How Do I Use MPCs?

August 28, 2009

This is a slightly edited question from Kenneth Stallworth:

Dave thanks for mentioning the one call close thing. I come from a telemarketing background where you make 125 calls a day and get sent home with no pay for the day if you don’t make at least one sale every hour your on the phone. I’ve had to adjust to it not being a one call close. When you say MPC you mean Marketing Potential Candidate right? I’m new to the business of recruiting so when I’m trying to get business, in your professional opinion, Dave and Tom, would it be better to Market Candidates or market my services. I’ve only been doing this for about two months and the main thing I struggle with is finding out who is the hiring authority. I always thought that was H.R. but I’m finding out that is not the case.
Kenneth, it always depends on the company. In my industry, and market as I have defined it, HR is usually not the hiring authority. I tend to court companies who are often small enough that they don’t have much of an HR function. Ones that, if they do have HR, they are often too busy to do much recruiting. Even in larger companies HR people are rarely the hiring authority but they do often have veto power. That’s one reason I just don’t usually try to work with large companies. I am even past thinking this is a bad thing that should be changed. I have just found there are plenty of smaller companies that can tolerate and even appreciate my style so I talk with them. Lockheed Martin is a great place to work for 1000s of people but they don’t appreciate what we do anymore. Global Infotek and Software Process Technologies have more work than we can do. No reason to make it hard.

MPC ,to me anyhow, means Most Placeable Candidate. To the extent I need to make calls to get business these days (lots of networking and candidates turning into clients) I use the MPC method as follows and I recommend it to anyone else. I even hope people in my industry see this… both candidates and clients because it is totally up front and transparent.

First, define MPC: For me that is a candidate my market wants. One who is at the top of his/her game. $ are in line or even a bit low for whatever reason. The person has career goals that aren’t quite met. He (assume she too from here on) buys into the idea that I have a self-serving reason to try to help meet those career goals and that my self-serving reason serves him. He is otherwise not unhappy enough to have begun looking for a new position yet. He’ll make a move if I find what he wants. He knows this is also for me to get new business. He agrees to let me do this to the exclusion of others. 

The key is to make certain you have all of this in place. Miss one piece and you make a mess.  This method does not honor someone who actively wants a new job even if all the other pieces are in place. This method won’t get you new business if everything is there except the person is not quite an A player. Finding a true MPC is very hard. They are very rare. This is going to be someone who will hire you to find people later in your career.

If you have an MPC the call to the person you have identified as the one who should want something like this (or that person’s assistant) is along the lines of “I do search. Look what I found on behalf of another client. If I can show you this without even doing a search, imagine what I can do if you hire me to do what I do best. I’d like to talk with you about this real person who is actually available only through me OR about getting you what you need. These are the only two things I do. Are either of these important enough that we should talk?”

If all the pieces are in place the actual words don’t matter that much.

I’ll save the rest for another day; but before I stop I’ll mention that I know where you came from. There was a short period of time many years ago that I sold ball caps on a one call basis with a script. Improving people’s lives has been a lot more fun and rewarding.

Maybe next week we’ll talk about how often the old ‘get a job order’ process is treated like the equivalent of going to a dance with Pre-Nup and Marriage License in hand and expecting to come out with signed paperwork.

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