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.

Time to Celebrate Those Little Wins

To a Recruiter, a placement is a win. It’s an uphill battle to find that candidate and to present to the client, but when you finally get up to the top of that mountain it’s tantamount to a podium.

You have entered the Winner’s Circle, you’re riding the high off that win, but the moment is fleeting.

You still have open reqs, and need to get more candidates into your pipeline. Your win was a single firework in a ten-minute show.

Imagine a racehorse winning the Kentucky Derby, and instead of having the roses laid across his withers, he’s still running around the track after the race.

Take the time to celebrate your wins, or you’ll never have the energy or ambition to go out there and win again.


Put Together Some Easy Wins

If you’ve just found your purple squirrel, or closed a req with a particularly difficult client, celebrate that big win and work on something simple. Maybe your desk got a little bit messy during a stressful week. Work on reorganizing your office for a morning, or updating your spreadsheet.

An easy win allows you to keep the self-confidence that you just got from your big win, instead of allowing another week of grinding with no traction defeat you in the blink of an eye.

Get Your Perspective Back

Say you just got that big win and immediately took on another large project. If you’re feeling like you’re failing take a step back and put that feeling into context. Take an aerial picture of your career, or even the past couple of months. How many successes lead you to where you are right now in your career?

Think about how many times you’ve won the game, how many people you passed in the race so far. Is that failure really so bad?

Dress for Success

Go buy some new shoes, or polish your old ones. Curl your hair, or spritz some cologne on your wrist. If you look good, you feel good. Doesn’t winning feel good? Dress like you’re going to be accepting your award this evening. The better you feel, the more confidence you’ll retain from that last win.

Remember That You’re an Expert

Everyone is good at something, it’s not everyday that recruiters get to flex their muscles for an audience. Do you know a lot about dog training? Maybe someone asked a question about your favourite sport.

Explaining something that you are passionate about, or that you understand on an above average level gives you a position of power even if it’s fleeting. It’s a boost of confidence to be needed for information, so take advantage of all that trivia floating around in your head every now and then.

Enjoying and celebrating a win is having the confidence to know that it will happen again and not letting yourself get bogged down in the failure when you try to replicate that experience. Confidence is not the same as arrogance where you believe you are better than you are, but knowing that you have a realistic self-assessment and perspective on not only your career but also yourself.

So go have a drink, listen to some music, chat with your friends, you deserve it!

We have created a new Facebook group that gives Recruiters a place to vent about their day, joke about the industry, and even ask questions about their careers. It’s judgment free, private place for Recruiters to discuss everything under the sun. Join today, everyone is accepted!

Recruiting Isn’t Win at All Costs

According to the dictionary definition, Sportsmanship is an “aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with your competitors” (WIKI). Simply boiled down, Sportsmanship often becomes a respect for your sport and a respect for your competitors alongside a drive to win the game. It is conceptualized with courage, self-control in the face of turmoil, and discipline in your training.

In football, unsportsmanlike conduct can cost you 15 yards or maybe even your star quarterback for the start of your season. A great example is the 2011 Indianapolis Colts who ended their season with a 2-14 record, effectively losing their way to one of the best team rebuilds in this generation of the NFL. On the cusp of releasing their franchise Quarterback Peyton Manning, many wondered if the Colts were intentionally throwing games in order to secure a higher draft pick and pick up current play-caller Andrew Luck. With two of the best pass-rushers in the league on their roster, it was a questionable as to how the Colts had one of the worst pass defenses in the league in 2011 (WIKI).

They have since made playoffs every year with Andrew Luck standing in the pocket, and it brings their Sportsmanship into question.

Throwing a game to secure a professional advantage is disrespectful to both your sport and your opponents.

04 Ed Cartoon

In the workforce and business, Sportsmanship is the ability to own up to your mistakes but keep your perspective and focus on a goal without walking over others to reach your aspirations. Where the recruiting industry falls is the lack of support from professional to professional, as well as the continued lack of respect shown towards the industry as a whole.

The lack of training that is given to recruiters in this industry has given professionals a “win at all costs” attitude, but not the ability to do so without burning candidates and clients alike with unprofessional activities. A lack of respect for the reputation of the recruitment industry and the consummate professionals who are doing their jobs efficiently everyday means that unsportsmanlike recruiters get by every day with subpar tactics.

Do you understand yet how Sportsmanship affects you in the corporate world?

Oftentimes, Corporate North America conflates Gamesmanship with Sportsmanship but the two are not alike in the slightest.

Gamesmanship is based on the idea that winning and getting ahead is everything. This means that everything is done to gain a competitive advantage over an opponent, sacrificing the welfare of the competition (SCU). The ends will always justify the means to a recruiter who doesn’t care about the game.

Those who are slamming unqualified candidates into their pipeline just to play the numbers game, or harassing candidates that aren’t interested in their reqs will ultimately get fills doing their job poorly. But they affect not only their organization, but their industry poorly.

How about the people who are constantly putting others down in an attempt to validate their own business and professional experience? It happens in every industry, but because recruiters are such social animals it becomes a more in-your-face problem.

These unsportsmalike recruiters become the reason a candidate won’t speak to you, or why your client has no idea how to work with recruitment professionals.

But this idea of Gamesmanship over Sportsmanship is perpetuated everyday in the media with the vision of business as a bloodthirsty, no holds barred battle against everyone who isn’t with your organization. Yes, there are no ethics in business but the recruiters in your organization should have enough respect for their team and their ability to win that they behave with decorum and the idea of sportsmanship.

How do we affect change in our industry so that we can adjust this view of negative view of recruitment?

It comes down to those three boiled down points from the beginning; courage, self-control in the face of turmoil, and discipline in your training.

The courage to know you can win without slamming others in your industry, the self-control to avoid putting down others to propel yourself forward in business, and the discipline in your training to back up the notion that you deserve to win.

We have created a place where recruiters can go and vent, chat, and share their work day stories judgment free. Feel free to ask questions about clients, candidates and your career. Join the Recruiter’s Breakroom, open to everyone in the industry.

Job Progression is Important, But Why?

As you progress in your Recruitment career, you understand that you can tell a lot about a person based on their resume. When sourcing candidates, Recruiters should always be wary of the resume with no clear job progression or a big break between jobs.

If you see a big break, you should take a big step back.

A break in job progression can say a lot about the person behind the resume, and as I always say, “Past behaviour indicates future behaviour.”

Longer they climb, the more they know.

A candidate who has spent time climbing the career ladder has clearly invested time into learning the ins and outs of the industry in which they work. Someone who has been climbing the ladder within a certain organization, or has a very clear and developed job progression has certainly had more in-depth and valuable training than someone who has jumped around in his or her progression and career choices.

This candidate would also be interested in training and development opportunities, with a significant interest in continuing to progress their career.

This is also valuable information for your client if they end up liking that candidate, it tells them how much they will need to invest into training for that potential employee.

Expect them to keep jumping if they tend to jump around.

Looking at a resume with a lack of focus and career progression is a direct reflection of the candidate. If there is no clear progression on their resume or they often take time in between jobs, it can mean that it will be very difficult to tie that candidate down for any period of time.

Tells you how to approach them.

Aside from predicting future behaviour, a candidate’s job progression is a great way to determine your approach. A blanket approach with all levels of experience is an ineffective way of attracting to quality candidates. Remember to respect the qualifications and tenure of those you’re contacting.

Salespeople are the exception to the rule.

As always, salespeople are often the exception to the job progression rule. There is often very little standard job progression in sales. They can go from a manager to a vice president within a couple of years, only to go back to a managerial role.

An important rule to remember in terms of job progression is simple, “Past behaviour indicates future behaviour.”


This is Why People Hate Us

What happens in this video is why candidates hate the Recruiting Industry.

Every time an untrained, desperate Recruiter steps out into the marketplace and mass emails canned responses to candidates, the reputation of our industry takes yet another hit.

If you’re not concerned about the reputation of the Recruiting Industry, then you should at least be worried about your own. If your Recruiters are sending irrelevant job offers to unqualified candidates, they are hurting your brand. Do you think that top talent is going to want to work with green Recruiters that are desperate to jam a candidate into an open position?

If your Recruiters are untrained then they are NOT ready to be in the market.

Thank you so much to Matrix Resources for posting this video!!

8 Steps to a Stress-Free Job Change

In our busy world it is difficult to make changes without planning. Buying a new house, new relationships and changing jobs are a few examples of the most overwhelming time in our life. Without planning, they can seem almost impossible and cause you to make the wrong decision.

Changing jobs is very stressful, and the idea of “sneaking around” behind an employer is taxing.

Here some tips on planning a successful career transition:

Set out and clarify your career goals.

This is the step that most people miss. They know that their current place of employment is not working, so they know exactly what they don’t want, but don’t plan where they’d like to go instead. Think about company culture, career advancement, location, flexibility, management, and income. Remember, this isn’t a wish list, but a plan of action. Set priorities and good things will follow.

Open a new personal e-mail account just for your job search.

This is one of the first things you need to do as it will be one of the primary channels of communication between you and prospective employers. This is for your career search only. Cover your bases. Personal e-mail accounts are usually safe, but if they are forwarded to your work account or smart phone, they will cycle through your employers e-mail server and could get you caught.

Update your resume.

Rule of thumb here is that you should be updating your resume every year, so this is something you should already be doing on a regular basis. The regular rules of resume writing still applies here. Submit your resume the way you would submit a candidate to your hiring manager.

Reach out to your personal network.

If you know someone who works at a company you are interested in, take them out for coffee and pick their brain on working there. Get referred into an appropriate hiring authority. Many companies have referral bonuses. Your friends will be more than happy to put you in contact.

Connect with a Recruiter who knows your industry.

A good recruiter will know everything about your industry, including who is hiring and standard salary ranges. Take the time to meet and understand the Recruitment Professional to understand how they work. Agree to certain terms for your search as you do not want to be bombarded with every job opportunity simply because your terms were too loose. As well, every company you have already represented yourself to should be communicated with your Recruitment Professional.

Get your professional and personal references in line.

Make sure the business and personal contacts are aware that you would like to use them as a reference. If you are in a small industry where everyone knows everyone, it can be risky.

Plan ahead on getting out of the office for potential interviews.

Taking sick days, coming in late or leaving early several times a week will raise suspicion. Plan whole days off or work-from-home days where you can step out for a couple of hours to “run errands”.

Interview attire.

If you have to leave directly from your current office and you have to maintain the business casual attire, plan on an outfit that can be upgraded when you leave. For gentlemen, it can be as easy as adding a blazer and a tie. Or even changing your shirt in your car and adding the tie and jacket. Maybe even switch from loafers to dress shoes. For the ladies, changing shoes and adding sharp accessories can dress up a casual outfit.

Recruiter on -the line

Taking the time to plan will ease the stress and make your search an enjoyable one. It may take some time to find that right career move.

I would love to hear more suggestions on how to make any job search more enjoyable and safe for everyone.

David MandarFor over six years, Curta has been taking the guesswork out of Recruiter Training, and strives to achieve consistent training across the Recruiting Industry.

As of April, we have officially kicked off our 2015 Spring Training programs. Of the hundreds of Recruitment Professionals that Curta has trained, many have gone on to be top performers with their organizations. Join our mailing list for more information about upcoming training sessions and coaching openings.

I Don’t Train Hiring Managers, I Fix Them

All of the hiring managers that I’ve met are really great at their job. They are effective managers and great leaders; but not so good at hiring.

Many of the hiring managers that I’ve worked with don’t understand the challenges in the marketplace, or the process that most recruiters take when looking for the perfect candidate. Hiring managers are great managers, but most don’t work with recruiters effectively.

The communication and cooperation between the hiring managers and recruiters, and sometimes even HR, becomes a barrier so information gets lost along the line. This means that the level of quality expected from a candidate ranges adversely from manager to manager. There are managers who communicate their job requirements well, and there managers who don’t. None of this is a reflection on their skill as a manager, but rather their ability to communicate with their recruiter.

Fixing a Hiring Manager comes down to a fundamental understanding of the recruiting process and what your business actually needs. Make sure that your hiring manager has a clear understanding of how they should interview for this role, and what they should be looking for when screening resumes. Clear guidelines should set up when planning for the role and writing the job description, not to mention company branding and candidate experience becomes an essential aspect to manage.

Everything revolves around communication and how to speak effectively with recruiters. You don’t need to train a hiring manager; they already know what they’re doing. Just iron out the kinks so that you can find the right people to build the business.

David MandarFor over six years, Curta has been taking the guesswork out of Recruiter Training, and strives to achieve consistent training across the Recruiting Industry.

As of April, we have officially kicked off our 2015 Spring Training programs. Of the hundreds of Recruitment Professionals that Curta has trained, many have gone on to be top performers with their organizations. Join our mailing list for more information about upcoming training sessions and coaching openings.

Two Ways Poor Communication is Sabotaging Your Placements

You’re submitting candidates and your hiring manager is turning them down again and again. Your candidates are getting into interviews and all of the sudden the deal is blowing up. It happens to the best of us and most of the time can be avoided with sound communication between the recruiter and the hiring manager.

The biggest problem that I run into with hiring managers is the split in communication. Oftentimes you’ll get the job requirement from the hiring manager and they’ll fill in the blanks, giving you a better understanding of the personality they’re looking for and what kind of person will fit well with their team.

The recruiter will start their search and find candidates based on what they understood on the initial conversation with the hiring manager and one of three things will happen:

The hiring manager will shoot down every candidate you submit. This is usually because of a misunderstanding between recruiter and hiring manager. Did you misinterpret the needs they have? What did you miss in that initial conversation?

Candidates will land an interview, but they are never the person your hiring manager is looking for. The hiring manager will say something like, “They weren’t a fit for my team” and shoot down the candidate despite how perfect they were on paper. Solve this problem by asking to quietly observe an interview.

A great example of this is a hiring manager I had worked with in past. None of my candidates were getting past the interview, so I asked if I could observe to figure out what was happening during the transition from paper to person. It turned out that the hiring manager was interviewing for a different job than I was recruiting. The weighted importance of the requirements was not matching up on paper, and the job wasn’t as junior as the hiring manager had implied. With two different jobs rolled into one, no wonder the managers were having a hard time filling the positions. We adjusted the questions and the job description to find more suited candidates.

The third situation? Everything works out perfectly.

Avoid sabotage by making sure that your hiring manager knows the importance of a good job description. When they ask for five years experience, ask them exactly what five years of experience in that position will give your candidate. Clarify what you don’t understand and get into specifics.

Everything comes down to an accurate job description and excellent communication between hiring manager and recruiter. If you have a bad job description, everything will slide from there.

David MandarFor over six years, Curta has been taking the guesswork out of Recruiter Training, and strives to achieve consistent training across the Recruiting Industry.

As of April, we have officially kicked off our 2015 Spring Training programs. Of the hundreds of Recruitment Professionals that Curta has trained, many have gone on to be top performers with their organizations. Join our mailing list to stay updated on upcoming training sessions as well as coaching openings.

Build Your Agency from the Bottom Up – Free Webinar!

Curta is presenting Build it From the Ground Up, a free webinar focused on moving from just your desk to an entire agency.

The webinar will be on Friday May 15th from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST with limited registration space available.

Jeff Chaponick, the CEO of MAC Executive Recruiters, will be on hand answering your questions about how he took his business from the ground floor to a team of 100 Recruiters. In 2015, MAC will be on track to bill enough to climb into the top 10% of recruiting firms.

Jeff will be welcoming questions from other independent business owners about growing their own agencies and expanding into 2015. All questions must be submitted ahead of time to Rebecca Sargeant, who will be moderating the call. Please submit all questions to rebecca@curta.ca before the webinar date.

Join the webinar at this link.

22c88caJeff Chaponick was in the garbage business and sold his company to Waste Management, retiring to Florida at 33. Six months into his very boring retirement, Jeff met the owner of a new Management Recruiters International (MRI) franchise who helped Jeff start his recruiting career.

Jeff became a top 10 (out of 5000) recruiter for MRI globally and was then recruited to join the Lucas Group. Jeff did this for several years until he decided to form his own firm in 2002. Since then, MAC has acquired a team with more than 100 years of experience among its managers alone, and has doubled, even tripled, in size year-to-year.