Spherion Newsletter, December 2002
I would first like to say thank you to everyone that was responsible for nominating me to participate in the Employee Exchange Program and to the Minneapolis office for their hospitality while I was there.
The Minneapolis office is the top producing office in the country, and it all starts with their leader, Branch Director Dave Bell or “DB” as his team calls him. When I asked Dave how he developed this high billing machine of an office, he was very modest, telling me that he had hired some outstanding people to work with him. His co-workers would not hesitate to jump out of the building for him.
One of many things that I noticed from being in the Minneapolis office for two days is the synergy in the office. “How do the recruiters plan their day?” I asked. “They work what is closest to the money,” Dave replies. I also noted the sense of urgency exemplified when they receive a new search assignment. Teamwork is executed to perfection day in and day out. They may not have a team meeting every morning, but they have multiple meetings throughout the day on a case-by-case basis that is determined by the relevance (“What is closest to the money?”) to co-workers aka teammates. Entertaining clients is very important to the office as well. The office purchases Season Tickets each year to the Minnesota Wild Hockey games and has them available for clients. Involvement in professional organizations, which I wrote about earlier in the year on the Spherion Exchange, is a key to their office also. They have a recruiter who is a member of the IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), the Minnesota Society of CPA’s, The Mortgage Bankers Association, and the Financial Women’s International Organization.
The Administrative support for the Minneapolis office is extremely strong. There are four administrative support employees in the Minneapolis office. They are responsible for payroll and research as well as other typical administrative tasks. One administrative assistant actually interned before becoming full time and is in training to become a recruiter. Another assistant was working on a research project to complete a salary guide for the Minneapolis area while I was there. The administrative assistants also pull reports from One Source for research purposes and collect information on relevant companies in the area via Internet, newspaper, magazines, and journals. One Administrative assistant is responsible for preparing the candidates for their starts. With the high volume of revenue that the Minneapolis office generates, that could turn out to be an all-day job.
I was able to share some practices with them as well. I consider myself pretty strong on ADAPT (The Professional Recruiting Group’s Database), and I was able to field certain questions relating to specific searches, i.e. job order searches, specific people searches etc., as well as to other small details that can make one more productive, such as scheduling, use of the planner, etc. Another practice I shared with some of the recruiters was my aggressive (without being threatening) attitude while making marketing calls, whether they are warm or cold calls. A CFO that is a member of the IMA with me once told me that one recruiter with whom he worked on many open searches used to tell him, “I would not be doing my job if I did not check in with you once every so often to see if there are any openings that I can assist you with.” That statement, the CFO explained to me, made him realize that the recruiter was taking his job seriously and was not just calling to bother him. In my opinion, recruiters should be respectful of a client’s time, but if they set the tone with a statement such as that one, most clients or potential clients will be respectful of the recruiter’s time as well.
After I shared this statement regarding marketing calls, I observed Audra Friesen, who actually started with Dave, do an outstanding job marketing a candidate to a client. In the voicemail, she went through the specifics of the candidate’s background briefly, and then stated, “ I know that timing is everything, but with someone of this caliber that ties so closely into your business, I had to bring him to your attention and see what opportunities exist now or in the future.” I definitely will add that statement as well as many other observations and ideas of the Minneapolis office to my arsenal and put it to use in Atlanta.