About Debbie Fledderjohann
Recognized as the industry expert for technical, professional and healthcare contract staffing since transitioning to this growing industry in 1993. The primary focus is to help recruiters make contract placements. Top Echelon Contracting takes responsibility for all the back-office tasks associated with being the legal employer of record. Experience includes all areas of human resources, financial management, accounting, payroll, state and federal laws, legal contract reviews, benefit administration, and sales and marketing for the placement of professional contractors in 49 states. Eleven years experience as a primary vendor with the Federal Government for professional healthcare contract placements. Speaker and Trainer for industry conferences such as NAPS, CSP, and Top Echelon Network. In addition to writing for various magazines, newsletters, The Contracting Corner, and a Contracting Blog.

The Changing World of Recruiting

(Part one of a three-part series).  It’s clear that the employment world – and by extension, the recruiting industry – is changing. There are numerous factors:  technological advancements, generational shifts in the workforce, and reverberations from the Great Recession, along with upward pressure on wages and other labor cost increases. Now we have to add in the complexity of the Affordable Care Act and other emerging employment laws.    Impact On Clients Companies are being stretched legally and financially on all fronts, but they still have deadlines to meet and projects to complete along with all the other demands of today’s economy.  To cope with this, many companies have embraced the blended workforce model in which they maintain a core group of direct hire employees that are supported by a group of contract professionals. Contractors allow companies to meet deadlines and complete projects. However, companies still need to make sure they comply with IRS guidelines for classifying workers. The IRS and US Department of Labor are pushing an initiative to ensure 1099 independent contractors are not misclassified, and a successful audit can have serious consequences. What About Recruiters? It can become overwhelming to stay on top of all these critical issues and still run a successful business.   Consequently, in addition to providing candidates, your clients look to you as a resource for industry trends, economic developments, and other changes that impact their business.  This means that as a recruiting professional, your role is changing, too. Many clients rely on recruiters for news about changing laws that will increase their employer burdens, risk, or liability, but they may also turn to recruiters for guidance and solutions regarding staffing problems. If you can provide this valuable service for your clients, you essentially become irreplaceable. This is a win-win for you and your clients. Next Week… In part two of this series, we will provide relevant information for recruiters about two looming employment “icebergs” that could sink a client company if they don’t know how to navigate these new [...read more...]

New U.S. DOL Labor Guidance: Big Implications for Recruiters

On July 15, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new Administrative Interpretation detailing the “economic realities” test used to determine worker classification. This new clarification means that the majority of workers who have been justified as 1099 independent contractors (ICs) according to traditional interpretations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will no longer be considered such. According to the Interpretation, “…most workers are employees under the FLSA.” While the labor guidance is meant to outline the DOL’s interpretation of its own statutes and “does not have the force of law,” Lexology’s SimplyHR article notes that the courts will strongly consider the DOL’s interpretation in future legal proceedings. Therefore, employers hoping to avoid future charges of misclassification would be wise to observe the new guidelines. What are the changes? Below is a brief summary of the DOL clarification of the “economic realities” six-factor test: Is the work performed an integral part of the employer’s business? DOL Clarification: Regardless of whether the work only represents one small element of the business or the same duty(s) are completed by many other workers, an individual’s work may still be considered integral. Does the worker’s managerial skill affect his/her opportunity for profit or loss? DOL Clarification: A true 1099 IC “exercises managerial skills, such as hiring other workers, purchasing equipment, advertising for work, etc., in order to increase his profits.” The ability to increase income by choosing to work additional hours is not enough to indicate 1099 IC status. How do the relative investments in facilities and equipment by the worker and employer compare? DOL Clarification: A true 1099 IC must have made significant investments in comparison to those made by the employer, illustrating the reality of an independent business. Does the worker exercise special skill or initiative? DOL Clarification: A true 1099 IC must exercise specialized skills that allow them to operate businesses separately from that of the employer. It is not enough for them simply to possess those technical or professional skills – they must be utilized. What is the permanency of the worker’s relationship with the employer? DOL Clarification: For a true 1099 IC, a long-term, exclusive relationship with only one employer would prevent the worker from realizing a significant opportunity for profit. What is the nature and degree of the control exercised by the employer? DOL Clarification: The DOL takes the stance that many workers, particularly remote workers, may have control over large portions of their work, but this control is irrelevant in worker classification considerations unless it shows that the worker is operating a business independently from the employer. While employers have historically leaned heavily on this factor, the DOL guidance holds that “the control factor should not overtake the other factors of the economic realities test” or “play an oversized role” in worker classification. Essentially, the guidance boils down to an ultimate determination of whether a worker is economically dependent on the employer or is, in fact, operating their own independent business. Recruiter Implications What does this mean for recruiters? Several things: Recruiters can educate their clients about the new guidelines. Worker misclassification consequences can be very costly for employers, and they may need you to point it out if they are in dangerous waters. Employers that find they are out of compliance after applying the new guidelines will need to come up with an employment solution for their current 1099 ICs. Recruiters can help their clients with a solution for their dilemma: Switch misclassified 1099 ICs to contractors who are the legal W-2 employees of a back-office service like Top Echelon Contracting, Inc. (TEC). Recruiting firms may also want to look at their own 1099 ICs, if they have any, and apply the guidelines with a critical eye. Top Echelon Contracting can provide employment solutions for recruiting firms through our In-House Clerical and Administrative Program [...read more...]

2015 Talent Trends and Contracting Forecast

It’s officially July, and we are over halfway through another year. The midyear point is a great time to step back and take an eagle’s-eye look at the talent trends of 2015. In this article, we’ll examine the skills gap influencing current talent trends and the staffing forecast for the remainder of the year. Skills Gap – Top 10 Hardest-to-Fill Jobs According to the ASA Skills Gap Index for the 1st quarter of 2015, there were 181 occupations nationwide that qualified as hard to fill, an 8% increase from the 4th quarter of 2014. The top ten hardest-to-fill jobs were: Occupational therapists Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers Physical therapists Photographic process workers and processing machine operators Occupational therapy assistants Speech language pathologists Physicians Merchandise displayers and window trimmers Nurse practitioners Physician assistants Seven out of ten are healthcare occupations, up from five of ten in the previous quarter. This indicates that the economic recovery, along with the impact of the ACA, is tightening the talent market in the healthcare industry. Top Echelon Contracting can confirm this: we are seeing a strong interest in contract placements for healthcare professionals this year, as predicted at the beginning of the year. Healthcare made up the largest share (28%) of contract placements in 2014, and so far, 2015 looks to be no different. Looking Forward – The Second Half of 2015 The labor market looks strong for the remainder of the year, judging by CareerBuilder’s 2015 Midyear Job Forecast. 34% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers over the next six months, an improvement over 2014 (33%). Additionally, workers are showing more confidence and willingness to take the next steps in their careers. 29% of workers plan to change jobs in the next 12 months, as opposed to 25% last year. The top contracting-friendly industries in which employers plan to add jobs in the second half of 2015 include: Information Technology Mobile, Search or Cloud Technology Cyber Security Big Data Management and Interpretation Engineering/Manufacturing Alternative Energy Sources and Robotics Accounting/Finance Financial Regulation Big Data Management and Interpretation Human Resources Wellness (Healthcare) Recruiting TEC Trend Alert Top Echelon Contracting is seeing a trend in increased hiring of contract recruiters. This indicates that contracting will continue to maintain a strong foothold in the improving [...read more...]

7 Most Overlooked Tips to Attract New Clients – Rapidly!

Guest article by Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS, CEO of Good as Gold Training, Inc. It is important for you to continually upgrade and attract new clients. Most individuals in our profession generate 75% of their sales from less than five clients. That is not recession proof and could lead to inconsistent sales and profits. Before you implement the seven most overlooked tips, conduct revenue modeling so your marketing efforts target your best business. Study where your firm has successfully made placements. When completing your marketing efforts 85% of your calls should target your best business. Seven Overlooked Tips Target thirty companies or people you have identified as the best prospects for your business. Research these targets, as well as their top competitors. You must now figure out what problems they are currently facing that you will solve. Sometimes the solution will be a direct hire placement, but it could also be a contract or contract-to-direct hire placement. Develop a follow-up process for your prospective clients. Remember, it takes six contacts to gain name recognition. Begin with your top ten target companies and contact them six times in the first nine weeks to gain name recognition. Then follow-up with a unique marketing presentation at least once a month. Less than 3% of all new business owners follow-up with prospects after three months. In business, persistence does result in more business. Each quarter target ten additional companies until you have contacted all thirty targeted companies. Write a list of your “sphere of influence”… people you know well that have influence within your community or specifically within the area of specialization or niche you are targeting as prospective customers. Call each one of them personally, and ask them to provide you with leads for building your business. Referred business is the best business. Personalize everything you do from this point on. Technology has taken the personal element out of daily activities of many businesses. Make it a practice to have at least every third contact a conversation, not an email. The day of the personalized note cards is back and will help you stand out in the crowd. Direct mail is actually working because your prospects are getting less mail. Send your sales pieces in unique containers and envelopes to draw attention to your marketing pieces and show your personality. Ask, ask, ask your current client base for more business, and referrals to other businesses who could utilize your services. Then immediately enter them in your follow-up process. Offer some type of referral bonus if their referral hires from you. Remember, people do things for their own reasons–not yours. If your current clients cannot receive payment for a referral, offer to donate to their favorite charity in their name for referred [...read more...]

2015 UPDATE – Worker Misclassification Forgiveness Program

Do your clients utilize 1099 independent contractors (ICs) who should rightly be W-2 employees? Between government audits and contractor lawsuits, this worker misclassification is becoming an ever more dangerous tightrope to walk. Even so, they may be afraid to set off IRS and U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) red flags by reclassifying these workers properly, fearing that the fines, back wages and taxes, and other costs owed will outweigh the long-term benefits of going “legit.”  The Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), which was established in 2011 and expanded in 2013, is a great solution to this problem. Through the program, employers who voluntarily reclassifiy ICs as W-2 employees are only required to repay a small portion of the back payroll taxes they owe. This significantly reduces the financial hardships that can keep employers from reclassifying employees correctly. The employer must meet the following criteria to qualify: The workers they want to reclassify must have been consistently treated as non-employees in the past and must be treated as such at the time of application. The employer must have filed all required Forms 1099 for the applicable workers for the previous 3 years at the time of application. The employer cannot be be under an IRS audit regarding employment taxes (other types of IRS audits are permissible). The employer cannot be under USDOL or state agency audits regarding the classification of workers. If the IRS or the USDOL has previously audited an employer regarding the classification of the workers, they will be eligible only if they have complied with the results of that audit and are not currently contesting the classification in court. Employers can apply for the VCSP by filling out Form 8952. If they meet the eligibility requirements, they will receive the following benefits in exchange for agreeing to treat the workers as employees for future tax periods: The employer will pay only 10 percent of the employment tax liability that would have been due on worker wages for the most recent tax year. The employer will not be liable for any interest and penalties on the amount. The employer will not be subject to an employment tax audit with respect to the worker classification of the workers being reclassified under the VCSP for prior years. Bottom Line Whether or not your clients enroll in this formal program to reclassify their ICs, they should conduct an internal audit to ensure that anyone who is classified as an IC meets the IRS guidelines. Another way to help your clients is by offering to convert 1099 ICs to contractors who become W-2 employees of a contract staffing back-office. Also, if you, the recruiter, have been offering contract staffing to your clients by paying the contractors as ICs, you can conduct your own internal audit and consider using a back-office to convert these contractors to W-2 employees. In both cases, the back-office takes on all the employment responsibilities, including paying the employer portion of taxes, administering and paying the employer portion of benefits (and complying with healthcare reform), payroll processing and funding, Workers’ Compensation, all state and federal tax withholdings, employee issues, and more. That way, the employer or the recruiter will still avoid the administrative hassles and additional costs that come with W-2 employees while removing the risk of an IRS audit. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal [...read more...]

The Real “Back-Story” on TEC’s Services

Interview with Bob Small, Vice President of Carroll Technology Services, Inc.  A few years ago, a die-hard direct hire recruiter was forced into making his first contract placement to meet his client’s request. He was amazed at how easy and profitable it turned out to be, and since that first placement, Bob Small has actually become an advocate for both contract staffing and Top Echelon Contracting, Inc. (TEC). Consequently, he is often approached by other direct hire recruiters with questions about contracting and TEC’s services. Read on for Bob’s most commonly asked questions and the answers he provides.  Why choose Top Echelon Contracting? As contract staffing back-office services go, in my opinion, they are top-notch. Absolutely everything is taken care of—there is no need to worry once the contract placement is in their hands. From client communication to employee questions to onboarding to human resources to taxes and insurance—they just handle it. Doesn’t it bother you that TEC has direct contact with your clients? Absolutely not. Believe me, they can explain contract staffing placements better than you or me. They’ve been doing this and ONLY this for 23 years. They know their stuff inside and out, and their obvious knowledge and professionalism will put your client at ease. And don’t worry that they’ll cut you out of the loop—they won’t. For one thing, they DO NOT recruit. They have no interest in your client without you. They only make money when YOU [the recruiter] make a placement! For another, they understand that your relationships with your clients are your most valuable business assets and they protect them. That includes situations where a contract placement converts to a direct hire. Even in collections circumstances, TEC is careful to keep you involved and informed. What about marketing contracting to clients? Is there any support with that? Yes, they help you with it. They can create marketing documents for you with your agency name and information on them. All you have to do is send them out. As business ramp-up for contract staffing goes, it doesn’t get much easier than that. You can tell, even when you’re just getting started, TEC really wants you to succeed. How would I get paid my [recruiter] share of the profit? TEC pays you [the recruiter] as soon as the client pays them. It’s seamless. When you make your first placement, they give you access to the Statement of Contract Assignment (SCA) system. From there, you can track everything for each placement you make: timesheets, invoices, collections, etc. They do all the work behind the scenes. I love the fact that every time my client pays an invoice, I get a check in my mailbox like clockwork. What has your experience been with TEC’s customer service? It’s fantastic. You can always reach someone. If the usual person you work with isn’t available or doesn’t immediately pick up, they always have backup in place and will get you an answer quickly. You’ll never be left hanging. They are always very polite, extremely professional, and highly efficient. If you [the recruiter] screw up, they’ll cover your butt and never get on your case about it. They absolutely saved me from getting in my own way on my first contract placement– I’ll never forget that! What do you do when a contractor has questions or problems? Just give the contractor your TEC administrator’s direct extension. The Contract Administrator will always get back to them quickly and take care of the contractor’s questions about benefits, timesheets, paychecks, HR, etc. Again, they can answer tricky employment issues, like questions about the Obama stuff, better than you or me. Let them handle it professionally and promptly. If it’s an urgent human resources issue, they also have a 24/7 line for that. Bottom line – would you recommend contract staffing and TEC? Without question. Don’t avoid contract staffing and miss out like I did for years—let TEC help you tap into that income stream. They are outstanding, and it’s obvious how much they value their recruiters. Customer service is a thing of the past in a lot of industries, but not with TEC. Just work with them, and you’ll see what I mean. They get an A+ from [...read more...]

Tips for Negotiating Contract Bill Rates

(Originally posted 03/18/10, updated 06/11/15) What should you do when a client doesn’t set any limit on the hourly bill rate for a contract placement? While it might sound like a great problem to have, this can be frustrating because you have no clue what rate they consider acceptable—you have to guess. If you keep your hourly fee (a.k.a. “recruiter share”) low and ask a lower bill rate than they expect, they’ll be pleased, but you might be shorting yourself. On the other hand, select a rate too steep and you could wind up losing the contract placement and injuring your reputation. So what’s a recruiter to do? The ideal approach is to have them suggest at least a range of hourly bill rates. As long as your rate falls within their range, they can’t argue that it is unreasonable. If that tactic fails, here are some strategies that have worked for other contract recruiters: Use a standard multiplier – Multipliers usually range between 1.5 and 1.8, but they can go much higher for healthcare professionals and hard-to-find positions. Simply select one and multiply by the contractor’s pay rate to determine the bill rate. Base the rate on your target income – Determine how much you want to make per hour and then negotiate the contractor’s pay rate to determine the bill rate. If you are using Top Echelon Contracting as your back-office, you can call us to run a Quote based on those numbers. Charge based on a direct placement fee –Calculate what you would normally earn on a direct hire and divide it by the length of the contract. For example, if the contract is 12 months and you would earn $20,000 by placing the candidate direct, divide that by 2,080 hours (the approximate number of hours a full-time contractor would work in a year). You would need to make $9.62 per hour to earn the entire fee in twelve months. You can call Top Echelon Contracting for a Quote that will give you the bill rate that corresponds to this amount. There is no one correct way to set the bill rate. The important thing is to be creative with each client and come up with a rate structure that will keep both of you [...read more...]

Sharing Economy Creates New Class of On-Demand Workers

How much do you know about the “sharing economy?” Also known as the “mesh” economy, it is an umbrella encompassing a variety of systems which enable the sharing of human and physical resources and services. It is a complex socio-economic force at work in shaping the future of the larger economy. And, perhaps most importantly, it is growing rapidly. One system that will almost certainly affect you and the way you recruit is the peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace. Some examples of P2P services include Uber Technologies Inc., CrowdFlower, and TaskRabbit. These services allow the end-user to order up a human service provider such as a driver, data entry person, or errand runner (respectively) through a smartphone app. The technology interface handles the scheduling of these jobs with on-demand freelance workers, often referred to as “micro-entrepreneurs” by those who run the companies. At first glance, these services seem to offer a win-win proposition: the end-user gets quick, painless access to a service he needs performed, while the micro-entrepreneur can work flexibly on the jobs he chooses. However, as The Wall Street Journal points out, “App-enabled workers don’t fit neatly into a regulatory landscape that recognizes only two types of worker: [W-2] employees in traditional work relationships and [1099] independent contractors.” Let’s take a look at the growing pains that on-demand workers and P2P service providers are experiencing as the sharing economy matures.   On-Demand Workers: Micro-Entrepreneurs or Misclassified W-2 Employees? According to The Wall Street Journal, many workers have feelings of ambivalence toward the platforms through which they work. They want to be liberated by the income and flexibility on-demand work allows, but simultaneously feel isolated and confused about their roles with the companies. There are several cons for workers in these arrangements. For one thing, most on-demand work platforms grant the on-demand worker little control over the terms of their labor. Some end up in a grey area with their behavior, work guidelines, and even wardrobe defined by the platform. They are effectively employees, yet none of the traditional W-2 employee protections or benefits apply to them. Moreover, on-demand workers must accept a contract to work with a service platform. The terms of these contracts typically saddle them with all of the risk and liability of independence from a traditional employment situation, but none of the potential rewards of true entrepreneurship. It is clear that a compromise must be found between the platforms and their workers.    P2P Service Providers: Innovators in an Unclearly Defined Landscape As with any innovation, the P2P service providers at the forefront of the sharing economy are operating in unchartered territory. They understandably tend to favor the 1099 independent contractor (IC) model of freelance labor, since it saves cost and keeps them unencumbered by employer tax obligations and legal liabilities. However, their on-demand workers may not be correctly classified as ICs. For example, a recent ruling against FedEx Corporation determined that delivery-truck drivers who were required to wear FedEx uniforms, follow standard grooming rules, and use company-owned vehicles were incorrectly classified as ICs. Many P2P service providers are facing similar suits due to the control they exert over their workers’ schedules, work, behavior, and even wardrobe. The proliferation of P2P services will eventually force the regulatory bodies to adjust, but those adjustments may be a long while off. Meanwhile, their business models have sparked a debate in courts as to whether on-demand workers should be considered W-2 employees. Unfortunately, this discussion often comes as a result of lawsuits leveled by the disgruntled would-be employees. These on-demand workers, since they do not have the autonomy and control over their work that would classify them as true ICs, maintain that they are entitled to the traditional protections and benefits of a W-2 employee. The law seems to agree. On its website, the IRS states definitively: “You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done).” Based on these clear rules, experts predict many of the lawsuits will be successful. It is unlikely that this will put an end to the sharing economy, which has been further legitimized by Amazon’s recent announcement of its own addition to the P2P marketplace, called “Home Services.” However, it seems likely that P2P service providers will either have to bring their on-demand workers on as true W-2 employees, give up control over them and their work, or find another solution.   Contract Staffing: A Potential Solution to Level the Sharing Economy Labor Landscape Through a third-party back-office service like Top Echelon Contracting, Inc., these P2P service providers can outsource the W-2 employment of their on-demand workers. They remain free of employer liability and tax obligations because the back-office becomes the legal W-2 employer of record. The P2P service provider pays a flat hourly rate for each on-demand worker, just as they would with an IC. This solution also benefits the on-demand workers, relieving them of the liabilities and financial risks they run without a traditional employer-employee relationship. At the same time, they will maintain the scheduling flexibility that first attracted them to on-demand work. The “sharing economy” presents a host of challenges, but it is also opening up new opportunities for recruiters. By positioning yourself to help solve the problems these fledgling companies are experiencing, you can benefit in the changing [...read more...]

PROSPER – Principles for Success

Guest article by Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS, CEO of Good as Gold Training, Inc. As a recruiter, you must dedicate yourself to discovering principles that will allow you to do your job better, and as a result, increase sales, profits and your income. This article will address seven areas that will help you prosper the remainder of 2015 and beyond. P         Plan and Prioritize R         Results Oriented Activity O        Organize S         Share Expectations P         Principles of Sales E         Elevate Sales and Profits R         Right Things at the Right Time P – PLAN AND PRIORITIZE Any business exists for one reason: to make a profit. Recruiters are not in business to: Provide jobs for their employees Do everything themselves React to issues rather than proactively take control Planning and prioritizing requires a higher level of skill than shooting from the hip. You must: Know and understand your goals and focus Schedule important issues Be precise and detailed Commit to completing your six top priorities daily Coordinate efforts Plan for the entire week (1/52 of your annual plan) Stop preventable interruptions and issues R – RESULTS ORIENTED ACTIVITY Here are some realities in our profession: Constant distractions People on both sides of our sale Everyone’s demands can appear like a top priority Stuff happens Working hard or long hours doesn’t guarantee success Despite these truths, results oriented activity requires that you: Determine actions closest to the profit Understand best business (what business should be written and worked) Create systems and follow them Issue send-outs for most placeable candidates O – ORGANIZE It is simple – prosperity is not drawn to disorganization.  You must be the most organized person in your office.  Organization also greatly assists time management. S – SHARE EXPECTATIONS You should create expectations for the following: Clients What they can expect from your firm What you need from them to attract talent they will hire Candidates What they can expect from you What you need from them in order to find them a job Recruiting is a relationship building business.  Communication is key to your success and sharing expectations up front greatly improves communication. P – PRICIPLES OF SALES Principle #1 – Demonstrate Top Production Behavior Arrive early Address issues that are not in alignment with your firm’s vision and goals Talk with a strength of purpose Maintain a positive attitude Hit or surpass daily minimum results Principle #2 – Always Sell Staffing and Recruiting is a sales profession.  Continue to pre-close throughout the entire placement process to enhance your ability to successfully close deals. Principle #3 – Measure For Success The expression, “What gets measured, gets focused on,” is true.  Measurements of activities in sales provide feedback in order to: Set standards for activities that lead to desired sales results Measure activities at different parts of the sales process Make adjustments to activity areas that need improvement Measure against the new results and then repeat the process Principle #4 – Minimum Standards Sales is a repeatable process. You can accurately predict your production when you know your personal minimum stats and ratios. E – ELEVATE SALES AND PROFITS Most of your focus should be directed at consistently increasing production to enhance sales and profits.  The number that is most important to monitor is your send-out totals and your send-out to placement or fill ratio.  If you consistently increase send-outs you will consistently increase production. R – RIGHT THINGS AT THE RIGHT TIME Define the areas of responsibility that are most important for you to accomplish and focus on top priorities. Determine the 20% of actions that provides you with 80% of your results and then focus on consistently increasing the 20% of your actions that are result oriented. Conduct weekly reviews to keep your sales and business growth on track. What did I do right? How did I waste time? What do I need to change or implement next week? Follow these principles and you will help your business [...read more...]

How Did a Solo Recruiter Earn $101,047 on One Contract Placement?

One New York-based solo recruiter offered his client a contracting solution in January 2014, and that decision has certainly paid off. His first placement through Top Echelon Contracting, Inc. (TEC) has netted the recruiter $101,047. Even better? The candidate is still working, so the recruiter is still making money. For the average recruiter commanding a one-time 25% fee on a direct hire placement, those earnings would require placing a $404,000+/year candidate. How did he do it, and what wisdom can he offer to other recruiters? We asked him to answer those very questions. What were the circumstances of your contract placement? The client was a large corporation that needed a specialized person to fit a very specific role. The candidate was not easy to find, and that rarity benefitted me. I spent the majority of my career getting to know this industry and building relationships within it, so I was uniquely suited to search for this particular candidate. How much experience do you have with contract staffing, and how did you come to use TEC as your back-office? I worked in contract staffing throughout most of my career with large staffing corporations, so I had a solid base of knowledge when I eventually went off on my own. Because I had experience with contract staffing, I knew that handling the back end of contract placements was much more than I wanted to deal with by myself, so I asked for recommendations. A close friend and colleague referred me to TEC as a “perfect match,” and he was correct. How was your experience with our service/ using a back-office? My experience using TEC as the back-office has been stellar. Your company makes it realistic to venture out on your own as a recruiter making contract placements, because TEC takes care of the hardest, most complicated part—the legal, monetary and organizational headaches of the back end. What advice would you offer to someone looking to break in with a well-established client company? First and foremost, you need to learn how the organization works. What do they need, and what are their pain points? Talk to employees, past and present – they often have the clearest viewpoints to offer. Then, you can offer the client something that nobody else can – a true understanding of their needs. But remember that testimonials on your behalf are always more effective than representing yourself. What insider tips do you have for recruiters who are just starting out? The single most important thing you can do is truly differentiate yourself from your competitors. Also, when you are talking to a hiring authority or gatekeeper within a client company, you need to understand what’s in it for them—that individual specifically, not just the company in general. Then, address their need. Don’t be broad – be specific. Finally, even when you succeed in making a direct or contract placement, don’t lose touch with your client or candidate. Continue your relationships with them and make sure it is a fit for both parties. Would you recommend contract staffing to direct hire recruiters? I would absolutely recommend it. If you can improve your services and set yourself apart, then go for [...read more...]