Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"I’ll Be Back"… Don’t Take “No” For An Answer

What is your first response when a prospective candidate tells you “no”?  Remember in the movie, The Terminator, when Arnold said his famous line, “I’ll be back”?   All recruiters should take this to heart… it should be our mantra, especially in this market.  How many times have you had candidates tell you that they were not interested in your job?  Maybe they were happy with their current role, not the right time to make a move, looking for a different type role, couldn’t relocate, looking for a higher level role to make a move… we have heard them all.  If you haven’t then you aren’t doing your job properly.  And by your job, I mean building relationships with your prospective candidates.  

Being trained as an agency recruiter has many advantages.  We are taught never to take “no” for an answer.  In fact, on my first recruiting job they told me that I would hear “no” at least 5 times before getting to a “yes” and they gave me a long list of how to overcome typical objections.  The key learning here was that if someone said no, they were engaged in the conversation and giving me the opportunity to turn that no into a yes.  The rule of thumb was that you make your pitch and then shut up… the next person to speak loses.  This brings back memories of very, very long silences over my desk telephone while I was waiting for the person I was speaking with to say “no” or “not yet” or “not now”.  (Yes, I said telephone… we used to actually cold call prospective candidates to recruit them.  Does anyone else remember dialing for dollars???)

Fast forward many, many years to today and these principles still hold true as a corporate recruiter and perhaps even more so in the executive search world.  My world now is all about building relationships with the people I talk to, promoting my company, creating awareness, being a brand ambassador and helping them find the right opportunity here.  Just having conversations about our company values, new products and technologies, global expansion, company culture and personal growth and development can keep me talking to people for 10 – 15 minutes.  And they really get excited when they hear these things!  (Of course it doesn't hurt to work for one of the best companies in the world.) 

Many times just having that initial conversation with a candidate will get them thinking about outside opportunities and before you know it, they are looking at what else is out there.  Especially when they had a bad day, a change in work or family situation, were passed up for promotion… you get the idea.  It all goes back to building that relationship with the prospective candidate.  Really listen to them and figure out what they want and the best path to get them there. 

These days I’m finding that more and more of the candidates that told me “no” the first time are now actively seeking me out and asking for my help, even people I haven’t’ spoken with in years.  This is a win/win because it saves me time when they come to me with resumes in hand (most times they have seen a job posting that they are interested in and are asking for my help getting them to the hiring team) and I’m better able to help navigate them to the right group or business leader. 

Bottom line… the next time you hear “no” your response should be “I’ll be back”!  

Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Other “F” Words…

How many times have you heard negative conversations lately?  Things like; the world is just getting worse, the economy isn't turning around, people don’t respect anything or anyone or appreciate what they have. We are bombarded with these messages via multiple channels; TV, the Internet, music, social media, newspapers and just overhearing conversations. 

I believe that it’s time to focus on the positive...  in fact I heard someone say recently that they were “too blessed to be stressed and too grateful to be hateful”.  That prompted me to think about my reasons to be grateful and the joys and blessings in my life and how to carry this “attitude of gratitude” into all areas of my everyday life. 

We have been going through a teaching series on TIME at my local church.  The first message called us to evaluate what is truly important in our lives and prioritize our time accordingly.  The pastor used a visual example that you may have seen before… filling a vase with golf balls and asked us if it was full, then adding sand (was it full?) and finally adding water.  If you haven’t seen it, here is an example from YouTube, Rocks in a Jar. 

Thinking about what is important to me, I started this list and decided to focus on other “F” words that have meaning to me.  I came up with quite a few things that sometimes get pushed aside during my busy days.  Refocusing my time to fill my day with what’s important may take some effort, but I’ll get there.  See if any of them resonate with you.  Thinking about doing several of these with different letters… I’d love your feedback if you have other words that are important to you. 

Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Food, Fitness, Favor, Fellowship, Fashion, Forgiveness, Fidelity, Fondness, Forever, Future, Flexible, Fabulous, Fair, Focused, Feisty, Fortunate, Fierce, Funny, Feline, Finished

*Picture is from the Apply Radical Truths Blog

Friday, March 15, 2013

Will Work For Klout

This picture of me was snapped recently at a local mall and it’s for realz!  Can you believe it? Me, Leslie Mason, reduced to soliciting social media scores on the street corner. Am I the only person who measures their social success by their Klout score and what in the world is going on???

My Klout score is dropping and I am concerned... not panicked yet but on the verge.  After all I worked really hard to get it up to 63 at its peak and three weeks ago it dropped below 59.  

Thankfully it recovered but just today when I checked it was back at 59, causing a sinking feeling in my stomach as well as a bit of dizziness.  Monitoring my Klout score has been a roller coaster ride for me over the past few months and I can’t figure out what is driving this behavior.  

I have carefully maintained all my social networks, judiciously sharing content and engaging with others and trying to spread out my interaction over all the sites that Klout monitors; LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Blogger, Instagram, Foursquare and Wordpress. What am I doing wrong?  Recruiters rely on their social media brand.  It is an indicator of our success, right?  I need to figure out Klout’s secret sauce… is it weighted heavier for sharing original content?  Most of the Klout heavyweights are publications or blogs.  Maybe I’m on to something!   

My company, Intuit, uses a methodology we call Lean StartIN which is a process of rapid experimentation.  We are applying it across the enterprise, including Talent Acquisition.  For my purposes, I want to test the impact of one blog posting on my Klout score over a period of time to see if this will move the needle… hopefully increasing my score.  I will monitor results and report back to you.  

If the experiment is a success my Klout score will hit 65 (an all time high) and if it reaches 70 I will share a video of me dancing a jig like Michael Flatly, the Lord of the Dance (I am Irish after all).  Or better yet... I'll do the Harlem Shake or celebrate GANGNAM STYLE… in fact I’ll post a poll and let YOU vote to decide which artistic celebration of dance you prefer.  This would actually count as another Lean StartIN experiment… look out, I’m on a roll!

For this experiment I will need your help, Dear Reader.  My ask of you is to please tweet, retweet, share, post, comment, like, +1 and utilize any other method of social sharing of my article to spread the word.  I’m also calling in the Big Guns… feeling a comeback!

Friends and Coworkers:
You know who you are, but like the academy awards I only have limited space to call out names. Forgive me for those that have been omitted.  

@StacyZapar friend and social rockstar… I’m happy to ride on your Klout coat tails anytime. ;)
@ghouston @aaroneden @LeanStartIN @JorgenSundberg @StephenMonaco @adriandparker @BillVick @ray_anne @smheadhunter @nmailey @crizzcoxx @scottaxel @fishdogs @philohme  @Mike_Anas @SherYoung @LindaBurkard @PHXRecruit @keli_intuit @KMGoodall @mint @Intuit @QuickBooks @turbotax @IntuitInc @IntuitPayroll @IntuitAccts @GoPayment @IntuitCareers 
Please… hook a sister up!!!

Shameless Self Promotion (really cry for help):
@Mashable @TechCrunch @twitter @LinkedIn @YouTube @Facebook @hootsuite @Google @instagram @Forbes @HuffingtonPost @GuyKawasaki @scobleizer @dannysullivan and all you other Captains of Klout out there… you have my permission to share and repost my content. 

And last but certainly not least:
@StephenAtHome Award winning twitter celebrity superstar that you are… I’d be thrilled just to see @leslie12002 show up in your timeline

Hmmm… wonder if @Klout would use this article in their blog?  Stay tuned for part deux… hope to see you on my timeline!

Leslie Mason @leslie12002
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