigm that we’re all stuck in, we must do three key things. First we must teach a simple workflow for our lowest-level people to make sound decisions without our intervention. I call it the decision pyramid and it’s made up of three questions:

  1. Is this action good for the customer?
  2. Is this action good for our company? and
  3. Is this action ethical?

If your employees can say yes to all three questions, they should be able to act without your intervention. I would add that letting your people know “that there isn’t a mistake that they can make that we can’t fix” is an important coaching tip that should be part of your organizational DNA.

Once you’ve empowered your people to make their own decisions, you’ve laid the ground work to prepare them to grow within your organization. The second step in shifting the supervisory paradigm is to shift the focus of your conversations from being metrics-driven to being vision-driven. It’s important to talk about the metrics required for success in our organizations but that shouldn’t be the focus of the conversation. Oftentimes managers focus on the numbers without giving consideration for why an employee should even strive to achieve the numbers. Do we take the time to understand our employees’ passions and vision? If not, we need to. As part of our retention strategy, we need to meet our employees where they are and understand where they are going before we ever dive into the numbers. If we do this successfully, no employee will ever ask the question “Why am I here?”

Many firms think of the concept of growth and leadership in terms of promotions and the organizational chart. While that may be true for some, a real growth culture is a lot more than just promotions and the vertical hierarchy. The third step in the process of keeping and growing your talent is to build a culture of inquiry and innovation. This may sound complex, but if you’ve done the first two steps, this step is easy. You’ve empowered your people to make sound decisions, you’ve taken the time to learn what drives them, and now this step allows them to execute. All you’re doing is creating a culture where your team can look at any aspect of the business and identify the gaps in how things are done. Then you’re empowering them to find solutions for that problem. By taking this approach, you are preparing your people to stay with your organization and really make an impact independent of the size of your company.

Keeping your top talent is a critical issue for many firms. Any staffing firm that can speak to systems and processes they have in place to get the most out of their people will have significant competitive advantages. Shifting the focus of leadership from managing metrics to inspiring your people and creating an empowering culture will provide the necessary fuel for your people to keep moving your firm forward.

Discover how recruiting software from Bond can provide actionable information that can give leaders like you insight into employee retention strategies.

Selecting Sales Candidates: How to Hire Wolves

I have found that one of the more common problems staffing firm leaders encounter is finding and hiring top-level salespeople. More specifically, it seems that hiring the farmer profile seems to be much easier than hiring hunters. It seems that this challenge applies to not only startups and small firms but large firms as well. So what’s the solution?

Believe it or not, this is a challenge that’s common in many industries. I’ve been involved in the hiring process in the retail, technology, and automotive sectors and hiring managers struggle with overcoming the same challenges. What I have found, through observation and experimentation, is that there is a fairly simple four step process that can be used to identify and hire sales people who fit the hunter/wolf profile you are looking for.

The first step in the process is to look within your organization and identify your own hunters and build a baseline profile. Hunters and farmers work differently so it’s important to document the way both types of salespeople work—you may choose to utilize your recruiting software for insight. This step in the process requires some level of business process analysis and the ability to look at every step in the sales cycle and how the individual behaves in each step.

The next step in the process of hiring sales people is to incorporate psychometric testing into your selection process. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense to some, it’s important to keep in mind the costs associated with making the wrong hire. Research has shown that firms can spend two to three times the first year salary of the “wrong” hire to fix the mistake. Adding psychometric testing reduces the risk of making that wrong hire and adds a research-backed instrument to your hiring process. I have found that both the Predictive Index (PI) and the Life Styles Inventory (LSI) are effective diagnostic tools with documented reliability and validity. Conversely, stay away from Meyers-Briggs or similar tools since their predictive capabilities have recently been called into question.

The third step in the process of hiring sales people is to understand the psychological profile of the hunter mentality. I have found that the candidates who best fit the profile have the following attributes: patience, resilience, confidence, humor, curiosity, service-orientation, learning-orientation, and competitiveness. There are wide-ranging research opinions on what attributes carry the most weight but the key takeaway is that your “perfect” hunter profile will have all of these attributes. As a result, your interview process needs to include behavior-based questioning that distills out the presence or absence of these attributes.

The fourth and final step in the process is interviewing and selecting the hunter profile. Like just about everyone else, I’ve been on both sides of the interview table. What I’ve found particularly interesting is how sales interviews are conducted. Generally speaking, interviews have been structured in such a way that hiring managers aren’t testing for capability or profile. Oftentimes the process itself really doesn’t gauge if the candidate has the necessary competencies. Organizations looking to hire hunters need to gauge performance under pressure and should be interviewing candidates with that in mind. A simple approach would be to tell the candidate (in a polite way) that they’re not good enough and see how they respond. Most sub-par candidates will crumble. The ones left over provide you a “semi-qualified” pool of candidates to evaluate further.

The process of hiring sales people is a complex one for most organizations. Hiring for the hunter profile can prove to be one of the bigger challenges a sales organization can face. As a result, it’s critical that firms take a systematic approach to the process that includes both quantitative and qualitative criteria. This four-step process should provide a good foundation to build from. Then, once you’ve found your ‘wolves’, Bond will be there for you with the tools they need for hunting success.

For more insights from leading staffing industry experts on how to build, coach, and train your sales team, get a copy of our Bond US Sales Selection, Training and Development Report 2014.