Recruiting Sales Teams Consistently Win When They Adopt Racehorse Training Plans

Turn Your Sales Team into Thoroughbreds With A Training Plan and Top-Notch Tools

What happens on the first Saturday in May? America’s best three-year-old thoroughbred racehorses compete for one of the biggest crowns in horseracing: the Kentucky Derby.   When you see these magnificent animals primed for the fastest two minutes in sports, you can’t help but think of the high-tech tools and extensive training that got them there.

What do training racehorses and training sales teams have in common, you ask?

Both require a long-term comprehensive commitment and top-notch tools.

Break In Your Team For Onboarding Success

Although they won’t begin racing until late into their second year, young thoroughbreds begin their handling training at birth.  They learn their manners (hopefully) and get used to the activities around a busy barn that will prepare them for the hubbub of the backstretch.

Sales training for new team members within a recruiting firm is somewhat the same.  Managers need to get their new charges used to the corporate culture of their firm quickly and get them settled in with procedures, goals and expectations.

Drill Them on the Basics

racehorseFrom schooling in the starting gate to galloping on the track each morning, trainers cover all the skills young horses need to be successful constantly.

Take a look at these points for training techniques you can replicate for success with your recruiting sales team:

  • The Client’s Challenges Are Yours – Chris Burkhard, President of the recruiting firm CBI, gives this tip in his article for Staffing Stream: “Consider your staff and your client as being members of the same team. Know the client’s priorities as well as your own. Be able to anticipate client feedback instinctively… as fellow team members often do.”

Training your team to intimately understand the client’s needs and problems enables them to respond more quickly and cohesively with a solution.  In a popular webinar on Sales Best Practices for Bond, Leslie Prince of Roth Staffing encourages teams to assess the impact of the problems your clients face, which will help your team to craft a fine-tuned solution.


  • Focus on High Value Actions – In her article “Stop Being Scattered And Start Selling,” Dr. Janet Lapp shares this telling statistic, “Top sales performers spend between 75% and 95% of their time on high-payoff or ‘worth-it’ actions.  Low performers spend between 25% and 40% of their time on ‘worth-it’ actions without even realizing it.”

Lapp offers this advice: “Schedule the behavior you want to increase by pairing it with a habit already established. Habit strength will transfer to the new action.”  That could be as simple as to make five sales calls every time you fix yourself a cup of coffee.

This principle applies to day-to-day time management and the benefits of recruiting software.  The more familiar your sales team is with your recruiting software, the better they can manage daily tasks quickly, leaving more time for finding new candidates and networking with referral sources.

  • Get in the Habit of Positive Energy – Obviously positive energy between team members is essential, but positive energy directed at clients is crucial, too.  Sales expert Jeff Shore addressed the benefits of positive energy in his article, “Misery Loves Company,”

“Think of encounters with customers as having a finite amount of space. Your job is to FILL that space with positive energy, leaving no area for negative energy to exist.”

Give champions a chance to mentor them

jockeyThe delicate art of training thoroughbreds includes replicating the training regimen of their triumphant relatives.  Adapting training to a horse’s inherited traits means copying proven successful methods — bringing the youngsters along in much the same fashion as their winning parents and grandparents.  For example, some family lines include later-maturing horses, so training has to move at a slower pace.

Trainers also use experienced racehorses as training partners to settle younger horses—a great strategy for training your recruiting sales team, as well.

Creating a mentoring system pairing high level and extra-successful sales team members with newcomers can provide valuable insight in a supportive environment.  In addition, scheduling educational seminars and brainstorming sessions for the whole team builds relationships and fuels creative energy.

In addition to training practices, whether it’s the right bridle or the best supplements, trainers of the top equine athletes have all manners of sophisticated tools at their disposal to help their horses stay healthy and happy because that’s the foundation of a stellar performer.

Likewise, hiring companies should provide their sales team with the best recruiting software to make their jobs easier.  Add that to the platform of strong training and your sales team will end up in the winner’s circle more often.

Discover insight into more staffing sales best practices with our webinar and video, “Staffing Sales Best Practices.”

How You Can Track The Footprints Of Referrals To Achieve Hiring Success

If you have ever had the opportunity to go on a photographic safari, you know the trek’s success depends upon modern day tools.  Safaris have come a long way since the days of old-fashioned tracking.

In places like Mala Mala, a private game reserve tucked into the northeastern corner of South Africa, the tracking game has gone through high-tech transformation.  Whereas local guides used to search for tracks on foot, now they go out daily to watch big game movement in sturdy Range Rovers equipped with radios and cell phones (although, as Australian photographer Bobby-Jo Clow’s photographs show vividly, technology doesn’t necessarily keep the animals at bay).

Mala Mala stretches over 5.5 million acres so you can only imagine how long some tracking trips may take.  The key for photo hungry tourists and their guides is persistence.

Referral tracking works in much the same way.  When keeping past referral sources currently active and growing networks for future referrals, recruiters need to use the best methods and tools.  They need to rely on their networks and hiring experience, as well as automated recruiting software, to find the next great catch.

No safari guide will find the animals they’re hunting for without the right strategy and tools in place.

For recruiters, referrals should be closely monitored and documented.

A New Landscape for Referral Tracking

post-it-notesThink about how far we’ve come in referral management.  It wasn’t that long ago that a hiring pro’s desk was stacked with post-it notes covered with pen-written names and numbers.  Then, we moved up to rolodexes with business cards neatly filed in alphabetical order.

Now we’ve got the most sophisticated tools available.  Recruiting software automation has made it hundreds of times easier to trail our target candidates – and to keep track of the sources we follow regularly to find new candidates.

But tools without strategy won’t cover the distance.  Put yourself in the best position to find the right candidates with these three best practices for referral tracking:


  • referral-trackingFrequent the watering holes. Once recruiters learn the best watering holes for candidates, such as social media sites like LinkedIn, and create relationships with other folks that gather there, they are on their way to building a reliable supply of information.

With recruiting software intelligence, recruiters have at their fingertips helpful data about each referral source, down to when they last sent chocolates as a thank-you for the last candidate they referred.

  • Communicate with other guides.  On safari, the guides are constantly communicating with each other to establish animal habits and travel patterns.  “We’ve got a herd of zebras down by the Sand River,” or “We’ve come along the leopard family sacked out under the Acacia grove just south of camp.”


Similarly, recruiters who stay connected to others in the hiring business as well as the industries they serve will put themselves in the best position for fresh referrals.

  • Use the newest and best tools available. With recruiting software such as AdaptSuite, staffing and recruiting pros can similarly identify and locate the candidates referred to them. They can categorize and manage each candidate with easy access to critical data such as their profile, resume, history, and social networks.

Recruiting software can also “ping” recruiters electronically when new opportunities come along that match the referral.

The More Footprints, The Better

footprintsObviously more footprints mean more animals.  There’s nothing quite like being on safari and coming upon a fresh set of multiple footprints to get everyone’s blood pumping.

The same holds true for recruiting.   Before you hit the trail, make sure you are maximizing your sources of footprints with these tips:

          • Leverage the right tools to capture and nurture referral footprints.
          • Collect footprints from a variety of sources – such as scraping all the teachers at a specific college who can ultimately lead to their truly best graduates – and give a wider pool of top-notch candidates.
          • Depend on trusted referral guides and recruiting software to flush out even the most elusively passive candidates.

Safari time, anyone?

Learn more about how recruiting software can help manage referrals by downloading our AdaptSuite brochure.

In-Depth Perspective – Demystifying Software as a Service Part 2

SaaS-1As more and more vendors come to the market with SaaS based solutions it is becoming critical for organisations to understand the pros and cons of each approach – including traditional On-Premise. These technology investments are not short term; despite the rental SaaS model, any technology change causes massive business upheaval and impacts user productivity. The wrong decision can be catastrophic.

In the second part of this series, Toby Conibear, European Business Development Director, Bond International Software, explores the key points to consider when choosing SaaS in order to ensure it is correct for the enterprise, secure and ultimately improves on the existing process.

  1.     How Secure is the Data?

The number one question regarding SaaS is always data security. With SaaS, the major security and privacy responsibility is shouldered by the vendor. Ask the vendor about where the application is hosted and how the data centre is secured; and what utilities are available in the application to monitor users’ interaction with the system. As a standard industry practice every SaaS provider goes for backup and replication of data for failover support.

For business critical systems the vendor should regularly penetration test both software and infrastructure. The tests should be current, within the last year, and clearly the results should be positive. Depending on the client base there may be a requirement to adhere to specific security standards. Ask to see the results of these tests. 

  1.     Data Location & Ownership

There are some countries/geographies whose laws prohibit the storage or transfer of data beyond a certain geographical boundary, so it essential to be aware of the law in any country of operation. Both the European Union and US are very specific about privacy and security of certain types of data. It is essential to learn more about US-EU Safe Harbour and EU model clauses and certainly never take it for granted that the data will be stored in the same country.

  1.     Service Level Agreement Options 

Generally a SaaS vendor offers 99.9% uptime to address the general quality of service – and in many cases this is predefined and non-negotiable, certainly under a Multi-tenant model. This can be a problem for medium to larger scale organisations that have a specific set of requirements to be met. With the larger recruitment companies estimating downtime costs of £2,500 per minute for business critical systems such as the front-end recruitment CRM, a generic SLA is often not going to be good enough.  In this case, the Single-tenant model can be more flexible, allowing the SaaS vendor to tailor the SLA to meet the needs of each organisation.

  1.     Vendor Maturity

In a market full of new players, due diligence is ever more essential. And that means looking at the vendor’s product roadmap as well as underlying funding. There is some concern regarding the long term commitment of the Venture Capital (VC) firms that are supporting many of the SaaS-only vendors in the market; as well as growing awareness that valuing these businesses purely on the numbers of subscriptions does not add up in the long term, creating a potentially flawed business model. With a VC’s primary focus on gaining a short term return on investment, this can create an aggressive and unbeneficial work ethic for the company – and create a high risk business partner. An in depth assessment of product and vendor stability is key to minimise risk and ensure that product development will continue.

  1.     Strategic Direction

There are any number of factors that will influence an organisation’s decision to move from On-Premise to the cloud. If the company is global and there is a desire to share data from a single system, SaaS can be great. However if offices are in locations where internet access is limited or unreliable it can be a disaster.

Staff readiness is also an issue. If the existing infrastructure is supported and maintained in house, what is the migration plan? What will happen to the business divisions that currently perform this function? And if some applications, such as finance, are set to remain On-Premise, how much cost can be released by consolidating the infrastructure?


The way the software is delivered to the business has become increasingly important in recent years – and without doubt the popularity of the SaaS model will continue to grow. It offers a host of benefits from both a cost and IT resource perspective; and it enables a company to focus on its core skills, namely recruitment, and leave the IT to someone else! But it will never suit every organisation – especially those with highly sensitive data that will always prefer to retain control with an On-Premise deployment.

Whatever route the business takes, it is essential not to get shanghaied by the entire deployment methodology debate at the expense of the quality of the software. This is an investment in technology that drives the business – there is no room for mistakes. Choice is essential: should the software vendor be dictating the way the business deploys its IT strategy?

A vendor that can offer a fully functional, robust solution that can be deployed to suit specific business requirements – On-Premise, SaaS Single-tenant or Multi-tenant – delivers the breadth of options required to truly get the best, long term solution for the business.

OSHA and Temporary Workers: What Recruiters Need To Know A Year Later

One year ago this April, OSHA announced a new series of laws that affect how staffing and recruiting companies work with host employers in the training and protection of temporary workers.

To recap, here’s why the changes were needed.

  • In 2011, 12% of the 4,693 fatal work injuries in the U.S. were suffered by temp workers.  This represents a disproportionate number of fatalities as temp workers represent only 2% of the total workforce.
  • In 2012 overall fatalities dropped to 4,383, but, according to OSHA, “Companies are expected to employ many more temporary workers as the Affordable Care Act is implemented.”
  • In February 2013, OSHA cited Bacardi Bottling Corp for the death of a 21-year-old temporary worker his first day on the job. Lawrence Daquan “Day” Davis was crushed to death by a palletizer machine at the Jacksonville facility in August 2012. As a result, OSHA’s new guidelines called for much stricter supervision of workplace conditions, better employee training and stronger communication between agencies and host companies.

Given these statistics, the guidelines call for inspectors to assure temporary workers are protected from workplace hazards, review records, and interview temp workers to discover if they got the required training and in a language they understand. If these laws are violated both host and temp employers may be held jointly responsible.  That can result in big fines, possible legal action and even closing of businesses.

OSHA Compliance for Temporary Workers Checklist

As staffing and recruiting professionals are well aware, the contingent workforce is currently on the rise.

To ensure you are well prepared and protected, if and when an inspection occurs, use these suggestions from OSHA to identify if you are compliant with the regulations as they relate to temporary workers.

  • Clarify responsibilities of both staffing and host company. This includes determining who is responsible for safety training, hazardous materials, record-keeping and reporting of injury or illness.
  • Identify process for onboardingEnsure that your agency has provided the proper initial training required, and clarify that the host employer will be providing additional workplace-specific training. OSHA’s guidelines state that these trainings are to be shared by the temporary agency and the host employer, who must “[provide] the workplace-specific training appropriate to the employees’ particular tasks.”
  • Conduct on-site visits.  Now staffing agencies have a duty to assess the conditions of their temp workers’ workplaces.  Onsite visits ensure that staffing representatives are knowledgeable as it relates to the safety of the workplace.
  • Understand injury reporting.  OSHA states that generally, the host company should keep injury and illness records because they typically maintain day-to-day supervision over workers.  While the staffing agency may have a representative at the host employer’s worksite, the presence of that representative does not necessarily transfer recordkeeping responsibilities to the staffing agency.

Use the above as a quick checklist to identify whether or not appropriate action has been taken given the guidelines that OSHA rolled out last year.

Next Steps to Ensure Compliance

If you identify that there are some areas of opportunity, consider these next steps as a starting point.

  1. Discuss temporary worker OSHA requirements with the companies you work with.
  2. Develop guidelines and checklists to help the companies you work with efficiently and effectively onboard temporary workers.
  3. Identify if on-site visits need to be mapped into your workflow.
  4. Audit the level of documentation you currently have and compare that to industry standards.

In his 2013 article for Human Resource Executive Online, Tom Starner discussed the dilemma of documentation with Michelle Benjamin, CEO and founder of Benjamin Enterprises and TalentREADY.  Benjamin stressed the importance of keeping up-to-date documentation to prove compliance, which would include keeping records that show the following:

  • Hire date
  • Employee work status
  • Completion of required job training
  • Details of training programs

Benjamin suggests that agencies providing temporary workers to companies should ensure that the employer is aware of this OSHA initiative and that they are in compliance.

Going forward, staffing agencies will have to be more vigilant about the training they provide temporary workers, including educating them on OSHA standards and regulations.  They will also have to have plans in place for injury reporting.

Here is where recruiting software can play a critical role in reducing risks for temporary employees and potential liabilities for the staffing agency. Recruiting and staffing software can and should enable you to establish a workflow process that ensures that every temp hire is onboarded and trained appropriately, and that each of these steps are well-documented. Further, the workflow processes can include OSHA-recommended steps for the staffing firm to implement and document.

For more insight on staffing and recruiting industry issues, management, and trends, download our whitepaper on how the Affordable Care Act will impact the staffing and recruiting industry.

Demystifying Software as a Service – Part 1

AdaptthumbnailCloud computing is now an integral part of IT. But hype and multiple options continue to confuse many companies, especially when it comes to deploying critical business applications such as the CRM system.

As ever, there is no simple answer to the ‘Software as a Service versus On-Premise’ question – even the cost equation can be more complex than it originally appears! 

From data location and security to the flexibility of Service Level Agreements and customisation opportunities, organisations need to consider not only the value of the out-of-the-box solution today but in the future.

 How will the solution evolve? 

Will it support business growth or change in direction?  And how does it fit given the maturity of both the business and IT resources?

In part one of this blog series Toby Conibear, European Business Development Director, Bond International Software, explores the fundamentals of SaaS and the appeal it has to enterprise the world over.

Understanding SaaS

Over the last ten years the way technology has been deployed has changed radically. Cloud based services increasingly dominate, with a large proportion of companies now using web based email and administrative application services. For many companies the issue is whether now is the time to move core business applications, such as the CRM, into the cloud.

So what is the appeal? Under the Software as a Service (SaaS) software distribution model organisations have access to applications hosted by a vendor or service provider over a network – typically the Internet. In addition to the attractive operating expense and subscription based payment model, SaaS also offers easier administration and automatic product updates. An organisation can massively reduce its internal IT investment in both infrastructure and people. And, as long as Internet access is good, it provides global access.

There are two approaches to SaaS – Multi-tenant and Single-tenant. Under the Multi-tenant model, which some organisations insist on tagging ‘True SaaS’, the entire environment is shared: a single code base and a single database will serve thousands of customers. Every organisation is using exactly the same version of the software and operating on the same Service Level Agreement (SLA). In contrast, under the Single-tenant model, an organisation has its own implementation – hosted and subscription based – but with the option of customisation, managed upgrades and a specific SLA.

Generic versus Customised

The implications of this distinction can be huge. A Multi-tenant system by its nature has to be a standardised system accessed by multiple businesses. True configurability can only really happen under Single-tenancy or delivered via a traditional On-Premise solution.

Both models are valid but are focused on different areas of the market and support different organisational needs. For example, for smaller or start-up operations Multi-tenant SaaS is compelling. Costs are controlled and there is no need to invest in IT resources. In addition, the fact that the software is generic and most probably used by the competition is not a problem: the business is small enough to enable management to impose business specific processes and attitudes within the culture, along with minor changes in areas such as the data representation layer.

For a larger organisation, especially one that has not moved everything into the cloud, the financial model is more challenging. Under the SaaS rental approach, an organisation will typically take just two years to reach the equivalent On-Premise investment costs – it is the reduction in internal IT resource and infrastructure costs that delivers the long term financial value. If an organisation is not moving all applications to the SaaS model, such as Finance and HR, it will be important to understand the cost implications of a mixed On-Premise and SaaS strategy.

Furthermore, for a larger business that needs to exploit technology to embed key business values, the lack of customisation can be a problem. Most medium to large scale enterprises build the business value add into managed processes – and that means the ability to customise software to capture those unique differences is essential. Tinkering with data representation is not enough; these organisations require customisation in the workflow layer – and that means either traditional On-Premise deployment or Single-tenant SaaS.

You may download our full ‘Demystifying Software as a Service’ eBook here.

Dig Deeper Into Online Job Boards And Win

Sssh!  Can you hear it?  It’s the sound of staffing and recruiting professionals everywhere connecting to job boards with their recruiting software!

Job boards have long been the go-to channel to connect with candidates.  Even today, with the advent of social media and new tactics to find talent, job boards are still at the top of the list of recruiting tools.

Some might argue that job boards are overrated.  Yet the numbers associated with big boards such as LinkedIn, Monster and Career Builder show their continued popularity.

In a recent post, Subadhra Sriram, editorial director of Staffing Industry Analysts, shared some interesting findings from a 2014 Temporary Workers Survey – Job Board/Social Networking Usage:

“Job boards scored higher than recruiting tactics like hiring from existing candidate lists, referral bonuses, listing jobs on company website, advertising one’s firm, etc.”


Sriram explains that while Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn and CareerBuilder are the popular choices for temp workers, Dice comes into play for IT jobs and Craigslist for office/clerical.

Yet beyond that, writes David Gee in a Staffing Talk article, the niche sites popping up across the virtual hiring landscape are attracting their own tribes of followers.  “According to one job board expert, 2013 may have been the best year for niche job boards ever.”

knock-outHe quotes Job Board Doctor Jeff Dickey-Chasins to offer proof:

“It’s a different industry than it was 10 years ago certainly, but it is definitely growing,’ says the Job Board Doctor Jeff Dickey-Chasins, a veteran of the job board, publishing, and e-learning industries. “About a third of the clients I work with are start-ups, and I see new ones every week.”

Does this mean that job boards have the potential of knocking staffing and recruiting professionals out of the game?

Not likely.

While job board use is clearly robust, the staffing and recruiting industry is also enjoying growth across sectors.  In fact, the American Staffing Association presented a rosy batch of numbers last year.

In the first quarter of 2013 U.S. staffing and recruiting companies employed an average of 2.86 million temp and contract workers per day.  This number was up 2.9 percent compared to the same time frame the year before.

puzzleThe ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey also found that “The January through March period marked 13 consecutive quarters of year-to-year staffing job growth since the recession ended in 2009.”

So putting together the puzzle pieces we find that job boards are serious recruiting gems and creative staffing and recruiting professionals can look forward to long and happy careers.  But there is a cautionary note to be found amongst all the rainbows and butterflies.

Anybody can do the basics when it comes to job boards.  It’s those folks who dig deeper into the value and capabilities of these channels to create relationships that will beat out the competition.

They aren’t just firing up their recruiting software and hoping for the best.  They are going beyond by:

  • Familiarizing themselves with niche sites in the industries they serve
  • Using their recruiting software to start conversations, engage with candidates and join communities
  • Connecting with candidates through such tactics as targeted emails
  • Getting active with mobile-based job search and applications

Just as importantly, the more successful pros understand that job boards can be great brand-building tools.

The message to hungry staffing and recruiting players is a call to action to leverage job boards as part of your industry footprint.  Combine an active presence at these sites with all the things you are doing to keep your company name vibrant in the marketplace.

Job boards can be just one element in conjunction with your social media branding to keep you on the path of creating a powerful name for your staffing and recruiting firm.

Pretty soon, the sound you hear may very well be more candidates filling up your sales funnel.  Can you hear it?

To learn more on recruiting strategies and issues, check out our whitepaper on 6 Ways Staffing Agencies Can Engage Their Social Channels.