NAER Annual Conference Reflections

Many thanks to those of you who were able to join us for the annual NAER conference, which was in Dallas this year.  I think we can all agree that it was a ringing success, and that our presenters challenged us, as recruiters and managers, with a range of fresh tactics and strategies for how the recruiting business ought to be done.  What follows are a few salient points which jumped out at me in the presentations.  If any attendees have a takeaway from the conference that they would like to share, please comment below.  We will all appreciate the reminder.

I found it interesting that both presentations focused more on the client side of the process than the candidate side.  It was taken somewhat for granted that the search consultant has a pipeline of top-flight candidates, and it was suggested at least once that this pipeline should be operated by supporting researchers and admins within a firm.  It’s intriguing to think that this important recruitment function could be streamlined to the extent that it could be handed off to someone other than a consultant, although it’s hard to imagine how this would work for smaller firms without a significant research apparatus or very niche firms working in markets with scarce candidates.

Next, there was a common thread through both presentations about the need to measure and increase telephone time.  There seemed to be a strong imperative from both presenters to prioritize telephone work over Internet work.  Moreover, both presenters draw distinctions between various types of calls.  Brian spoke to us about “Money Calls,” and Steve spoke to us about “Substantive Business Calls,” which I took to be roughly synonymous.  Each presenter encouraged us to identify, track and maximize this top tier of phone calls which move our searches and businesses forward.  Also, importantly, Brian recommended clustering these calls into a “sprint” period each day.  Twice a day, for ninety minutes, his consultants do nothing but make these outbound calls.

Again, if you attended and you would like to share any thoughts on the conference, please do so in the comments below.


Martin Zahra

Shooting Search, Inc.

Chair, National Association of Executive Recruiters