BRAD WOLFF: Scaling Your Agency with Systems and Processes


In this episode, Marcus Edwardes speaks with Brad Wolff, of PeopleMax, a business expert and advisor with over 25 years of experience in the recruitment industry.

Tune in to listen to Brad speaking about how recruiters can deal with scaling problems through systems, processes, and technology, especially content outreach on LinkedIn and email outreach. He also shares his insights on the best cold calls tips, minimizing defensiveness and resistance in getting clients, and how agency owners or recruiters should embrace metrics to help them move forward. Be sure to also get great tips on job orders and managing clients.

Notable Quotes

●      There are always many new things to learn, especially today when the industry seems to be accelerating in different directions.

●      Scaling has to do with how you grow and do more without you personally having to do more.

●      Defensiveness is the enemy of being able to build relationships and get clients.

●      You want something that feels and syncs with who you are.

●      Nothing works for everyone. At the end of the day, we are just working with human psychology.

●      Defensiveness is the resistance that keeps you from getting clients. Minimize resistance!

●      Nothing that works now will continue to work indefinitely. Everything has its time; the system is constantly changing.

●      Sales to me is simply as soon as the process moves to the actual human-to-human conversation. That’s when you’ve crossed over from marketing into sales.

●      If you can get the key things you need with a three metrics, don’t use more than three. More is not better with the metrics.

●      You want metrics that are very simple to understand and measure, as much as possible.

●      The metrics should be designed as a roadmap to help people stay focused on the most important things instead of a punishment.

●      Teach recruiters to understand how a metrics can impact their performance.

●      You can do anything in your life if you know how to do it.

●      No today does not mean No tomorrow.

Connect With Brad on LinkedIn

The Transcript

Marcus Edwardes (00:00):

Recruiting trailblazers is brought to you by The hiring platform that helps you hire like an expert, empowers organizations of all sizes to recruit talent faster. Using virtual teams of on-demand recruiting experts. Coupled with leading video AI search and curated job matching technology Video can help shave on average 168 hours off your recruiting process without slashing quality of the hire visit and enter code recruiter 1000 that’s recruiter with a capital R and the number 1000 to access the video beta program for free again, that’s and enter code recruiter 1000 coming to you from Silicon valley. I’m Marcus Edwards, and I’m on the hunt for recruiting leaders, producers, innovators, and pioneers. Who’ve made their mark on the industry and can’t wait to share their points of view. We’ll tackle the tough topics and dig deep to find the answers you’re looking for. And some actionable advice you can take to the bank. So stick around and stay tuned and welcome to recruiting trailblazers. Okay. I am very excited today to welcome my guest to recruiting trailblazers. Brad Wolfe is a recruitment industry, business expert, and advisor, and he will help you grow and scale your agency wisely. If you want to reinvent re-energize and possibly regenerate your business, if you want to move from the inconsistent and stressful results to consistent and scalable success, Brad Wolf may be the person you need to speak to. So welcome to recruiting trailblazers, Brad Wolf. How are you, Brad?

Brad Wolff (01:53):

I’m doing great. Thanks for having me, Marcus.

Marcus Edwardes  (01:56):

You’re welcome. I’m really excited to have this conversation with you because you’ve been in the industry. Well, tell us, you’ve been in the industry for a while. Haven’t you,

Brad Wolff (02:05):

I’ve been in this in the industry for quite a while. So I worked 25 years as a, in the, in the industry directly first hand. I worked for two large national firms where I got some fantastic training and work with some outstanding people. And then the last 15 years, I was a founder in two successful firms. So I have 25 years as a practitioner, if you will. And then about three years as a coach and advisor outside of that

Marcus Edwardes  (02:39):

Excellent stuff. So, you know what you’re talking about? This should be fun.

Brad Wolff (02:43):

I hope so. And there’s was always a whole lot to learn.

Marcus Edwardes  (02:47):

There’s always new things to done, especially these days where the industry is sort of accelerating in all sorts of different directions. And it’s actually quite hard to keep up, which is why I do the podcast. So I can talk to really smart people like you, and then pretend that I know it all. So at a high level, what are the key problems that you’re able to help agency owners resolve? And then maybe we can take a look at one or two of them in more detail.

Brad Wolff (03:12):

Sure. one of the big ones is scaling and scaling is a very broad term. I think some people would argue that scale. Everything has to do with scaling at some level. And to me scaling just has to do with how do you grow and do more without you personally having to do more? So that is one important area.

Marcus Edwardes  (03:38):

So talking about scaling, I mean, let’s break into this a little bit. You’re talking about growing the business, growing your head, count your internal head count, growing your revenue, streams, growing the business in different directions. I mean, what kind of scaling sort of issues do you look at?

Brad Wolff (03:53):

I would say all of those, even a solo proprietors would have scaling issues because unless I don’t want to grow and they just want to stay where they are, they even if they don’t hire more recruiters, have the need to be able to do more, produce more without having to actually work more because you run out of hours, even if you want to work more hours and no one’s good at everything. So you end up spending so much of your time doing things you’re not good at that you don’t like. And that just is a huge drain.

Marcus Edwardes  (04:29):

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I’ve often said that we’re in the business of prioritization because there’s always a ton of stuff to do. And we tend to take the path of least resistance. We tend to do the easy stuff first and leave the hard stuff to later. And then it’s probably too late. So we’re in the business of prioritization and I’ve always recommended that people need to tackle the hard stuff, the stuff that’s going to make you most uncomfortable. The stuff that’s fraught with rejection and disappointment and get that out of the way in the morning. And then you can have a nice afternoon, but talk to me a bit more about scaling and, you know, perhaps give me a couple of examples of, of businesses that you’ve worked with and how you’ve helped them scale. Okay.

Brad Wolff (05:08):

So w when I, when I look at scaling, I take it apart into components and I tell people you’ve got people, processes and technology, every business, no matter how big you are from a solo proprietor to a 10,000 person business still comes down to people, processes and technology. And I think where people miss it frequently is they think scaling is just about adding more people it’s not. And if you try to scale by adding people before you’ve addressed your processes and technology first, then what you’re doing is you’re creating greater and greater dysfunction because now you have more people doing things in ineffective and inefficient ways, using technologies that are in effective and efficient. So you multiply your dysfunctions. If you add people, if you haven’t addressed processes and technology first. So I think that’s one thing that people where people miss

Marcus Edwardes  (06:11):

It. So that makes perfect sense to me. I mean, it’s like running a McDonald’s isn’t it, I think McDonald’s became extremely successful because they got their processes and technology really sorted out, and then they were able to just sort of copy that across every single other McDonald’s. Have you seen that movie? Yes. The founder, great movie, great film. And, and really that was, that was a really good blueprint for any business to say, if you get your profit systems and processes in place, then it’s possible to replicate that, you know, every time you open a new location or if you hire a new person in this case. So talk to me a little bit about that. What kind of systems and processes and technology we talking about?

Brad Wolff (06:51):

Great question. So process to me is just simply, step-by-step how you do everything. Everything you do is a process from the moment you wake up in the morning until you sleep, everything you do as a process. So when I look, when I look at processes with clients, I look at, I break it down to what are the components of the business. And the components of the business are really simple. There’s only a few, you’ve got prospects slash clients bringing in jobs. You’ve got finding the candidates, submitting them, going through the process to actually close and make placements with the right people who end up take staying with the offer and not taking a counter-offer and doing well. That’s another process of candidate side. And then you have all of the business issues. You still have to pay bills. You still have to make general day-to-day business decisions. You still have payroll, you have taxes,

Marcus Edwardes  (08:00):

Right? So you’ve got the client side, you’ve got the candidate side, and then you’ve got the operations side. And I would argue that in the middle of the client’s side and the candidate side, you’ve got all the processes that sort of deliver great candidates to your clients. But everything is a process. Yeah. And so what are the most broken processes that you see and how you go about fixing them? I mean, typically when you talk to a client for the first time sure. We’ve got, you know, I like to say millions of people listening to this who own agencies typically what’s the most broken process that you see and what do they need to do? I mean, let’s give some value bombs here. Okay.

Brad Wolff (08:40):

So I’ll just just a few cause really problems fall. The nice thing about problems is they fall into categories and there’s rarely more than three to five problems in any business. They just show up differently for different people, but they’re the same problems. And that’s a beautiful thing is all you got do is be able to solve a few problems to have a great business. So one is on what I would call the business development side. So marketing and marketing and sales are two very different things. And I think recruiting firm owners really struggle in that area often. Very often they started off as recruiters and their sales focused sales has to do with actually talking to someone. They really often don’t get marketing. And the marketing processes are the things that lead to a potential client who is open, interested, and set up to lead to a successful sales process. So the marketing processes are often really lacking,

Marcus Edwardes  (09:40):

Right? And, and today, which is something we talk about on the podcast all the time marketing has become recruitment. Marketing has become so much more important as our reliance on traditional business development sort of initiatives have waned a bit because cold calling just doesn’t work the way it used to you. And I grew up in an environment where, you know, we were picking up blasting the phones all day, every day, and that doesn’t work so much anymore. So we need to figure out ways to enter the consciousness of our potential clients before we really have those initial conversations, right.

Brad Wolff (10:13):

That’s absolutely a hundred percent correct. So how do we do them? So it’s really a matter of a few things. The ideal you, you start with the end in mind, the end in mind, in my opinion, is people that say, Hey, Marcus, I want to talk to you. I have some needs. Can we set a time to talk that to me, inbound lays where someone says, I want to talk to you is the holy grail of marketing.

Marcus Edwardes  (10:40):

But if you’ve got clients approaching you,

Brad Wolff (10:42):

That’s the holy grail is because it’s like dating. When people are approaching you, it’s very different than when you’re approaching them. So the market, there’s a few things. It really, for most recruiting firms and I’m not going to say every niche is the same, but for the most part, LinkedIn is the starting place for business development. We say niche, niche, niche, niche, I’ll say niche and correct me if I say niche, because niche, I grew up in the south and most people say the niche.

Marcus Edwardes  (11:13):

I know I say niche because I’m English. It’s just, it’s a, it’s a recruiting trailblazers joke. I’m sorry.

Brad Wolff (11:18):

You know what I like it. Yeah. So with respect to LinkedIn, it’s important to have ways to stand out your profile needs to stand out. So where someone can see your profile. And it’s very clear who you serve, what you do, how you serve them, what you do that makes you stand out. That’s unique from the 15, 20, 30, a hundred other people that supposedly serve your same niche. So that’s one piece. The other piece is how do you get their attention in a positive way that they view you as an expert or thought leader, someone who, Hey, this person really understands this issue and is stands out as someone that can help me and advise me and guide me,

Marcus Edwardes  (12:13):

That’s the holy grail right there. How do you do that?

Brad Wolff (12:15):

How do you do that is processes so that if you do it in the right way, so LinkedIn is one piece and other pieces, email outreach. If all you’re doing is LinkedIn, you’re missing something. Some people resonate on LinkedIn messages and some people don’t.

Marcus Edwardes  (12:34):

Yeah, yeah. Not everybody can be crushing it on LinkedIn. As much as we get told we can. And I’m doing a much better job these days than before, but I’m apparently only sort of one or 2% of people on LinkedIn are really sort of using the platform to its maximum capabilities from a content perspective. But even

Brad Wolff (12:54):

If you do, let’s assume you do not. Everyone is that active on LinkedIn. And the evidence is, and it’s my personal experience and experience of clients. Marcus, is that some people they’re just not that into LinkedIn. They’re on LinkedIn and they’re more responsive to email outreach. In fact, I have clients who most of their candidate email outreach, they find them on LinkedIn, but they outreach them off of LinkedIn. So I have, so I believe you, you need to do both. You need to do both content outreach through email and content outreach through LinkedIn. I have people that don’t don’t respond to me on LinkedIn, but they then respond to me on an email. Hey, I want to talk to you. And vice versa, the same person that unsubscribes to my email gets a, a message from me on LinkedIn and says, Hey, I want to talk to you if you’re not doing both. I think you’re really missing

Marcus Edwardes  (13:51):

Something. Yeah. I I’d agree with that. And I probably spend more time on LinkedIn than I do sort of emailing candidates directly these days. But I’m starting to do a lot more of that now. And you’re absolutely right. Not everybody lives on LinkedIn, especially the candidates that you want to talk to now, recruiters, we all spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. But you’re absolutely right if you’re recruiting software developers or if you’re recruiting, you know, anybody else other than recruiters, which I do you might not find your intended audience just living and breathing their days on LinkedIn.

Brad Wolff (14:28):

That’s exactly right. And some people are quite frankly irritated with LinkedIn. They’re tired of constant people bothering him and bombarding them on LinkedIn.

Marcus Edwardes  (14:36):

Yeah. Well, that’s the methodology problem. I think the way in which he reached out to people is just as important as how many people. Absolutely.

Brad Wolff (14:45):

Absolutely. And some people, if they’re really are over LinkedIn and they may just turn off and not even read your message anyway, so you need to do both plus you never know what’s going to happen with LinkedIn. If you don’t have your data outside of LinkedIn, that you can contact people. You’re putting all your eggs in the LinkedIn basket. I don’t think that’s wise.

Marcus Edwardes  (15:07):

Okay. So we’ve got LinkedIn, we’ve got email, we’re talking about business development. You know, what are the, some of the things that don’t work anymore? Do you think it’s still effective to pick up the phone and dial a client that you’ve never spoken to before?

Brad Wolff (15:21):

Well, very low effectiveness in the vast majority of cases, I was a fantastic cold caller. But if you hadn’t been cold calling today, I mean, just to get someone to pick up the phone and if they do pick up the phone, are they even going to be open after all the irritating calls they get? So that doesn’t tend to work? Well, what I believe in is you have that, it’s important to have ways that you can look at, who’s engaging with your contact content, even though they are not reaching out to you. See, I look at there’s multilevels of prospect openness, the highest level as they come to you, that’s fantastic. Whether referral or through your marketing, they come to you, that’s the best, but the next level, and the next level is they’re engaging. They know who you are. They’re interested in what you have to say, but they’re not picking up the phone or emailing. It could be. They don’t have a need, which doesn’t

Marcus Edwardes  (16:18):

Happen very often. Let’s be honest in our business, we’re in the business of outreach and we’re in the business of follow-up. And we kind of have to assume that people aren’t going to get back to us because they know that we’re going to get back to them. Our clients know that when we submit resumes, we’re going to follow up. We’re not just going to wait for them to call us back. You know, candidates know that when we reach out to them, we’re going to reach out to them again and follow up several times and, and not give up. That’s a given in our industry. And I don’t think even if you’re getting good at the content game, it’s very hard to generate inbound business. But what you’re saying, which I totally agree with, and I think this is one of the biggest topics that we’ve discussed this year on this podcast is how do we go about entering the consciousness of our intended targets and prospects so that when we do reach out to them, they go, oh, Hey Marcus. Yeah, I’ve seen you on LinkedIn. I know who you are. I’ve received a couple of your newsletters or emails. Bingo.

Brad Wolff (17:14):

That’s not a cold call. Cold calling is a different thing. But if they know who you are and it could be, they haven’t reached out to you because they just didn’t have any needs at that moment. Oh, I was just going to contact you.

Marcus Edwardes  (17:25):

Yes. They don’t have to reach out to us because they get enough calls from people or they get approached by enough recruitment agencies and everybody knows a good recruiter. So it’s not that hard to find good recruiters. Well, I don’t know. Maybe

Brad Wolff (17:38):

That’s a different, that’s a different, that’s a different topic.

Marcus Edwardes  (17:41):

Yeah. Maybe it is hard to find good recruiters, but it’s not hard to find recruiters. It’s not hard to find

Brad Wolff (17:48):

Recruiters in general. So, but I think engaging by phone with people that are engaging with your content is wise. Yeah. But there’s exceptions to that. A cold call is a way to break the ice with someone that hasn’t been resonating with with any of your content. There’s no indication that they’re doing anything. And there’s a reason that you, you have something compelling to say to them. There’s a reason that, Hey, I’m calling you because, but I would do it in a different way where you’re planting seeds and you’re not calling them to say, Hey, do you have any openings? I think if you have any openings is the wrong approach. In this day and age, you’re already putting them on the defensive. So without getting into the details of techniques, I teach people, scripts on how they can break the ice in a non salesy way to start a positive interaction that can move to the next level.

Marcus Edwardes  (18:44):

Yeah. I mean, what would your top tip in that area be when you first pick up the phone?

Brad Wolff (18:49):

First of all, I like to start with respect. So if I were calling you as a cold call, I’d say, Hey Marcus, this is Brad Wolfe. Did I catch you at a bad time? You want to start with that for two reasons? Number one, it shows respect that I didn’t just barge in as if you’re sitting there with nothing to do. You want to get them saying no first.

Marcus Edwardes  (19:12):

Okay. Well, are you saying that that’s interesting that you should say this. So you’re saying it’s a good thing to say. Did I catch you at a bad time? Because it’s easier for them to say no than it is for them to say yes. And then once you get to know, then the conversation begins. Yeah. That’s

Brad Wolff (19:27):

Because you want to start with a no psychologically. One of the problem we’re taught to get to yes. And get yeses yeses, but that’s maybe years ago worked, but psychologically people know what you’re doing.

Marcus Edwardes  (19:39):

Do you, by any chance, read a book by Chris Voss called never split the difference.

Brad Wolff (19:44):

That’s where I got that.

Marcus Edwardes  (19:46):

Yeah. Because that’s what he teaches. He was an FBI hostage negotiator.

Brad Wolff (19:50):

Right. And it makes sense. I want people that are geared to being very comfortable saying no, because if I’m, if I’m very, if I’m uncomfortable, cause I feel like you’re put me in a situation. It’s hard to say no, my defenses go up and defensiveness is the enemy of being able to build relationships and get clients. Right.

Marcus Edwardes  (20:06):

Let me play devil’s advocate here just for a second, because this is fun. The flip side of that, asking that question, is this a bad time? Is that you’re asking a closed question? And a lot of people would say, well, you know, if you give them the option to say yes or no, they might say yes, they might say, you’ve, you’ve actually delivered it up to them on a platter. And they could quite easily just say yes, actually, Brad, you have caught me at a bad time. And I might be tempted if someone who I don’t know called me and said, Hey Marcus, is this a bad time? I might be tempted just to say yes for fun. Cause it’s just so easy to say yes at that point in time. I think sometimes a good to ask would be an open question as opposed to a closed question. Or even an open statement, like, Hey Brad, it’s Marcus here, you know, from Veronica group. I’m so glad I managed to catch you this morning. How you doing? And you know,

Brad Wolff (21:01):

I would say test it. There is no technique that works all the time. I would say two things with scripts. One, you want something that’s feels in sync with who you are. Don’t say things that you’re like, just this just doesn’t, that doesn’t feel right to me. Okay. It needs to resonate with you a number to test it.

Marcus Edwardes  (21:22):

Yeah. I kind of just broke one of my own rules there because I’ve always said to people, don’t say, how are you or how are you doing to people that you don’t know? Because it’s disingenuous.

Brad Wolff (21:30):

That sounds just like the so salesy.

Marcus Edwardes  (21:32):

It does, doesn’t it? Yeah. So I retract that statement.

Brad Wolff (21:35):

Nothing works with everyone. Nothing works with everyone, Marcus. This is just I, at the end of the day, we’re we’re, we’re just working with human psychology. So I really study psychology and reducing defensiveness because the defensiveness is the resistance that keeps you from getting clients. So anything I can do that minimize me, that’s what marketing is for you’re minimizing resistance because when resistance goes down, openness comp goes up. So it’s a psychology issue is what it is, but nothing works a hundred percent with a 100%.

Marcus Edwardes  (22:05):

But we’ve established that basically content is the new way to, as I say, enter the consciousness of your intended targets and then it softens them up to your approach when you approach them. So we can actually avoid having to make cold calls by using the tools that we have and using LinkedIn and using recruitment marketing techniques to ensure that we’re sharing content, you know, like you said, via email or via LinkedIn or both. And so I would say that it’s, you’re irresponsible. If you’re picking up the phone to clients where, you know, they’ve probably got no idea who you are. I think the goal these days, and I think you mentioned dating earlier on is you’ve got to soften up your target. You’ve got to get to know them a little bit. You’ve got to make sure that they know who you are before you go and pick up the phone or arrange a phone call with them. And I think that’s the new, the new normal, or definitely it’s the new high standard. Because people don’t want to be sold to people don’t want to be cold called

Brad Wolff (22:59):

Well, they’re tired of it. They’re everywhere you go. That happens. And it’s really just it’s buyer fatigue. I think, I mean, we all have buyer fatigue. I mean, quite frankly, I don’t even answer my phone if I don’t know who it is anymore. Seriously. So, and what I want to also say is nothing that’s that works now we’ll continue to work indefinitely. Everything has its time. And as things are always changing, whatever we’re talking about now will not work as effectively in the future. Something else we need to do to adapt because the system’s always changing. So don’t fall in love with the technique. I just want to be effective. I don’t care about the technique as long as it works within my ethical parameters. Look, if I could just close my eyes and say, Hmm, and clients call me, I’m going to do that. I don’t care what it is.

Marcus Edwardes  (23:49):

Right. I completely agree. I think if you take a step back from, from this conversation and you think, what are we trying to do here? We are trying to create opportunities for meaningful conversations with candidates, prospect candidates and clients. And that’s the job that we do on a daily basis to create those opportunities. And what do we have to do today? These are some of the things that you can do. Recruitment, marketing, LinkedIn, email there’s lots of things that you can do in order to sort of warm up your intended audience. I keep saying that I won’t say it again, but the rubber meets the road. When you get on the phone for the first time with candidates and clients, and that’s where you really start to apply your trade as a great recruiter. I think when you first start having those conversations, there’s lots of ways of doing it. Perhaps you want to tell us a few things about some of the tools that you’re recommending these days. There’s so many different tools. There’s so many different automation possibilities. I

Brad Wolff (24:46):

Just I’m, I I’m tool agnostic. I just want, whatever’s going to get the best results. So it, and I always say, it depends specifically on what you’re trying to do. What’s the best source to get emails for business addresses is different than emails for personal email addresses, for example. So I’m real careful before recommending tools to understand a little deeper.

Marcus Edwardes  (25:07):

Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think we agree on the concepts here, which is getting candidates and clients into the top of the funnel and then beginning there’s relationships and talk. Absolutely.

Brad Wolff (25:17):

That allows sales, that allows sales,

Marcus Edwardes  (25:21):

Figuring out a system or a process that works for you. You’re right. There’s a ton of different ways to do it. There’s a ton of different tools out there. I’m always fiddling around and testing new ones and seeing what works, but it’s never really about the tool. That is how you wield it. And then it’s what happens when you actually get those prospects into the top of the funnel and how you treat them and what kind of experience you give them. And that’s really, I think that’s really where the rubber meets the road and that’s where you can really differentiate yourself as a recruiter.

Brad Wolff (25:49):

Absolutely. And that’s where I go into sales. Sales to me is simply as soon as the process moves to a actual human to human conversation, that’s when you’ve crossed over from marketing and to sales.

Marcus Edwardes  (26:01):

Yeah. Let’s talk about metrics for a minute. I know you’ve got some feelings about metrics and what metrics are useful, activity, metrics, production metrics. Talk to me about your sort of theory on metrics and how agency owners and recruiters should embrace metrics to help them move forward.

Brad Wolff (26:19):

So metrics are very important and I think they’re often used improperly. So to me, there’s a few basic principles Marcus, in determining what metrics to use. One is the fewer, the better. If you can get the key things you need with three metrics, don’t use more than three more is not better with metrics. Number two, as as possible. You want metrics that are very simple to understand and to measure as much as possible. If you can have the metrics measured with a tool you’re using like your ATS. So I think those are two principles. Another principle is metrics should be designed as a roadmap to help people stay focused on the things that are most important, as opposed to a punishment tool you need to do at least a hundred calls a day, outbound dials a day, or you know, or you’re going to, you’re going to be hearing from me and I’m going to be talking to you.

Marcus Edwardes  (27:17):

I love what you just said because that’s the sort of the big box recruitment way, or at least it used to be. And I think it’s important that I don’t paint too big of a brush here because I think the big box recruitment companies for the longest time used it as a punishment tool, they, they basically said to their producers, look, if you don’t meet your metrics, we’ll be having a very different conversation. Next week. It was successful for a long time to drive the businesses forward by, by focusing on metrics. And I think you’re right to focus on the process as opposed to the outcome. But I think as a tool, you should be using metrics and embracing metrics to help you understand the relationship between activity and results and get better at what you do. You shouldn’t be just checking boxes because you’re worried about what your manager’s going to say.

Brad Wolff (28:03):

And then you have people that are, the metrics are all about quantity, not quality. Then people focus on just producing a lot of quantity, not quality. So yeah, I did submit 20 candidates this week. Well, the fact that only two of them were fit is irrelevant. I got my 20, right? So you gotta be real careful. What is the behavior you really want to reward? And to me, there’s really only a few key ones you start with what are the key elements of success in this business? And there’s two, in my opinion, two basic ones. Number one is a job order because nothing happens until there’s a job order. And number two is a candidate that fits the job or that you can submit. So those are the two key foundations that you want to measure quality job board on to say, not the quantity, but the quality job order and a quality submittal. And then everything else is what are the keys to get a quality job order and a quality submittal that, but start with what are the end results that make success in his business and then reverse engineer it to as few metrics as possible that are easy to measure. Focusing on your job is to focus on how do you meet these metrics to keep you on target rather than I want to see all this activity, all this frantic activity that I can say, Hey, you’re working man, good job.

Marcus Edwardes  (29:24):

You’re continuing to work. No, I think, I think you’re absolutely right. I think you need to focus on those production metrics, you know, candidate first interviews, client meetings, and maybe new job orders. And then if you’re not hitting those, then you can reverse engineer the type of activity or the quantity of activity that going to need to commit to, to hit them maybe next week. And I think it’s important to understand that relationship between your activity metrics, you know, your internal interviews, your resume submissions, et cetera and your production metrics. So what, what a candidate first interview is costing you, you know, how many resume submissions a candidate first interview is costing you, how many internal interviews or, or meaningful conversations is a resume submission costing you. And once you sort of understand those ratios you can really figure out your cadence and, and get after it on a consistent basis. Right? Absolutely.

Brad Wolff (30:17):

And the spirit of metrics Marcus should be, this is your friend to help keep you on target and to diagnose problems to fix. But this is a resource that’s here for you as opposed to a weapon that a big brother that’s watching you to see where you slip. I think that’s the key, it’s a diagnostic tool to okay. Lock. Gosh, I’m, I’m talking to a lot of people, but I’m getting very few good submittals. Okay, well maybe I’m talking a lot. I’m not screening properly to make sure I’m talking to people that are the right fit to begin with. When you have good metrics, you can diagnose problems at the core of what’s causing it and then address that core, which you wouldn’t know what to do. Otherwise,

Marcus Edwardes  (30:58):

If those ratios get too big, you know, if your conversation to resume, submission ratio starts to really widen over a weekly or a monthly basis. Then you do need to pop the hood and figure out what you’re doing wrong. It’s

Brad Wolff (31:11):

Data, that’s your friend to diagnose and to keep you on target it, isn’t a punishment tool. And one, as a manager, if I’m talking to someone and let’s say they were supposed to do six submissions this week and they did two, why did you only do six? What, you know, no, I just say, I say, Hey, Billy, Bob, I see you. You did two submissions this week, which is lower than what we’re typically looking at. You know, help me understand a little bit what got in your way you want you’re, you’re there to help them fix the problem rather than to rub their nose in the problem, because it could be well, quite frankly, I was spending so much time interviewing people and then, you know, you help them solve their own problem and get better because in the ideal world, they understand, and they can diagnose their own problems, but you’re training them how to be responsible and a good diagnostician rather than a fear-based oh boy, next week, don’t worry. I’m going to have eight submittals. Nevermind. That two of them were quality and six were poor.

Marcus Edwardes  (32:13):

Yeah. I completely agree. Teach recruiters to understand how metrics can really impact their performance and know where you are from a numbers perspective at all times, because it matters. And there is a relationship and yeah, there’s different clients and different job orders. And those ratios are definitely going to fluctuate across all the different types of positions that you work on. But at the end of the day, it’s what we’ve got to figure out. Whether we need to do more or whether we need to be doing it better. Job orders that are worth working on that’s something that came up in our pre-interview and something I know you’re a little bit passionate about. Maybe we can finish up on this. Tell me what you think a job order that’s worth working on. Looks like

Brad Wolff (32:56):

Great question, Marcus. I think there’s a few key elements of that. Number one is the relationship with the client is, are you the only one working on it? Number one, if multiple, yes. I want to know what they’ve already done. So I look at what have you already done? Well, we’ve had it open for a year and we’ve worked. We bumped into 10 recruiters. None of them are good, but I’m hoping you can do it. Red flag. Okay. How long has it been open? What have they already done? I want, I want a job. That’s fillable that I can fill with a client. Who’s realistic. So how long has it been open? What have you done? I’m measuring I’m I’m I’m getting data to find out what is the real deal deal here? Is this a, is this a GJA which I call a garbage job order?

Brad Wolff (33:43):

Or is this a Q Jayo? Which I call a quality Jordan job order or somewhere in between. I want to know where it fits on that spectrum of Q and G. I want a job that I can go in there. It’s a green pasture. I’m not competing with them. I’m not competing with other recruiters. I can go to work on this job, knowing that if I produce there’s a good chance, I can feel it. I’m going to get all that lay of the land because the information they give me is going to give me an idea. Are they a quality or they’re potentially quality client? Another thing is, I want a commitment. I want an a, I want a mutually committed search, which means they’re a skin in the game and there’s money up front in their end. What you might call a container because if they’re paying money up front, that means they’re really committed. And they trust me if they’re not paying money up front, that means, Hey, I don’t value that much. You’re you’re another commodity.

Marcus Edwardes  (34:33):

Yeah. I think that’s an important point. And we’ve, I’m not going to go too deep into containers this week. Cause we’ve talked about it a lot recently, but I think if you’re not getting a container and you’re thinking, this is the route that I want to go down, then you need to look in the mirror and say, what haven’t I done to impress upon this client? The, I am a valuable and effective recruiter. I need to do a better job of convincing them that they need to pay me up front because they want me to be the person who fills this job. And I think that’s the bridge that you need to cross. You need to really get across that partner bridge and figure out a way in which there’s a win-win scenario for both you and the client. And if you’re not there, like you just mentioned where they’re just using you for free, then you probably haven’t done a great job of convincing them about your effectiveness as a recruiter, your process, your ability in the niche and, and how you’re going to go about, you know, delivering the best candidates. So, right.

Brad Wolff (35:30):

And that’s just a process. I teach my clients to go from contingency, to contained with a process. It’s all about a, you can’t just see people. You need to convince them. Well, here’s the thing, because if you go through a step by step process, that’s aligned with human psychology and that’s the key. Every process I do is saying, is this align with how human psychology actually works? Then it becomes relatively easy to get containers with the clients you want to work with because they’re like, oh, that actually makes sense. Not no one else is going to work for free. So why should you, so it works. If you know how to do it, and you can do anything in your life, if you know how to do it.

Marcus Edwardes  (36:10):

Yeah. I mean, having the right process in place enables you to get from a to Z effectively and without going off at too many tangents

Brad Wolff (36:18):

And without alienating the prospect either. Cause the idea is you’re influencing them without pushing them. You’re using skill and leverage rather than force and threat to where even if they don’t work with you now they may come back to you in a month and say, okay, now I’m going to pay your retainer. I did this, this and this. Cause that happens if you do this right. Cause no today doesn’t mean no tomorrow, no today just means no right now.

Marcus Edwardes  (36:43):

Brilliant stuff. Okay. Well, Hey Brad, I really appreciate you coming on the podcast today and sharing some of your wisdom and I wish you all the best for your business. We’re obviously going to keep in touch. Thanks for coming on recruiting trailblazers. And we’ll speak again soon. Thank

Brad Wolff (36:58):

You, Marcus. Really appreciate. It’s been a pleasure..




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