Are The Basics Still the Basics?

Hi Danny,

Danny, I have been a "follower" of yours for many years(I think I have some of your older training materials on papyrus). You are one of the few trainers/owners that have been in the thick of things over the last 15-20 years (maybe longer?) and have seen the impact of new technology on our industry such as the internet, email and job boards such as Monster. I was wondering, as you face a class of new recruiters now vs. facing a class of new recruiters 15-20 years ago, is there anything really fundamentally different that you would say to them about our industry or teach them differently? If so, please share that with me. If not, maybe things really have not changed that much and the "basics" are always the same. I would be interested in your comments not only from the perspective of how a recruiter spends his day now vs. then but also from the perspective of how a hiring manager might view our services now vs. then and from the perspective of how a candidate looking for a new opportunity might view our services now vs. then.


Danny's response:

Sounds like you and I have grown up together in the biz, and I appreciate you sticking with me all of these years. That's the magic of our long distance relationship, if you knew me better, we'd have broken up long ago. (I would have found a way to blame you!)

You ask a super seminar-sized question, so in this format, let me hit some of the most relevant points.


Back in the day, I taught, in order: 1) Selling fundamentals 2) The Placement Process and How it Relates to Selling Fundamentals 3) My Firm's System and Culture 4) A short, eloquent lecture on your niche, so that you knew what you were talking about.

(You often didn't see or touch a computer until you had been on the phone a month. We printed your plans and told you to dial first and ask questions later. Trial by Fire.)

Now, along with all of the above, we have added Systems Training. (We have Bullhorn, and as we embed our training intelligence, we consider our system not an applicant tracking system, but a CRM solution.) We teach how to write Emails and how to use Email Blasts. We have Internet Access to a variety of ever changing sites and we teach how to use them during the day to ENHANCE, NOT REPLACE your phone calls. Our metrics have changed, and now we are beginning to track and measure the ratios of Emails to Sendouts, of Candidates Entered in the CRM to placements. We teach rookies how to close on Retainers whereas we used to have them wait until they were established. We teach classes on Social Networking Sites, and we have, essentially, expanded "Recruiting" to meaning "Networking".

But is it entirely a Brave, New World? (To borrow liberally from Huxley.) While it's tempting to think so when I walk through my bullpen and hear half of the recruiters on the phone and the other half tapping away. (Part of my personal growth is knowing, and accepting, that they are still working when not on the phone.) Just before I got your email, I was placing an order for soundless keyboards for my people, so that clients and candidates don't know we are multi tasking and typing as we talk.

But much can't change. While you have probably heard my rants about the generational differences between baby boomers and Gen X and Y, and how we have to change our approach, we are still dealing with people and some basic principles. They want to be happy. They want to improve their lives. They are afraid to do so without an impetus. We are that impetus. We make things happen.


What is finally starting to change after all the hand wringing and yelling I've done for a decade is that companies are not just measuring us by how fast we can get them resumes. In an Open Sourced world we all will have access to the names of the candidates. The clients are seeing that the prize goes to the firm who can penetrate that candidate, deliver them closed and ready to move. We will finally become what we have been claiming we were, and we will all be the better for it.

I truly believe our industry is on the cusp of seismic shift. For those of us not afraid to slaughter some sacred cows, untold success awaits. I predict the first 5 million dollar contingency search desk is 2 years away. For those of us hanging on to how we got here, we will find the biz puzzling and scary. The old ways won't work. But the old essence is here to stay.

Ask Danny Email Report

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Ask Danny Email Report

We have hundreds of great questions and answer blogs from Danny and the recruiters he has trained. Look for emails highlighting these questions.