Building a network of goodwill ambassadors
by Serano KelleyMr. Kelley, co-founder of The Kelley Group, recruitment coach focused on financial services industry and is co-author of the book The Recruiting Conundrum: A Consistent, Disciplined Approach to Attracting Top Talent. Visit www.thekelleygroup.net
Part I in a four-part series
As a manager, you face a multitude of challenges that makes bringing new blood to your firm more difficult than it has ever been. While searching through sometimes thousands of names of advisors for ones who are the right fit for your firm, and vice versa, you’re likely finding the old cold-calling approach to recruiting isn’t working the way it did in the past.
In today’s ever-changing business environment pro-active recruiting requires a relationship-based process that relies on the use of “relational leverage” and refined communication skills. I have been coaching managers on this process for nearly three decades, and I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact it has on one’s ability to recruit top-tier talent. I’ve watched as managers realize they are no longer faced with trying to get past the “gate keeper,” but instead have direct contact and often a personal introduction to top recruiting candidates. With a third-party endorsement, managers are able to immediately scale to a higher level on the relationship ladder.
The Proof Is in The Doing
Recently, a leading Wall Street firm retained my company to assess whether a relationship-based training approach could actually improve a manager’s ability to recruit top talents. The Impact of Coaching and Training on the Manger’s Ability to Recruit Top Talents study found that after only 90 days, on average, participants in the study increased the number of advocates referring candidates to them by 802%. The number of meetings with prospective recruits jumped an impressive 314%, while the number of viable candidates in their pipeline increased 372%.
So how did they do it?
- They identified advocates who would be willing to refer potential recruits to them and created a network of these “goodwill” ambassadors.
- They learned how to read the unconscious decision-making strategies and hot-button motivators of potential candidates to determine if they were a good fit for the firm.
- They developed an effective professional value proposition that led the prospective candidates to understand why they and their firm would be a good fit for them.
- They learned advanced communication skills for overcoming objections and for delivering a powerful close.
Building a Network of Goodwill Ambassadors
If you’re ready to excel at the recruiting game, then tapping into and creating a network of readily available resources is where you begin. As you create a list of key advocates who can assist you in the process, you’ll find many of them are only an arm’s length away. They include:
- Advisors: Referrals from advisors and staff members within a firm often produce high-caliber prospects. The hiring process often moves more quickly because the candidate has been pre-screened by a peer. Plus, the referring advisor is more likely to know which advisors are unhappy at their current firm and looking to move. Don’t limit your search to advisors at your firm as outside advisors are equally informed and can be great resources. You can connect with them at industry conferences and during on-line webinars. The main thing is to spread the word that you’re looking to expand.
- Centers Of Influence: The centers of influence (COI) in your community are excellent sources of information. Many of your clients are COIs, as well as people who are members of various social groups and professionals engaged in other professional businesses. They are people who are well-established and influential in the community, and they’re “in the know” because of their vast network of professional connections. Let them know you want to expand your business and are looking for candidates to recruit to your team. Not only can they be valuable contributors to your recruiting efforts, but a relationship with them also provides profitable opportunities to meet potential clients
- Social Media: Your social media presence – your LinkedIn profile in particular, is your opportunity to distinguish yourself from other managers. Use it as a platform to promote your personal banding–what makes you unique and different from other managers. You’ll soon find advisors are drawn to you who share your business philosophy. Additionally, social media opens the door to “someone who knows someone.” Let your contacts know you are actively seeking top talents to recruit, and ask them to spread the word. LinkedIn also provides access to valuable background info and can pave the way to a direct introduction.
- Product Providers: T hese professionals market to a number of firms in your industry. They have a large spear of influence and conversations with lots of professionals. Let them know you’re wanting to expand. Often, they will already know of someone who would be the perfect fit for your firm. If not, they’ll be on the lookout.
Recruiting, as with sales, is all about building relationships. As you develop a relationship-based approach to recruiting, you’ll find it shortens the process significantly. As referrals begin streaming your way, you’ll quickly and consistently have a pipeline filled with viable recruits.
In Part II of The Recruiting Conundrum, we’ll explore the conscious versus unconscious decision-making strategies of potential recruits, and how to identify their hot-button motivators to determine if they were a good fit for your firm.