It was one of the million cups of coffee I have with recruitment company owners every year.
And don't get me wrong. I love those meetings. This is where I learn, and keep my finger on the pulse.
This particular guy wanted to talk about business development. He needed to crank up client acquisition. The pipeline was drying up.
He was an old-school sort of guy, (not old, he is 20 years younger than me at least), so he soon expressed his love for a good KPI. I took no umbrage. I believe in measurement too. And I believe in activity. But I believe in smart, quality activity.
He was quick to tell me that his recruiters were tasked with hard-core cold calling targets. He was proud to elaborate.
"In fact we demand 100 cold calls made a day. Measure it closely too', he beamed.
I asked. "How is that working for you?"
His reply was both predicable and shocking, and I quote verbatim.
"Pretty shit actually", he said, "but don't worry, I have a solution!"
Now I leaned forward. This was good. He had some fresh ideas. I could learn something new.
"Yes", he said, as he sipped on his soy latte in the Westin Hotel coffee shop, "we have upped the KPI to 150 calls a day"!
He leaned back and smiled broadly.
I could not help myself. I gave him both barrels.
Something along the lines of, "you have proved what does not work, so you ask your frazzled recruiters to do more of it! You grind them into the dust, destroy their morale, and waste their expensive time, on a tactic that is not working?"
He was unperturbed.
"But Greg, for every 100 calls we make we get a lead. So if they make 50 more, we may pick up another one!"
I am all for smart business development, and I love the use of the phone, but lets get smart about turning cold calls into warm calls. Let's use social media, and specifically social selling, to turn a closed door into a half open one. There are a hundred ways a call can be finessed to create rapport, have a reason, offer value, follow up a previous engagement.
We need to use automated marketing and predictive analytics to connect with people who want to hear from us.
The 'have you got any vacancies' call is past it's use by date. If you actually ever get to speak to a prospect at all!
Blind untargeted, mindless cold calling is in reality a race to see who can piss-off the most prospects.
This is the biggest issue with some recruitment leadership the world over.
No innovation. No fresh ideas. Worshiping on the alter of tired old tactics that were only marginal in a business world that has long gone. And ineffective, even damaging, now.
There is a lot of criticism of slow to adapt recruiters as the world changes about us. But really, the bigger issue is leadership.
We want recruitment leaders with high 'Change Intelligence', willing to disrupt old ways, and try new ideas.
Source: Greg Savage.