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The Resilient Recruiter

Mar 31, 2020

How do you demonstrate leadership in times of crisis? How do you protect your business and lead your team through the Coronavirus Pandemic? We are living through a very uncertain period of time where we must stay relevant and resilient. In this episode of The Resilient Recruiter, my friend and coaching client Greg Benadiba joins me to share his thoughts. 

Greg shares his strategy for screening recruiters and hiring the right people for the position. He also shares the leadership principles he’s built his business on. We share a hopeful viewpoint, one in which your recruiting business can emerge stronger than ever. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:11] Greg Benadiba shares how to work smarter—not harder
  • [4:48] Lessons and takeaways from the last recession
  • [6:57] How to help your business survive the Coronavirus pandemic
  • [10:33] How to build and maintain relationships with clients
  • [17:15] The unique way Greg interviews and hires recruiters
  • [26:49] The targeted and probing questions to decipher the best candidate
  • [30:49] The 5 principles Greg has adapted for his recruiting business

How to stay resilient through adversity

At the time of recording this podcast, Ontario had declared a state of emergency. Major outlets, stores, banks, restaurants, and bars closed on St. Patrick's Day. Greg ‘s team went from having 120 jobs to fill down to 72. Greg believes there will be a significant decrease in job orders across the board. But notes it is possible in this day and age to interview, hire and work remotely. 

Greg points out that regardless of the pandemic, there will still be positions that need to be filled. So you must stay level-headed and position yourself for the upswing that will come. I work with each of my clients to have a plan of action to get them through this pandemic—you need to have one as well. Keep listening as Greg and I talk about having a contingency plan in place and where he’s focusing his business right now. We also talk about tough decisions you may have to make as a manager. 

How to stay in front of your customers

It is more important than ever to position yourself to remain in front of your clients. When things pick up again you’ll be at the forefront of their minds. Greg found a unique way to add value for his customers: he made his Zoom account available to customers so that they could still interview potential hires. It was a simple way to help meet their needs and keep their business from screeching to a halt. 

We can still facilitate meetings through the tools we have available—email, conference calls, video conferencing, etc. We must be careful not to alienate customers, but stay in touch and offer insight, guidance, and empathy. Greg says to ask the question, “How can we add value considering the current circumstances that our clients are in?”

Greg’s unique hiring process

Greg doesn’t aim to hire experienced recruiters but prefers to hire candidates from across industries who embody the values he’s looking for. They need to be good with people as well as driven and sales focused. He looks for resiliency and someone who is always learning and finding ways to improve. He asks probing questions, such as “What’s the most difficult thing they’ve ever been through?”. 

He notes that you can’t rush the recruiting process. On top of his interview questions and profile testing, they have the recruiter undergo a half-day of job shadowing. In the second part of that day, the potential hire is allowed to jump on the phone to connect with people and flesh out a list of referrals. In this way, the candidate is able to immerse themselves into the job and get a feel for what it will be like. 

Greg uses a clearly defined checklist in his hiring process. All of the questions on his checklist are based on mistakes that he’s made in the past. He crafts those mistakes into questions for his screening process. Listen as he shares examples of his questions and how he uses them to decipher who will be the best fit for his business. 

The 5 principles Greg incorporates into Bilingual Source

Greg was kind enough to share 5 principles that he incorporates into his business: 

  • Principle #1: You are solely responsible for you and your team’s performance. Assume the role of “mini CEO” and take responsibility for performance management, hiring, training, etc. 
  • Principle #2: You must lead by example. “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work—we all know it. Be the type of manager and leader that your team looks up to and emulates. Follow the rules, don’t cut corners, and be the role model 
  • Principle #3: Have very clear goals defined for you and your team. Don’t confuse goals with desires. Goals MUST be accomplished, desires are just things you want. 
  • Principle #4: Don’t worry about looking good, worry about achieving your goals. As a leader, you can’t always make the popular choice—but you need to make the right one. If a decision conflicts with achieving a goal, it’s an easy no. 
  • Principle #5: Hone yours and your team's outcomes. Focus on what you CAN control and take ownership of the outcome. This is no place for the blame-game. 

Greg believes there is always a process to follow. If you stray from your plan you make yourself susceptible to stupid mistakes. Above all, everything you say and do needs to be congruent with your values. Listen to the rest of the episode as we talk about Greg's vision for the future of Bilingual Source. 

Greg Benadiba Bio and Contact Info

Greg and his team at Bilingual Source have been in the recruitment space for 35 years. They are the leaders in language search in the Canadian Market and have brokered over 500MM in salaries over those years. Greg has consistently been a top producer for his organization, with record billings of 750K, and has helped double the organization's revenue over the last 4 years.

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