5 Important Components To Having Sustainable Recruiting Success

Everybody, it’s Richard Milligan, and welcome back to the podcast of recruiting conversations, I’m excited to share with you guys today. So coming out of a relatively recent meeting and wanted to give you some context as it pertains to that meeting and the value in it for you is it is. I’m going to share some ideas with you today that are evergreen ideas. And one of the ideas I’m going to share with you is not evergreen so I’m going to give you what I believe are the five primary things that you should be focusing on Inside your own recruiting efforts as a recruiting leader. I know I lead in these podcast allowed by defining what that recruiting leader is, but I want to make sure that this audience is new to this podcast or any one of our early sections and so I want to make sure that you are clear on who this is too. This is to the recruiting leader and the recruiting leader is the person who manages the team, but then is also responsible for recruiting to that team. Sometimes you can be in production and sometimes you are not in production, so you can be non-producing or producing, either one in whatever business you’re in, but that role of managing a team but then also having to be a recruiter is a special role. It is, in my opinion, the most difficult roll inside an organization. And the reason why is because you have so many responsibilities. So this podcast is dedicated to you, and with that said, I wanted to give you my framework for what I believe are the most important pieces to you winning at this game of recruiting. So I’m going to give you 4 ideas Is that are what I would consider Evergreen ideas, these are going to last forever. So if you get these, you understand these, you will be successful inside the recruiting Arena. One of these ideas is constantly and forever going to be changing, so I’ll you some context around that the last. Let’s start getting that are always going to be important to you ruining the game of recruiting as the recruiting leader.


The first and foremost thing, this is really the foundation for everything you’re going to do is this, attractive leadership. Now, I attractive leadership may not mean anything to you, some of you may be thinking, “How can a leader be beautiful or handsome or whatever? What does that have to do with me winning inside this game of recruiting?” And that’s the incorrect framework, okay? So having fun with that, but understand attractive leaders are leaders that we all want to work for. These are people that are very clear in who they are, what they represent, how they communicate that to you. And unequivocally, that attractive leader is someone who lives and acts like the attractive leader. So let’s just go through three basic premises around it is.


The first basic premises of this, the attractive leader is always and forever has a Clear Vision and understands what their top core values are, what their belief system is, okay? So that has to be you if you are going to win at the highest stage of recruiting. You’ve got to become clear on your vision, you’ve got to become clear on your core values.

The second component of this is you have to be able to communicate this. You have to be able to communicate this. So how do we communicate this? What I have found is that the best way to communicate your core values, your beliefs, your vision is the story tell it. Now, when I say story tell, to some degree, people may conjure up this idea of people telling, you know, salesmany stories. These stories that I’m asking for you to share as an attractive leader is predicated on your life experiences, is predicated on the things that you have either been through, the things that you’ve experienced, or the things that you’ve accomplished. Now, there’s a good… there’s a right lens and the wrong lens to tell stories through. The wrong lens to tell stories through this lens of telling highlight reel stories. Highlight reel stories are the best things that are going on in your company, the best things that are going on in your team, the best things that have gone on underneath your leadership. That’s not the right way to story-tell. It’s not the way that we trust stories best. the way we trust stories best is the way that a movie tells stories. It’s the way that a fairy tale read in a book.

There’s 2 components here that you can’t miss. The first component is that there’s always a beginning, okay? The Bible was written, “In the beginning,” a fairy tale is written, “Once upon a time.” There’s always the beginning, you always go back to the beginning of a story. The tendency is when you tell a highlight-reel story, what’s current, what’s relevant, what’s awesome is there is no beginning. That’s not the beginning, things happened before that. So what is the beginning? That’s a critical piece you have to incorporate that into you are storytelling.

The other piece is this. The reason why we love movies is because there’s conflict, there’s a struggle; give me the beginning. And look, the beginning doesn’t always have to be what is first, you can talk about the Highlight Reel first, but then you’ve got to give me conflict and the struggle and you want to take me back to the beginning. That’s why movies are interesting and that’s a matter that we trust for storytelling. In fact, if you don’t believe whether we trust flat or not, just go stand outside a movie that you know is very dramatic. You’ll watch… you’ll see grown men walking out of that movie theater brushing the tears from their eyes because they trusted the methodology of storytelling; There was a beginning, there was the once upon a time, there was conflict and there was trouble and I sure hope, I mean, the best movies in my opinion are the movies that have the happy ending. I think I’ve only seen maybe one movie that didn’t have a happy ending and I won’t bring up on this podcast because this podcast is rated for being clean, that movie was not a very clean movie and so it didn’t have a very happy ending, and that movie is when I would never watch again. I want to have that positive ending on the upbeat peace, which tends to be the story that we share.

Let me give you a phrase that you can use in your stories to make them great stories. It’s simply this, tell the highlight reel and then say this, “But it hasn’t always been this way; but it hasn’t always been this way.” What does that do? That forces us to go back to a time and a place where there was conflict and there was struggle. It forces us to go back to the beginning. So easy for him right for you to tell the story correctly.

No, the third component of the attractive leader is this, lives and acts in alignment with their vision and their core values and their belief system; lives and acts in alignment. Now, today’s podcast is not about that specific piece, but that is one of the most important pieces inside recruiting is that you become the attractive leader. Here is a and that’s evergreen meaning that forever, like that will always be the most important piece, and the reason why is because the conduit to an organization is always the leader. Someday, somewhere, if technology figures out how to circumvent building relationships and it just goes to the drive-by window for getting a job, then it won’t be Evergreen. But in my opinion, that will never happen because relationships matter in recruiting. A relationship comes before you can actually get to what I would consider recruiting, so the attractive leader pieces evergreen.

Here’s another piece that’s evergreen for you. So here’s number two. The second part… I alluded to this in the attractive little piece so we’ll talk about it more here. But the second part that is of most importance in your recruiting efforts is storytelling. The best storytellers are always the best recruiters. The truth is that, there’s more to storytelling than you understand.

So one of the things that we are doing inside our organization is we’re studying at a brain level the importance of storytelling and how it plays a critical role inside recruiting. Now, that study is not done, but what I can tell you is this is that in our study of the brain, specifically the hippocampus, is that as we study this piece part of the brain, what we know that part of the brain is responsible for taking… excuse me, taking pieces of information and then storing it throughout the brain. So as experiences come in, as words come in, those pieces are then relayed to different locations of the brain and they’re stored. What we know is that when we story-tell, it actually activate things inside the hippocampus and inside the brain that formulate things like dopamine, things like oxytocin, things like serotonin, things that are feel good things inside our body. So the reason why we love movies, the reason why we as human beings lower stories is because they actually emit things that make us feel better, the things that make us feel good. When you tell a story and you tell it well for the correct context, that story those things at a brain level that connects previous experiences, connects previous words, connects previous thoughts and it makes them relevant to the current story that you are telling to actually give them an experience that bonds to you, that creates trustworthiness, that create empathy, that create these things that are important as recruiting leaders to moving people to next steps. So what storytelling is critical.

There’s really three things you need to understand around storytelling and it’s this. A lot of us can conjure up or think a story that has had happened from a previous experience and we can tell that story. But I’ve come across a few that treat that story in a way that forces them to perfect it. There’s a process that goes to perfecting a story. Now, part of that is the process I went through which is just practicing it, listening to the story and then recording it and then listening to it, right, practicing it, again, listening to the story. I was recording it, I would then practice it, I would then go through that process of recording, listening, practicing again and again and again until I get to a place where my stories were perfected. It’s as though I was going to get on stage and speak to the audience of 10,000 people and be required to share that story. I can tell you that times I was even sharing some of my stories where people would actually cry, and I was actually creating real-life emotions through the lens of my stories as I was recruiting people, they were connecting with me, I was building empathy, I was building trust, I was bonding with people through my abilities to tell stories. So one of the things that is evergreen is going to be and forever this will be true is your ability to tell stories in recruiting.

The third part is it this, systems matter. Now, when you break a recruiting down to some basic things, recruiting can be broken down into, “What’s next? Like what’s the next step? What’s next? What’s next? What’s next?” it’s simply that. I had a conversation earlier this week with someone that said, “I’m dialing on the phone and I’m only getting 1 out of 20 people and I’m frustrated.” And I absolutely get that too, but my question to that is, “What’s next?” Well, typically the person I asked in that situation, “What’s next?” is they don’t know what’s next. I’ll dial them again next week but that’s your system, the what’s next system, you won’t ever make it to the largest stage of success for recruiting. So my question to that year was, “What if you dialed again?” right, like that could be what next. It doesn’t have to be some dramatic different step, it could be simply, “I’ll dial in 3 times in one hour and I can take the phone which right now may only get one out of 20 people to answer it and I can get that number to 1 out of 11, but then what’s next?” You have to have a what’s next system.

Most people are technical recruiters. They only have a handful of tools and a toolbox that they go and recruit with. I am a systems based recruiter. That means that once you get in my system, until you say… until you say, Hey, please don’t contact me,” which is possible, but because of the style that I teach, it’s highly, highly, highly unlikely that someone is going to see, “Don’t contact me.” Several reasons for that because in assisting that I teach, I’m going to identify you as cold, warm, or hot. And if you’re cold, I’m not going to recruit you the same way that I would recruit you if you were hot or if you were warm. It will be different methodology because I want to be emotionally… I want to be considered as an emotionally intelligent leader, an emotionally intelligent recruiter. I’m not just going to dial your phone again and again and again, okay? I’m going to go one side and have a conversation with you and you tell me that you’re happy where you’re at, there is a what next, and then I’m going to identify as a cold recruit and I’m going to file then what’s next system around the cold recruit. The system part is critical, this is Evergreen, it will last forever. Your system forever is going to matter. Where do you get someone three years from now will depend on what your system is. And if you’re recruiting leader, you are in this for the long game. You’re not looking to make a quick buck next month where you are, but… but in reality, you are playing the long game. You’re investing into your markets or your, maybe it’s a single market, but you’re in this forever.  This is your career, this is what you are doing, you’ve got to build relationships, you’ve got to create credibility, you understand your leadership brand matters, right, you’re in this for the long term. So your system is going to be important forever.

So I always say this, extreme structure equals extreme success. So when you’re looking at your system, ask yourself, “Do I have extreme structure?” And if you don’t, then you don’t really have a full-blown system, you probably have some tactics. Move away from being a tactical recruiter and to become a systems recruiter. And so that will be the third evergreen idea that will always matter and will always determine the level somebody wins at the recruiting.

Here’s the fourth one, your time matters. Time blocking is something that recruiting leaders struggle with. It’s just part of the game. And the reason why it’s part of the game is because you have all these other hats that you wear, all these other responsibilities that you have. Of course, time blocking, time management, of course those things are going to be something you might struggle with; it would only make sense. I heard a member of one of the offices that I had, I had a French store, so it was pane windows, and on the sides, it was being windows on the side of their French store. People would walk by and look to just see if I was on the phone or if I was in a meeting. And if I wasn’t in a meeting, because I wouldn’t necessarily respect the phone, if I wasn’t in a meeting; they would just come in, they wouldn’t have to knock, right, because they could see me. And if I purposely didn’t make eye contact with them (remember, there’s the windows are there), they would wait until I made eye contact with them to kind of give them the nod and the go-ahead. And so it was a distraction for me to have that to do their set up because people would just come in and come out. Now, I have had other offices where there were solid doors and then people would knock. But if I didn’t answer or I didn’t respond or they couldn’t hear me very well, the door was open and they would walk in.

So I’ve managed in that situation where you have a lot of people in the office, lots of energy in the office and people want to engage with you. But the truth is it is, if you are going to be a successful recruiter, you are going to have to protect the space called your time. It’s okay to not always be available. In fact, your people will grow because you are not always available. if you truly believe that you are a heart surgeon and that it’s a matter of life and death every single time your name comes up and if someone needs you, then there are larger problems than time management inside the group and you need to address those, rightly so. But you have to get to a place where you protect this time around recruiting and this will matter forever. As long as you have a team and you are also responsible for recruiting, this will matter forever. Those 4 things are going to matter forever, those are all Evergreen. Forever, I could say, you are attractive leadership, your ability to tell stories, having a system, and the time looking, those will matter forever for anyone that comes behind us or is in the current situation of wearing that recruiting leader position.

Here’s the one that is not evergreen. This is the one that will change forever and it’s this, “What is the conduit to engage recruits? How do I engage recruits?” That will always change, that will always evolve, but you have to figure that piece out. Like, where in a state…  right now as I’m recording this podcast, one of the dynamics that’s happened in the past few years is that dialing people via phone is not as successful as it has been, it’s not anywhere as close to successful as it has been. In my studies, if you dial repeatedly in an hour, you will get somewhere around 1 out of 10 or 11 people that will take your phone call. That’s a lot of work to get somebody on the phone when you can go back several years ago and most people would answer the phone. But the truth is that marketers ruined most things and they have ruined the phone. Today, I hardly check my voicemail. If I get a voice message, I might not see the voicemail for 24 hours, I’m not constantly looking at my voicemail because communication comes in other ways and other shapes and other forms today. Text message works really well right now, but guess what, text message won’t work very well shortly; that part will get ruined.

Look, I get maybe 5 to 10 text messages a day and I have to opt out at the response stop to opt out of those. So text messaging more the last forever, well, what’s next? You have to constantly be asking yourself, “What’s next?” And when you ask yourself, “What’s next?” what that forces you to do is to understand where people are responding. That means you’re going to test things out. At this current moment, there are tools, I’m not going to talk about them here, but there are tools that are extremely successful engaging people in conversations and getting responses from people to move into next steps. The phone is not it anymore. So if you are relying on what used to be a solid phone script and now you’re frustrated because you can’t get people on the phone, well, the truth is that, in about of Industries in this season, most people are content. Inside the industry I spent 15 years, the mortgage industry, the last survey I saw said 95% of people are happy where they were at. What do you do when you dial three times in an hour, only 1 out of 10 or 11 answers and now you’re looking for the needle in the haystack? You’ve got to have a better way to communicate.

So this part will always change and will always be evolving, and what does that mean? As recruiting leaders, we have to also be marketers to some degree, we have to understand what platforms that will be communicating on. Right now, LinkedIn works extremely well, although most people don’t understand how to use LinkedIn. It is not the right hook platform, you don’t show up on LinkedIn and say, “Oh, by the way, I’m hiring. Oh, by the way, here’s the 10 bullet point that you should look at that represent why my company is amazing, can we meet?” No, that’s a right hook. LinkedIn works best when it’s relationship-building platform. Go build relationships, go invest in the platform, go make it an influencer platform, go bring something of value on the platform. Most people want to look at it like a marketing to work, like a recruiting tool, that it, “Let’s not build relationships, let’s go find the people that are unhappy so I can motivate them to join my team and I can build this baby quick.” The truth is that patience is where great recruiters win, and the truth is that, as a marketer, you’re going to have to know what platforms are working and what is not.

So in this current season, the phone is dying, text message works well, but one thing that works even better is video text message. So now, I am going to go back to Luke, systems are important, right? What are some of my next steps? I’ll incorporate some video text messaging into that. What else is working? There’s other social media platforms that work extremely well right now. But again, doesn’t work well maybe in 3 years, you’ll have to have something else. So this is the one that’s not Evergreen, it’s always going to be changing, it’s always going to be moving, and thus, you have to be on the edge of being a marketer, like, “What is working well right now? What is the next big thing?” And because you are a marketer, you always be at the edge of that, which means that when you understand you’re attractive leadership is important and your storytelling correctly and you’ve got a strong system and your time blocking and managing your time correct me, this single piece then becomes much more powerful and now you’ve got some really good things that are going to move the needle dramatically on your recruiting efforts.

So I hope this podcast was helpful. Again, these are our recruiting conversations that I have on an ongoing basis. So a lot of times when I come into these, like this particular session is fresh, it’s something that just came up in a session and so we just jumping and we record a podcast because of that. So I know this will bring value to you because it’s bringing value to other people that are in your situation right now. So with that said, have a great rest of your week, this is recruiting conversations with Richard Milligan and will talk to you soon.