Thank you for having me back, but you know the unwritten rule of being on a show three times?

What's the unwritten rule?

The unwritten rule being on the show three times is I get to ask you questions today. So I'm taking the laptop.

So Kelly is hijacking the episode. Is that we're doing?

I am. I'm hijacking it because I want to be host today. And I want to ask you questions. I want to find out your thoughts on what we can ask or how we can help hiring managers get better?

This sprung off the ever and Dean scenario where you're pro job board and I'm not pro job board.

Obviously, I'm pro job board because I've built a business that distributed 40 million jobs a year to different job boards around the world, that was Broadbean. And now what we do is we help companies with their strategy and their tactics to get the most value from every cent they spend on-

So you're hijacking my show?

I'm hijacking your show. And I want to ask you some questions. We often talk about the benefits of job boards versus not job boards. And I know your historically a search business. So why are you more inclined to look for a candidate or to go and find somebody proactively than spend money on an ad?

It depends on the scenario. So I'm biased due to the fact that my searches that we do at my firm tend to be executive hires. And it's a very small targeted amount of people that we're going after. So we target, I've found that the sniper approach works much better than the shotgun approach. Even when I was doing contingency search at the engineering level, I've just been far more effective and made better hires when I've gone out and I've found the person and brought them to the table than when I've farmed somebody off the job board and brought them through the process.

And have you ever used job boards? Have you ever spent money on them?

Okay. Yeah, I have. It's been a long time. I have not probably in the past 10 years, but back when I was doing contingency search, that's when we had all the job boards. Essentially, we'd get a job. We'd pull off anybody from any sources we can get them to. And it's just a race to get those out to the company before they either find it on their own or somebody else gets it over to them. And that's the business. That's what it came out.

In your opinion, you search something that's really only for C level executives or can you use it for any position nowadays?

No, you can use it for any position. Search is not necessarily scalable when you have 500 roles that are available for any given time. Then it becomes a question of whether or not you have a really strong interview process. No matter what you're hiring for, you should have a really strong interview process. That way, you're bringing people in that essentially fit your culture. They fit into your values, in your organizational structure, and they can provide impact to your company. It doesn't matter where you find them.

We both agree that there's four ways to fill a job. Where you run some form of search, whether that's electronic or manual, you can use a job board or some sort of advert. You can hire an agency and pay them a fee, 15%, 20%, 25% percent. Or you can use a referral. Now, there are nuances within those, but there are about your four kind of headline ways that you find people for your company. And one of the things that most line managers don't get much advice on is asking for referrals. What would you suggest that hiring managers do in terms of maximizing their referrals for jobs?

The way in which you ask for referrals is more important than asking referrals. Let me explain. When you reach out to your employees or the people that work for you or people in your network who is good at a particular role or skill set or something to that effect, you can't let them present it. You have to be the one who's contacting that person. I've found that when you put it out to somebody, "Hey Kelly, you know so and so over there, can you reach out to them? Let them know we have this role that we're looking to fill." You're going to call them up and you go, "Hey, are you looking for a job right now? Because I got a friend's company or my company is looking for some people, would like to talk to you about it."

Well, somebody is engaged in their current work. They're not going to be looking for a job. I'm not even going to get past that screen. It's going to say, "No, not looking." The worst thing you can do is have your employee reach out to that person and ask them if they're looking for a job. Now, if they make an introduction and you can set up a time to talk to them, then you can get past that screen. You can get to a point where you can talk about what's happening in their current role and see if there's any problems that you can solve for that person in their career, that you might be able to enhance or make better for them at your company.

I want to ask you a couple of questions, but since I'm hijacking this show, let's just take a moment. This is Kelly Robinson of Hire Power radio. Just a quick 60 seconds from our sponsors. Sorry about taking over your show here, but I'm having fun here.

No, I like how you just turned the tide on me.

Just enjoying as we go. Okay. You've been in this business for a long time. Tell me, what is the worst opening line you've heard?

You looking for a job?

Come on. You must have heard worse than that.


Normally, I hear, "I have a job..."

Yes. "... That I think you'll be perfect for. I found you on LinkedIn and I want to talk to you about it." It's riddled with me, me, me, me, me, I, I, I. The worst openers or anything that they hear a hundred times from everybody else throughout the day. I hear a lot through recruiting groups and pages where people come up with the same version of the, "Hey, I have this. I'm interested in talking to you." Me, me, me, me, me, as opposed to, "What about you?" Everything is a variation of that really bad opener. And you're putting people in a mindset where they're automatically tuning you out. It's automatically negative because you don't give a shit about that person. You just care about filling your job. That's what is perceived.

I agree. I think recruiters historically are overworked and undertrained. And they forget the core principle of what we work to. Our job, I think, is to explain to people why they should quit their job and work for our client. And there needs to be a reason why they're working for our client. And it's not because you have a job.

But take it even a step further. You have to find out first if somebody has a pain point. You have to understand the person. I say it all the time. You need to have conversations with people. And you almost need to play the role of a bartender or a therapist in the very beginning to understand what the motivations of that person are. Now, if somebody's completely satisfied in their role and they love their company, don't try and recruit them. It's going to be a waste of your time and their time. Don't try and get them to come talk to you, but you can build a relationship. There's going to be a time when they're going to hit their end of their juncture at that company, where they're going to be open to hearing about something that's going to help them enhance their career. And you want to be the first person they think of when that happens.


You don't want to put yourself in a position where you're pitching a job and it's just another version of the same thing that they've heard 50 times prior.

Let's pick the top three worst openers you're seeing.

I can almost say this verbatim. And I've had conversations with people that I've talked to. They're like, "Thank you so much for not pitching your job." It's always, "Hey, I found you on LinkedIn. I think you're perfect for this job that I have at my company. And I'd like to talk to you about this opportunity."

Perfect. So whoever's listening, take notes, write that down, and start using that rather than saying-

No, don't use it. I said don't ever use it. Well, or use it. You just made my job easier. I'm happy that everybody uses the same version of that. Don't pitch your job, don't pitch your company, and don't pitch yourself.

See, I heard you say pitch opportunity. And I'm a big believer that you should pitch opportunity to type.

You have to pitch the opportunity, but you need to know where that opportunity lies for that individual. Everybody's different. You can kind of guess for most people that are working in a role, the main complaints tend to be growth. So they're kind of stuck. They can't go any further. Somebody needs to die above them in order for them to move up. Their leadership might have made a change. If you have any of this knowledge of, "Hey, CEO just left this company and they're taking it in a whole new direction," you can guess that there's probably some people over there that aren't really super happy with their leadership. You can craft your message in and around those pain points, so to speak. And then the last one is the content of the work. People get bored with what they're doing. They're not learning anymore. If you can get them to engage with you based on those three criteria, that's a good starting point. But ultimately, I wanted to get you to talk to me about what's happening with you. Then I know how to position my opportunity for you specifically.

So what I'm hearing from that is trying to avoid what everybody else is currently doing, which is a LinkedIn message that starts with, "I have a job." Focus on the opportunity, answer the question why somebody should quit their job and work for that organization. But actually, what is the growth opportunity when you get there? So not just, "Here is a position," or "Here is an opportunity to do X, but X can lead to this role."

Yeah. You're connecting the dots for people. Okay. They may not even be aware of the fact that they're stuck too. So you're giving them a path to go down. You're not giving anybody a path to go down when you say, "Hey, I found you on LinkedIn. I have a job you're perfect for. I'd like to talk to you about it." And then you start going into inquisition mode where you start really asking questions where you're asking screening questions. Again, I don't think there's anything that turns a person off more than, "Wait, you called me." You start throwing up your own hurdles so that people start pushing you away. And then they're looking for a way to get out of the conversation with you.

Yeah, I think that is such a valuable point there. And it also goes to my belief that when you write a job ad, we've had this debate many times, I think job advertising is a really pure form of digital recruitment, but you have to write a job advert and not share a job description. And I think it's exactly the same as what you're talking about is your explaining to people the opportunity, the benefits of working for that business, not just sending out the HR job spec that's been in the system for 10 years. And so if people were to take more time right in their adverts, they'd probably get more relevant response, less of it, but more relevant. And it's exactly the same as what you're suggesting when you present to somebody.

Last time we did an episode, a few episodes back, you said, what if you just flip everything upside down, start at the top and then work your way down? Do that with your job description. So your job descriptions, you should completely flip upside down. The normal requirements and all these sections that you have in there, a lot of them are in there for compliance reasons and so you don't get sued. But they're 100% not attractive to really anybody, which is why you get so many people that just go, "Oh, that, okay. I like that title." Click. "I'll just submit my resume." When you actually create a document that's a marketing related document. You're going to get much, much, much better results and higher quality people.

So therein lies another coaching point for people listening to this is understand the job description. Ask the questions. What are the opportunity? Where can this person step up? Where can they grow in this role? Questions that just generally don't get asked. We receive a job description, we get one from a line manager, we just take it as read, we don't question it. Ask questions like, "Well, the last person that's in this job, where did they go? What did they do? Did they get promoted? Did they leave? Why did they leave?" Understanding a little bit more so you could match the opportunity to the company to the person.

Well, the other thing, too, is that job descriptions don't ever give you an idea of "How will I know I'm going to be successful in this role in three, six, nine, 12 months?" Building performance metrics into the job description for a minimum of three months is ultra critical. Because then you have accountability tool. You agreed you're going to do this, this, and this. And if somebody is not performing what they sign on to to perform, then it becomes a very easy transition out or a very easy reason to keep them. And there's not a lot of thought that's put into that at all. At all.

I want to round up me hijacking your show today with one question, because I find this funny, because you've told me about this before. So I'm going to put you on the spot run. Explain to everybody your little car technique.

Oh gosh.

Unknown secrets are coming out now, folks.

As a point of reference, and by the way, I didn't make this up. I think I got this from some training or a mentor that I had years ago. But when you hire people and you want people who are pretty organized, or run a tight ship, you do this little trick. There's lots of little techniques that you go out to lunch with people. So we had always set it up when you come back for your final interview, "Let's go out to lunch." I might say, "Hey, you know what? Would you mind driving?" And so I have the person drive. Well, I'm going to get a really good view of if everything meshes up on what they told me in the interview, based on their automobile. If I'm looking at somebody who is an organized sales person, who's claiming to be super tight and everything else, I can look at their car.

And now, if their car is clean in immaculate, maybe it has a couple of things, they're going to run their desk the way they run their car. A clean car means you're going to have a tidy desk, and that person, I've walked into offices and I've looked at desks and I go, "This is the most productive person in here." And they go, "You're right." Just by looking at their desk. The ones who have all stacks all over the place, there are anomalies if they're super productive. But usually, if you're organized, you're going to be more productive than other people.

It's quite funny you should say that because my car is immaculate inside and my friends will often make comments about I'm obsessed with keeping my car spotlessly clean. But also my desk has got a set of rules and on my desk, if it's not a right angle, it's absolutely a wrong angle. So everything needs to be at right angles. Everything is [inaudible 00:13:01] same as my car. So I don't know where that puts me on the spectrum, but it will work for me. Thank you for letting me hijack your show. I'm going to give you back your laptop, sir.

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