Part 3 out of 5: From Contingent to Retained: Hiring High Performers The 5 Mission Critical Questions to Ask to WIN their business!

  By Jon Bartos  |    Sunday April 1, 2019

Category: Expert Advice, Recruiting


When trying to win business, just getting the point of having a conversation is 10x harder than it used to be.  With communication technology choices and generational technology preferences does not help matters.  That’s why it makes it that much more important we represent ourselves well once we finally have a conversation with hiring managers.  Don’t do what 9 out of 10 recruiters do.  What do most do? They show up and throw up.  Sounds bad I know.  Here is what I mean. The average sales rep or recruiters will start selling their services before even understanding if there is any reason to talk in the first place.  Sure, you can leap tall buildings in a single bound or you’re the top dog headhunter in your industry, yada, yada…  They heard it all before.  Same speech different recruiter, different day.  Instead, try this:  Understand if there is a need for your services in the first place.   The only way to do that is to ask specific questions where you solicit answers to find out if there is a need.  A realized or unrealized need.

For definition purposes only – a realized need is where your clients know they have a problem to solve.   An unrealized need is where your clients have a problem to solve, but they don’t know it just yet.   It’s like your clients thinking its normal to have 1 out of 2 hires – end up being mis-hires which is the industry average.  However, if they only used the TRACCS process to hire people, they could see 9 out of 10 high performers versus the 1 out of 2 mis-hires.  When they have a problem and they just don’t know it yet, it’s an unrealized need.

To find out if there is a reason to do business and discover if there is a need, ask the following five questions to help you win more and lose less.

  1. “Are you seeing and “interviewing” top performers based on your current internal and external recruiting methodologies?”

If you are talking to the hiring manager, you typically will get truthful answers.  The hiring manager has all the skin in the game.  The hiring manager will take the full impact of the hired candidates performance – good or bad.  You need to know if they are seeing candidates who are in the top 10% percentile of those who perform well in their positions year after year.  The best indicator of future success is always past performance.  The question also gets you talking about performance and performance KPI’s for each position.  Your already miles ahead of the “leaping tall buildings” recruiters. 

2. “Are you hiring the top performers you see?” (Only if Yes to Question 1)

Some clients do see some top performers from time to time, but can never bring them on board.  This question points to the quality of their “employer value proposition”.  Which is, why work for that employer opposed to all other alternatives.   You may need to work with the hiring manager on putting a strong and complete offering together – if they struggle bringing top performers on board.

3. “Is this a position, where it is critical you have a top performer in the role?”

I love this question and I use it every time an opening arise. This question takes us to the topic of Talent Management – in which we covered in “Contingent to Retained – 2 of 5” last month.  The more you can talk about the concepts of world class talent management, the more you can guide them to making the right decisions with people and processes in the talent game.  And you become their chief talent trusted advisor along the way.

4. “What is the specific business problem you are trying to resolve by filling this role?”

This question helps you get down to the root of the problem and in determining why the opening exists.  I don’t know how many times I have had clients look to fill openings with people with industry experience and totally forget to find someone who has solved that specific problem they face successfully many times before.   When you get to the root of why opening exists, you will find out why the last person failed or what challenges will be focused on in the future for the next hire.   My suggestion to you in order get more high performers on board – find people who have solved that problem or problems they are facing -many times before.  This is the greatest cause of all mis-hires.  The people they bring on, did not have a track record of success repeatedly solving that problem successfully before.  Defining what that problem or those problems are – will go along way to cementing your long term recruiting relationship with the client.        

5. “What If I can show you a way to not only see the top 10% performers – who have solved those specific business problems before – but bring them on board.  Would that make sense for us to explore together?”

Transition statements just rock.  “If I do this, does it make sense to then do this?”  A transition statement qualifies the client and insures you are on the same path to helping them resolve your problem.   Once they agree, the next step is explaining how your process will show them the promise land.

Questions are mission critical to your success and help you get on the same page with your client.  They will also help you WIN more clients and get you more successful hires.

If you are ready to achieve your potential -  

Register for the July 18th Workshop with Bartos;

Transitioning from Contingent to Retained....and so much more!

Join here> and reach new Heights this YEAR!!

you can also Reach Jon at 513-515-1267 or



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