Industry Spotlight | Tricia Tamkin, Founder at Moore eSSentials |Scaling Recruitment Firms: Mixing Tried & True Tactics and New Tech

Two women with the words scaling recruitment firms moving recruitment firms true.

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Show notes

Buckle up, because today we have an industry giant with us, Tricia Tamkin, a seasoned recruiter with more than 25 years of experience. Not only has she owned her own firm, but she’s also ventured into coaching and training recruiters, sharing her wealth of knowledge. Over the years, Tricia has seen the recruiting landscape evolve from paper to AI, and she strongly believes that being up-to-date on modern recruiting practices is key to thriving in this industry.

In this episode, she dives deep into her unique hiring approach and shares her insights on new technologies and their place within recruiting firms. Tricia breaks down her coaching strategies based on different client scenarios and discusses the common pitfalls that firms encounter when aiming to scale.

Leveraging her experience with experiments and strategies, Tricia will be digging into some detailed insights on topics like productivity, data analysis, and the relation between AI and recruiting. We’ll even dive into the nitty-gritty of cold calling and its relevance in today’s recruiting world.

This conversation is sure to be a goldmine of valuable information for anyone in the recruiting field, so stay tuned as we shine an industry spotlight on some of the key challenges and strategies in modern recruiting with Tricia Tamkin. Don’t forget to subscribe to The Full Desk Experience podcast to stay updated on our upcoming Industry Spotlight series, releasing new episodes monthly. Now, without further ado, let’s jump straight into our conversation!

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Tricia Tamkin [00:00:00]:

That changed with AI. That's a big statement to make. Now we have more influence as recruiters than I ever fathomed would be possible in this industry.

Kortney Harmon [00:00:18]:

Hi, I'm Kortney Harmon, staffing and recruiting industry principal at Crelate. This is the Full Desk Experience Industry Spotlight series, where we are talking with the top leaders and influencers who are shaping the talent industry. In this series, we'll be shining a light on popular trends, the latest news and the stories that laid the groundwork for their success. I am thrilled to have Trisha Tampkin joining us today for the full Desk Experience podcast for our industry spotlight. Tricia has over 30 years of the recruiting experience, starting back in 1993 when she began her career placing technology professionals. Since then, Tricia founded her own Wolf Technologies, focused on senior level tech recruiting, later Pivoted, and she's now the co founder and still currently working with More Essentials. It's really a program that has trained thousands of recruiters in our industry, including advanced sourcing techniques and so much more. She offers invaluable coaching and consulting services for recruiting firms looking to grow their business.

Kortney Harmon [00:01:32]:

And she's been doing that, I think, correct me if I'm wrong, Tricia nearly 15 years with more associates.

Tricia Tamkin [00:01:38]:

Just about. Just about.

Kortney Harmon [00:01:40]:

I love that. With decades in the industry, tricia has rare insights into evolution of recruiting, what it takes to build a successful firm. We're going to talk about strategies and solutions pitfalls for recruiters and talent acquisition leaders across the board. So encourage and welcome Trisha to our show today. Tricia, thank you so much for joining us today.

Tricia Tamkin [00:02:02]:

Oh, you're so welcome and thank you for the lovely introduction. I am delighted to be here talking to you.

Kortney Harmon [00:02:07]:

I love it. So we talked that you have excessive experience in our industry. Tell me how you got started and really how that's evolved into what you're doing now and your passions that may have driven you here.

Tricia Tamkin [00:02:20]:

Yeah, so I think that I fall into a category with most other recruiters. Like, I had no idea what recruiting was. I didn't set out to become a recruiter. I had gone to college for only two years. I knew that I wanted high ticket commission, sales job, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I left school after two years and I answered an ad in an actual newspaper. The internet didn't exist then. I'm kind of old.

Tricia Tamkin [00:02:51]:

I answered an ad in the newspaper and I drove like 45 miles from my house in Chicago for this interview and it was at a tech search firm Perm agency, and they had about 15 or 16 recruiters, so it was a good size, all contingent. And I went in and interviewed for the job. And when I walked in, I mean, the ad in the newspaper was like, make a lot of money, draw against commission, but it didn't actually say what it was. So I went into the interview and the owner of the firm explained to me what a headhunter did at that point. And that was my very first exposure to recruiting. I had never heard of it. I didn't know it existed. And he explained to me 30% of their base salary in a commission.

Tricia Tamkin [00:03:42]:

And Kortney, in that moment, I made the decision I was going to be a recruiter and that I would be able to open my own firm. So I left that interview. I had had two job offers that I already had. I called them both, rejected both of the offers, called the owner of the search firm that afternoon and said, I'm going to be a recruiter. If you would like me to be a recruiter for you, I would be happy to start on Monday. Otherwise, I'm going to go find someplace else to be a recruiter. And he was like, no, you can be a recruiter for me. And so I started with them that Monday, much to the dismay of my parents, my friends.

Tricia Tamkin [00:04:30]:

They all thought it sounded like a scam, right? Like it was some kind of pyramid type thing. No one knew what it was. And in my first year, I out produced everybody in the firm. I was incredibly fortunate to fall into a career that I don't know, I'm probably a little biased, but I think that as a person, I was made to do this, and I knew it in that moment. I worked in agency for two years. Then I worked internally for a billion dollar tech consulting company. And I left that consulting company in 1997. I was 23 years old, and I opened my first search firm.

Kortney Harmon [00:05:15]:

I love that. Look at that story. So how long did you run your search firm for?

Tricia Tamkin [00:05:19]:

It's still in existence, but really only by name. Right now, our coaching and training and speaking overtook my desk just shy of five years ago. So I personally have not actually made a direct placement in five years, which sounds like a lot of blanking, right? But inside of our private coaching practice, I am fortunate enough to get inside of the deals of our clients. So it's kind of like running dozens of desks instead of just my own.

Kortney Harmon [00:05:50]:

I love that. So talk to me a little bit more about why did you start your own firm and then now from your own firm to now you're doing coaching and training hundreds of people on a basis. So what made you make that switch?

Tricia Tamkin [00:06:02]:

Great question. So I am of the opinion I mean, arguably, I'm of the opinion that every single person in the world should work on 100% commission, and I think we would all have much better service. But in that moment, I wish I could tell you that what happened was I was this wildly mature, visionary 23 year old that fully understood, like, no, that would be total nonsense. What happened was I was a big producer at this consulting company. We were paid commission per hire, and I was the highest paid person in global recruiting, including the partners running it. Okay. So I made a ton of placements, 72 in a year for my biggest year for them. But I did a lot of my work in the evening.

Tricia Tamkin [00:06:56]:

When you're interviewing passive candidates and you want to get them to take a job, really good passive candidates sometimes are hesitant to have those conversations with you during the day. So what I would do is I would do interviews at six. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Okay, well, I'm not going to go to work then all day from eight to five when I'm working hours every evening. So I just didn't I outproduced everybody by a factor of three, and I only went into the office when I needed to. And as you might suspect, that didn't necessarily go over well with leadership and the team that I worked on. Like, how come Trisha doesn't have to come to work and all of us have to come to work?

Kortney Harmon [00:07:48]:

I think that vision probably should have changed. How is Trisha making so much money and being the top producer and she's not coming? I want that pill.

Tricia Tamkin [00:07:56]:

Right? You would think that. I'll tell you, Kortney, no silver bullet. I busted my ass. I just did it in the evenings instead of during the day to accommodate my candidates. Right? So going into this was the end of 1996. I had 17 January starts, and the next closest person to me had four. Okay. And my boss pulled me aside and told me that unfortunately, they were going to have to put me on a performance improvement plan because I wasn't showing up at work enough.

Tricia Tamkin [00:08:37]:

And I was like, wow. I mean, like, my numbers, my production, that doesn't matter. No, what matters is that you are in the office. Right? So they set my core hours at 10:00 A.m. To 02:00 P.m., which tells you how little I was in the office. That was mandatory for me. And in the course of that month, what I did thank goodness for that manager, that woman changed my life. I was so irritated that my production was less important than my presence.

Tricia Tamkin [00:09:15]:

And so I spent that month getting everything ready behind the scenes to start my own firm. And when I had the meeting where they took me off of the performance plan, which never happens, right? Like, if you get put on a performance plan, likely you're fired. But they didn't fire me. They took me off of it. Nobody was upset that I only made two placements that month. No one was upset about that. I was upset about that none of the leadership was. So when they took me off the performance plan, I handed them my resignation and they were not pleased about it.

Tricia Tamkin [00:09:53]:

But I think a lot of times when you work for someone else, whether it's internally or inside of an agency. There almost has to be a catalyst in order to cause you to take that massive leap of faith where all of the accountability is yours. You're the only one in charge. It can't be anyone else's fault, only yours. And so for me, the catalyst was being almost fired. That's what caused me to go out on my own.

Kortney Harmon [00:10:28]:

But what a blessing in disguise, lo and behold, in what it is giving you. So amazing. Hindsight is wonderful to look back at that to say that was the changing moment for me.

Tricia Tamkin [00:10:39]:

Yeah, it was. And I'll tell you interestingly, for any of your listeners that have gone out on their own or are considering going out on their own, first and foremost yes, do it. Take the leap. There is so much success on the other side of fear, right? Even at that point, being a significant producer, I did every single thing to get that company ready to launch. I had 500 hiring managers alphabetized my company and had my website and had all my operations, had everything ready to go. And the day that it was time where I couldn't find any other way to procrastinate, I was coming out of corporate. So I didn't have a single client. I sat at my desk for almost 2 hours not reading things.

Tricia Tamkin [00:11:38]:

We didn't have internet access then. I wasn't like on Facebook, I wasn't screwing around on my phone. I sat silently at my desk trying to self talk. My courage to be able to pick up the phone and make my first business development calls. It's not easy, but every bit of it is worth it.

Kortney Harmon [00:12:02]:

I love that. I love that. That's an amazing story. Well, thank you for sharing that with us. I love the insights that you bring and obviously being in this industry for a long time, talk to me about how the industry has changed since you first started. Obviously it ebbs and flows, but talk to me about what your vision is of how you started in the industry and where it is today.

Tricia Tamkin [00:12:23]:

When I started, I was a tech recruiter that had never used a computer. I did not have a computer on my desk. We did everything on paper. We were very advanced having a fax machine. So that was pretty cool, right? We could fax stuff, we didn't have to mail resumes in. But I have been fortunate enough to live through the onset of PCs, which changed everything in our business, then the Internet, which changed everything in our business. And now if we look at those as two major transformations and now we look at AI, I think it's bigger than the internet or PCs. But one of the common things that I think has been really interesting when you look at the progression of the recruiting industry, if we go back 2025 years, job boards, the internet became prevalent.

Tricia Tamkin [00:13:17]:

We all got internet access and now there is Monster and Career Builder and all of these sites that people could post jobs on. And in our industry, 25 years ago, what happened was everybody went, they're not going to need recruiters anymore. Job boards are going to take our jobs. And clearly that didn't happen because we're all still recruiting. The best recruiters use job boards. A lot of us grew up in the industry being told that you were a hack if you posted a job. And I will tell all of your listeners if you were raised that way in this industry, it is inaccurate. If you are not posting advertisements for upwards of 80% of your jobs, you are absolutely leaving money on the table.

Tricia Tamkin [00:14:10]:

So now we're in this AI world where now the question is, oh, is artificial intelligence going to take our jobs? No, it's not. Any more than job boards did. Recruiters aren't going to be replaced by AI. They're going to be replaced by recruiters using AI. Just like it happened with job boards. So I think we've seen an incredible progression in the technical side of our business, but I think we've also seen something very interesting. 25 years ago, I could pick up the phone and I could leave ten messages. And if I left ten good voicemail messages, five to seven of those people would call me back.

Tricia Tamkin [00:14:56]:

If I called ten of them, three to five of them might just actually answer. And that doesn't happen anymore. So I think we made kind of a shift where we lost the ability to get people on the phone very easily, but we gained the ability to figure out who anybody was from a client or a candidate perspective. So I think there's kind of a trade off that some things got better, some got worse.

Kortney Harmon [00:15:26]:

You're not wrong. You're absolutely not wrong. I love that. So you talked AI. I know you talked about AI at Naps as well when I didn't get to see you because I was talking at that same time. I'm so bummed. Okay, we talked about how the industry's changed over these years, but what about some key trends? And AI is probably one of them, I'm guessing, over the past year. Anything I mean, maybe even specific to AI.

Kortney Harmon [00:15:50]:

Anything that you've seen from January of this year to today on where we are on trends and where this industry may be going?

Tricia Tamkin [00:15:57]:

It is virtually impossible to even come up with anything that is a trend that I could speak to more than AI. This is the most incredible thing that I've ever experienced in 30 years in this industry. There's some assumptions that we make. First and foremost, nothing I ever say to a hiring manager is going to make them extend an offer to a candidate that they don't want to hire. Nothing I say to a candidate is going to make them take a job they don't want. These are assumptions that I hold as true. And I'd like to think that the majority of the people in our industry hold as true. But I keep hearing people talk about candidate control and client control, and you don't have any control over other people.

Tricia Tamkin [00:16:48]:

This is their livelihood, this is their business, and nothing we say is going to make them take the action that we want in order to earn a commission. So from my perspective for the last 29 years, I have always focused on the upfront activity that I could control. I can control how many people I talk to. I can control how many jobs I present to people, I can control how many candidates I submit for sendouts. I can control those things. I can't control anything else. Right? It's up to them. That changed with AI.

Tricia Tamkin [00:17:27]:

That's a big statement to make. Now we have more influence as recruiters than I ever fathomed would be possible in this industry. Let me give you an example. Chat GBT is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to personality profiles. So I can say to Chat GPT, describe for me all of the major personality profile tests. It'll give me, I don't know, six to twelve of them. But the key is it knows everything about each of the personality profiles in every different type of personality profiler. Okay? So it just naturally knows.

Tricia Tamkin [00:18:18]:

If I say Kortney is a high D, high C on a disc assessment, and I'm an ENTJ on a Myers Briggs, how are we going to communicate? What can I say to Kortney that is going to increase my rapport, increase my credibility, and make it more likely that she talks to me? So that's on the front end for engagement. But I want you to imagine what happens when I can either ask my candidate and my client, courtney, have you ever taken a personality profile? What are like? That's a reasonable question to ask. It's not too intrusive. And now if I go into the AI, I can say I give it a formula. Here is the job, here's the personality of my hiring manager, here's the resume of my candidate, here's the personality of my candidate. Now analyze all of this data, predict the questions my hiring manager is going to ask based on the job and their inclinations for their innate characteristics. Now factor only the truth from what you can gather in this resume and my notes, and knowing the candidate's personality, how should they answer the questions that's a candidate prep? That's a prep like nothing we have ever been capable of doing in the past. What would happen is you would have your first candidate interview and you would be like, okay, so Kortney, what did they say exactly when you first got there and how long did you have to wait and what did the waiting room look like and what did the hiring manager look like? And did you write down all the questions they asked? Because how else are you going to be able to prep the next candidate, right? We don't have to do any of that anymore.

Tricia Tamkin [00:20:14]:

Now we can use the AI to support us in candidate prep, in negotiations, in closing. I mean, heck, every recruiter out there should have an add on service that is, let me do an assessment of your team against my candidate and give you onboarding recommendations. I can just plug a formula into the AI and give it the information and it'll just spit all of that straight back out to me. Now, when I give it to my client, I'm a superstar.

Kortney Harmon [00:20:48]:

That's what AI is. Right now, AI is just putting everybody, all these recruiters, everyone with a cape, everyone on steroids to know more, to be more prepared, but make sure we're using it in the right way, including our own original thoughts, all of the above. I can't wait to see where it's going to go, to be honest. Well, it was very interesting.

Tricia Tamkin [00:21:07]:

Just last week was the first OpenAI developer conference. It was actually the day after both of us spoke at Naps. And it was the first one. And one of the things that we have been telling people, we've been teaching AI for recruiters since February. And one of the things that we've been telling everybody is, don't go sign up and pay for all these little apps that are just wrappers on top of GPT. It's kind of like sourcing. Like you don't need to pay for LinkedIn recruiter. Learn how to talk to Google and see everybody on LinkedIn.

Tricia Tamkin [00:21:42]:

Same thing goes for AI. Don't pay for all of these little platforms. Learn how to communicate with the artificial intelligence and it'll do better for you. So the day after you and I were speaking, OpenAI made this announcement where they basically made it available to people like you and I to build our own GPTs. And it's literally click a couple of buttons. It's not hard. What they basically did was take 9000 companies that were formed in the last eight months and done. There's no need for them because now anybody can do what all of those companies were doing.

Tricia Tamkin [00:22:32]:

So I think one of the things that's really important is the speed that this tech is moving. Be careful on any commitments that you're making because we've only been teaching it since February and we're rolling out or working on right now, version four of the class.

Kortney Harmon [00:22:49]:

And it is, it's moving at lightning speed. So can't wait to see where that goes. I'm going to switch us. We could probably talk about AI for the entire time. Talk to me about, you see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Talk to me about some common mistakes or growth blockers you see teams struggling with. And I'm going to say right now, beyond AI, what do you see teams struggling with in today's economic standing, where we are or what space they're in. Talk to me about that.

Tricia Tamkin [00:23:18]:

I think probably one of the biggest challenges that I see is recruiters not understanding engagement. How do you get a candidate or a client to engage with you? One of the biggest mistakes that we see more than anything is this idea of a recruiter pitching a job. I've got a new requirement. I love this requirement. I love this company. I go out, I do my sourcing, and then what I'm going to do is courtney, I'm going to interrupt your day. You don't know me, and we've never had a conversation. And I'm going to get you on the phone, and I'm going to tell you about the most fantastic, amazing, incredible, life changing opportunity for you professionally.

Tricia Tamkin [00:24:08]:

And I know that you don't know me, but let me tell you about this incredible job, what your role will be, what the upward mobility is. Let me have you, please. Kortney, could you pick up your entire life, change where you spend the majority of your time? Go to work for my client so that I could make a big check, please. I know we've never talked before. I hope that's not too big of an ask. Recruiters. Just do not think about what it feels like on the other end of that call. Okay? So if you think about the very most stressful things that any human being experiences in their life, it's things like getting married or divorced, having a child, death of a loved one, changing jobs, changing where you live.

Tricia Tamkin [00:25:02]:

So of the top five most stressful things that ever happen in a person's life, often we're influencing two of them.

Kortney Harmon [00:25:12]:

You may influence a third with a divorce if it goes the wrong way.

Tricia Tamkin [00:25:16]:

But you absolutely could. Right? So if we take it like a marriage, like you brought up divorce. Right. You've heard. I'm sure a lot of people equate recruiting to dating, and there's a lot of similarities to it. The recruiters that go out and try to pitch that job. This is what it sounds like if you were dating, right? If I walk into a bar and I see Jason sitting at the bar, and he is exactly the kind of man that I want to marry, he looks perfect. Or maybe he looks like my perfect candidate.

Tricia Tamkin [00:25:54]:

Either way, it doesn't matter. He's sitting there on his own, has not raised his hand for a wife or a job. So I walk up to him, and this is what we do as recruiters. Hi, my name is Trisha, and you and I, we don't know each other, but I would love to take a few minutes and explain to you what would make me an extraordinary wife.

Kortney Harmon [00:26:15]:


Tricia Tamkin [00:26:16]:

Okay. Now, the only thing creepier than me saying that to a complete and total stranger is if he looks at me and says, I was looking for a wife. That is amazing. Let's have a conversation. What colors were you thinking how many kids? The concept of it is ludicrous, but that's what we do when we pitch a job, and then when it doesn't go well, we go like this. Oh, sorry, I didn't realize that you had a ring on or you were happy in your job. Do you know somebody else that might want to marry me? What? It's a terrible, terrible approach. What we need to be able to do as recruiters is walk up to that stranger in the bar and say, is this seat taken? Can I sit for a moment? Because if what you do is vomit a job change all over a stranger, they're going to just ignore you.

Tricia Tamkin [00:27:17]:

They're going to hang up on you. They're not going to be interested in changing their entire life because of one call from a stranger. So I think that in my world, is one of the biggest mistakes I ever see recruiters make.

Kortney Harmon [00:27:34]:

And I'm going to guess I'm going to go out on a limb here. From what I've seen, that goes with clients as well.

Tricia Tamkin [00:27:39]:

Oh, my God. Right? Let's talk about Crelate for a second. Okay. So one of the examples that we try to give people when they are doing business development, if you've been at this for decades, you understand the idea of dialing for dollars, right? Like, you're just going to cold call, cold call, cold call until you get a hiring manager on the phone. And then your job as a recruiter is to get the requirement to understand what they need, who they need, and have them tell you all of the information that you need in order to go find that person. So Kortney, what we tell people with business development, this is the example. Let's say that you decided you wanted a new ATS. You've already made the decision.

Tricia Tamkin [00:28:28]:

Okay? You know, you need to upgrade. You went out to all the Facebook groups. You talked to your peers that work for other companies. You got lots of suggestions. And let's say you've narrowed it down to Crelate and one other unnamed provider that I won't mention on your podcast, but we've narrowed it down to two possible providers. Okay? So you've done the research. You are absolutely going to buy. You've already made the decision.

Tricia Tamkin [00:28:59]:

You've narrowed it down to two potential companies. Now, let's say that Kortney from Crelate calls you right now. You're not expecting a call. It wasn't scheduled. You answer the phone. Do you have time to do an hour demo on the Crelate platform right now? 100% of people say no of recruiters no. I'm way too busy. Like, I have a full calendar.

Tricia Tamkin [00:29:27]:

I have calls I have to do. Like, there's no way I could take that demo. Then why in God's name do you think that a hiring manager is going to take a random call from you and spend an hour with you telling you what they need? That, Kortney, is a shift in our industry that some of our old timers haven't realized yet.

Kortney Harmon [00:29:47]:

I love that. I love understanding, and we talk about value, but you have to earn a seat. It's different anymore. I can look at my phone. Well, if you're not in this bad boy, I ain't picking you up. I don't know who you are.

Tricia Tamkin [00:29:59]:

I am going to speak directly to your listeners, and I might lose some credibility, but I'm going to risk it, okay? I don't care if the phone says spam alert. I don't care if the number is private. I don't care if it's your area code and one number off from your actual phone number, which means there's a very good chance of spam no matter what. If you are a recruiter and you cold call, you answer your phone every single time it rings, because how in the world can you have the expectation that anybody is going to answer your cold call if you send everybody to voicemail? The universe doesn't work like that. So I heard you say it, Kortney, but I'm going to tell every recruiter, answer your phone. Answer your phone, and I'll do it. I've done this before, and I'll do it again. My cell phone is 630-240-4454.

Tricia Tamkin [00:31:10]:

If I am not coaching, training, or standing on a stage and you call me, I don't need to have you in my phone. I will answer it. Okay? And I would encourage every other recruiter that listens to your podcast to I mean, come on, answer the phone.

Kortney Harmon [00:31:29]:

Absolutely. If that's your expectation, you absolutely should.

Tricia Tamkin [00:31:33]:


Kortney Harmon [00:31:33]:

I love it.

Tricia Tamkin [00:31:34]:

I don't mean to out you're not a recruiter.

Kortney Harmon [00:31:36]:

No, it's perfectly fine. But that's how people think. That's how people that you're calling that are your candidates and your clients. That's how they think. If you're not in their phone, they're not answering. Recruiters are a different story. My as well, my cell phone number is on my LinkedIn profile. Anybody has access to it at any point in time.

Kortney Harmon [00:31:54]:

So I love that. I think that's a great perspective. I'm going to shift. You said something, and you talked about calling and you talked about engagement, and it made me think about something. Talk to me about maybe those effective strategies and maybe KPIs that our recruiters should really look at at driving better performance, because KPIs are like sometimes that people look at it's like, well, it's quality over quantity. It's just do more mentality. You're not making 100 calls. You're not doing your job.

Kortney Harmon [00:32:26]:

There's some contention in our industry about that. So talk to me about if you're a person that is looking to drive, looking to grow, what are the KPIs that you should be holding yourself accountable to and really understanding to know if you're able and you're going the right direction?

Tricia Tamkin [00:32:41]:

Yeah, I think that's a terrific question. And, I mean, my goodness, we could search high and low and find 50 million different expert opinions on what appropriate. Metrics should be in our business. I'm not saying I'm right, but man, I'll tell you what I think. If you're a solo practitioner solo, you do not have a team. The only metrics or KPIs that you need are sendouts and revenue. That's it. You do not need any more.

Tricia Tamkin [00:33:11]:

You know which are your good clients, you know which are the clients that don't get back to you. And it takes longer to schedule an interview. You know which clients. You have a three to one ratio on submittal to send out versus a one to one ratio when you're a solo practitioner. Typically you're not doing enough volume for those metrics to matter. So the focus is sendouts and revenue. That isn't the same when you have a team, because the metrics, everything from number of calls to connects, connects to recruits, recruits to submittals, submittals to interviews, interviews to second, interviews, second or third to offer, offer to acceptance, acceptance to onboarding. I mean, we could run every single bit of those metrics.

Tricia Tamkin [00:34:04]:

And if I own a search firm with a team of people, I want them all for diagnostic purposes. I don't know where the gaps are in my team the way I know where the gaps are on my own desk. So the metrics are really important when you have a larger team. But I think even with that team or as individual contributors, one of the things that we see people do a lot is have call targets. Like, I am going to have 50 dials every day. There are search firms out there that mandate 100 dials a day. Your minimum criteria is 100 dials a day. I am so sorry to any of your listeners that do this, but I think it's categorically stupid.

Tricia Tamkin [00:34:52]:

Okay? If you give me a recruiter and you tell me I can either have a recruiter that calls 100 people a day or has three 1 hour conversations with three different people a day, I'll take the three conversations every single time. So for all of you out there looking at what to do with metrics and numbers, stop tracking call quantity and track call time. I want to know how much time you are on the phone, whether that's leaving messages or talking to someone. If I'm not talking to someone, I'm leaving messages. If I'm talking to someone, I can't be leaving messages. But hopefully what I'm doing if I'm talking to someone is progressing the relationship forward, which ultimately is going to impact the revenue on my desk. So not the number of calls, that doesn't matter. What matters is the quality of the call, which oftentimes can be correlated to call duration.

Kortney Harmon [00:35:57]:

I love that, and I think that's great. That's a great concept to look at, to understanding if you're progressing any of your relationships forward, candidates or clients. I agree. I love it. Okay, looking into 2024. Obviously none of us have a crystal ball. How do you think that companies should elevate and expand their brand. And how important is that going into 2024?

Tricia Tamkin [00:36:20]:

It's really important. We've gone through this weird transition. I think I spent about ten years standing on rooftops yelling at anybody that would listen to me that content marketing doesn't work. Now hear me out, the idea being that I've read a ton of blog articles, but I don't know that I've ever read a blog article and then thought that was such a good blog article. Let me hire this company and pay them $50,000. There's a disconnect there that it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. So I think that I spent a lot of time saying, no, content marketing, don't do it. It's too difficult to measure an ROI, and we're recruiters, not writers.

Tricia Tamkin [00:37:09]:

So let's stay away from it. Then with Chad CBT, now, there's no excuse to not have a content strategy because it doesn't take the time. So what used to take a whole bunch of time and had a very difficult to measure ROI now takes very little time and still has a difficult to measure ROI. But now it's worth it now where we run into some challenges, and this would be a much, probably deeper conversation, but given what's happening with Chat GPT and with Google, google actually has a significantly more advanced, more robust artificial intelligence system. But they can't release it to the public fully, because if they do, they're going to decrease the ad spend. That constitutes over two thirds of the revenue of the company. So that's a conundrum. I am sure that the leaders of Google were flipping out when Chat GPT came out.

Tricia Tamkin [00:38:14]:

But where it's going to have a really big impact is search engine optimization. So if we're going to have AI results that show up in search, what does that do to the organic leads that you might get from search engine optimization? There's a lot of best practices in SEO, and all of them are being turned upside down right now. So there's a lot of people that have invested a lot of money in search engine optimization, and I fear that they're going to have a sizably negative impact in their traffic in 2024. Now, there's only one thing that we know you should focus on. Okay? If I'm trying to tell somebody how to make sure that they can manage all the AI changes with SEO, I would argue that video content is prioritized over written content, and Google owns YouTube. The only strategy right now that I think is safe to implement that would be long term viable for any level of inbound traffic is a YouTube strategy.

Kortney Harmon [00:39:28]:

Very interesting. And again, AI is going to continue to be the unknown and how our industry evolves, and it's touching everything. I think it's Staffing world. They talked, instead of saying artificial intelligence, they said ambient intelligence. It is like an ambient light around us all the time. From this point going forward. Yeah.

Tricia Tamkin [00:39:46]:

Kind of like an umbrella or a foundation. Right. Because like you said, it can be used. It's not just to have it do your work for you. I can't tell you the number of times I go to it just for creative inspiration. Give me 15 ideas for how to do this, and 13 of them suck, but two of them I hadn't thought of, so that's very beneficial.

Kortney Harmon [00:40:12]:

I use one form of AI up on my desk every single day. Whether it's proofreading making my thoughts more sound, less squirrely in some way, shape, or form, or the opportunities are endless. So I love that. Looking into 2024 and your coaching, what are you focusing on going into 2024 with your clients that you have today?

Tricia Tamkin [00:40:33]:

It's a great question. Our clients run the gamut. There's a lot of coaches and trainers in our industry, and what they do is they have core programs and we have core programs, core four, recruiting, business development, sourcing, AI. So that makes sense. But I think that there are a lot of trainers out there that, here's what we're pushing in 2024, here's what you need next year. I have got people in my practice that range from I have five minutes of recruiting experience and I'm launching a firm to I am a ten year pinnacle society million five individual biller. In our practice. We don't ever do that.

Tricia Tamkin [00:41:23]:

It's very bespoke to each person. And the guidance and direction that the rookie needs is so vastly different than what my million dollar billers need. And then when you look at the fact that some of our people are solo practitioners with no staff, some of our people run firms of upwards of ten people. So even for people with the same amount of experience, the issues the solo practitioner has is totally different than the issues that the firm owner with eight or ten people have. So I can't answer that question for you. I'm so sorry.

Kortney Harmon [00:41:59]:

No, no, apologize. I love that. But I love that it's tiered towards them. That is where education should be. So I love that was your answer, to be honest. So that's great. So thank you. We kind of talked a little bit about this.

Kortney Harmon [00:42:10]:

You just had mentioned the more the mid size firms, there are oftentimes, especially whether I know we talked about this before, whether business is good for everybody, whether they're looking there maybe have a recession or it's a downturn, whatever, I don't necessarily know. But in times like this, people look to scale. They're like, I need to grow. It's not die. It's like the whole grow or die thing. But there are people in this mid size companies, they often hit a plateau and they struggle getting to that next level. What are some common roadblocks that you see that people can really overcome when they're looking for that growth? If there are companies that are doing.

Tricia Tamkin [00:42:47]:

That today, yeah, in a mid sized firm. Generally, the biggest challenge that we see if you're listening to this right now and you own a mid size firm, I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to just listen to my voice. There is one or more people in your organization that you know you need to terminate. Stop messing around and fire them. That's the problem. What happens is we make this assumption as recruiters that we're good at hiring. Now, on the surface, that seems perfectly logical. We interview and make recommendations for hires for a living.

Tricia Tamkin [00:43:27]:

So coming to the conclusion that you'd be good at hiring someone is a reasonable but extremely faulty conclusion. It's faulty. As recruiters, we don't ever make the hiring decision. The hiring manager makes the hiring decision. So now when we are in our own firm and we start hiring people and bringing people onto our team, there's a point, Kortney, if you think back to a point when you were dating, right? You're dating someone and you're out at dinner, and your date says something to you, and there's this thing that happens in your brain where you're like, this definitely doesn't have long term potential. I just know that this is not house. There's no long term potential here. I would tell your firm owners that at the point, the very first point, that you have that gut feeling where you're like, oh, maybe this was not a good hire.

Tricia Tamkin [00:44:29]:

Terminate. Trust your gut. Do not hold on to a non performing recruiter. 80% of the people that attempt to be recruiters can't they fail. They can't handle the rejection. They can't master the mundane to get to the fun interior of the deals. They can't get over the hump. As soon as you hire a person and in week one, you see 1oz of call reluctance.

Tricia Tamkin [00:44:59]:

Let them go. The first time that you have a new employee not the first time. I'll be a little bit nicer than that. The second time that you have an employee that gives you an excuse for why something wasn't done, terminate them. We are. Every single dollar as a firm owner that you spend in your most expensive cost, which is your staff, every single dollar that you spend there comes directly out of your pocket. And I think a lot of times, a firm owner lets their ego get in the way, and they think, but I'm great at making hiring decisions, so I'm going to keep this person, and I'm going to prove that I'm great at making hiring decisions. It's not what serves the business.

Tricia Tamkin [00:45:50]:

What serves the business is to only keep the people that are actually made for this and have the work ethic and aren't scared of the rejection and are willing to put in the labor.

Kortney Harmon [00:46:04]:

I love that. That's great advice. Thank you. That's by nature, but I'm good at this.

Tricia Tamkin [00:46:11]:

Right, but you're not, because you know what? As a recruiter, I can tell you. Owning my firm, we celebrated 25 years this year, and I have fired personally over 50 recruiters fired them. When we scaled our firm, at its height, it was twelve people. What we would do, which I'm such a big believer in, you don't ever hire one recruiter at a time. Never hire one recruiter at a time. Find one recruiter you want to hire. This is how I've done it for 20 years. Find one recruiter you want to hire, then set the start date, ideally, like two to three weeks out, then go recruit two more people to start on that same day.

Tricia Tamkin [00:47:02]:

Now, for me, the closer we get to that day, the lower my expectations. My minimum criteria is for whoever I'm hiring because I'm trying to fill the day. So if I put three people in that day, now, what happens is my training time and my onboarding time is optimized for three people instead of one. They have the camaraderie of the three of them together, so they can ask each other questions instead of bothering me with them. There's a level of competition that occurs between those three people that only serves me and my revenue. But most importantly, I always go in knowing that one, two, or three of them are going to be fired in the first month. So if I bring three in and we're two weeks in and now I've seen the call reluctance from person A, what I'm going to do is let person A go and tell B and C why A got let go. Which means that now, by letting that person go, I'm amping up the commitment level from the other two people that are still there.

Tricia Tamkin [00:48:21]:

Now, I've run that kind of cycle more than 20 times with multiple recruiters. And if I hadn't lived this, Kortney, if somebody told me what I'm about to tell you, I would probably call bullshit on them. Okay? I would. But I lived this. And I can tell you definitively, not one time did I keep the person I built the day around. Not one time.

Kortney Harmon [00:48:49]:


Tricia Tamkin [00:48:49]:

So I'm incredibly skilled headhunter. I consider myself one of the best in the world. And the person that I built the day around every single time wasn't the right hire. So I would just try to encourage anybody running a firm. Do not think that because you are a headhunter and an extremely accomplished, skilled headhunter, that that has anything to do with your ability to hire good talent inside your firm. It doesn't.

Kortney Harmon [00:49:21]:

That is so interesting. I would have not believed that if you wouldn't have said that. And I love I love the idea of three for one. I think that's smart, good use of your time, but I love that. Very cool. I only have one other question for you. We're 53 minutes in. At this rate.

Kortney Harmon [00:49:36]:

Again, I'm sure we could go another 53, but I only have one other question for you, and this is self serving, in a sense. There are companies that look to change technologies, look to change platforms, look to when is the right time? I guess I'm going to ask you that. When is the right time for companies to invest in technologies to support their growth, whether it's a new platform or a new AI or what does it look like? But when is the right time? And I look at Crelate, everyone says, I don't have time. I don't have time. But when is the right time?

Tricia Tamkin [00:50:05]:

The right time is always before you need it, right? It's kind of like hiring. If you wait to hire until you need to hire someone, you don't have time to train them or onboard them. Right. So you always want to do it preemptively. I would say anybody that was looking at making an ATS change, I would encourage them to allow a healthy amount of time for the transition. I know you guys have done remarkably well for my clients in data conversion in the import process, and I can't say that about a lot of ATS companies. So I know that clearly, we would like to encourage people to come use Crelate versus any other one. But if you're choosing something other than Crelate, man, you better give it a lot of lead time on the transfer of data, because most ATS companies aren't very good at that.

Tricia Tamkin [00:51:04]:

You guys are like, we had one client that I'm not going to bash one of your competitors, but it was a competitor of yours. And I did this type of podcast with them. And after they messed up the data conversion so horrifically for one of my private clients, I made them take the podcast down. Like, I don't want my name associated to it after they messed it up. No pressure. No pressure. Make sure you take care of my people. But it matters.

Tricia Tamkin [00:51:41]:

It's a big joke in the industry. Anybody that has trained with Jason and I in the past is probably shocked that I'm doing an interview for an ATS with an ATS company, because we do these Rack Friday events, and we've been doing them for almost a decade, where we show up for hours. It's free for the whole industry, and it's basically a random act of kindness. Ask us whatever you want, and we'll answer it for you. We spent seven years with on the screen, it said, Ask us anything except what ATS to use, because they all would. That's what we told people, don't ask us for an ATS recommendation. I'm not giving you one.

Kortney Harmon [00:52:27]:


Tricia Tamkin [00:52:28]:

I do tell people, if you're going to look at an ATS, I can comfortably say Crelate. There is one other, but I'm not going to mention it. Right. But I think there's only two in our industry right now that actually serve recruiters.

Kortney Harmon [00:52:45]:

I love that. And you're right. This process takes a while. There are times we want that magic wand to say, well, we need it tomorrow. Our systems get shut off on Monday. It's. Like what? But do your due diligence, take your time, make sure it's right fit for you. It's no different than dating you're right.

Kortney Harmon [00:53:03]:

And in this industry, too, be self serving, make sure it fits your needs, but take the time. Because if you don't, you're going to rush into a decision. And spinning cycles is spending cycles at this point.

Tricia Tamkin [00:53:15]:

Isn't that the truth? I'd love to give your listeners one more little piece of advice when it comes to software.

Kortney Harmon [00:53:22]:

Absolutely. And by the way, if you send me that link for your Fridays, I will include it in the Show Notes for our listeners as well.

Tricia Tamkin [00:53:29]:

Our next one is January 26, and so I'll absolutely send that to you. What I wanted to just comment on was email deliverability and the importance, if you're using an ATS or any kind of an email client, to please make sure that you have your email configured appropriately and that you use ideally for bulk email, like if my website is more But if I send email from a system out, it comes from Tricia at moressentials co. Because if you burn your email address by sending too many emails or not having it configured correctly, you're not going to be able to email your clients and candidates out of Outlook or Gmail. So I just want to put a word of caution out the number of people that I have seen that start a new system, don't use a new email address, don't ramp that email up, don't have their DKIM or SPF configured correctly. Like when you're going to use a new email delivery system, make sure your email is set up correctly. That's my last little piece of advice.

Kortney Harmon [00:54:43]:

That's a great piece of advice. I love it. Thank you very much, Tricia. This is amazing. I think you and I could talk forever. So thank you so much for joining us today. And then if you're good, if you don't have anything else we can wrap up and I'll close this out.

Tricia Tamkin [00:54:55]:

All right? I am great. Thank you so much for having me. It was absolutely a pleasure.

Kortney Harmon [00:55:00]:

Thank you. We'll also include your LinkedIn profile and the link to your Friday conversations in January as it starts back up in the Show Notes. So I am so thankful for this conversation and for you to share your deep knowledge and experience in the industry with us. Whether you're looking to enhance your skills, land new clients, continue engagement, scale your recruiting firm, or just stay relevant in this fast changing field. Tricia offered some fantastic advice and perspective, so be sure to check out the links that we were just talking about in our show Notes to connect with Trisha and take advantage of our coaching programs as well. So thank you again, Trisha, for joining us today on the full Desk Experience, and it was wonderful to chat with you.

Tricia Tamkin [00:55:43]:

Thanks, Kortney. It was my pleasure.

Kortney Harmon [00:55:47]:

I'm Kortney Harmon with for joining us for this episode of Industry Spotlight, a new series from the Full Desk Experience. New episodes will be dropping monthly. Be sure you're subscribed to our podcast so you can catch the next Industry Spotlight episode and all episodes of the Full Desk Experience here or wherever you listen.
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