An Industry Full of Big Personalities – #Recruiting

The best part of recruiting is that this is an industry where I feel completely at home being myself. This is an industry full of big personalities and quirky characters. I think that as recruiters, our genuine personalities and quirky characteristics are what help us relate to candidates and clients across the board.

Our likeable personalities are a direct correlation to our success in this industry. It’s what helps me get referrals from candidates and allows people to open up so that I can do my job with more information.


So what is it exactly that makes recruiters so irresistible (ok, maybe just likeable)?


Recruiters ask questions. The biggest mistake that people make when it comes to talking to other is that they’re so focused on their own point or their own idea of how the conversation should be going that they dominate the conversation. Recruiters ask lots of questions because they want to know as much as they can about a client or candidate. I always say that recruiters shouldn’t be individuals when talking to other people, but rather a mirror so that they can get a more accurate sense of the person sitting in front of them.


For the most part, Recruiters are very genuine people. Being a genuine person is important to being a likeable person with a great personality. No one wants to talk to a used car salesman and people gravitate towards those who they feel they can trust.


All of the independent recruiters that I work with on a day-to-day basis are amazing recruiters with personal branding that shows off exactly who they are as people and they stay true to that personal brand almost unapologetically. If you’re happy with yourself, then others will feel that energy and send it back to you tenfold.


Great Recruiters don’t pass judgment. This is not to say that Recruiters don’t ever make judgment calls using their personal filters, but they are approachable at all levels of industry. Recruiting is a business of profiling, but recruiters are always willing to listen and have a conversation with someone without immediately forming a hard opinion on that person’s career or business choices.


Recruiters aren’t attention seekers. Oftentimes, I refer to myself as the person behind the curtain because as a headhunter we are invisible in any organization. I know more about most businesses before I walk through their doors than the people who work there on a day-to-day basis. You don’t need to have a big, boisterous personality as a recruiter to get ahead, in fact this kind of behaviour will be a detriment to your business.


If you’re genuine in what you say and you appreciate the help you receive from those around you, people will be more apt to help you in the future.


Good Recruiters let others be the experts. I tell people that everyone you meet can teach you something, accept this lesson. Instead of having a spitting contest with everyone you meet, great recruiters accept the help of those in other industries to get information that is essential in completing a placement. Tell people you need help, tell them that their background impresses you, and tell them that you are dying to work with their business. A little vulnerability in recruiting can be a great way to attract top performers and new clients.


Do you think you’re a likeable recruiter? Or is your personality different from what I’ve outlined. At the very least, take this fun quiz from Buzzfeed and see if you’re actually likeable or not. I think some of you might be surprised. HA (I’m just kidding)!


Though Canada is my home, I have always stayed true to my American roots. Living in Boston to start my career, it was almost impossible not to be a baseball fan, no not a baseball fan, but a Red Sox fan. But something about the Toronto Blue Jays has me inspired this year.

After back-to-back championships in 1992-1993 the Blue Jays have not since made playoffs. Four days ago, the Blue Jays clinched a second wild-card spot after a win against the Rays ending the longest playoff drought in North American sports. But surprisingly, the unusually optimistic Toronto sports fans didn’t even notice.

No, today is the day that all Toronto sports fans have been waiting patiently for since that World Series win 22 years ago.

It’s finally clinch day in Toronto, and the magic number is now 1. With a double header this afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles, the Jays will (most likely) earn themselves the AL East.

I may be a Red Sox fan, but it’s hard not to be excited about Baseball history being made in our own backyard. We will have the games on in our office, will you?



Curta Expands Recruitment Team With New Engagement Manager

Seasoned Recruitment Professional Vivian Rojas Joins Recruitment Team to Help Break Ground Across North America

Curta is proud to announce that Vivian Rojas has joined our growing team. Vivian will work as an engagement manager out of the Curta’s Canadian offices.

“I have worked with Vivian previously at Volt and she has been one of closest friends so I already know what she brings to the table,” says Rebecca Sargeant, CEO of Curta. “Her drive, energy and focus is invaluable to both clients and candidates, and is an enormous part of what has made her so successful. I’m very happy that she has decided to be part of the team and look forward to having her passion on board as we continue to break ground across North America.”

With over five years of experience in full-cycle recruitment and administration, Vivian is consistently working hard to create a great match for both clients and candidates. Her primary objective as a recruiter and main passion in her career is to find the best talent for her clients through direct recruitment, building a solid network across many industries, and providing excellent customer service.

She has joined the recruitment team at Curta as they continue to break ground in the United States, offering recruitment opportunities in locations across America including Seattle, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to join the Curta family,” says Vivian, Curta’s newest Engagement Manager, “A big thank you to Rebecca and her team for welcoming me with a wonderful lunch on Tuesday afternoon, and I am looking forward to sharing my talent with the team as we continue to grow.”  

Reach out to Vivian to find out how she can further your career and grow your business.


About Curta

Curta specializes in the training, placement, and coaching of Recruitment Professionals across all industries and sectors.

Curta offers the only Recruitment Training Program that certifies Recruiters when they have demonstrated the implementation of the training through revenue generation. Certified Curta Recruiters are providing a more sophisticated service to both clients and candidates by being thought leaders in the Recruitment industry. Certified Curta Recruiters are filling more openings, being offered higher personal incomes, and commanding a higher rate from clients across all sectors.



Telephone: 617.396.4450

Never Skip Your Homework – #SalesTips

In Ardi Kolah’s book The Art of Influencing and Selling, one of the quotes that stood out to me most was that, “Success is dependent on doing your homework.”

I’ve written before that the art of selling hinges on curiosity and that requires a little bit of homework. Just being curious isn’t enough, but the willingness to put the work into searching for answers is what will win you a negotiation.

Ardi Kolah continues on letting their readers know that sales are about, “being ruthless in qualifying in and qualifying out…” and any good recruiter knows that qualifying means doing some research. If you’re focusing your resources on those you know may have already opted into your product, then there is a great chance of achieving a positive sales outcome.


As a recruiter, I am constantly trying out new tools to optimize my business and in turn have tried out some great software systems, and some less than great. Anyone who has followed me for more than a year knows that I dislike Bullhorn as a product and that there is definitely room for improvement.

Any account manager doing their homework would know not to waste my time when it comes to pitching Bullhorn as my main ATS system.

This however, didn’t stop a rookie salesperson from calling me one morning and all but admitting that he had no idea who I was and definitely did not do any research on my brand or history with Bullhorn.

This is what will not only lose you potential customers, but also damage your brand in the long run.

If you want to make a sale, do your homework. This could be a quick Google search, to an in-depth brand analysis. When you call someone to pitch your services, you are taking up their time. Nothing will annoy a business owner or potential client off more than someone who starts their business relationship by wasting their time.

If as a customer I can understand that your product will save me time and money, then I will buy from you. But if I have to wade through endless follow-up calls and run-on pitch right off the bat, you are already showing me that you and your product have no interest in my business. Don’t waste my time, because my time is money.

Quoted directly from The International Negotiation Handbook:

One of the most important aspects of a successful negotiation is preparation. A negotiation can be won or lost in the preparation phase… Inadequate preparation can cause irreparable damage to relationships and the possibility of future negotiations with the parties involved.

In much less words, not doing your homework will damage sales and your brand in one fell swoop.

Curta will be holding our Selling in the Knowledge Era again on October 19th from 9-12 PM EST. We had great feedback with our last class and cannot wait to get feedback from our follow-up coaching call. For information on the course click through here.




Is Email Dying? – No It’s Just Not Winning the Race

I seriously just got a handle on social media, am an expert on my Blackberry, and have become dependent on my email. But now they’re saying that email is dead?

When Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz ran the company’s engineering team, he complained that email often passed along information that was no longer relevant and was just filling up his inbox, “I would spend weeks collecting information about the state of the world,” he says, “And by the end it would be a couple of weeks out of date.” (WIRED)


Subsequently, all of my staff is trying to move me away from email and onto the multitude of apps that are trying to replace it, but I just don’t want to! Apps like Asana, Slack, and SnapChat are trying to pull group chat into one place but it’s just not effective for me!

After speaking with Recruiters across the industry, we’re finding that many independents are moving to text messaging to communicate with candidates and clients alike. This seems like all the benefits of email, with none of the excuses.

While these apps trying to promote communication do well in a team environment, let’s face it, email comes in handy when you need to make last minute contact with a client or candidate. Text messaging? Even better. How many times have you shot off an email to a candidate just to have them pretend that they didn’t receive it, or it didn’t arrive? That excuse no longer exists when you move to text messaging.

Everybody has texting capabilities on their phone. My Blackberry Curve may be over six years old, but guess what I can still text on it. I may not be able to receive emails, but texting will always work.

It’s less intrusive than asking a client, candidate, or team member to download an app to their phone. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about it not being compatible with your Windows phone.

There is a sense of urgency attached to a text message. If you send a text, you will almost always receive a response. We have a social media manager whose phone is attached to her hip with texts being pushed to her computer. I know that if I send her a message, I will get an almost instantaneous response.

There are no excuses. There are no spam filters to get stuck in; there is no excuse for you to have not seen my messages.

I know all of the benefits, can see how it will work for me better than email in many situations but come on, I just got used to Outlook! What do you use primarily as a communication tool? Let us know on our Facebook group!

Cultivating Curiosity – How To Sell Effectively

In Chris Guthrie’s I’m Curious he starts with pushes a good negotiator forward:

Good negotiators must understand their counterparts’ perspectives, interests, and arguments to do well at the bargaining table. To understand one’s counterpart a negotiator needs to be curious about what her counterpart has to say. In other words, a negotiator should cultivate a stance of curiosity. (I’m Curious)

My curiosity is what drove me to recruiting. My urge to know what’s going on in every industry, how the marketplace was shaping up, and how big business ran on a day-to-day business has help me close more deals in my career than sheer talent. I’ve always wanted to know how your business works and how it could be more effective. I want to know every piece of your business from top to bottom, and it’s this curiosity and willingness to learn that has made me a great salesperson.


From a training point of view, curiosity is the holy grail of education and what makes you an excellent student. It’s this curiosity that endears you to clients, candidates and team members. It is the attribute that makes you seem genuinely interested in what any given person is telling you. Curiosity is one of the most overlooked attributes any given person can have, but this modesty gives others the idea that you would like to genuinely know them and their business. (TeachThought)

Self-taught designer Tobias van Schenider says that everything starts with a willingness to learn and curiosity, and that cultivating and sustaining your curiosity starts with surrounding yourself with people who are “better” than you and make you feel good about what you’re doing. (LIFEHACKER)

Tobias is right, cultivating curiosity can come from having a genuine enjoyment and interest but there are also other ways to open your mind and feel that same urge to learn about business around you.

It’s important to keep an open and curious mind. Be open to learning, and relearning about your potential client or candidate. You should be prepared to adjust the profile that you already have in your head.

Don’t just accept things at face value. If you take everything as you see it, you’ll never push beneath the surface and really figure out why is something works that way.

Ask questions. Part of actively listening to your client is hearing what they are saying to you and asking questions about why it’s like that, or where that comes from.

See learning as something fun. Don’t walk into this as a sales call, don’t stress about business development. This is just a conversation with someone in your industry. This is a networking call and you’re just taking the time to dig into their business and how it works. Enjoy the learning process because even if you don’t pick up business, you’ve learned about yet another company in your industry.

Curiosity is the basis of my sales training and what has made me so successful in my career. While I can’t teach curiosity, I can foster it and this is ultimately what will make you an elite sales professional.

We are holding a Sales Training Course on September 21st, 2015 for information about the syllabus, please visit our website or contact us directly for more information.

Our Selling in the Knowledge Age is going to be running from 9 AM EST – Noon on September 21st. For an in-depth look at the syllabus, please check out our website or contact myself directly at

We All Know Someone Who Suffers From This…

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who has, and sorry to gross you out, verbal diarrhea? They just talk and talk, and they’ve made so many other points so many times that now you’ve lost their original message? These are the people that are often so long-winded that they leave you yearning to exit the conversation.


If you are this person I only have one thing to say, if you are talking you’re not listening! When you are constantly monopolizing conversations you aren’t leaving any room for your co-workers to share their ideas or opinions. Each time you dominate the empty air with a convoluted message, you push others away because they assume that you’re not saying anything of value.

If you need any advice on active listening, feel free to read one of our last blog posts.

Did you know that in 2000 the average attention span was only 12 seconds and has since fallen to eight? The average goldfish has a longer attention span coming in at a whopping nine seconds (Independent). When you’re halfway through one of your speeches, do you think anyone is still listening?

The average person stops listening attentively after 20 seconds, and actively tunes out after 40 seconds if the conversation has gone off topic.

An easy way to make sure you’re getting your point across is to make sure that you are able to get around to your message in less than 20 seconds. Everyone has heard of an elevator speech, you should start operating under the 20-second rule in each one of your conversations. Get your point across succinctly.

We’ve all been guilty of over-chatting or rambling at some point, but it can be a deadly habit in recruiting. If you need practice getting to the point, get yourself a Twitter account. This may sound silly, but if you can’t get it out in less than 140 characters, then maybe it’s not that important.

If you ever need any advice on how to slow down your speeches, feel free to tweet me for advice at @RebeccaSargeant.

If you really feel the need to vent to your heart’s desire, feel free to join our Recruiter’s Breakroom. It’s a place where everyone in the industry can privately vent their frustrations, share news, or tell jokes.

We’re excited to have you.

I am a Professional Listener, Are you?

Simply hearing what I’ve said does not mean that you are listening.

How many times has your significant other said, “But, I told you that last week,” only to have you forget the conversation entirely?

Active listening would insure that you not only heard what your hubby told you last week, but also retained the information and carried out the task.


Active listening is a technique used by counselors, coaches, and even crisis negotiators. It’s an invaluable technique used in counseling, training, and conflict resolution that requires the listener to paraphrase what they’ve heard in the conversation back to the speaker. This means that the listener is always fully engaged with the conversation instead of only hearing a passive message at the end.

Active listening doesn’t stop at the ears, but becomes a conversation that you have with almost all of your senses. You need to be seen as an active participant in the conversation otherwise the speaker will assume disinterest and stop putting information in front of you. This means nodding, maintaining comfortable eye contact (not intimidating crazy eyes), and a posture that portrays a willingness to contribute to the conversation. With all of this feedback, the speaker in your conversation will be more willing to continue on.

I mean, how many times have you had a conversation with a teenager, only to have them immediately gravitate towards their phone while you’re talking? Does that make you want to continue?

However, it’s simple to feign interest with body language, so how do you make sure you’re actually listening?

Remember key points from the conversation. This is helpful in future meetings with that particular person because they will feel that you value their concepts and ideas.

Ask questions when necessary. If you don’t understand a point the person is trying to make, ask for a clarification without interrupting.

Have the ability to summarize. After a conversation you should be able to re-state in your own words what the person had told you. This allows them the opportunity to correct you if necessary.

How does this benefit you at work?

  • Above all, it shows a certain level of respect for the person you’re speaking with. It shows that you respect their ideas.
  • As said above, it allows the speaker to correct you if necessary. Which in the long run will save you and your manager time and money. As a manager, this also means that you will be able to detect and solve any problems that may arise in your team much quicker, as you will know exactly where they’ve gone wrong.
  • It will expand your capacity to retain further knowledge. It means that you are not only showing respect to those you are speaking with, but every conversation becomes a learning experience instead of just time wasted at the coffee pot.

I have been a Recruiter’s Coach for many years now and implement these active listening techniques in each session with a client. I am able to get to the root of your problem each time through processing your stories and ideas. I am always available to speak with those in the industry for career consultations or scheduling coaching sessions.

Who’s on Your Fantasy Team?

Our Social Media Manager is a big football fan and for the first time this year she has decided to play Fantasy Football.

Now I don’t know much about what’s going on in the league right now, let alone Fantasy Football. I however did hear her head the desk in the back room of our office with an audible groan. It turns out she missed the draft for her league and ended up with a bunch of players that she wouldn’t have picked if she had actually attended.

I couldn’t help but laugh and immediately see my 20 years of experience speaking with business owners and clients flash before my eyes.

She got no sympathy from me; instead I asked her, “You’ve worked for a recruiter for almost five years now, how did you get it so wrong?”


Then I laid it out for her.

First of all, she set an interview when she joined the league. Even though it can be a little bit abstract stick with me here. She set the interview and then missed it. Because she missed the interview, she has no top performers on her team. All of the top performers went to her competition because they actually made it to the interview!

She knew what she wanted on her team, but did no preparation beforehand and ended up with a team she will have to struggle with for an entire season. How many times have you had a client know explicitly who and what they want, and then not do any preparation to attract that top performer?

Now she is whining because she is stuck with someone named Ryan Tannehill as her Quarterback and is struggling to salvage the rest of her roster. Instead of having a top producer and getting some easy numbers from a veteran she will have to play more strategically than her competition to scrape up some wins.

Our Social Media Manager will now have to scrounge around on the waivers and try to put together some slick trades with the advice from those who have a couple of Fantasy seasons under their belts (aka a seasoned recruiter, anyone?).

Imagine, this 22-year old playing Fantasy Football is exactly like some of your clients but instead of points, your clients are playing with million-dollar billers and blowing them up the same way.

Did You Know?

Curta not only trains Recruiters, but also leads the industry in the placement of Recruiters.

We have great relationships with agencies across North America and are happy to consult with you about your Recruiting Career.

Call Rebecca Sargeant directly at (617) 396-4450.