Talent Circles

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Hepcat Closer Detective Agency: Because recruiting is marketing is sales is customer service is retention

By Kevin W. Grossman

I lit my cigarette and took a hit. The Silicon Valley morning was cooler than I thought it would be, even though the sun shone big and bold in the sky. I shivered. Damn it, I thought. Forgot my jacket again.

I looked up and there she was -- a vision of beauty and light in a white jump suit, lit up in the sun's wake.

I hadn't seen her for years, but I tried to keep my cool. I stroked my beard as if I were bored.

"Hi ya', Doll-face."

"Hi ya’ Dickie. How ya' been?"

"Swell but not yet swelling," I said nonchalantly. I took another drag on my smoke.

Doll-face crossed her arms across her chest. "Funny guy as always. I thought I'd find you still puffin' away on those cancer sticks."

"New law; no more smoking inside. Damn health-nut do-gooders. Somethin’ about second-hand smoke."

Doll-face smirked. “Yeah, smoking was banned inside offices about 20 years ago, Dickie.”

I looked at the sky and took a hit.

Doll-face's smirk morphed to dismay. "Dickie, listen, I'm in a pickle. We’re behind on our software development roadmap and we're having a tough time findin’ qualified programmers. The bidding wars are on again. We need help with employment branding ‘cause most of the so-called applicants we're generating are colder than week-old pike on ice."

Week-old pike on ice, I thought. I had no idea what that meant, but I knew it was serious. I pushed my hat back off my forehead.

"Can you help us, Dickie?"

I flicked my butt away and exhaled a smoke ring within a smoke ring within a smoke ring. "Listen Doll-face, if we can agree on my terms, then I'll warm that pike and reel them in for you before you can bat those baby blues."

"Your terms? The last time you said that I lost my shirt, if you know what I mean."

I laughed. "My way or the highway, Doll-face. You know I'll get to gettin' and get it done."

Doll-face frowned. "You know, I could just start using social media more for free and find my applicants that way."

I shook my head. "Ain't nothin' for free, baby, and it takes my hepcat magical finesse to bring ‘em in."

Doll-face pondered this one. I smiled.

"Okay, Daddy-O. Let's talk turkey, ‘cause you're the best Tricky Dick I know," she said, throwing her arms around me.

"I’m the only Tricky Dick you know, Doll-face. They don't call it the Hepcat Closer Detective Agency for nothin'."

[Wink at the camera]


And, end scene.

Over the past two weeks I’ve spent quality time with really good recruiting agencies and recruiters, first at the Recruiters’ Hub Conference and then at the ERE Expo.

No, great recruiters. Recruiters who know how to source, cold call, warm up and close a lead with nothing more than a paper clip, a rubber band and a phone. (Oh, and maybe some social pools and a cool new talent network platform to play in as well.)

Great recruiters who get great marketing and sales. Because recruiting is marketing is sales is customer service is retention, remember?

And great recruiting and marketing and sales come to fruition with great detective work, and this is where I pay homage to my father who was a police officer for over 30 years, most of which he spent as a detective in charge of forgery and fraud. He’s been recovering from cancer radiation treatments and is finally on the mend. (His is Richard and his nickname was Tricky Dick when he was on the force.)

In his own words he loved the work because he “chased people across paper” – actually he called them his clients, and he could find them and their wrongdoing with a paper clip, a rubber band, bank records and a phone.

And today, great recruiters and marketers and salespeople chase prospects across social networks as well as paper (still) via:

  • ·      Glocal Employment Branding
  • ·      Outbound and Inbound Marketing
  • ·      Internal Referrals
  • ·      Social Network Referrals
  • ·      Talent Acquisition Screening and Assessment Tools
  • ·      Targeted Talent Networks (whether they apply for a job immediately or not)
  • ·      Relationship Building

I’ve been in marketing for many moons myself, and I’ve been helping clients chase buyers across paper and online, using many different marketing tools that help with visibility and lead-gen.

But how many times do we have to talk about the difference between 500 week-old pikes on ice versus 5 highly target qualified applicants we can make offers to?

The sourcing, recruiting and hiring is always in the human touch. Just call the Hepcat Closer Detective Agency. My Dad and I will be right over.


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