Always Be Closing… and Recruiting

by The Red Recruiter on February 5, 2010

“The good news is – you’re fired. The bad news is – you’ve got, all of you’ve got just one week to regain your jobs starting with tonight.” – Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross

Wouldn’t that be a fun and interesting way to start off your work week!?!

What if, starting today, you had one week to make it or break it?

Would you buckle under the pressure, or could you make it work?

Working on the agency-side of recruiting for most of my career, I learned very quickly that pressure was something to get comfortable with.

Did I always enjoy the pressure?  Nope.  Did it make me plan and prepare more for the times when I would need to perform under pressure?  HELL YES!!!

The concept of ABC – “Always Be Closing – was something that a past boss introduced me to.

While he loved to give the Alec Baldwin speech (language) in jest… the message he was trying to convey was that in order to perform when things got tough, we would have to develop a recruitment strategy that we could deploy at any given moment.

That strategy, in my practice and as he taught, was “Always Be Recruiting”.

Always Be Recruiting

Recruiting, in many scenarios, offers us the ability to plan relationships for the future.  While it sometimes seems easier (and cheaper) to maintain a reactive stance – we run a much higher amount of risk by not having built our pipelines in advance.

The tendency to take the reactive route is further reinforced by high unemployment markets because it’s so easy to gather interested candidates.  Post ad, review candidates, interview potentials, hire… wash, rinse, repeat.  Sound familiar?

The problems start when the market turns the corner.  Suddenly, that endless pool of candidates starts to dwindle and they begin to get picky with which jobs they express interest in.  We sit back confused and start to evaluate our methods… “What the heck is going on?”

To amplify our concerns, turnover starts to occur internally… Why?  Well, probably because we went about hiring a number of highly qualified individuals in the down season and paid them less than they were worth – that was dumb!  Lesson learned (probably not) but, lesson learned 😉

So then… this leads me to “Always Be Recruiting”

Your biggest opportunity in recruiting comes when you don’t need the people that you are going to hire in the future.  No, I’m not suggesting that you purchase a crystal ball to figure out your talent needs… but, I am suggesting that you consider potential needs for the future.

Think of it like a matrix…

If you would normally hire X, Y and Z skill sets – have you developed a bench of talent that you can pull on when hiring season ramps back up?  Are you continuing to recruit even though you don’t need the people right now?

Here is an example of what my old boss had his offices do:

  1. Define the top 6 skill sets that the team would target.
  2. Figure out where those pools of talent exist (Job Boards, Social Networking Sites, Forums, Etc…).
  3. Develop a grouping of at least 6 deep on each one of your 6 skill sets… 6 x 6 = 36 Active Candidates
  4. Constantly stay in touch with those 36 people (Emails, Calls, Newsletters, Etc…)

How ABR Changes Your Approach

You may have just finished reading this and are saying to yourself, “Of course, that’s easy… and common sense.”  I hope you are.

Fact of the matter is, most recruiters never take the time to stay disciplined with this sort of pattern.  While the agency side of recruiting (especially staffing) demands preparedness on short notice, I’ve rarely seen this approach taken on the corporate end of things.

Staying on top of your skill sets and in touch with potential hires for your organization can decrease your time-to-fill, improve the quality of hire and save you money on your car insurance (okay, not the last one – unless of course you are less stressed out due to the new process and drive your vehicle with fewer emotional distractions… in which case, yes, it could save you money in the long run). 😉

Think about it and consider starting out by choosing 1-2 skill sets.  Can you build an available pool of talent that you can connect with on very short notice?

Can you build interest in your organization based on the future… not just the present?

Given a week… “just one week”… could you pull off the impossible recruiting request?  Just think about it…

Photo Credit 1 – Site

Photo Credit 2 – williac

  • Benjamin McCall

    Possibly one of the greatest movies of all time!
    “You've got to have balls gentlemen!”

    Twitter: @BenjaminMcCall
    Website: &

  • theredrecruiter

    I saw a “Coffee is for Closers” shirt one day and I didn't buy it… I should have!

  • marshakeeffer

    Excellent Mike – you really demonstrate our knowledge, ethics and passion in this post.

  • Alicia Arenas (@AliciaSanera)

    Fantastic post Michael! Often, it's what we do in the quiet times, when there is no immediate sale or placement that determines our success when the market booms. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • theredrecruiter

    Thanks so much! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • theredrecruiter

    Thanks for stopping by and for leaving the comment Alicia! I agree with you!

  • theredrecruiter

    Thanks so much! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • theredrecruiter

    Thanks for stopping by and for leaving the comment Alicia! I agree with you!

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