Welcome back everybody, it’s your host Richard Milligan here on another recruiting conversation, recording this today to share a recent conversation I have with one of my coaching clients and I think this is how it would have been helpful for me a decade, two decades ago. I’m sharing with you today because I know it’ll bring value to you and i’m going to start this with a story. So, on my journey of reading and listening I’ve come across a story multiple times that I think is good framework for who we want to be, who we need to be as recruiting leaders in order to be successful, and the story is actual true story it’s a story of Dave Brailsford who was hired by the British Cycling National Cycling team to manage that team and the year that he was hired was around 2007 if my number served me correctly at the time that he was hired to take over the british cycling team dave brailsford was taking over a team that had never won an olympic medal and the following year 2008 was the next year was going to be the olympics. Now, what David Brailsford did is a lesson for all of us in life as much as it is for business, and that idea I want to share with you is an idea that has been coined as marginal gains. What’s marginal gains? It’s a premise that, where we look to consistently improve and make small improvements in areas of our life that the aggregate of those small gains actually leads to massive change, leads to incredible results. What Dave Brailsford did with the british cycling team was dissect every part of the cycling team’s process to get to a race, post race, during the race, and all these things were analyzed, and so with that said he analyzed everything from how they would travel to an event, how the athletes slept during event, to what they wore, to all the components of a bike, and breaking those components down, and what you end up with as you start to go through this process is a lot of different areas that you can make small incremental changes. So, let me give some examples of those, so that you can have a larger understanding of this. One of the things that he did was, the athlete and how the athlete sleeps, it matters a heck of a lot now today i’m no longer an athlete but what i can tell you is that just even as a leader how i sleep matters a lot, and David Brailsford understood that the way they slept, after a race, before a race, during long extended you know windows of training, uh where they were away from home, those things mattered. And so, he began to travel with the identical bed and the identical sleeping arrangements in terms of pillows and blankets and temperatures, where he would actually stage the athletes’ area that they would sleep just like they would at home, which was a real world perfect environment, that was a marginal gain area. One of the areas you determined was a marginal gain was that when they were traveling like painting the inside of the travel buses for the equipment, allowed them to see dirt, allow them to keep it more clean, which meant that you don’t end up with dirt and things in the components of your racing gear, which would then lead to a chain braking, spoke braking, a bike breaking down, and not being able to continue in that race, and so that was a slight marginal gain. The athletes began to wear different uniforms, it was one of the first teams to go from wearing what would be classified as outdoor gear to actually wearing what they would normally wear in the indoor environment,in the outside environment, was more aerodynamic, it was more sleek, it was a marginal gain. And so, as you went through the components of the bike through the way they traveled to an event, the way that they fed, and hydrated, and post recovery of an event, and all these things in a very short time David Brailsford was able to make some significant gains. In fact, simply a year later by the year 2008, the British cycling team won their first Olympic medal. Fast forward four years to the olympics of 2012 and that team was the most dominant team in cycling, that team won eight medals in the 2012 olympics. In fact, David Brailsford became the first manager of a cycling team in the post Lance Armstrong steroid blood doping environment to have a completely clean team that would go on to win the tour de france.
So, here’s the reason why I share this with you. is that as recruiting leaders one of the things i have found is repetitive of recruiters is that they find a rhythm they settle for that rhythm and they repeat that rhythm every single day. There’s not really much for a recruiter to improve, right? It’s like my phone script, what time I show up at the office, my the quality of my lead source, like what could a recruiting leader or recruiter improve, a lot of people would wonder what that is, and so the premise here is like challenge this and I have found that there’s three questions that you can ask yourself that leads you to marginal gains. I’ll walk you through those three questions. Now, and it really is a daily cycle, weekly cycle, monthly cycle, that you should take yourself through if you’re a recruiting leader or recruiter the first question that I ask is this: what’s working well? and then define that, what’s working well sometimes it’s the time that you made your call sometimes it’s the presentation of what you said, sometimes it is the platform you used the lead source where you got names from how you framed a conversation how you created next steps, look i’ve been four years in this role as a as an advisor a strategist a coach and in the thousands and thousands of thousands of conversations, that i’ve had I can tell you there are lots of areas for you as a recruiter or recruiting leader to make marginal gains and one of those areas is what’s working well, because a lot of times in happenstance things occur. So, for example if you struggle at the end of the month in your industry to recruit,consider that. That’s an area that’s not working well, but maybe if you called the first week of the month and you were asking yourself this question, what’s working well, you would notice that the first week of the month for your industry is a better time to reach people on the phone, which means that you need to be measuring this. How many calls are you making per day? How many people said yes to the next step? How many people said no to a next step how many people said no yes no I’m not willing to go to a next step but yes you can stay in front of me how many people said no no no i’m not willing to move the next steps, and no you can’t stay in touc, and if you were to measure those things that information would lead you to some better places some places where you could actually get marginal gains, and you can get there by asking the simple question, what’s working well.
The next question to ask in a daily ,weekly, monthly rhythm is what’s not working well, and here’s where i was in a conversation earlier today with someone where they said about 50 of the appointments that I’m setting are not showing, that was what was not working well. That’s a problem that we need to solve, right? So, we begin to dig a little bit deeper, after you set the appointment what are you doing, and they said that i’m immediately sending a confirmation text message to confirm the meeting great, that’s what I would recommend, and they said then the day before i’m falling back up and confirming the meeting the day of, great that’s what i would do as well. And in that I ask the question, how are you doing that? What’s the actual scripting you’re using for that, what time of the day are you sending these, these are all things that matter, these are all areas for marginal gains. What I found out is that the day of they’re not sending anything and what I would do is I would always send something the hour prior, something else that I told them they should change is that on their initial confirmation confirmation message the leader that they’re setting the appointments for, this was a recruiter the leader they’re setting his appointments for should be active on social media, it’s called social proof. If you as a recruiting leader aren’t doing this this is an area, that’s not just a marginal gain area. it’s a massive gain area social proof is required today for people to move towards you, why? Because we are now mature in this era of social media, we’re 11-12 years removed from facebook taking over myspace, the number one spot for social media platforms,okay? People are going to these places to find social proof so in this i said the first message that you send out send a the confirmation message add a P.S. line ps the leader you’re meeting with is active on linkedin, here’s a link to his linkedin profile where you can check him out, that’s a marginal gain. Now, I know for a fact that slight P.S. line right there is a massive gain, in some of our strategic planning with organizations where we’ve added this, as much as 18% of the people that we set appointments with show up after adding the ps line. Where you have a leader who’s active on social that’s why I say social proof matters but in a marginal gains conversation you would never think to add that if you weren’t asking what’s not working well and then looking to solve some of the problems or processes or systems you have around that piece.
The third question I like to ask is a question that leads us to sometimes naturally that second question what’s not working well, which is that question: what should I work to improve on, okay what should I work to improve on? and i like to say what is the one thing that I should work to improve on, what is the one thing i should work to improve on, and narrow it down to one thing, okay? And if this is a big process and a big cycle then we go into taking action on them because something not taking action on within 24 hours an idea not activated within 24 hours is a dead idea. So, immediately in this meeting with a recruiter, one of the things that I advise them is go to a live calendar, and the live calendar is not something that the recruit’s going to use but you’re going to use because if you were to use a live calendar like a calendly or a book now calendar if you have that set up once you populate all of the information in there which would include the cell phone number of the recruit that you set the appointment with. It will automatically set it up to automatically text them, in a timeline, however many times you wanted to text them. So, with something like calendly or book now i can say upon upon entering this information i wanted to send a text message to the cell phone number of the person that has been entered in the calendly information that would be the recruit. So, immediately it will push out a notification that it’s confirming the meeting, and I can even then tell it to send out one of the day prior, and one hour prior, and one fifteen minutes prior, once i set that up with something like calendly, it’s all automated the only thing I have to do if i’m the recruiter or the recruiting leader is actually enter the information, which is the recruiter was already doing that anyways because they were sending they were sending a one sheet via email to the individual they set the appointment for. Now, it’s all automated in streamline so as we were getting this conversation what’s working well, what’s not working well, what can what’s the one thing that we can work to improve on that came up as the one thing so the next thing is let’s take action on this because if we wait 24 hours it will never get started. So, the one thing was to send an email to the leaders that this recruiter represents and to ask each one of them to set up a calendly calendar, and to email the generic passcode they set up with so that he could go in and set up all of these notifications, so when he hit their calendar up it automated everything that happened beyond that, and this recruiter was spending hours a week because not only is he sending confirmation text to the person he sets the appointment with but he’s also sending confirmation messages to the leaders that he’s setting appointments for, and now that it’s all inside a notifications tool it’s all automated. So, we now want to take action within 24 hours.
It’s a very simple process and what this does is I cycle. What this cycle leads to is constantly improving what we’re doing as a recruiter or recruiting leader, and that’s what we’re all about. This is not about arriving in a moment based on some tactic that we came across or some script that we came across that we sent a thousand times via text that got us all these massive results, it’s about incremental improvement for long windows of time. So I share this with you because i think it’s relative to everything that we do in life where do you want to have marginal gains you get marginal gains in your health, you go you can have marginal gains in your relationships, you get marginal gains in your equipping, equipping yourself, growing yourself, growing your knowledge base, improving your skill set your process around recruiting, systems around this your relationships with your recruiting leaders, or your recruiter if you’re a recruiting leader all of these are areas that you can focus on for marginal gains. Go through that process of what’s working well, what’s not working well, and what’s the one thing I will work to improve on and in a daily weekly rhythm, you’re constantly improving. This is not about arriving at a destination, this is the journey of growth. This is going on a journey to become something that we’re not today. Everyone’s going to end up somewhere a few people are going to end up somewhere on purpose, I think that was a quote by andy stanley we all end up somewhere with intentionality and a simple three frame, three questions in a framework, we will all end up somewhere in a significant different place, and i want the results, that David Brels who got with the british cycling My team through this rhythm, and so there you go there’s an idea for today hope you’re doing well hope you’re flexing your recruiting muscles today. No one’s vying for your position, I know what you do is one of the hardest things in any organization. I’m here to support you in that. I’m here to help you on the journey of growth, if we’re not connected on linkedin let’s connect there, we’re not connected on instagram facebook have a close facebook group called recruiting masterminds my name’s attached to it, you can find it on facebook, you’re probably hearing this on the podcast, or on my youtube channel and so just get in the ecosystem because i’m here to bring you value. Until i cut my next video or talk to you again here on the podcast, all my best to you have a great week everybody.
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