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I'll never forget the first time I was ever kicked out of a casino.

Several years ago, I was a professional card counting blackjack player, personally mentored by the legendary MIT blackjack team. One of the key concepts they taught me was to NEVER put money on the felt unless you KNOW that you have a HIGH LIKELIHOOD of getting a return. As a result, I consistently had an advantage when I played and never took unnecessary risks or senseless gambles. The science of mathematics and probabilities governed the results, and I was actually banned from several casinos because of this skill.

Recruiting is the same way.

You should NEVER spend your time in an area unless you KNOW you have a high likelihood of getting a return on it.

Your desk is full of risks, and you have to make decisions about where you invest your equity, which means how you spend your time, money and resources. This is especially true if you work a contingency desk where every minute of your day is at risk. You need to remember that recruiting is a risk management business, and you have to think of it that way.

What that means for you is that when you are making decisions about which searches to work on, you have to follow a criteria of logic to give yourself better odds of success.

Here are seven indicators, or 'tells' that you can use on knowing which searches deserve your time:

1. The prospect, or client, returns your calls, and does so promptly.

2. If they ever are late or delayed in calling you, they acknowledge this and even will apologize.

3. They say, 'thank you' to you when you spend time with them. They seem appreciative that you are working their searches.

4. They give you time on the phone. They carve out twenty to thirty minutes initially so you can take a proper search assignment.

5. If you ask them what they are looking for, they don't respond, "Just send me a widget manager. You know what I'm looking for. I don't have time for this."

6. They are respectful in their tone to you. They don't seem rushed or hurried

7. They give you referrals within the organization such as other decision makers who are looking for people. Or, they introduce you to other decision makers from whom you can get more information about your searches. They trust you and give you latitude to connect with other colleagues in their company.


Copyright © Scott Love
Scott Love trains, motivates and inspires recruiters to achieve greatness in the profession. Visit his online recruiter training center for tips, tools, downloads, videos, articles, instruments and quizzes that can help you bill more. www.GreatRecruiterTraining.com

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Tags: game, love, recruiting, scott, theory

Comment by Craig Silverman on May 18, 2010 at 10:51am
great post. thanks scott. If they don't call you back and don't give you any referral it is usually because they don't want you or need you... We all need to be able to take a hint, look for this silent tells that show you where to invest you most valuable asset, your time...
Comment by Will Branning on May 18, 2010 at 12:03pm
Thanks for reminding me that its "normal" to either walk away from some searches, or, spend minimal time on them, if they aren't responsive and cooperative - excellent post!
Comment by Todd Nilson on May 18, 2010 at 2:03pm
An enjoyable post and very true. As search professionals, we need to be mindful that not all searches are worth our valuable time and that it is perfectly okay to walk away.

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