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Recruiting Firm Owners Growth Strategies and Tactics Taken From the Fordyce Forum


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The second annual Fordyce Forum for executive recruiters held recently, June 4-6th, at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, NV was targeted at high performing search pros, owners and managers wishing to optimize their skills, and really any recruiter wanting tips, techniques, and strategies on growing their business. Well, in the opinion of this humble reporter they did not disappoint! The forum provided excellent skills development and recruiter training. The conference was well attended with nearly 300 attendees, speakers and exhibitors representing 31 states and 5 countries. People came from as far as the UK, South Africa and Australia!

One of the Forum's strength was its outstanding networking events. A number of attendees discussed how this event really solidified the conference as a great investment. Each night there was a two hour open bar that appeared to be attended by all the registrants - this in spite of the hotel being located at “ground zero" of the Las Vegas strip and all the distractions it provides.

Great Tip on sending “Thank You" Cards

Jeff Skrentny's presentation was outstanding as his 90 minute talk included numerous tactics and strategies he used as a billing manager to increase his billings by 50% in 2007 over 2006. My favorite technique was using Thanksgiving as the holiday to send out “Thank you" cards and not the Christmas holiday season when everyone else sends them. I could write the whole article on Jeff's presentation as it was loaded with good, tangible technique.

The afternoon consisted of numerous break-out sessions geared toward advanced recruiting strategies, legal strategies, and recruiting firm business development strategies. One of the break-out sessions was given by yours truly on the 6 Simple Steps to Growing your Business. The presentation revolved around some of the most common mistakes recruiting firm owners make doing business plans.

Day two's keynote presentation was given by Jon Bartos, CEO of Jonathan Scott International. Jon's outstanding presentation style and strong sense of humor kept the audience engaged for his 90 minutes on “How to Win in the Relationship Economy". Jon successfully broke down motivations, influencers, and relationship building techniques that are most effective with Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y. Much of his presentation was the evolution of a recruiter from “tactical recruiter", where he theorizes 75% of the recruiting industry stagnates, to “trusted business advisor" and ultimately “Power Broker" where, sadly, only one to five percent of our industry gets to.

Tips on Retention

Jon was followed by Jeff Kaye, CEO of Kaye/Bassman, a $20mm + search firm based outside Dallas, TX. Probably one of the most dynamic speakers and intellectuals in our industry Jeff delivered the content of a one-day seminar in a one hour presentation. Hands were cramped as Jeff delivered multiple ways and strategies to scale a search business to a multi-million dollar firm with strong retention. One of his more poignant questions was how many owners were in the room, followed by “how many of you worked for someone else first?" to which most of the hands stayed up. Jeff's key point was that unless you provided a career track, compensation, rewards and even equity programs your risk of losing outstanding entrepreneurial talent was substantial as witnessed by the answer to his question.

My only criticism of the Fordyce Forum is that the last sessions were break-outs and there was no “final" session for those in attendance. We all drifted off after some hugs and hand shakes somewhat aimlessly. They did such a great job creating an environment that made it easy for you to make new friends and relationships that there appeared to be no closure at the end. I guess if that is my harshest critique they did a lot right- and they did!

For more tips and insight into properly managing an executive search firm enroll in the free audio program “The 7 Deadly Sins Search Firm Owners make and how to avoid them" by visiting - Learn strategies you can implement immediately to build a search firm generating several million in revenue from some of the simple mistakes made and witnessed by author Michael Gionta in his 19 years building his own multi-million dollar firm. Additionally, Michael works with owners of search firms who have plateaued and want to break through to the next level of revenue and success.


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