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Internal Recruiters, HR people tips for TPR's calling in to you?

As this site has a mix of internal recruiters and third party recruiters, vendors, sourcers attached to it. I thought perhaps that those of us who receive the calls from agencies could give advice to those who are making calls. You know, what works for one side of the fence, when talking to the other.

The finding of assignments is going to be tough in the next year or so, so maybe us internal people could help a little for what it's worth.

For one, I like people to know who we are and what we do when calling up... ie no research no time will be spent with you Mr, Mrs, Ms Agent?

Know your value add and how it'll help me.

Any other tips?

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I would appreciate any advice you wanted to send our way Dan!

I like your notion that a researched call is a good call... experience means I can list teams, current and ex-staff and much more when I speak with an in-house function and firmly believe that knowledge equates to power in this industry... the quandary I often face is when I’m advising newer consultants... I would like to advise them to allocate X amount of time per day to researching target clients and building up mind maps of associations within and outside of the company... the trouble I have in doing this, is the sheer number of in-house and HR staff that do not give you the time of day beyond them hearing you’re from an agency and throwing out the usual PSL objection (can we please have some new objections!?) and leaving the call before you’ve even had a chance to handle the objection... how can I justify 15 minutes of researching a company when there’s a huge chance of deaf ears... as disappointing as it is for me to say it, because I love informed folk, we have more success ‘winging it’ and using potential research time to make another 3 calls into clients and this is what the competition is doing...

Maybe I’m a little cynical because I’m London, UK based and this is the state of affairs in the UK... the UK is ridiculously saturated, and I can sympathise with those in-house because I know they’ll be getting 10s of sales calls every day and it just becomes a response mechanism, the same way that a great looking girl in the club will lump you with the rest of the guys that have bothered her and throw up the same ‘I’m not interested’ before you’ve even communicated value, simply because it’s habit! I’d 90% do the same, too! Admittedly this isn’t so much an issue in mainland Europe, and the quality of hires that businesses in Europe are hiring is reflected in that... but I’m sure that Europe will slowly follow as more and more agencies appear...

I’m a firm believer that in-house teams / HR work on a different wavelength altogether to us external recruiters... our list of priorities are way different... as an in-house recruiter, the margins my agencies are working to is a priority... minimising administrative duties and sets of terms and conditions that I’m agreeing to is a priority... spending time filling the easiest positions that will make me most money and keeps me within budget (in-house are still incentivised!) is a priority... I can give you all that information you want to hear in a call and more, but you expect me to sign up to 12% mark-up on contractors and / or 15% perm fees?

The conflict we experience in priorities is why I will keep pitching line and having them advocate my case to the fury of many HR departments... I have nothing against HR and would love to engage with them, but there’s only so patient I can be with deaf ears... obviously, this causes things to go a little haywire and the steel sword comes crashing down and managers aren’t allowed to bring on the best hires for the position, they have to settle for the ones that come through the approved route that could do the job, but are clear second best for the project...

But I do digress... I’d welcome suggestions... and I’d particularly welcome suggestions for dealing with those in-house / HR functions that are lumping my team with the rest of the crowd, not giving my team a chance to communicate value and then shutting us down for communicating our value to the line manager and having him advocate our cause...
When I was in a corporate recruiting management role, I appreciated vendors who wanted to understand what I was tasked with accomplishing that quarter and how they could help me get there. It wasn't always possible to blend both of our objectives, but it always helped to build a stronger relationship between us - and when the time was right, it was those vendors I gravitated toward to explore new business.
Hey Leigh,

You have to remember, I suppose that some internal rec dept get bonused on lowering recruitment costs, some are just not allowed to go outside their own internal function, and won't get budget to do so. So I agree, internal and tpr will definitely be on different wave lengths.

Asking questions, well thought out, relevant questions, engages better, as opposed to just pitching for business and explaining the virtues of their business.

Let's face it, if there are easy positions to fill we'll do it ourselves, thus why internal recruiters are in a job! Find out what or where my business problem is and help me solve it.

From my recollection, there was always a way past the PSL if you had a solution.

My company, well my CEO dislikes using TPR, yet I think we spent over $100K last year in fees. Why, those places found a way to add value and solve our problems.. not purely pitch for work, see our ads on job boards and call me saying have I got someone for you.

buildng a relationship is paramount. I had a colleague who once, could never get through to a hiring manager, as he was "too busy". She put 2 tea bags and a chocolate in an envelope with a simple note like, "I know you're very busy, but everyone needs a break. When you are ready to use these give me a call". Loved it. She got a call back and billed business.

Prove a way to value add, form a relationship, be creative and memorable. Of course if you can't see a fee, and you think the Recruiter is being straight up with the fact they can't use them (TPRs) take it gracefully and move on...

Also don't make me feel like I am a stat call, ie someone you are calling to pad your stats incase your boss looks at what you are doing.!



cite>Leigh McKiernon said:
I would appreciate any advice you wanted to send our way Dan!

I like your notion that a researched call is a good call... experience means I can list teams, current and ex-staff and much more when I speak with an in-house function and firmly believe that knowledge equates to power in this industry... the quandary I often face is when I’m advising newer consultants... I would like to advise them to allocate X amount of time per day to researching target clients and building up mind maps of associations within and outside of the company... the trouble I have in doing this, is the sheer number of in-house and HR staff that do not give you the time of day beyond them hearing you’re from an agency and throwing out the usual PSL objection (can we please have some new objections!?) and leaving the call before you’ve even had a chance to handle the objection... how can I justify 15 minutes of researching a company when there’s a huge chance of deaf ears... as disappointing as it is for me to say it, because I love informed folk, we have more success ‘winging it’ and using potential research time to make another 3 calls into clients and this is what the competition is doing...

Maybe I’m a little cynical because I’m London, UK based and this is the state of affairs in the UK... the UK is ridiculously saturated, and I can sympathise with those in-house because I know they’ll be getting 10s of sales calls every day and it just becomes a response mechanism, the same way that a great looking girl in the club will lump you with the rest of the guys that have bothered her and throw up the same ‘I’m not interested’ before you’ve even communicated value, simply because it’s habit! I’d 90% do the same, too! Admittedly this isn’t so much an issue in mainland Europe, and the quality of hires that businesses in Europe are hiring is reflected in that... but I’m sure that Europe will slowly follow as more and more agencies appear...

I’m a firm believer that in-house teams / HR work on a different wavelength altogether to us external recruiters... our list of priorities are way different... as an in-house recruiter, the margins my agencies are working to is a priority... minimising administrative duties and sets of terms and conditions that I’m agreeing to is a priority... spending time filling the easiest positions that will make me most money and keeps me within budget (in-house are still incentivised!) is a priority... I can give you all that information you want to hear in a call and more, but you expect me to sign up to 12% mark-up on contractors and / or 15% perm fees?

The conflict we experience in priorities is why I will keep pitching line and having them advocate my case to the fury of many HR departments... I have nothing against HR and would love to engage with them, but there’s only so patient I can be with deaf ears... obviously, this causes things to go a little haywire and the steel sword comes crashing down and managers aren’t allowed to bring on the best hires for the position, they have to settle for the ones that come through the approved route that could do the job, but are clear second best for the project...

But I do digress... I’d welcome suggestions... and I’d particularly welcome suggestions for dealing with those in-house / HR functions that are lumping my team with the rest of the crowd, not giving my team a chance to communicate value and then shutting us down for communicating our value to the line manager and having him advocate our cause...
Dan -

I hate to simply re-state what you've already pointed out, but knowing my business is the most important to me! My biggest pet peeve is when an agency calls assuming they know what I will need. A quick example is a recent call I took from a salesperson telling me all about a great manufacturing engineer she is working with that really wants to be in my office in Michigan. The problem is, we do no manufacturing in Michigan and the closest plant is in Tennessee which is several hundred miles away! A quick look online would have shown this caller that we do engineering, but no production in my location!

OK, perhaps not as quick of an example as I anticipated, but my point has been made all the same.

Once a salesperson knows what we do here and is aware of my business it is all about the relationship. I absolutely loathe feeling like I'm call number 12 on their list of 20 mandatory daily contacts per day. I know this is a tall order for most agencies we work with right now because we have slowed down hiring so much. That said, the ones who still treat me like a valued customer (or potential customer) continue to have their calls returned, get a meeting with me, and will be in consideration when we can utilize vendors.

One more personal preference of mine is something I wish vendors would stop doing. Please stop leaving me a voicemail or leading your call with the promise of a great candidate who is very interested in working with my company! Trust me, I get plenty of calls, emails, and paper resumes from these candidates on my own, and since I don't have any open jobs in this location, pushing this candidate on me is a fruitless effort. In a manner of speaking, this relates back to knowing my business and building the relationship.

/gino's soapbox

Thanks for the post Dan, keep them coming!

Gino
Thanks for the input Dan.

I’ll be one of the first to admit that my services aren’t going to be of any relevance or interest to you currently if you’ve got an easy position to fill or one that falls outside my technical remit… a fee of 20 – 25% isn’t so attractive when you don’t need a specialist or its outside my remit and I’m searching for my candidates on the job board, exactly the same way that you could too! It’s one of the challenges we currently face at the minute as skills that the same managers would bite your arm off for 12 months ago are more abundantly available for in-house teams…

Gripes are generally with the increasingly ignorant number of folk holding the reins who are not prepared to listen to how you could help them out of a situation… one of the very basics of head-hunter training is effective questioning to uncover a need, trouble is with the grunts and fleeting ‘OK’ type answers that we’re getting the in-house function / HR aren’t even prepared to help themselves… as before, I do sympathise with them and understand why they lump you with the rest of the chaff and don’t give you the time of day since they assume you’re just going in there with the same pitch as the 20 shockingly bad recruiters that they’re used too…

So, any advice that you’d recommend for getting a hold on those that you’ve maybe worked with in the past or perhaps work alongside now, who prefer the lets not cooperate approach to dealing with recruiters… tried emails with all the bells and whistles attached too, but they don’t get a reply or just the standard PSL template email back to which we fire you another 10 reasons why we’d help you fill that position that you’ve not been able to fill for the past 6 months on a time critical project!

IMHO the increasing number of split fees that are being offered by recruiters shows that things are clearly going wrong in the chain… in-house are bringing on TP volume recruiters that work to the low margins and sometimes unreasonable terms who are clearly not equipped to fill the position, hence advertising splits… as a TP recruiter, I fail to see the attraction of a split deal… as the recruiter that knows where the position is, who the point of contact is and has spent time and resource to establish a database that can present you with 5 pre qualified candidates within the hour, why would I take a split… what has the initial TPR done to ‘win’ that vacancy? Undercut everyone else on cost! I’m sorry, but that doesn’t warrant you half of my £100/Day margin!!!
If recruiters don't understand the business of their client (or prospect) and don't know how they could add value to that business (beyond just pushing a resume) and they then expect the client or prospect to give then the time of day then they are simply deluding themselves.

With all the knowledge available at our fingertips each day there is no excuse for a recruiter not to undertake some basic research and have at least some idea what sort of conversation will 'cut through' with the person on the other end of the telephone.

Sadly most recruiters just pick up the phone and use the same tired old spiel that got them nowhere the previous few calls/hours/days/weeks.
Animal did a whole show on this.. with Susan Strayer http://cli.gs/strayer Thanks guys!
Gino Conti said:
Dan -

I hate to simply re-state what you've already pointed out, but knowing my business is the most important to me! My biggest pet peeve is when an agency calls assuming they know what I will need. A quick example is a recent call I took from a salesperson telling me all about a great manufacturing engineer she is working with that really wants to be in my office in Michigan. The problem is, we do no manufacturing in Michigan and the closest plant is in Tennessee which is several hundred miles away! A quick look online would have shown this caller that we do engineering, but no production in my location!

OK, perhaps not as quick of an example as I anticipated, but my point has been made all the same.

Once a salesperson knows what we do here and is aware of my business it is all about the relationship. I absolutely loathe feeling like I'm call number 12 on their list of 20 mandatory daily contacts per day. I know this is a tall order for most agencies we work with right now because we have slowed down hiring so much. That said, the ones who still treat me like a valued customer (or potential customer) continue to have their calls returned, get a meeting with me, and will be in consideration when we can utilize vendors.

One more personal preference of mine is something I wish vendors would stop doing. Please stop leaving me a voicemail or leading your call with the promise of a great candidate who is very interested in working with my company! Trust me, I get plenty of calls, emails, and paper resumes from these candidates on my own, and since I don't have any open jobs in this location, pushing this candidate on me is a fruitless effort. In a manner of speaking, this relates back to knowing my business and building the relationship.

/gino's soapbox

Thanks for the post Dan, keep them coming!

Gino


"Build the Relationship" has become the latest buzz phrase. But how does a TPR begin the process of building a relationship? By calling you and asking you what your needs are? Oh that's right, we're not supposed to do that ......

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