[Podcast] Bonus | Rebroadcast of The Elite Recruiter | Adapting to Change in the Fast-Changing Recruitment Industry

desk experience, kenneth henry.

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Show notes

Kortney Harmon joins Benjamin Mena on The Elite Recruiter to share her insights on building trust and relationships, as well as improving foundational processes, in the staffing industry. Harmon talks about her own journey in the industry, the importance of touch points and relationship-building, and the impact of automations and KPIs on business success.

Harmon believes that many office leaders miss out on business growth opportunities because they focus on the wrong things. Instead of developing foundational processes that address training and adoption of new technology, office leaders often focus on pushing their teams to do more without measuring what really matters. Harmon advises that businesses should consider integrated reports that look across the whole process rather than the performance of individual team members.

Through Crelate’s event series and podcast, Harmon provides insights on the importance of building strong relationships and establishing connections with clients and candidates. Harmon shares her “touch plan” strategy, which involves creative touches and a communication cadence. She recommends focusing on non-opportunity needs of potential clients to establish connections rather than focusing only on finding the right person for the right job.

In addition to her experience in the recruitment industry, Harmon shares her insights into leadership and productivity. As a busy mom herself, she recommends finding ways to be more productive with the time you have and exploring new resources, such as podcasts and downloadable assets, to stay up to date and discover new ideas. Harmon also explores the importance of automations in the industry and shares tips on setting up workflows and forms to increase efficiency and avoid forgetfulness.

Overall, Harmon’s insights on leadership, foundational processes, and relationship building provide a valuable resource for businesses looking to succeed in the recruitment industry. Crelate’s live event series, podcast, and industry spotlights offer businesses a wealth of information to help them navigate and succeed in today’s competitive market. Tune in to the podcast to discover actionable insights and strategies to take your recruitment business to the next level.

Key Takeaways:

– Building relationships and establishing connections are key to business growth in the staffing industry.

– Knowing how to communicate with people in the industry, frequency of outreach and preferred communication method is key for successful touch points.

– Automations can be useful in improving efficiency and avoiding forgetfulness in recruitment and sales processes.

– Measuring and evaluating KPIs can provide diagnostic and predictive information for business success.

– Foundational processes, which include training and adoption of new technology, are critical for teams to follow and build upon for scalability and replication.

Links from the episode:

Blueprint for BD and 12 Touchpoint Strategy:

Additional Links:

Connect with Benjamin Mena:
Benjamin Mena with Select Source Solutions: http://www.selectsourcesolutions.com/
Benjamin Mena Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/benlmena/
Benjamin Mena Twitter: https://twitter.com/benjamin_l_mena
The Elite Recruiter Podcast Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeliterecruiter/

Connect with Kortney Harmon:


Kortney Harmon [00:00:00]:

On this episode of The Full Desk Experience, I had the privilege of being a guest on the Elite Recruiter podcast with Benjamin MENA. We explored the transformative potential of automation and recruitment and sales, combating task fatigue and enhancing efficiencies. We also talked about the importance of measuring KPIs for success, highlighting their diagnostic and predictive capabilities. Additional, we emphasize the significance of training and technology adoption for teams, scalability and growth. Whether you’re an operations leader, recruiter, or aspiring entrepreneur, this episode offers valuable insights. So let’s dive right in. Hi, I’m Courtney Harmon, staffing and recruiting industry principal at Crelate. Over the past decade, I’ve trained thousands of frontline recruiters and I’ve worked with hundreds of business owners and executives to help their firms and agencies grow.

Kortney Harmon [00:00:54]:

This is The Full Desk Experience, where we will be talking about growth blockers across your people, processes and technologies.

Benjamin Mena [00:01:11]:

I’m excited about this episode of the Elite Recruiter podcast. I have my special guest, Kortney Harmon with me, who is The Full Desk Experience podcast host and also knows everything about Crelate too. One of the reasons why I’m excited to bring her onto the podcast is she has actually trained thousands of recruiters and hundreds of staffing firm offices on how to be successful. And many of those offices have seven figures, eight figures, yearly revenue. So whatever she was trained in worked. So I’m excited to bring her onto the podcast, going to just share about her experience and share some great tips on how you can succeed as a recruiter in 2023. So Kortney, welcome to the podcast.

Kortney Harmon [00:01:55]:

Thank you so much for having me, Benjamin. I’m so excited. Yeah, I nerd out on training, all wraps in full process, so I am here for all of it. So thanks for having me.

Benjamin Mena [00:02:04]:

Awesome. So the one question I get started with every guest, how did you even get started in the recruiting industry?

Kortney Harmon [00:02:10]:

I don’t think any of us were like, hey, when I grow up, I’m going to be a fill in the bank as a recruiter. So that’s a great question. When I went to college, I’m going to start back that far. So it all ties back, I promise. I’m not like, once upon a time, as I was in college, I was a college athlete. I was a division One college athlete. All of my summers have always been travel tournaments, traveling across the country. When I got to college, I didn’t need to play travel ball anymore, so I had already had my career.

Kortney Harmon [00:02:38]:

I was already getting a full ride scholarship. So it was like, okay, I’m going to take a break. And my parents weren’t having that back then, so I had an option. It was either go work at a factory to make sure I stayed in college, or it was the idea, go find an office job. So when I found my office job that I had applied for for summer help, it was actually at a staffing agency, which is ironic because I was there. I was helping do intakes. People were coming in to fill out application. I was, like, knee deep in their ATS, and I didn’t even know what an ATS was at that point in time.

Kortney Harmon [00:03:11]:

So it’s actually really funny. Like, 19 year old me was in an office, and that’s essentially where I started my staffing career. And I wasn’t running a desk at that point, but I had went to school for elementary education. That was still my summer job in the meantime, so, ironically, got into staffing, went to education for a period of time. I was an athletic director of a school for a few years, but came back into it because our school levy was going to fail. And someone had reached out to me. They’re like, hey, you have PC recruiter experience, or you have an ATS experience, and we would love you to come train us. And I’m like, oh, okay, I know this.

Kortney Harmon [00:03:53]:

And teaching. So I immediately put my feather in the cap, and I’m like, all right, I’m going to go teach an ATS, whatever that meant. 24 year old me was really excited, and lo and behold, I was like, okay, wait. You can make money in this industry. So instantly, the competitive me that thinks I can win in tiddly winks or whatever it is, being that Division One athlete, it was like, okay, I can do this. So I ran my own desk for a period of time, and it went from there.

Benjamin Mena [00:04:24]:

Let me take a few steps back. One, I absolutely love that you started as, like, the summer job while you were in college. You just happened to work at a recruiting firm. You just happened to work on an ATS and then took a different career and then took a career shift that really brought you back. And if it wasn’t for that three month internship, summer job opportunity, talk about the direction that that road took you in life. Secondly, it’s amazing how many college athletes are in the recruiting space. I absolutely love it. I was a D one college athlete myself, and I love seeing so many of us out here in this industry.

Kortney Harmon [00:05:00]:

I love it. What sport did you play?

Benjamin Mena [00:05:02]:

Cross country.

Kortney Harmon [00:05:03]:

Oh, you like to run? There’s something wrong. That’s all right.

Benjamin Mena [00:05:07]:

You went to a full desk, and then you did the recruiting side, and then you moved over to training. How did you land into that training career and that training niche within this giant staffing industry?

Kortney Harmon [00:05:18]:

It’s a great question. Again, ironically, someone I work with today at Crelate that I actually worked with at another company reached out to me and was like, again, at that point in time, was like, hey, you have this ATS experience. Have you ever thought about training? And I’m like, no, I did it here briefly. But then I ran my own desk for the last seven years. And he’s like, let’s talk. So we started talking. I was like, you know what, there is nothing better than to merge these two backgrounds. I’ve always helped people, I loved helping people learn, right? So I thought it was like the perfect mix of merging my two backgrounds, education and staffing and recruiting, right? I’m like, let’s go help other people be successful.

Kortney Harmon [00:05:59]:

So I went, I had actually moved over to the MRI network. That’s where I was recruited to. And at the time they had like 350 offices. So I was helping teach offices how to use their ETS effectively, help set up workflows, help set up forms, whatever that was. I quickly became wanting more. So I ended up transferring. And I still knew how to do that, and I still was able to do that. But I worked with all of our new franchise owners that were like, hey, I went out of corporate America, help me start this thing.

Kortney Harmon [00:06:28]:

So I was actually in charge of their twelve week training. So they were with me good, better, ugly. For twelve weeks. I taught them the methodology of what to do, how to do it, how to find, recruit, sell. But then I also was like, all right, let’s set these up and let’s map these to your ATS. So setting that up the right way so then they could see that holistic view, they could see their whole process, they could scale their businesses to be beyond just them and get out of working for the man, so to say. So I was there for quite a few years. I loved it.

Kortney Harmon [00:06:59]:

It was a little bit of more travel than I had hoped because I was traveling all over the US to go train offices and it was great, I love the people. But then actually I went flipped from there and actually was the director of learning and development for a network of ten companies. They had no training out of the gate. I got to build my own process, foundation up and got to get them into the groove. And I was able to help their new hires and people going through training increase their revenue or their gross margin by 142% within their first six months of production. So that was compared to the whole year before that. Didn’t have training. So we did the same thing.

Kortney Harmon [00:07:36]:

We worked on methodology, we set up their processes. Here’s how to run a desk, effectively ask questions, write a script, overcome resistance, all those great things, but then map it to the technology that they were using at the time. So again, ATS exposure another one, and then lo and behold, it’s put me here. So I mean, I train through the podcast, I do consultations, and the idea of that through Crelate, but again, it’s just funny how you get to where you are. Who knew a podcast host in the staffing and recruiting industry was on the horizon nine months ago.

Benjamin Mena [00:08:07]:

That is so much fun. I got to ask before we jump into a few other things, does Crelate have, like, a masterclass of all your information kind of packaged in so my.

Kortney Harmon [00:08:16]:

Stuff or in general?

Benjamin Mena [00:08:17]:

In general, yeah.

Kortney Harmon [00:08:19]:

We actually have Creole Academy, so, like, if you’re actually a customer of ours, we do training with that. My stuff is all on our podcast. The nice part is, which I’m sure we’ll talk about later, we do live workshops. So even if you’re not a Creole customer, you can come and essentially ask a consultant questions for free. It’s your chance to dive in, say, what should I do? How should I handle this? And you get to be with a group of like minded individuals that have the same ambitions and passions that you do.

Benjamin Mena [00:08:48]:

Okay, awesome. So before we start really doing a deep dive, these questions, I’d love for you to talk about Crelate and talk about your podcast.

Kortney Harmon [00:08:56]:

I would absolutely love to. So, Crelate is an end to end staffing and recruiting platform for the modern agency. They’re really focused on helping talent like your talent, businesses like yours navigate and win an increasingly competitive market. So one thing that we truly believe in is people and process really help build trust and create relationships. After all, that’s what our business is about. So Crillate’s here to help you do just that with your talent and clients. Not only that you serve today, but in your future. So I don’t know if you know this.

Kortney Harmon [00:09:27]:

I didn’t know this when I came here. That’s actually where our name originated from. It’s create relationships. I love our product, of course, but I’m not here strictly to talk ATSs, so forgive me. I did mention Crelate actually does have something for everyone. Whether you’re an existing customer, you’re a prospect, or you’ve never even heard of us. One thing we’re seriously passionate about is giving back to the industry in the form of content, because we do have a unique perspective and stance on the industry. Again, whether you’re a current customer, we want to help your firms grow, though we’ve deliberately invested in people with deep roots in our industry across all of our teams, not just me with our podcast, but it’s in our professional services, it’s in our developers.

Kortney Harmon [00:10:10]:

It’s everywhere. So we’ve all ran desk. There’s a lot of us that have been entrenched in the trenches and really know kind of how this business works. So the idea of giving back and wanting your firm to grow, we’ve created a live event series that happens monthly. It’s hosted by myself, and we kind of go through the good, the bad, and the ugly of maybe what I’ve seen training over the past decade. We talked about those thousands of frontline recruiters, hundreds of business owners and executives. And through that training, we talk about coaching, revamping processes, building engagement strategies. And again, those organizations see growth.

Kortney Harmon [00:10:47]:

They see engagement of their employees and honestly they can see a decrease in their turnover. So we talk strategy to tactics and I think our focus is really on a few things. We focus on growth blockers across people, processes and technologies. That’s what our business is about. And like I said, we do do a Q and A at the end of each session. Those sessions usually last about an hour. We like to call them a live workshop. I’ll make sure to give you the link later in case anyone wants to join.

Kortney Harmon [00:11:14]:

But again, you’re with like minded individuals who where you’re going to hear most successful firms, what they’re getting right? And ideally my goal as a trainer and my background is to give you actionable guidance to help drive the success of your business. So you can leave, you can go implement these things. Now, I know tuning in live isn’t always for everybody. So you can listen to all podcast platforms. So that event is turned into a podcast. And we actually offer two other types of podcasts. We do Industry Spotlights where like you and I are doing, or we talk with top leaders, influencers who are shaping the talent industry. And we’re actually launching a new one which I’m really excited about for next month.

Kortney Harmon [00:11:55]:

It’s called FDE Express and it’s a miniseries where sometimes those topics, they’re lengthy, they’re 60 minutes long, 45 minutes long, and that’s not cut up for everybody. So we’re going to do like quick slam dunk, short and sweet each episode, like ten minutes, where we can provide actionable insights as well. So we have three different things. Whatever’s your jam, come join us, listen to us, and if you want more or you want a specific topic, you can email us. And I’m happy to train on anything that I know and anything that I’ve trained other people on.

Benjamin Mena [00:12:24]:

I love this. And for the listeners, I’ll have this information in the show notes. So you can just hop on Apple podcasts spotify, look in the show notes and you’ll see that information in there.

Kortney Harmon [00:12:33]:

Love it.

Benjamin Mena [00:12:35]:

So going to start going heavy on the questions and I’m going to ask the questions in two different ways. One as the search firm owner and one as the recruiter. Since you’ve trained both and many of those people that you’ve trained have been highly successful, what does it take to be a successful recruiter in 2023?

Kortney Harmon [00:12:54]:

A successful recruiter, I think it varies on what level you are, but I think adaptation for the industry, our industry, is changing at like lightning speed. I mean, it seems so subtle sometimes, the nuances of whether it’s chat GPT or a new automation or a new thing that’s happening in our industry. So I would say be okay with change because change isn’t always bad. So it can help us do things at scale, it can help us do things faster, it can really give us that superpower or that boost of energy to get us where we need to go at a better rate, right? And it’s all about speed and quality for us. So it kind of gives you that superpower. The other thing I would say is, listen, learn. There are so many resources like yours, like ours. You don’t know what you don’t know most of the time, right? So if you can consume one thing, that’ll give you just a tweak of something, even if it’s like we had someone join one of our podcasts.

Kortney Harmon [00:13:53]:

She’s a curly customer. We did a podcast about Redeployment. She’s like, I didn’t even really think about Redeployment for our industry. She came, we had something. We actually had a walk away downloadable asset. She walked away with it. And she’s like, we literally rethought something with our leadership to how Redeployment applies to us. It doesn’t really apply the exact way you said it, but we’re here just to help people think of how can I get an extra line of revenue or how can I do something differently that I’m not doing today? So that’s like, my favorite part of my job.

Kortney Harmon [00:14:26]:

So if you can do anything, be open, listen, consume. I’m a busy mom on the go, so I try to do that in the car from this thing right here. But that would be my suggestion.

Benjamin Mena [00:14:36]:

I absolutely love that advice because I can’t tell you one of the cool things about hosting a podcast. I get a lot of really cool people on the podcast. High levels, seven figure billers, you name it. Every time I’m like, I learn something new from my guests, myself as the host. So I love that advice. I don’t really tell that many people this, and I’m sure people have heard this on the podcast, but actually, one of the reasons why I started this was back in the day I was working at right after college, working at a large staffing firm. And about two months in, they actually sat me down and they excuse my language, they’re like, we’re going to just fire you. You fucking suck.

Benjamin Mena [00:15:12]:

But they’re like, we haven’t fired you yet. Because the metric numbers that you do, you hit. You just suck at recruiting. Took my licking, had some wine that night and the next day. One of the cool things about that company is they sent on every Wednesday a list of the top ten people in every division. So I just started calling those top ten recruiters. I was just like, I’m new. What are you doing? How’d you become successful? And I slowly just started emulating based on the things that they told me.

Benjamin Mena [00:15:38]:

So the podcast kind of started up because I’m like, there’s other people out there that if I could just give them an avenue to get ahead, it can completely change their career and they could stay in the staffing industry for.

Kortney Harmon [00:15:47]:

The long term 100%. And this is like, once you get into this. It’s like I don’t want to say it’s like cultish by any means, but you’re like in a secret club and you never get out of it. It’s not like soul crushing or anything, but it’s like, okay, I’m here, let’s go. How do I be successful at it? And most people want to just like you, they want the guidance. They want to know how to do better. They want to know how to increase your gross margin and your bottom line for the organization because it only makes more money in their pocket too. So absolutely 100%, and I love that.

Benjamin Mena [00:16:17]:

And jumping to the next question, I know 2023 has been an interesting year within the recruitment space. If you’re a search firm owner looking at growing and looking at expanding or at least like trying to stay steady in 2023, what kind of advice would you give them to get ahead?

Kortney Harmon [00:16:31]:

That’s a great question. Like I said, I’ve seen a lot of offices, and one thing I see the most of is most of the time those office leaders or firm owners, they were once a top performer because they were really good at their job. They either moved into management role, started their own firm, they were truly great at their craft. But managing, leading, developing teams are so much different than leading the charge. As a top producer, let’s face it, we get caught up in the movement of moving 100 miles an hour. The do more mentality. You talk metrics, something that is near and dear to my heart. And what I see oftentimes is the idea of not measuring the things that matter.

Kortney Harmon [00:17:10]:

But there’s a reason for that. They go to the Do More, make more calls, and it’ll be fine, push. But as a leader, you have to take a step backwards. We get to there and we like, we want to scale. We want to have more people under us. But what we’re not doing in that process is really setting your foundational processes that your teams are following. This was big for me, obviously even doing new franchise owners with MRI, because frankly, if you don’t set those foundational processes up, your teams aren’t going to follow them. So therefore, you’ve moved at 100 miles an hour.

Kortney Harmon [00:17:42]:

So your processes are probably broken. Maybe they’re missing, maybe they’re incomplete. Maybe you thought at one point in time you had a good foundation, but they haven’t been looked at or changed in years. So therefore, your teams are not being trained properly. They’re not inclusive of the last three technologies that you’ve implemented because let’s face it, we all want that silver bullet solution and they’re not adopted by your teams. Your teams don’t have that North Star. And unfortunately, what happens, it’s exacerbated by the tech that you have, your ETS that really keeps leaders focused on the wrong metrics for fulfilling and knowing your integrated reports that look across your whole process. Because your teams maybe are working outside of the system.

Kortney Harmon [00:18:23]:

Now. They’re in LinkedIn recruiter, they’re in zoom, and there’s no should do method that they’re trained on, let alone manage to once you get past the very basics. My last thing is what that means is for you as leaders, it doesn’t give you the holistic true view of your business to be able to make the right decision. So long way of saying what should you do in 2023 is ensure your foundational processes are on point. Be sure that you’re measuring the qualitative metrics that you need by using a system maybe that captures your workflow that you or teams need to be executing so you in turn, have the right data to make the best decisions for your organization.

Benjamin Mena [00:18:59]:

What you brought up kind of made me think of a few more questions. I’m going to kind of get into those. When it comes to being that top performer, that you’re a top biller, you’re a rock star at your company. You go looking at starting your own firm. You now have whether solo or getting a few recruiters. Now, how do you make that shift from being a top biller to a top leader?

Kortney Harmon [00:19:22]:

So whenever I say foundational processes, it’s like, okay, you do something so well, you’re executing on something so well. So you know what works in your industry, whether it’s your niche at MRI, we used to like to call it a dig, whether it’s your geography, your industry, what is it that you know really good about, right? So you know how you need to speak to those people. You know how many times you need to reach out to those people. You know what the cadence of touches is. Is it a nurse? Do they need to be written on a phone? It’s not what you say. It’s A, how you say it, and B, where you meet them, because that’s where our industry is going. It used to be to the point we had the Rolodex, we picked up the phone and we called after hours a while ago. But it’s not that way anymore.

Kortney Harmon [00:20:08]:

It’s immediate gratification with certain things. So we have to figure out, okay, what am I doing and how do I replicate it for these teams that I know can be successful. I hate to say make an army, but how do I make an army of me? Because I’m not saying that you’re the best person you can get insight, but you’ve obviously done something really well. So if I can tell you anything, document your process, document the things that you’re doing and try to do them at scale. But if it’s only up here and in your brain, your other people that you’re hiring, you’re going to put them in a process and say, here, go fly. It’s like pushing the baby bird out of the nest. Guess what? They’re probably not going to fly because they don’t have the same insights, the same experience, the same years under their belt of doing what you’ve done. So we need to get that into translation to make it scalable.

Benjamin Mena [00:20:53]:

Awesome. And when it comes to KPIs, what kind of KPIs you got excited with that? What kind of KPIs are important for you to be successful at growing a team and also be successful for yourself?

Kortney Harmon [00:21:06]:

I think KPIs are great. So I’m going to make a shameless plug. We just did a live workshop on Tuesday, and it’s essentially the concept of the KPI hamster wheel, right? You and I probably and younger, you felt this too, like you had the idea of, oh, KPIs. I’m being measured. We cringe, right? It’s like, oh, big brother’s watching us. Darn it. They’re there for some people like to say a necessary evil. But what people are not realizing is you’re getting two different things.

Kortney Harmon [00:21:37]:

You’re getting diagnostic information and you’re also getting predictive information. So where have you been? But where are you going? They need to be used. And this is what I often see leaders doing wrong, not necessarily firm owners, because they’re not the ones that are having the direct conversations. Being able to get out of the do more mentality. Yeah, you’re going to want someone to say, you need to make more calls. And you know what? That’s not necessarily going to hurt you. We know that picking up the phone, that leads to good things, but maybe it’s not working for you as hard as developing a world class team in business as saying, hey, I notice you’re making a lot of these types of calls, but it’s not translating to the ratios that you’d expect or the rate that we need them to. So maybe let’s talk about your approach, your script, your conversation, and see if we can get better outcomes from the same number of attempts.

Kortney Harmon [00:22:27]:

So you’re not beating your head against the wall. And that’s where I focused my entire career on. So it’s really about going against the grain to say it’s not make more calls, not make 100 calls. You don’t want your people to say, oh, I just have to make 100 calls. Oh, I just have to have five job orders. But it’s like, how do I work smarter, not harder? Because this industry is really fairly predictive. You can understand how many calls you need to make to make a placement, how many calls for a job order. But it’s about reverse engineering and checking the qualitative metrics versus the quantitative metrics.

Benjamin Mena [00:23:00]:

Awesome. Definitely great advice on that. So before we start going into some of the other questions, do you have any other advice that you would give to building out a system for your FIR?

Kortney Harmon [00:23:12]:

It’s not necessarily the system. It’s yeah. Your foundational processes, your workflows. I would say revisit, because let’s maybe talk about our market right now. We’ve maybe had a market shift from last year at this time. Businesses aren’t necessarily doing bad, right? Some maybe, but we’re not going hair on fire like we were last year. The shift that I’m seeing across everything is the idea and the refocus of sales, right? We haven’t had to go out and beat doors down or make sales calls because it literally was coming in so fast at us. We just needed to find a body to fill it.

Kortney Harmon [00:23:50]:

That’s slowed down. That’s not a bad thing. But now it’s to the point we almost have to reflex a muscle that we haven’t had to use in a while. And maybe our processes aren’t as good as they used to be or so much has changed because of, dare I say the word COVID. COVID has changed the way people pick up the phone, the way people respond, what they need. So it’s really the idea of going back to those foundational processes. Are they set? Are we measuring the things that we need to measure? And are we helping our team succeed at that?

Benjamin Mena [00:24:19]:

Is there any sales strategies that you guys are seeing at Creole that’s really working for your customers?

Kortney Harmon [00:24:23]:

I love that question. One of the talks that I’ve done most frequently is about the blueprint for business development. I’ll give you another freebie Benjamin. We have a touch plan strategy. It’s like a twelve set touch point strategy that we use for getting new logos and new business. So I’ll give you the link so you can give to your audience as well. But it’s really the idea of, again, meeting them where they are. So be creative in your touches.

Kortney Harmon [00:24:46]:

Don’t just send all emails, don’t just send all phone calls, all texts, whatever you’re doing. But it’s like making sure there’s a cadence, and with that cadence, maybe I mean, I go back to some people cringe when I say this, but it’s the word like go back to NPC, go back to marketing talent, to jobs. At this point, they’re not necessarily there. But you can create some thought about finding the right person for the right job, saying, ben, hey, I have this great person, they have 20 years of experience, they’ve increased whatever. It’s not about that. If you get the right person for the right non opportunity that you’re trying to sell for, go play the lottery that day, please. But it’s really the idea to say, oh, you don’t need that. What do you need? It’s about building conversations and so many of us in this industry, in today’s day and age, want to just send an email and think that the business is going to flourish.

Kortney Harmon [00:25:31]:

It’s truly about the human element with us, and technology is probably pulling us a little bit away from it. But again, creating relationships and establishing those connections are where your business grows not only on the talent side, but also on the sales side.

Benjamin Mena [00:25:44]:

And I’m just going to kind of echo that with the relationships, with the automation of technology. And AI. It’s awesome. I love it. I use it myself. My God, that this stuff is amazing. But what’s happening is it’s also creating a lot more noise. And the relationships is how you actually expand past that noise for your customers.

Kortney Harmon [00:26:03]:

Okay, so you asked two questions for the firm owner and the person that’s using it. Now my brain is going, and if you’re a firm owner, don’t be distracted by fun tech. There is a lot of silver bullet solutions out there. Just because something looks good, don’t say, oh, I automatically need that. A lot of times the technologies you have today actually have some capacity to do maybe something that you want, because let’s face it, most of us only use like, 20% of our software that we have in hand. So look at the stuff that you have. If you do decide you need a technology, go back to your actual technologies you have in hand now. Because let’s face it, if you spin a cycle to go get something new, make sure it’s mapped to the right places, make sure you’re getting metrics over those concepts.

Kortney Harmon [00:26:47]:

Make sure your teams are trained on those. They’re adapting. You coach to them. You’re spinning cycles. And if you are spinning cycles, you’re spending cycles. So you have to make sure that it’s right for your organization and it’s going to be implemented, used the right way, and continue to measure the ROI on that to make sure do I need to keep using this technology?

Benjamin Mena [00:27:05]:

Awesome advice. All right, we’re going to jump into what I call the Quick Fire questions. We’re going to ask you a question if you can kind of also explain why you gave the answer.

Kortney Harmon [00:27:14]:


Benjamin Mena [00:27:15]:

Is there a favorite book that has had a huge impact on your career?

Kortney Harmon [00:27:20]:

Good question. I have two books that I love, and then I’m going to switch the idea on this. So I love the book Nudge by Richard Thaler. And it’s really the idea if you’re working on scripts, right, for your business and your organization, this book is really about like, you can change the outcome of your destiny by the positioning of it, right? So you can get more things that you want. So I love that. I think it’s great. I love atomic habits. It’s just really the foundational.

Kortney Harmon [00:27:49]:

I’m a time block. Kind of gal, a little type A. Don’t tell anybody, but it’s really about no, no correlation at all. But I think being a busy mom with kids in sports, I really consume content. Podcast in the car on the way to sports. So I don’t get to read as much as I used to like to read when it was just my husband and I. He’s a fisherman, so we’d go out on the boat and I’d catch a book, get a tan, all those lovely things. But I don’t have the time as frequently.

Kortney Harmon [00:28:19]:

So I love podcasts. Obviously, I’m in the industry. But I love podcasts, not only from our industry, but beyond. Whether it’s health, wellness, best practices, whether it’s in your life, in our industry, any form of content I can consume, I love it, but it’s mainly in the car on the way to events.

Benjamin Mena [00:28:38]:

Is there any tech tools that you absolutely love right now?

Kortney Harmon [00:28:42]:

I’m going to probably say something that a lot of people are saying right now. I’m a big nerd about chat GPT. I write a lot of content in my days of what I’m hearing and sometimes it’s like I want to say this, but I said it already. Let’s say in a different way, I am nerding out on some of those things. I do love some of the automations in our industry. Like I said, we are busy, busy people. So anytime you can implement those automations, those things to help you do your job at scale more effectively I’m not going to lie. I have automation set up in my house.

Kortney Harmon [00:29:12]:

My husband told me I’m not allowed to die because if my phone doesn’t come back home, the lights aren’t going to turn on, whatever that might be. So use those automations, whether it’s emails, reminders, whatever it is, to help you do you more effectively in your job, call a candidate. The number one complaint about recruiters and salespeople is they call too frequently, they bug the crap out of you until you hear back from them. But the number two is they ghost you after that. Like they get what they want and then you never hear back from them. So use those automations to help make sure you’re not forgetting about your people. Because candidate and client experience is where again, you retain repeat business and it’s truly a differentiator in ours.

Benjamin Mena [00:29:53]:

Do you have any thoughts on the future of the recruitment industry?

Kortney Harmon [00:29:57]:

I think this is a double edged sword. I just said automation. But I also struggle with all the technology that’s coming because I don’t want people to lose that human element. Again, that is where I still have people. And ironically, my husband still takes out my husband’s a musky fisherman, as Des Charters. He takes out people that I recruited ten years ago. So it’s so funny. It’s that human element, those relationships that you’ve built and those are the things that matter.

Kortney Harmon [00:30:26]:

So my only worry is I don’t want our industry to just go to the get away from the post and pray, have a conversation. Just because a resume doesn’t say something doesn’t mean you don’t call them. So that’s my only worry of our industry. It’s going to be moving, it’s going to be changing, it’s going to be more here. We’re probably going to get more to the idea of more matching, more movement. But again, don’t forget the human element out of anything. That’s my word of advice.

Benjamin Mena [00:30:52]:

And that kind of goes into the next question. We’ve been talking about AI, how do you think AI is going to impact recruiting?

Kortney Harmon [00:30:59]:

It’s for sure not going any less. We’re getting more by the day. Don’t get distracted by fun tech. Make sure if you’re an owner, make sure that stuff, that new technology maps into your process. Your people want to get credit for what they’re doing. And if you’re one of those people that want to measure their metrics, measure what they’re doing, and are you going to be able to help coach them to get better so you not only can get more cash to your bottom line, they can get better gross margins. Make sure they all talk. I know our company is big on open APIs, so make sure all the things can connect.

Kortney Harmon [00:31:31]:

Make sure that you have a full view of your business so it gives you the right decisions to say, yes, I need to move forward with this. Yes, I know where my business is and you can honestly make business decisions from that point going forward. So make sure, again, working smarter, not harder.

Benjamin Mena [00:31:48]:

So this is one of my favorite questions. I love asking it for absolutely everybody.

Kortney Harmon [00:31:52]:


Benjamin Mena [00:31:53]:

Everything that you have learned in your recruitment career, if you can go back to the very beginning of your career and give yourself advice, what advice would you give yourself?

Kortney Harmon [00:32:02]:

I know this sounds very basic and I don’t know if everyone else answer is basic, but my advice is don’t be afraid to ask the questions. There were a lot of times in a room when you’re with leaders and you’re like, well, I don’t want to ask the dumb question. I don’t want to say, well, I don’t want to ask something that everybody else knows. Or I would say don’t be afraid, listen, which I’m really big on. I want to know the why behind everything. The root cause. I kind of feel like a little five year old. Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? But it helps me understand the root cause to truly get to a problem.

Kortney Harmon [00:32:35]:

But ask the questions. Ask the questions because it’s going to help other people get better. It’s going to help you get better. And be selfish. Know what to and as a recruiter, I would say be selfish to know what you should be working on. So again, it helps your organization and it helps you. Just because you have a job order doesn’t mean it deserves 100% of your time. And just because you have talent doesn’t mean that they’re 100% the one to work with.

Kortney Harmon [00:32:59]:

So understand, establish your go to and understand be selfish because that’s what this industry is about. So we can all become successful.

Benjamin Mena [00:33:09]:

That was a lesson I had to learn at the very beginning of my recruitment career, was how to be selfish. And I think one of the reasons why I think they wanted to fire me because I thought I could just help everybody and they’re like, no, you get paid for filling jobs. But I’m like, but if I help everybody, maybe I’ll fill a job. No, you have to fill the job.

Kortney Harmon [00:33:26]:

Yeah. Sometimes we get distracted by that, especially earlier in our career. It’s like, well, they need someone to mow their grass. I can help them. But in reality, that’s not an a job order. And those aren’t the things that are going to make you money. Figure out how. Again, asking the questions helps you negotiate.

Kortney Harmon [00:33:42]:

It helps you go beyond a job order. It helps you understand beyond a resume. There are so many good things to understand and learn just by asking questions.

Benjamin Mena [00:33:51]:

Well, Courtney, before I let you go, is there anything else that you would love to share with the listeners?

Kortney Harmon [00:33:56]:

No. I sound like I have a lot of to dos for you. I need to give you an it. I can share the podcast in case anybody’s interested in signing up. But again, we do a lot of these things for workshops to help you learn. So if you have anything that you want, we’re here to help you. But again, make sure your processes are mapped. Make sure it’s fully trained to your team so they understand that adoption and it’s only going to help your organization excel.

Benjamin Mena [00:34:19]:

Awesome. Well, Courtney, thank you for coming on the podcast. This is exciting. I know you’ve helped thousands of recruiters, hundreds of firm owners grow. And definitely thank you for sharing your wisdom and sharing how to level up in 2023.

Kortney Harmon [00:34:33]:

Thank you so much for having me. I greatly appreciate it.

Benjamin Mena [00:34:35]:

And for the listeners, until next time, thank you guys.

Kortney Harmon [00:34:40]:

I’m kortney harmon with crelate. Thanks for joining the full Desk Experience. Please feel free to submit any questions for next session to [email protected] or ask us live next session. If you enjoyed our show, be sure to subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen and sign up to attend future events that happen once a month.

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