Tag Archives: Recruiter’s Career Coach

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.


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)!

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!

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.

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.

The Nine Reasons Why Your Candidates Keep Blowing Up

If you’ve been in the business long enough, you know that there are at least nine people involved in the hiring process.

If you think that the only people who matter are you, the candidate and the hiring manager than you’re letting six other bombs go unattended and risk blowing up your candidate.

Just because you’re dealing with your client or dealing with your candidate doesn’t mean that you’re not dealing with a multitude of other things. Everyone knows someone, and that person can be a potential bomb.

From previous bosses and references, to children and spouses. These are all things that can potentially divide your candidate’s focus and derail a deal.

So how do you deal with focus on not having your client derailed? Make sure that you are always in control of the conversation. Never lose control of the process, and never lose focus on the end game.

Still not sure what happened with that last client? Talk to us and we can see how you can keep that candidate on track for next time.

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. Join our mailing list for more information about upcoming training sessions and coaching openings.

Time For Recruitment Professionals To Look At Their Own Careers

I spent some time speaking with a person who specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions of Staffing and Recruiting Firms. He shared with me the recent trend in valuing a firm is to look beyond the executive team, beyond the client base and beyond the candidate pool. The valuation is coming down to the Recruitment Team itself. When an organization has one or more Recruitment Professionals filling orders, that more valuable than a multimillion dollar client list. This makes any and all Recruitment Professionals a very important, if not the most important asset to a third party agency.

After hearing this piece of information I thought about all of the career evaluations that I perform on a day-to-day basis and the amount of professionals that find themselves in unsatisfactory environments. Most of these career evaluations are based on three things; take home wages, what they’re billing, and how long they’ve been in a position, but there are a few things that you can look at on your own to determine whether or not it’s time you’re being treated like an asset.

Are you overworked and underpaid as a Recruitment Professional? Let’s start with your wages. In the first three years of your career, $60K a year is a   good take home wage. After those initial few years, the lowest you should tip is $80K and can expect up to $120K a year. Recruiters that run 360 desks are making even more, spending 60% of their time speaking with clients and the rest interviewing candidates. If you’re doing all of this along with securing new clients and making less than $150K a year, you’re not being paid what you’re worth. I spoke with a recruiter who is managing $10 million in clients and in comparison taking home a measly $165K a year.

Remember that your salary should be dependent on your billings.

You should feel like you are in a place where you are most productive and being set up to succeed. Recruiting professionals are most productive when they have a standard commission structure. If you’re not seeing a financial report and management can’t explain the standards, you have nowhere to base your progress. You should be provided with KPI reports and management should have clear metrics. Look at it this way; your manager should act as a fitness coach. The faster you run, the more you lift and the higher you jump, the better THEY look. Your goals should be their goals, and the relationship should be mutually beneficial.

Management should be investing in you and your work, which means investing in your workspace and providing the basics. This includes computers, phone, Internet and access to the necessary websites. If your manager expects you to find quality candidates out of thin air, they don’t respect what you do for them.

In the summer, I had a recruiter call me from the middle of Florida asking me whether or not she should leave work when the air conditioning is in disrepair. In a state where the average summer temperature can range from 80-90F, working in a place that is too hot to function is unacceptable and ultimately disrespectful.

Are you expected to work 65 hours, five days a week? Is there an opportunity to work from home? With the emergence of telecommuting, management not allowing the option to work from home can be a sign of micro-management or a work place that doesn’t want to evolve. Does your manager monitor your bathroom usage? Does your manager block certain websites that you may need to complete your job? This micro-management is a sign of distrust and is completely unreasonable. Remember, you were hired for a reason and you’re an asset to the company. You’re an adult and deserve to be treated like one.

Many don’t leave a bad situation because they operate under the idea that the devil they know is better than the devil that don’t. They’re afraid to leave the people that gave them their start and the friends that they’ve made in their current position. If you’re not treated with respect and are not valued as an asset, it’s time to move on.

Curta has created a short quiz that can give you a better idea of where you stand right now in your current job position. Of course, just like in any situation, there is no black and white answer and even unsatisfactory situations can be adjusted to make them a better environment.

There is no recruiting utopia, but you deserve to get as close to one as you can.


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!



What Would Harvey Specter Do?


As Recruitment Professionals we all consider ourselves some form of a “Closer.”   A guru that we could all learn from is Harvey Specter, from the TV show ‘Suits’.  Harvey is a revered lawyer, known as ‘the best closer in New York City.’  As one of the main characters and a partner in the firm, Harvey proved to us that with a certain amount of talent, and a strong ability to think outside the box, we can be very successful.

10 things we can learn from Harvey Specter:

  1. Don’t get emotionally attached!  As a Recruitment Professional, your job is to find the best person to take a company to the next level.  Your clients are not your friends, they are clients.  Your candidates are not your fans, they are your product.  When the deal is done, get out of the way and let everyone else get to work.
  2. Know people, better than they know themselves.  We trade on our relationships every day.  If you set up an interview before knowing everything there is to know about both parties, more fool you!  Knowing the smallest details about all parties will allow you to defuse potential bombs you may ignite by setting up an interview.
  3. Keep pressing until it hurts. Then you know where to look.  Clients make bad hiring decisions and candidates make bad career moves.  Don’t shy away from uncovering these mistakes.  You will be saving everyone time, and will be able to close deals easier.
  4. Be tough but fair, and call it like you see it. You don’t make money on unfillable orders so don’t waste your time trying to. You don’t make money fighting off calls from candidates who should have been disqualified two weeks ago.  Take the time, right there and then to set expectations.
  5. When someone has a gun to your head, take the gun away from them.  We all feel pushed when we are trying to close a deal at the eleventh hour. When the candidate or the client is holding a gun to your head by trying to force an impossible situation TAKE THE GUN AWAY FROM THEM.  Say “NO”.  You will be surprised how quickly people become willing to work together when you take the power back.
  6. Take responsibility.   A client forgetting an interview or a candidate telling an off color joke is our responsibility.  You are responsible for making sure everything is done, and everyone is prepped and debriefed properly.
  7. Don’t tell them what they want to hear.  Tell them what they need to hear.  A bad hire or a bad career move will cost everyone in the end.  Be the expert you are in the process, and explain the consequences of a bad move.  Not everyone will like your ideas, but they will respect them.
  8. Don’t play the odds, play the man.  Better known as “Candidate Control” or “Client Control.”  If you don’t know what Candidate Control or Client Control is, you need to find a Recruiter Training class to get into ASAP.
  9. Always hire up.  This goes for you, and your hiring managers.  Whether you want to grow personally or you want your company to grow, always hire someone smarter then you.  You say,  “But there is no one smarter than me!”?  I am sorry to say there is no cure for narcissistic personality disorder.  Maybe you want to rethink that position?
  10. Loyalty is everything. ~ To your clients, candidates, internal staff. Need I say more?

Next time you are faced with a tough moment just think…#WWHD?


The Recruiter’s Coach