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Keys to the Marketing Kingdom
Episode 151st February 2024 • The Talent Trade • Southwestern Family of Podcasts
00:00:00 00:15:52

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Discover why MPCs beat MVPs and the importance of finding your niche, being proactive, and maintaining super secret confidentiality, plus, what's Tom Brady got to do with it?

Discover what sets ThinkingAhead apart, hear stories from recruiters, and browse opportunities by clicking here.

Transcripts

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Hi, and welcome to the Talent Trade.

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I'm your host, Stephanie Maas, partner with Thinking Ahead Executive Search.

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I specialize in commercial banking and commercial finance search.

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Today, we're going to talk about one of our most key ways to develop our marketing business.

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As you may know, we've talked about in the past, there are three primary ways to develop marketing and or business development.

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I'll use those interchangeably to develop our marketing or business development plan.

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One is through a consistently executed and well planned marketing program where we set up regular calls to key hiring individuals on a regular basis.

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It's done with a ton of intention, et cetera.

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Save those details for another day.

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Another way we do some key marketing or business development is through outstanding candidates known as the MPC, also known as the most placeable candidate.

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Now, when I get into talking about the most placeable candidate, oftentimes folks get confused and what they think I'm talking about is an MVP, the most valuable player.

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But in the executive search world, an MPC for us to have value really is not so much the MVP, but again, the M P C here's the analogy I like to use.

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It's a little bit dated, but I think most folks will hang with me.

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For it.

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If you remember and follow sports at all, and even if you don't, you can probably relate, but several years ago, Tom Brady, before his multiple retirements decided to leave his football team.

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Some of y'all may have heard of them.

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They're the Patriots.

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He was pretty good.

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In fact, I think he won MVP multiple years in a row.

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So when he went to leave, as you would imagine, he is one of the absolute best, if not the best quarterbacks of all time, at least to modern standards.

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And yet not every team and the league talk to him or wanted to talk to him.

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So, how could that possibly be?

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He is again, incredibly well known, I mean, especially in the league, he is again, most valuable player.

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But why, for example, at the time, would somebody like the Green Bay Packers not talk to him?

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Well, the answer was because the Green Bay Packers already had what they thought was a really good cornerback.

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They already had that position filled and were happy with who was in the position at the time.

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It was Aaron Rodgers.

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So even though Tom Brady is again, to our current world, probably the best quarterback of all time, the Green Bay Packers, while they could appreciate his accomplishments and his skillset, they just didn't need him on the team then.

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So even though Tom was an MVP for his broker and agent, he was not an MPC worthy.

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candidate for the Green Bay Packers.

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And that's how we look at our world with MPCs.

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We are trying to reach out with a candidate with a certain skill set, not just to market that skill set out in their niche, but specifically target organizations that could possibly have a need for that skill set or could possibly make room.

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For that specific skill set.

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So how do we set up the NPC?

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A couple of things we want to keep in mind.

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First and foremost, as a part of our marketing plan, we should be having strategic conversations with hiring managers to find out their talent wishlists on a regular basis.

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That talent wish list should include things like, Hey, tell me about the team now.

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If you could have anybody or any skill set added to the team in the next 90 days, what would that look like?

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Tell me more.

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And we spend time and we can go through those details in another call.

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Really learning.

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Our niche, and this is where it also helps to have a super well defined niche of folks that you're calling on on a regular basis to establish rapport, to have these kinds of conversations.

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So at any given moment, you know your world so well, you have a sense for who and what needs who and what.

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Okay.

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So that's how we start the MPC idea.

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Then, as we're talking to candidates, again, we work in highly defined niches.

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We start stubbing our toe across folks who maybe aren't a perfect fit for the current search we're working on, but we have a sense.

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That their skillset could be very valuable in the market and instead of taking them and presenting them on a current search that we have, we proactively take them to a select group of hiring folks in our market that we think could possibly need or want this skillset in a reasonable timeframe.

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So here's how those conversations go.

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Again, you're on the phone with a candidate, you've identified their skillset, their accomplishments, their achievements.

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You've also identified that they are not a fit for anything you are currently working on.

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So you begin this dialogue of, Hey, who in the market would you want to go work for?

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Most of the time you have to remind them that this conversation is super confidential.

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You may have other ideas to share saying things like, Hey, you know, I, I don't, we're, I'm not working on a search today that you're an immediate fit for, but I think there's enough value in your skill set that we could confidentially and selectively proactively put you in front of a handful of key targets to see what their interest in timing is.

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Again, folks, even if they are not super active and wanting to make a move, they have expressed some strong desire to make a move at a reasonable amount of time.

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And that's part of our criteria to be proactive with them.

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So a couple of things we need to identify.

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First and foremost, we need to be able to clearly articulate both in the spoken word and the written word what their value to the market, to a firm, and to a team could be.

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We have to understand their compensation expectations.

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And we have to understand their timing.

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I also like to throw in there that we need to understand their level of confidentiality so that we can respect that accordingly.

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And we can communicate that to our potential hiring managers.

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Once we get all that and we get buy in from the candidate with this process, then we want to take that candidate to the market.

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We here at Thinking Ahead.

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I found that often the most successful way to take a candidate to market is through both a phone call and a follow up email.

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The two look very similar.

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And if you know anything about thinking ahead by now, you know, we love a good script.

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So a great way to start this process is to script out what you're going to say, which by the way, ultimately becomes what the email is.

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So you're not doing double work here.

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And then you make the phone call first in that phone call, it should sound something like this.

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Hey, hiring manager.

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This is Stephanie Moss with thinking ahead, executive search 615 316 5461 Hey, I specifically wanted to reach out to you today in hopes that we could have a conversation.

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I have a.

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potential candidates that has confidentially asked me to reach out to you on their behalf as they are quietly starting to explore the market.

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They specifically named you and if it wasn't them specifically named your organization as a place of interest, just to give you a sense for who they are.

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And then I go boom, boom, boom, and name.

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Three or four skills that they offer to the market.

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So in my world, I deal with a lot of commercial lenders.

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So it would say something like this, Hey, just to give you a sense for who they are, they've been in commercial banking in your market for the last 15 years.

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They've had formal credit training at the start of their career, where they began working as a credit analyst for a large national bank.

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The last eight years they've been in a pure production role and each of the last four years they have produced either new or renewal business at 25 million a year.

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That's it.

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It's just a couple of nuggets.

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I don't say anything about who they're currently with.

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I don't talk about the kind of deals that they've been doing yet.

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I don't want to give them away yet, but I just give a couple of nuggets that I know my market typically responds to when they hear about a candidate like this.

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I give them those nuggets, and then I want to express a call to action.

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Pay hiring manager.

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I have no idea where I'm catching you from a timing perspective.

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If you would even be interested in talking with somebody like this.

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So what I'd like to ask you to do is to give me a call back and let me know your thoughts.

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Regardless, if the timing makes sense or not, I'd like to at least let the candidate know.

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We connected and then give them some good, honest feedback.

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So please give me a call back my number again, 6 1 5 3 1 6 5 4 6 1.

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By the way, this was sounded a little bit long because I was teaching as I went, but this voicemail should be no longer than two and a half to four minutes long.

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You don't want to lose them in the length of your voicemail, but give them just enough to generate.

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some curiosity to reach back out to you.

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By the way, the other thing I do is I will tell them, I'm also going to follow this voicemail up with an email.

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So if it's easier to respond that way, feel free to do so.

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And then basically I send them the exact same voicemail and an email.

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It may take me a couple hours before that email gets out, but it gets out by the end of the business day.

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Also in that email, I give no additional information.

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I use the pronouns.

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They, I want to give, especially if this is a confidential search, I want to give absolutely nothing away and respect my candidates confidentiality.

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I also want to respect our process.

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And if I give too much away, it just sets up temptation for the hiring manager to try and figure out who you're talking about.

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And again, if the candidates asked you to represent them, then you're basically saying, Hey, they don't want you to reach out directly.

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So please be kind, respect our process, honor what we do best, and let us recommend this candidate to you.

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That is a fantastic, simple, easy way to set up an MPC.

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Then a couple of things is going to happen.

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First and foremost, they're going to email you back.

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That I find is often the case and they're going to say, Hey, I need to know some more information, but I think I would be interested in talking with this person.

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And you set up a time to talk.

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They may say, Hey, it sounds great, but we are not in a hiring mode right now.

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Fine.

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You we'll talk about that response.

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Or they may try to engage what needs to be a conversation through email.

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So let's address the first and the third scenario there.

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They say, yes, they're interested in learning more.

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Which case you go, great, let's set up a time to talk for 10, 15 minutes and you get on their calendar to have a conversation.

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If the third scenario is if they try to engage in a conversation versus email, you nip it in the bud and transition to a conversation.

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Hey, instead of a whole bunch of emails back and forth, let's just jump.

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There's a couple of things I want to share, some color commentary I'd like to share live.

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I find that that also triggers a lot of curiosity and people.

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Um, and then the third option is that they don't respond at all.

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So if I don't hear any response, typically within three business days, I reach back out both via, via voicemail or call.

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And another email.

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And this simply says, Hey, I know you've got a lot going on.

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You didn't ask me for this, but I just wanted to follow up to see if we could connect in the next couple of days.

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Again, we're reaching out to them so we can be proactive and following up.

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Then I let it sit for a week.

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And if I don't hear anything back one week after that second reach out by voicemail and email, then I send an email that says, Hey, and I'd make a call by the way.

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This is another thing thinking ahead should be known for.

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We're a calling firm.

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We make a third attempt by call and say, Hey, not trying to bug you, but I did want to reach out and follow up.

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If I don't hear back by the end of the next business day, I will assume you either don't have interest in this skill set at this time, or you're not at a place to consider any candidates.

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From recruiters right now.

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Either way, if I don't hear back by the end of the next business day, I will let the candidate know that our timing is off.

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Thanks so much.

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do.dot time.

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So you take the initiative of taking a response off their plate if the timing is off.

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But what it also does is it allows you to let the candidate know.

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Hey, I, in communication, because we don't want to lie in communication with XYZ firm, the timing is off for them for you right now.

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Okay.

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Because again, part of this NPC is we're being proactive.

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So we want to be as communicative back with the candidate as we can.

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Now when we engage live.

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A couple of things to keep in mind, this is where we want to be a little bit guarded again because of the confidentiality of our candidates and also to honor our process.

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If someone says, well, tell me a little bit about the candidate.

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Okay.

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Well tell me what, what else do you want to know?

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Again, they've been in your market for the last 15 years, started off as a credit analyst, last eight years of bid production.

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You just repeat exactly what you said, and then you see what else they need to know, and they may say, Hey, you know, what organization are they with right now?

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Due to confidentiality, I can't share that.

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However, if you can tell me that you're in a place to have a conversation with the candidates and we can come to terms on how that would work between the two of us.

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I will absolutely be happy to send over more information in their resume.

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We got to get their buy in, that the timing is right, and that they can pay a fee.

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That's a big part to the MPC.

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It's can they pay a fee for a candidate?

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That's what makes them placeable, hence the word placeable.

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I always tell folks we have a not for profit division, but we are not a not for profit.

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So we got to be smart about that.

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That is also helping us respect our candidates time.

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If they have entrusted us to do a confidential search, having them do a lot of conversations with folks who can't really hire isn't the best use of their time right now.

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There's always exceptions to everything, but these are some.

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General guidelines.

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Now let's say they go, Hey, this candidate sounds amazing.

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We're going to get you looped in with HR.

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Absolutely.

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Absolutely.

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But nothing more gets talked about until the administrative details of partnering with another organization and our firm gets hammered out.

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By the way, I won't do a one off contract all the time for NPCs.

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I will do contracts if they're hesitant.

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That say that it applies specifically to this candidate and this candidate only.

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I don't love doing business like that, but I'll take it if I truly have a rockstar candidate.

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Because oftentimes organizations are very hesitant to sign a contract because they are used to working with resume brokers.

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And what happens is they lock in a contract.

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Next thing you know, they get flooded with resumes and they're on the hook to pay fees if they hire any of those folks.

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So many of our people have been burned by that.

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And I'm not saying resume brokers are bad, it's just their model for doing business.

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We need to quickly and often set ourselves up that we work differently.

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So if we just need a contract that only applies to this candidate, happy to honor that because we're not a resume broker.

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Hope that helps.

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If you have any questions, follow up, et cetera, don't hesitate to let me know.

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