Some of you might want this for a template after changing the niche-specific part. I put all the politeness and hope I have left here. 🙂


Please don’t take this wrong. I am…well…not ‘bombarded’ but certainly ‘overwhelmed’ with offers of tools that are free and will save us, or make us, money. The problem is that even the majority that start out ‘free’ and remain ‘free’ cost ME about $225 an hour to evaluate, test, and use.

The last one that has made a difference and MIGHT have paid for itself was LinkedIn. That was several years ago. I say might have paid for itself because I can’t trace actual business to it but I think some of the info I got have been helpful. It’s kind of like taking aspirin… I am never sure if the aspirin or the time made my headache go away.

If you remain in the mood to provide more and very specific information…here’s my problem:

  • I am interested in finding and getting to know very talented technical people with very high security clearances who, by definition, believe they have no need to know me…because most top talent feels this way and the ones with clearances really feel this way.
  • In my headhunting niche, people who are LOOKING for opportunities are almost always people I cannot introduce to my clients.
  • The VERY FEW other recruiters who have ‘ended up’ in my niche (only a nut would do this on purpose) understand this and we consequently end up doing very little split business.
  • The considerable number of others who flirt with this niche or think they are in it have wasted tons of time trying to make this job easier than it is. I have allowed myself to waste tons of time trying to evaluate these people to see if we could do some business together.

Given all this, I still didn’t want to simply trash your offer. What, if anything, can you tell me that will have me fight through the apprehension of lots of emails of futile explanations to people who want ‘just a little more information’ after I sign up for your offering?

Thanks, Dave


Let’s rant a bit. This is sort of related to Neil’s theme from last week. I think I understand WHY this happens but it is just so dumb and counter-productive. It seems like any time it gets harder to make placements that people in our industry make it even harder on themselves.

I keep getting inquiries, some even from colleagues, asking me if I want to “supplement my income” by offering my clients something other than what they are already paying me to do. This is SO counter-productive in SO many ways. We all need to be BETTER recruiters right now. We do not need to try to sell something we do not know. It makes us look stupid to our clients and it keeps us from doing what we know best. If you want to leave the business then DO…but go do ALL of whatever else you do.

This “noise” all reminds me of times in the summer when I am working under the garden tractor…it is very hot outside…sweat running in my eyes…one arm way under there where the blades are…trying to get a nut threaded onto a bolt (a surgeon would call me a butcher and a butcher would laugh at me…not very dextrous to begin with) and right when I need the MOST concentration I can feel a mosquito landing on my forehead and a fly buzzing in my ear.

C’mon people…As Dr. Phil might say… Go take on the headset…

Neil and I like to argue about the sex of the number of angels we agree are on the head of a pin. Which is to say we agree about a lot of things and at least one of us enjoys debating the rest. Today, there is no debate in my rant. The best thing I have seen here or in the magazine in a while (except Pinnacle Perspectives, of course 🙂 ) is his 7 laws post below.  Huge thanks for the content,for the reminders and for saving me time here. I have such an odd market that we’re actually buried in work. (That it is taking forever to get start dates due to the political transition is for another post).

JUST to keep my contrarian streak alive I’ll say that ONLY the 7th rule does not apply to us. It is probably valid in most niches and I have no argument with the concept. Finding and talking to our purple squirrels is THE challenge in this niche. I think it is why we can probably get contingency business (that we don’t do sourcing for at all) without even making phone calls. So to turn even my quibble into agreement with Neil. We know what OUR hard part is and we work at improving it.

Neil, Thanks again…this post is mostly to help the 3 or 4 people who have my RSS feed find Neil’s post if they have not already.