Me and My Big Fat Pipeline Collapse

 Me and My Pipeline Collapse

It was coming up to a Christmas period and everything had been going great. I have 4 offers out for five-figure fee’s. It was going be a great end to the year. On form did not describe how I felt, I was Naked Recruiter, champion of the world.

Superstart recruiter. Recruitment god. Then the offer rejection came in, then a counteroffer, then another rejection and then an offer was pulled due to an internal financial situation. In the space of three days, I went from being (as we British say) the ‘dogs bollocks’ into a dog’s dinner.

Due to my hubris whilst being King of Recruiters I had ignored business development and resourcing and was starting right at the abyss of a totally dead pipeline.

What happened afterward?

Christmas happened. We went right into Christmas period and then come out into the new year. I let myself enjoy the Christmas period, as there was nothing I could really do. Or maybe I just ignored it.

However, what I realized was that over the next three to four weeks I could not shake the sense of loss that all these job offers had failed and had fallen apart. I went over every conversation again and again and again and again. I spent the commission money in my head time and time again.

In a sense, I mourned deals. I did not get back up after being knocked down. It really, really hit me hard, knocked my confidence. It was shocking to my system. I barely called anyone, candidates, and clients. Indeed it took six weeks before the sense of impending doom kick started me again and I began to rebuild.

How did I rebuild?

Simply I took action. Any action. That action was nonsense projects around my digital and accounting responsibilities but it got me working instead of being stuck in a self-made rut. We are after all our own worse enemy.

Ok, y Napoleons worst enemy was the Russian winter, but for 99% of humans, we are our own worst enemies. Me included. And you as well. Once I got going, doing actual work, actual task I was able

What did I learn?

Looking back now, I learned three things:

  1. I allowed a sense of hubris to take over my daily thinking, essentially I had mentally “cashed” the cheques.
  2. I took the rejections personally. It’s never personal, just business. Up to that point, I was on a 95% success rate for offers so in a sense for about two years I had been outperforming the law of averages.
  3. All parts of the cycle have to happen each week, I neglected Sales and Resourcing. I knew that these candidates were going to get offers and I sat on my hands. That I needed to change.

How can you get over your own pipeline collapse?

  1. Focus on the daily Business Development.
  2. Remember it happens.
  3. Interact with people and get it offer your chest.
  4. Take action, any action.

As ever we would love to hear what you have to say. Feel free to email about your thoughts on this or any other topic

If you liked reading this, why not also try: Surviving Working From Home for the Busy, Anxious and Crazy Home Recruiters


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Candidate pain and pleasure

Understanding a candidate’s motivations is important and as a recruiter, it is vital that you take the time to understand what pain is motivating them to move from a job and what pleasure points they are seeking to achieve from this move.

Why do you need to know the pain and pleasure points of each candidate that you are dealing with?

Firstly, understanding what they want and don’t want from a job will allow you to ensure you are putting forward a candidate who is suitable and mentally able to put up with the role you are putting them up for.

Secondly, you will be allowing the candidate to be truthful and only serve you better in the long run.

Thirdly, during the process, you will have increased influence on the candidate as you will know what is and is not in their best interests.


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The Naked Recruitment guide to your Inbox

The Best Email Habit – Always Process to Inbox Zero

Whenever you go onto your emails, you should always process them to zero. Don’t let anything else get in the way of preparing them to zero. Zero is your goal. This one habit will help tame your inbox and will free up your day to do extraordinary things like organising the drinks after work on a Friday or prospecting for new clients.

You know the important stuff. Below I have outlined a workflow you can use to process emails and get inbox to inbox zero.

1. Open email.

2. Read email.

3. Is action required? Y or N.

4. If Yes, will this action take less than two minutes? If yes, do straight away. If no, add to Action folder.

5. If no action is required does the email need to go into a folder? Yes – Add to Folder, No – Read the email then delete if unimportant or archive for later reference. Use this above workflow until you have cleared your inbox entirely than do three 45 minute email bursts a day from then on. You will have taken control of your inbox and will feel very free afterwards.

Batch Emails and then turn them off 

All emails are super talented, and you need to respond to them straight away said no successful person ever. Emails like almost all tasks should be scheduled and batched into specific times each day. Why should you do this? Emails are not that important, and in 99.999999999% of the time, they can wait a couple of hours. It is just control freak culture that keeps us checking emails, every five minutes of the day. The benefits of batching emails are threefold:

Firstly: By batching your emails into slots, e.g. 9am, 1pm and 4:30pm you can focus the rest of the day on the critical tasks like business development calls and networking with candidates.

Secondly: You do not lose cognitive focus by switching between tasks. As you switch between functions, it can take up to ten minutes to get the brain into gear for the new work. That is a lot of wasted brain power and focus.

Thirdly: By having your emails batched at specific times you are saying to yourself I am the master of my time and the captain of my inbox. Now if you have to send a client or candidate a quick email, you really should do it through the CRM or ATS if they have this functionality. This will stop the temptation to deal with other emails and will also keep them tracked as well. Because if it is not followed, it is not fact!

Candidate Application Emails

This is a super quick hack. When processing your emails and you get an application from a candidate put it into a separate application folder. Why? So you can batch processing candidate CV’s and applications quickly and from one location onto your ATS. This way you will not have to scramble around and will be able to promptly and efficiently deal with them without them clogging up your inbox. Quick, simple and effective.

Ignore or ‘call out’ useless emails

You do not need to be CC’d into the latest of 350 birthday card emails that circulate around the company at any one time. Call them out as time wasting. Or do what I did when I worked at a large company, I put emails from timewasters under a set rule which put them into a folder called timewasters.

You may occasionally miss something, but generally, Stacy’s email about David’s birthday in the Colchester office will not be worth reading. Unless you are David in the Colchester office. I may sound like an old fart. However, so much time is wasted by these emails it makes my blood boil. If you do decide to call out the time-wasting emailer, do it carefully and with tact. Do not say “Sharon this is bollocks, stop sending this stuff about the ‘buy a cake from the supermarket and pretend you baked it’ day.”

Instead, say. “Thank you for keeping us all posted on the upcoming bake sale in aid of injured seagulls, however, could I be left off in future as I get a lot of emails each day and I would like to lower my email burden to ensure I am tip-top for my candidates and clients. I hope you understand.” Remember it is your time and your inbox not sharing.

Templates of the Gods

Do you feel like you write the same emails time and time again? The chances are without even realising it, you are sending dozens maybe even hundreds of emails a week that are basically the same. What a waste of time, life, and energy.   

Templates are indeed a gift from the gods when it comes to emails. Now depending on your email system, it can be easy or hard to have easy to access templates. I personally use the GSuite application – Inbox by Google which has a handy template feature making it really simple to create and send models. If you are using another programme like outlook, then this is a little trickier, but can quickly be done.

Whatever programme you are using, creating email templates is a brilliant way to respond to emails quickly, and produce world-class responses that just take a click of a button. We suggest you make models for the following situations below (I am sure you can come up with more ideas).

Candidate Submission Email to Client

Candidate Submission Confirmation to Candidate

Interview Confirmation – Client Interview

Confirmation – Candidate Interview

Confirmation – Meeting You

Rejection Email

Rejection Email – Can you call me back

Terms of Business Email

Client Invoice Email

Client Payment Chasing Letter One

Client Payment Chasing Letter Two

Client Payment Chasing Final Letter

Once one person has created these emails templates if you share them with your team the time-saving life hacking with be massive.

Call first. Email second

Always call first, email second You are a recruiter, the phone is your natural habitat. You are a lion, and the phone is your African savannah.

Email is the Atlantic ocean. Do you see many Lions in the Sea? Okay, smart ass in the back, yes there are sea lions, but you do not often see them hunting and catching Zebra. So call, call, call. Always call before emailing a candidate, client or colleague, it will speed up the processing of emails and tasks.

In all likelihood get you a better result compared to sending an email. How can you make this work on a daily basis to really hack productivity? What if you do not get through to the person or need an audit trail?

Calling instead of emailing will really boost your productivity as you will, in a 2-minute call, be able to communicate and make progress on a wide range of tasks that would have taken a long time to send, respond, negotiate and agree via emails.

When calling someone if you do not get through, leave them a voicemail and then send them a quick email saying I have left a voicemail responding to this or send the email you were going to throw. If you need an audit trail, then after a call, just send a quick summing up email that will cover (your ass) as an audit trail. Of course, if something is significant to write an email, but for 95% to 99%, a quick call rather than email will suffice.

Just Unsubscribe

Do you get a lot of emails? Marketing and round-robin type emails. Do they waste a lot of time? Let’s be honest. I bet you have loads. I do. So just be ruthless on your next Inbox Zero mission and click unsubscribe.

Be really ruthless, especially with anything that is vaguely personal in nature as each email with kill your time. For example, if you get Wowcher or other similar emails. If that email takes up one minute a day across a year, you have just wasted 6 hours of your life on bargains on toilet rolls and garden lights. Save this stuff for your personal email and just hit unsubscribe.




Do not ask for Permission in emails

Sometimes it feels like emails can be used like instant messenger chatroom from the late 1990’s. Ping, email. Ping, email. Ping, email. If you use the correct language, you can reduce and eliminate all these small time wasting emails that take up your day. You can do this by not asking for permission in emails. So what do we mean?

How cannot asking for permission to reduce the number of emails you receive? Simply, asking for approval means that the other person has to both think through the decision and then communicate that decision to you generally in another email. So instead of asking for permission why not just say what you are going to do, at a specific time. We will give an examples below to demonstrate what we mean.

Asking for Permission:

Hello Dave,

Attached is the Press Release wrote about the new product launch. Can you read it for me?

If it is okay, can I send the Press Release to News and Stuff?



Going Ahead without permission:

Hello Dave,

Attached is the Press Release for the product launch.

It is ready to be sent. Please read the attachment. We are going to send it to News and Stuff at three PM if we do not hear from you about any further changes.



Do you see what we mean? By not asking for permission you are giving yourself and the other person the chance to save time, energy and space in the inbox.

Your Inbox, Your Rules

The Inbox is not your master, it is your inbox, so you make the rules. You can master the mailbox, you can create your own rules. Around the globe, slavery was abolished for the most part over 100 years ago.

However, for many people in their offices today, the ‘inbox’ has become a virtual slave master creating tonnes of stress and destroying productivity. However, you can change this relationship by developing rules that mean the inbox works for you.

But you have to create these rules and stick by them. Personally, I use these three rules when dealing with my inbox.

1) Process all emails until you hit inbox zero three times a day first thing, lunchtime and before heading home.

2) Read any emails that need to be read at this minute and archive or delete straight away.

3) Work to Inbox zero then start on my to-do list. These rules work for me. However, they may not work for you.

If you are struggling to create your own rules what we suggest is that you sit down away from your email and brainstorm what is essential and what is not essential with emails in regards to your key priorities. Once you have done that.

Pick the three rules that you think will improve your daily battle with the inbox and stick to them rigidly for 28 days and see what happens.

Have a calendar item booked in for the 29th day to review how it worked and what you may need to change.   


Thank you for reading this Recruitment Hack. You can get a daily Recruitment Hack sent to your inbox by visiting Recruitment Hacks.

The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.  


How to kill procrastination in an instant

Before writing this Life Hack, I spent 15 minutes reading up about how the US supreme court works on Wikipedia.

Okay, that is a lie, I was looking at funny cat videos on Instagram. Anyway, I was procrastinating like a champion.

If there were an Olympic medal for procrastination, I would probably miss the final because I was scrolling through Doug the Pugs facebook page.

Anyway, I am even procrastinating in the middle of this life hack. To kill procrastination in an instant, you first need to know what your triggers are.

For me, the triggers are the following, my to-do list, business development calls and doing my accounts. What triggers your procrastination could be triggered by anything, finding out what they are is half the battle.

When I was trying to figure out what my triggers are I kept a log and the pattern became clear very quickly indeed. Now, once you know your triggers and notice you are procrastinating all you need to do is say this one phrase out loud so other people can hear you “and I am back in the room”.

It will snap you out of the funk and also get you to focus on the hear and now and banish that procrastination.

Anyway back to cat videos on Instagram. Have you seen the one with the cat pushing the glass off the table! I am back in the room!   


Thank you for reading this Recruitment Hack. You can get a daily Recruitment Hack sent to your inbox by visiting Recruitment Hacks.

The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.  

Write out every goal, every day

Write out every goal.

Write out your goals 10 times a day, in hand with a pen and paper.

Then read it out loud 10 times.

Do this every single day. Why? Because the subconscious validation of writing out these goals means it gets stuck in your brain and becomes something that to the brain feels real and tangible.

Writing creates a physical and emotional connection in the brain creating a feeling a tangibility in the brain.

Reading it out loud all creates the same connection. Doing both of these things will daily reinforce your goal and make it believable and achievable to the brain and subconscious.


Thank you for reading this Recruitment Hack. You can get a daily Recruitment Hack sent to your inbox by visiting Recruitment Hacks.

The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.