This is a review of the Recruiter Bootcamp I attended Sept 9-10, 2014.
Short Version: One of the best investments I’ve ever made in my career. My only regret is not doing it earlier.
Long Version: Below is a breakdown of what to expect. As you can see, this is not your typical “professional development” seminar.
The van picks up us up at 8am and drops us off in a field on Peter’s Tall Pony Ranch. The driver just says “keep walking until you see the tractor or the dogs.” Peter picks us up in the tractor and takes us on a hayride to his home. Cell phones and watches are collected and we head to the cabin. This should be fun.
We are given a time-management tool to show us exactly how to run our days – arguably one of the most important tools we’ll receive – and we dive into crafting positioning statements. These statements are what differentiate us from other recruiters. They’ll become critical to all our future calls – BD, recruiting, and reference checks included.
We learn how to tele-source for passive candidates – which eventually means we’ll never have to look at a job board again – and we learn how to determine whether those folks are recruitable. Peter gives a live demonstration and calls a few companies. He collects several new names, and even secures a meeting for one of the students with the President of a Canadian company. Not bad.
We break around 5 but don’t leave the ranch. What comes that afternoon and evening is a blur: hayride out to the lake, margaritas out of mason jars, a moonlit mule ride, and then a feast on the baby back ribs, chicken, and venison sausage that had been slowly cooking all day. Oh, and tequila shots with pickle backs (called a Rebecca, after one of his former students). I’ve had KC BBQ before, but this stuff puts the rest of them to shame.
Back to the cabin at 8:30. We finalize our positioning statements and work out the kinks for our tele-sourcing calls, and then Peter turns us loose on the phone. I stumbled through the first few calls (nerves) and eventually collected 5 names from a few kind receptionists. One student collected 24 names. After the final tally we averaged 7 names a piece. Not bad for our first shot.
After lunch it is back to work learning how to turn those tele-sourced names into candidates (or clients). We made more calls, left scripted voicemails (the scripts are incredible), and then attended to the return calls (these scripts produce incredible return call rates). One student came back with a job order and a new client. Nice, so this stuff actually works.
That evening the students were set loose for a night out on the town: Irish pub, Houston’s, then another bar. And Fireball.
This day is much quieter, which surely has nothing to do with us staying out past our bedtimes the previous night. Or the Fireball.
This day is all about the Innerview – a structured approach to digging deep into the candidate’s skill set – and it might be the second-most important takeaway. We learn how to greet candidates, dig into their skills, elicit their career wish list, and ask for referrals the right way. I’ve already had two candidates tell me after our Innerview that they felt so comfortable working with me, and that no one’s taken the time to learn as much as I did about their backgrounds.
That takes us right up to the deadline to drop people off at the airport. We share a few inside jokes, handshakes and hugs, and everyone goes their separate ways. I left with a lot more knowledge than I started, a new set of skills I’ve already started using, and a few extra pounds I’m still working off.
Peter, his wife, Cindy, and their friend Dennis were some of this most hospitable folks I’ve ever met. Thanks, guys, for making this a memorable and highly productive 3 days! See you in the next class!