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Breaking Down the 7 Fundamentals of Recruiting




No matter what you do, the fundamentals are the most critical aspect of your endeavor. Even the best people in their profession go back to the fundamentals when they get into a rut. That’s how they got to the top in the first place—the fundamentals.

What are the fundamentals of recruiting? They can be broken down into a list of seven skills, and this is as strong of a set of fundamentals to reflect the reality of recruiting that you will find anywhere:

1. Plan your contacts. I mention this first because it’s the most important of all the fundamentals. You can’t succeed in any kind of recruiting practice without planning, and the key to planning is knowing who you will speak to.

2. Connect with managers and candidates. By connect, you can reach out and leave a voicemail message, but you don’t really need to get a callback. That’s wonderful if you do get one, but the purpose is to initiate an actual connection, which is the true fundamental here. Don’t just talk to managers, either—candidates are just as important as a source of information as managers. A manager can be your very best candidate depending on what level they’re managing at and what kinds of openings you’re searching for. You should have two objectives for each call—to drive toward a candidate to send in on a job order or opening and/or speak with a manager to make introductions and get send-outs.

3. Find openings. Once you connect with managers and candidates, the ability to find openings is where this process turns from a warm conversation into an act of business. Finding openings gives you tremendous tactical power for the next fundamental on this list.

4. Find qualified talent. This is what we sell more than anything else. The previous three fundamentals are essential to our practice, but when we’re pitching our service, it’s our ability to find qualified talent that is the greatest value we provide. On a fundamental level, you need to be able to find more qualified talent in a rapid, effective, and profitable manner for your clients better than they can on their own.

“No matter what you do, the fundamentals are the most critical aspect of your endeavor.”

5. Complete introductions. I like the word ‘complete’ in this context for two different reasons. First, you want to ‘complete’ as many introductions as necessary to fill any search. I also like the word in a descriptive manner—to make an introduction, you need to do it ‘completely.’

6. Nurture negotiations. The moment the introduction is completed and the hiring manager and the candidate agree to meet each other, that’s when the negotiation commences. You shouldn’t have “being pushy” as part of your fundamental skill set, and you don’t want to force a negotiation. You want your negotiations to have plenty of room—or what I call slack—so you’re not disappointing expectations and you’re drawing people together.

7. Drive decisions. Decisions aren’t just one of the fundamentals of our skill level—they’re the very purpose of what we do. We strive to make better decisions for people than they could have on their own. All companies have some form of internal recruiting ability, but they don’t make the decisions. The best decisions come from a process. We have a panoramic view of the market and the competitive space from which managers and candidates come from, and we drive the best hiring decisions for them that are possible. That’s the basis of our industry.

When you look at this list, it might seem a bit daunting or overwhelming at first, but don’t think of it that way. You can break this process down into each one of the skills we’ve listed, and focusing and working intensely on just one will naturally lead you to the next one. From the rookies to the best performers in our industry, anybody can look to this list to improve their service. I personally couldn’t be more excited about having it.

If you have any questions or find yourself in a rut, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help.

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