Tag Archives: coaching

8 Ways a #Mentor Can Help You Win Right Away

I have been a business coach for almost six years and I hear the same question all of the time, “How do I make it, and will I be successful?”

I am always hesitant to answer that question because truthfully, there are a whole bunch of reasons why some people accomplish everything they put their mind to and why some people don’t. But, there is one thing that every successful person has in common, and it’s that they don’t reach their goals on their own.

Business could be booming or it could be slowing down, but the first step in your plan should always be to find a mentor.

Over the last half of a decade, I have helped people move their business forward, resolve problems, and completely change their industry focus. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at in your career path, or what growth stage your business is currently stuck in, a business mentor can provide a few different benefits that are essential to your success.

They are a levelheaded sounding board. Every business owner I have ever met; mentally lifts the Statue of Liberty every single day. A mentor can help alleviate some of that mental work. They are there to listen to your concerns, your ideas, and ask you questions to get you thinking in a different way. Consider it therapy for the entrepreneur.

They keep you accountable. A big struggle for young professionals and those branching out on their own is their ability to stay personally accountable. A mentor is someone that you have to answer to; they will hold you responsible to what you have made a commitment to achieve.

Help you stay focused on what’s important. It’s important to find balance, and as an entrepreneur that can be difficult. You need the time to renew and regenerate so that you can stay mentally and emotionally energized.

Keep you organized and productive. Having a scheduled appointment once or twice a month can keep you on track, especially if you know someone is going to ask what you’ve finished over the past few weeks. Having someone checking on your to-do list will make it much harder to justify procrastination.

They allow you to be better to your own clients. With a mentor or business coach, you feel emotionally supported in your business. When you feel supported, it makes it much easier for you to more efficiently prop up others.

Help you implement what you’re learning. It’s easy to take the notes and file them away for another time, but a mentor or coach can give you a plan that will help you implement what you’ve learned.

They increase your access to resources and network contacts. This is possibly the biggest ROI when it comes to a business coach or mentor. When you hit a crossroads in your business career, they will know who to put you in touch with. This industry experience and network size is invaluable to someone new to the industry, and will have you achieving your goals much faster than you would trying to do that networking on your own.

They are a cheerleader who is driven by their motivation to you. Working as a mentor and doing coaching sessions are some of the most motivating experiences that I can have on a day-to-day basis. There is absolutely nothing more inspiring to me than watching someone achieve his or her goals.

Sign me up for a mentor, I need one right now!

I am a true connector and I love helping people achieve the success that they dream about. Whether it’s introducing you to the right people, or helping you focus your business, I am motivated by your success.

Whatever mentor or business coach you choose, your head, heart and bank account will thank you.


3 Ways to #Mentor Your #Millennials to Success and Retain Young Talent

The often-talked-about generation is starting to graduate university, and employers seem to be struggling with keeping young talent. What is it about Millennials that we do not understand? In 2020, they will make up 50% of the workforce, and five short years after that it will be almost 75%. Isn’t it about time we figure out what to do with them?

Curta Mentoring

Millennials come from a generation of helicopter parents and have an almost unreasonable need for feedback. But, you can’t complain because we created that problem.

Millennials are no longer satisfied with a healthy pay cheque and benefits; instead they want their work to be personally fulfilling. Millennials crave the opportunity to make personal connections in their professional life and are constantly looking for mentorship opportunities.

The trouble that our generation is having is that as much as Millennials say they crave that mentor-mentee relationship, they just aren’t receptive to traditional styles of coaching.

So how do you mentor a Millennial?

 Let them teach you. I am always asking my Social Media Manager how I can post a photo to Instagram, what filter should I use, or what she thinks of a new app. Giving a Millennial the opportunity to teach you something gives them some insight into the executive level of the business in a way that is not intimidating or overwhelming.

As always, there are plenty of times that she has come to me for advice in return and we have had plenty of “Employee Therapy” sessions, so this mentor-mentee relationship is mutually beneficial.

They love figuring things out as a team. If nothing else, Millennials are definitely well connected. They are in constant contact with each other and always moving forward on the newest social media trend. When is the last time you sent a Snapchat to one of your friends, or left an Instagram comment? They are always talking to each other in one-way or another.

They are a constant sounding board for one another, which is what makes group-mentoring opportunities so valuable. Giving Millennials the opportunity to work it out together is a great way to take some of the onus off of individual mentors and let them figure it out for a change. They’ll come back to you with what they’ve learned.

Not everything needs to be life-long. While Millennials appreciate all of the career guidance they can attain, it doesn’t need to be a long-term thing. Millennials are attention sponges, and one of the generations who excel in taking EVERYTHING in (whether you mean to give them that stone to carry or not).

It could be a manager, or a co-worker. In any job position, whether it’s long-term or short-term, they have the ability to learn from the feedback and experience of their senior associates.

According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, the need for a constant stream of feedback and their attitude that success should come in a hurry isn’t really a surprise. But it’s not something that is completely unmanageable. Millennials have been driven to succeed by their parents since birth, and have been competing with each other for just as long, be it for spots in top academic programs or those all-too- competitive paid internships.

For a generation that grew up in one of the most uncertain times in North American history, it’s natural that they have a bit of anxiety when it comes to their future.

Gen X’er journalist Rick Newman described Millennials best as, “cynical, untrusting, and mercenary” because they have been told those are the traits needed to survive.

We, as their mentors, can combat those attitudes by providing them with professional coaches and role models who are inspired by the success of others and go through their professional life with integrity.

We all have the urge and motivation to learn and grow. Collaborating with a business coach or mentor is one of the best ways to make sure that you are reaching your peak potential. Take the anxiety out of your career path.

Sign me up for mentoring.

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.

Do You Really Understand?

The first thing you need when reading a resume is a basic understanding of what this potential candidate actually does.

This goes beyond their job position and what industry they’ve spent their time.

Do you understand how they contribute to the bottom line? Do you understand how their production is measured? Do you understand how they make money for your client?

You should really KNOW your candidate.

You should really KNOW your candidate.

Like we’ve said before, your candidates are your brand, so you need to make sure that you can spot a top performer amongst all of the other candidates. If you have a better understanding of what they do and how they contribute to the development of a business, then you have a better understanding of how you can market their skills to your client.

Nothing matters more to any business than production.

Understand how a candidate benefits the bottom-line and the job orders will start to pile up.

rebecca_smallFor 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. Our next session is April 13-17 to teach Recruiting Fundamentals, contact myself for more information about this training opportunity. Click here for a brochure or here to Register Today.

Six Easy Ways to Build Your Business

It takes 10,000 hours to make a Recruiting Expert. Since no one has figured out how to speed up time, Recruitment Professionals spend a lot of time putting their hand on the burner, stubbing their toes, and scraping their knees. They are learning from mistakes, but many become discouraged along the way.

A basic training session with your team of Recruiters can make you money after just a week of learning. Instead of micro-managing your team, free up everyone’s time and have your Recruiters working for themselves.

  1. Reduce Your Recruiter Turnover – Investing in your Recruiters will make them interested in developing their skills and growing their careers with you instead of competitors.
  1. Increase Productivity – If Recruiters know what they are doing and are properly trained; the Company’s productivity will increase with more efficient Recruiters. The potential talent that you hired will become more than just potential, and develop into your top performers.
  1. Increase Ability to Incorporate New Tools and Technologies – Keeping up to date with technology is a constant battle. Ensuring that you and your Recruiters are current with tools and technology will enable your organization to stay on the forefront of productivity.
  1. Assisting Recruiters to Take on More Responsibilities – Would you allow a 17 year old to drive a car with no instruction? Why would companies promote people to new positions without teaching them the necessary skills? Training for newly promoted Recruiters is both beneficial to the company and the Recruiters in terms of productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency.
  1. Enhance your Company Image – Reputation to both our industry colleagues and our clients is becoming increasingly more important. With the explosion of social media, a candidate having a bad experience with your recruiter can ruin your reputation faster than you can hit “Share”. On the flip side, gaining an accreditation such as “Top 100 Employer” can be prestigious in terms of promoting your organization and ensuring that people would like to work for you and with you.
  1. Networking Opportunity and Increased Visibility – Sending your Recruiter to an off-site workshop host by your clients with earn you brownie points with everyone. The Recruiter will be networking and building relationships with potential clients and candidates. That same Recruiter will also feel more empowered with the knowledge they have learned and your organization may have an “in” that no one else has.

Training is the one thing that as a business owner you have complete control over, but the one thing that we invest the least amount of our time developing. If you truly want to increase profits, then it is time to invest in a good training program. Implemented correctly, I can guarantee you that there will be more upsides than just these six reasons.

rebecca_smallFor 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. Our next session is April 13-17 to teach Recruiting Fundamentals, contact myself for more information about this training opportunity. Click here for the brochure or here to Register Today.

Train ’em or Lose ’em – Keeping Your Recruiters

Why is training your new hires so important?

Training is an investment into your employees and their overall success. If you’re not investing in your employees, then why should they invest their time and more importantly their talent into growing your business?

Training is one of the easiest ways to develop your business and be successful with a team of top performers. Plus, your employees will become more productive and engaged with your organization after time spent in an effective training program.

New candidates are usually given cursory training programs to acquaint them with your business, but current employees should be constantly learning to make sure that they are developing as individuals and constantly building on their recruiting skills.

When employees are told that growth is important, they will focus on their career and try to advance with your company, helping you grow at the same time. Your employees are happier and more satisfied in their positions. The talent that you carefully searched for and placed with your business will be more dedicated than ever to contributing to your organization and growing with you instead of taking your training and leaving.

Your employees will care about boosting your bottom line if you take a genuine interest in their future with your business.

Training will feature the top performers and the talented people that excel will naturally want to advance with you. Their ambition will have them appreciating the investment you are putting into their future. Top performers want to gain skills and if you don’t provide that training they will go elsewhere to find it.

rebecca_smallFor 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. Our next session is April 13-17 to teach Recruiting Fundamentals, contact myself for more information about this training opportunity. Click here for a brochure or here to Register Today.

To Niche or Not to Niche, Let Me Answer the Question.

By David Mandar

Every week agency owners describe to me their challenges in meeting their goals. It would probably surprise you to hear that among the vast number of agencies in North America, their goals and challenges, no matter what size or description, are relatively the same. One of the most asked questions and common challenge is:

“How can our company differentiate itself from our competition?”

Now, many would list tons of marketing and branding techniques that would help make a bigger splash on social media, get more eyeballs on your job postings and even increase your in-bound client calls. All positive outcomes. But in the long run, everyone will be doing this. So, ultimately what business owners are really asking for is a way to be “better” than the competition. To stand out.

During my corporate years, I used get marketing calls from agencies trying to win my business. They would all say things like, we are the best, largest, fastest, etc. The fact that they described themselves the same way made it cliché. Fluff. No meaning, no power, and certainly no sale.

As a hiring manager, all I wanted was an agency that specialized in an industry, a trade or a technology related to my hiring needs. Why? Because to me, an agency with a specialization set an expectation about the level of service and quality of candidates they would provide me.

Here are the differences I experienced —as a client— when working with niche agencies;

  1. They reduced any confusion and increased the quality of each candidate sourced. Their ability to gather requirements and easily understand my company’s needs created job requirements that truly captured the skills and experience needed for the position I needed to fill.
  2. They increased the possibility of attracting top talent and reduced declined offers. Their knowledge of the industry helped establish a competitive compensation range.
  3. My project planning and team workload management was more accurate. Their knowledge of the industry helped set expectations on start dates and other variables.
  4. They helped keep my company competitive. Their knowledge of the industry provided strategic information on trends and competitors.
  5. They increased the success rate on hires. Their experience in the market provided a large talent pool of industry focused resources. They could get referrals on tough-to-find resources. The speed of turnaround was excellent. Sometimes the same day.
  6. They gave me access to some great passive candidates. Their relationships with industry experts were strong as consultants viewed them as experts and preferred working with them. They always knew who was available or interested in discussing a career change.

There are more benefits and even a few negative points, like they aren’t a “one stop shop”, but the pros for me always outweighed the cons. As a hiring authority, I am willing to pay more for the right service.

If you are looking to up your game and differentiate yourself from the pack, focus on your strengths and market your services in a specific niche. Otherwise be prepared to fight over “table scraps” with the other generalists in your region.


What Is Your Biggest Weakness?

What Is Your Biggest Weakness?

In the past, I frequently asked my candidates this question, “What is your biggest weakness?” and I often heard some surprising answers.  Some of them were:

  • I’m controlling
  • Lack of/too much attention to detail
  • Sex
  • Talk too much
  •  Fear of Failure
  • Chocolate
  • Get attached
  • Managing stress
  • Customer Service
  • Procrastination
  • I Tell it like it is
  • Don’t understand “No”
  • Being honest
  • Knowing when to stop
  • Lack of work experience
  • Care too much

But in my professional opinion, we should NOT be asking this question.  As recruitment professionals, we give our assurances to our client that we can find the right candidate. And finding the right candidate is based on facts.  The Weakness Question gives us only a theoretical or opinion based answer at best.

This pop psychology question is a best-forgotten leftover from the late 80’s, when licensed therapists were practicing their trade in the Recruitment Industry.  Today, most of us recruitment professionals are not licensed therapists.  Without the right training, we are applying our own personal dictionary (made up from our own personal experiences) to interpret these answers.  This causes us to screen in or out the wrong candidates based on our feelings and personal bias.

If you think you are skilled enough to interpret the answers without a PhD, congratulations!  You are better than me.  I would of course need to challenge you with the fact that the only right answer to this question is, “I have no weakness.”

If you read a book called “Mistakes were made, but not by me” by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, you would come to understand that as human beings we would not survive by believing we were fallible.  If you are truly looking for a way to get to the core of a candidate’s personality and assess their cultural fit, I recommend using behavioral based questions like, “Tell me about a time which you had to use your fact-finding skills to gain information for solving a problem.”

With behavioral based questions, your candidate will share with you real situations with real outcomes.  From that information you can use their past behavior to accurately predict their future behavior.

The hardest skill for you will be to learn the proper way to ask behavioral based questions.  When you master this skill, you will gain a more accurate insight into a candidate’s true personality, without getting caught up in trying to interpret their answers.  This will leave you no room to apply your own possibly skewed interpretation, and help you beeline to the decision of whether your candidate is indeed a control freak or someone who just talks too much and ultimately if they are the right fit for your client.


The Recruiter’s Coach

If you would like information about Curta please fill out the below form.

Do you know what a “Sleeper Recruiter” looks like?

A few weeks ago, I received a call from a third party agency owner who was at his wits end.  A person he had brought on to become a Recruiter just over a year ago had done over ten placements in his first six months of recruiting. Now that person had zero candidates and nothing in the pipeline.  This new Recruiter had no previous experience in our industry, and his ten placements had been a good mix of contract and perm, generating enough revenue to hold onto him until he produced again.

The questions were:

  • When would that turnaround be coming?
  • If the turnaround did arrive, what would the revenue look like?
Don't miss out on hiring a "Sleeper Recruiter"

Don’t miss out on hiring a “Sleeper Recruiter”

These are age old questions that any third party agency owner would ask.  As the Recruiter’s Coach, these are the kind of call we get all the time.  I wish I could say I have a crystal ball, but the last time I checked, it was still broken.  What I can tell you is that if you have the right person in place, and you give them the right training, you can have a top biller.

The agency owner set up a time for me to speak with the Recruiter.  After my conversation with the Recruiter and running him through our assessment, I was pleased to report back to his manager that this was the right person for the job.  In the Curta order of Recruiter classification, he is classified as a “Sleeper.”

A “Sleeper” is a recruiter who is extremely unassuming, that most agencies miss hiring because they NEVER shine in any interviewing process.  This type of person will never stop until every order is covered with three candidates. If candidates are not good fits, they will refine and improve their own sourcing strategy to find better people.  But they do all of this without creating any DRAMA.  Many other Recruiters having problems will quickly become frustrated and vocal about ‘a problem’ with the process.  This allows a manager to notice the problem, step in, quickly fix the problem and move on.  With a Sleeper’s lack of drama, it is extremely hard to diagnose what part of the process they are having trouble with, or even if they are having problems.  So, just like this manager, you cross your fingers and hope all works out.

But, at what cost????

The issue with this particular Recruiter was that he had no formal training.  The people that had stepped up to mentor him had taught him everything they knew, and now they were back generating their own revenue.   We recommend to the owner that he send this Recruiter on our Rookie Recruiter Training course.

Yesterday, I receive the best call a Coach can ever receive!  On our regularly scheduled check in call with this Recruiter, I found that he now has twelve people interviewing in the next couple of weeks. Also, the candidate he found during our class is going to place.  He turned his desk around  in two weeks!

This Recruiter will do enough placements in the next 45 days to be certified as a Curta Recruiter, and we also estimate he will generate over 500K in GM this year.

The Crystal Ball maybe broken, but the Curta science of identifying good Recruiters is backing us up by showing production results.



Rebecca B. Sargeant

AKA ~ The Recruiter’s Coach

A Page From A Recruiter’s Diary ~ Get ME OUT OF HERE!

I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. As a type-A personality, the thought of starting something from nothing and seeing it grow and evolve had always been attractive. What would that venture be, I wondered? Just about the furthest thing from my imagination, as it turned out.

As most of us do, I fell into recruitment.  I stumbled into it blindly and woefully ignorant, but eager to learn. The agency I started with works on a contingency basis and is focused on contract IT professionals. Being quite the opposite from ‘technical’, I found the learning curve to be huge.  Despite the hard work, I fell in love with this crazy industry.   Although I always have to anticipate the unexpected and work within a chaotic structure, I get to help people make career altering and potentially life changing decisions.  I’ve learned that the harder you work, the better you treat people, the bigger the reward.   I have to be organized. It’s dynamic, and it’s not even close to easy.

Sounds fun, right? It is. It keeps me on my toes and excited to go to work. Maybe it’s just my “newbie” shine that hasn’t yet rubbed off, but I’m in the office 2-3 hours early almost every single day.  But after just 13 months, I’ve decided to start on the path of independence. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m going to quit tomorrow and open my own business. In an effort to make myself better, I started documenting my thoughts, habits, likes, dislikes, and overall recruitment process.  Through this exercise, the idea to launch my own firm took hold.

literally-chained-to-my-desk My current employer and co-workers aren’t terrible.  In fact, they are actually pretty awesome.  Currently we have two sides to the office – sales and recruitment.  As recruiters, we only interact with the candidate and submit them to sales.  All of our knowledge of the job order and client culture comes from the sales manager. This model doesn’t make any sense to me as I often feel like I am playing a never ending game of telephone – where one person whispers in another’s ear and the story is passed down the line.  Unfortunately by the time it reaches me, it is either completely different or contains gaping holes. Therefore I cannot give my candidates the same value as recruiters who deal directly with hiring managers and clients. Let’s cut out the middle man and get back to recruitment basics –   service, not sales!  I believe if you are in a pure sales role, you should have a recruitment background. You need to think like a recruiter to sell a recruitment service.

This is why I want my firm to be different.  By providing better service, building better relationships and creating a better process, I believe I can run a company that is recruitment focused – not sales focused. Rather than telling the client why I’m different or better than the other hundred recruiters calling them, I want to show them – in both the service I provide and in my recruitment process.

So that in a nut shell is where I think I can make my mark. I’ve not naïve enough to believe that no-one else has ever had the same thoughts or goals.  I just believe that not enough people do.

I’ve recently connected with a career coach, who is also an experienced recruiter, to help me along this path.  When I started meeting with her I set a goal of opening my business within 15 months. While it sounds like a long time, I have a lot of questions and goals, including focusing on being the best recruiter I can be and perfecting my skills (if that’s even possible in an ever changing industry) before going out on my own. I’m not in any rush – I want to do this right the first time.

Even though I am a few months in, I will backtrack to where I started. I plan on sharing my thoughts, fears, goals, and progress with you during the next 13 months.  Follow me to launch from my initial idea, coming up with a name and logo, facing my fears and harnessing my passion, through to helping pick a niche, develop my business plan and action!