Managing your pipeline

Recruiters manage the flow of several pipelines. These pipelines must always be active, current and overflowing if their business is to be successful. So they organize their day, centering it around certain basic activities to keep the pipelines going. If any one of these pipelines are out of sync it could cause the recruiter to be out of commission and consequently, they then earn no commission. A key part of a recruiters focus is on balancing these pipelines and increasing the flow in each of the following:

Searches: Searches are the heart of a recruiting organization. Without positions to fill, the recruiter is out of business. A recruiter is continually on the hunt for searches through all manners of marketing, cold calls to potential clients, calls to existing clients, referrals, networking and advertising.
Candidates: Now in order for the above mentioned searches to be filled, the recruiter must have qualified and preferably passive candidates. So a recruiter is always pursuing every avenue they can through cold calling, social media web sites, job postings and referrals. By continually sourcing candidates, a successful recruiter is managing and increasing the flow of contacts, relationships, and resumes.
Submissions: A submission is a qualified candidate that you submit to your client. If the recruiter is managing their searches and candidates, then the first hurdle of the placement process has been cleared by your submission. It is absolutely essential for the recruiter to have an ongoing flow in the first two pipelines in order to efficiently and effectively make their submissions. Hopefully your client will be interested in the candidate and want to interview them and the candidate thinks the company and opportunity are exciting enough to interview for…and when these two things come together…it is then time to coordinate the interview. Now it gets really exciting.
Placements: Placements are what a recruiter’s work life is all about. Recruiters are in the business of, and stay in business only by, making placements. A placement is that magical moment when everything clicks and all the bells and whistles go off. These placements require the experienced mediation, management, communication, and sales ability of a skilled recruiter. Making placements and closing deals is a recruiters reward for managing their all-encompassing pipeline activity.

What To Look For When Hiring a Search Firm

What To Look For When Hiring a Search Firm

Hiring a quality search firm for your company is as critical and important as the actual employees you hire to work directly in your organization. We have all heard; “A bad hire is a costly hire.” So, how do you know if the search firm you’re interviewing has the right stuff to give you the advantage over your competition in finding and hiring the best candidates?
Process: Ask the prospective recruiter/search firm to walk you through their process for finding and hiring a candidate, from the moment a job order is received until the actual hire. This will give you insight into the recruiter’s thoroughness, network of contacts, and integrity.

Candidates: Ask the prospective recruiter/search firm, “Where do you find your candidates?” Do they have experience with only one source – online job boards, for instance? Or does the recruiter have experience with a wide range of networking sources? Good recruiters/search firms will have a strong network of contacts they can rely on to get your organization the best candidate. They will also be aggressive; and not reluctant to make COLD CALLS to find the passive candidate that every company would like to hire. If the recruiter/search firm can not give you a clear and direct answer regarding their sourcing tactics; beware. It is very important to learn what kind of candidates the recruiter/search firm have experience in placing. You certainly do not want to hire a firm who has never placed the type of candidate you are in need of. A good recruiter/search firm will bring knowledge, information, and value to your company.

Cost: Make sure you understand how search firms charge. Firms may charge as much as 40% of your new hires first year salary, but 20% to 30% is more the norm. A contingency agreement means the search firm only charges a fee if you hire a candidate they presented. A retained agreement requires a percentage of money to be paid before the search is started but your search will take priority over a contingency agreement. Many top-notch firms will not work on contingencies, and many will want a fee if you fill the position with them or without them. Make sure you understand the contract.

Performance: Verify a recruiter/search firms success rate. Check their references. Reputation in the recruiting industry is similar to water…without it a firm will not persevere. Make sure and verify who will be performing the search. Ask how long a typical search takes to complete. Inquire if there are companies they can not approach. Search firms will not recruit from their own clients; which is a benefit to you as well. Also, provide the search firm with a list of companies that you want them to approach and those you do not want them to approach. Be very detailed in your job description of requirements; telling the search firm that you need “An educated bubbly personality who would fit well with your culture” is a recipe for disaster. A better description would be, “We need a VP level individual from a Fortune 500 company with 5 years of experience handling all production for the company.” Bottom line; do your homework.

The best recruiters/search firms are motivated by the challenges of recruiting itself. Money is a factor for any recruiters, but the very best are those who love finding that needle in the hay stack.The best recruiters also love making good matches between candidates and companies. They get a charge out of getting to know people, both within their company and outside of it. They enjoy learning about candidates’ skills and personalities, and about the jobs they’re trying to fill—and they get satisfaction out of bringing the right candidate together with the right company. And finally, the best recruiters/search firms are those who can make the difficult hire and give you the best chance of retaining new hires.


Team – There Is No “I,” But the “A” Is For Accountability

By Charlie Scott

Team sports analogies have long been used in home building for obvious reasons. They both have the common component of individual performances that roll up into team results. Home building is the ultimate team endeavor, made up of internal employees and external trade partners numbering into the thousands.

Why is teamwork important in home building? The answer is potent – customers’ teamwork ratings are highly correlated to customer referring activity and future referral sales!

Let’s be clear – customers don’t want a hero in the home building company, for example a Salesperson who “made their builder” deliver on an expectation. While a hero may sound like a good idea, they actually work against overall teamwork and sap the customer’s enthusiasm for the entire organization. It would be much smarter for the Salesperson in this example to work behind the scenes to resolve any customer issues and then proclaim to the customer that “We are sorry about this expectation gap. The entire team cares deeply about customer satisfaction and as a customer relations gesture has agreed (or not) to meet this customer expectation.” This approach sends a strong signal of company unity, teamwork, demonstrates respect for fellow teammates, and shows that customer centricity exists throughout the entire organization.

Let’s step outside our industry for another example. Imagine you are in a restaurant, your food order is delivered incorrectly, and you ask the server to correct it. The server could say something like, “Not again! Those cooks are messing up today. Don’t worry, I’ll go talk to them and make them fix this!” In this scenario, the server has a hero complex and wants credit for being a “fixer” to the detriment of the dining experience, the restaurant, and the customer enthusiasm. A better server response could be, “We are so, sorry! Our kitchen staff is passionate about preparing correct and delicious food orders. Let me bring this to their attention and I am sure they will address this immediately.” This alternative response signals 1) respect for the kitchen teammates, 2) promises immediate attention, and 3) signals customer centricity. So, a wrong food order can turn out to be an enthusiasm booster, instead of an enthusiasm vampire. A big lesson here is that customers who are confident in the entire TEAM, refer family and friends at a much higher rate than they do a single “hero.” Customers would not risk referring a family member or friend to a restaurant or builder that depends on a hero to “fix” stuff.

How do you spot employees with these enthusiasm robbing behaviors in your organization? It’s easy – you can usually hear them! Listen closely for their over use of words like “I” and “my.” As in “I have lots and floor plans,” “my model,” “my builder,” “Let me see what I can do for you,” “my framers,” ‘my vendors,” etc. Team focused employees more commonly use words like “we,” “our,” etc.

This week’s management meeting questions – Do we value, teach and foster teamwork in our organization? Do we have employees with a customer enthusiasm robbing “hero complex,” damaging future referring activity and referral sales?

For a more complete understanding of the virtues and values of Teamwork, how to foster it, how to grow it, and how to measure it, please read “There Is No I in Team, But there is an “A” for Accountability” in the upcoming September issue of Professional Builder Magazine!

Charlie Scott has more than 25 years of hands-on homebuilding experience, much of this in senior management positions with an award-winning, nationally recognized Midwest builder. He credits a “Voice of the Customer” firm as instrumental in his homebuilding company’s strategic growth and success. Today, Charlie is an owner of that “Voice of the Customer” firm – Woodland, O’Brien & Scott – and helps North American home builders grow their own customer-centric cultures, pursue operational excellence, and increase referral sales. Charlie is an internationally known customer satisfaction expert and has presented keynote addresses in the U.S., United Kingdom and India. Charlie also authored the book, “Construction Knowledge 101” to help builder personnel in all functions understand the nature of homebuilding. He would love to hear you from you at:


Starts and Permits Show Signs of Life for Single-Family

Great News From Builder Online!
By:Claire Easley

In October, permits came in at the highest level seen in 19 months.

At long last, the housing industry is showing signs of life. Permits were up 10.9% in October to an annual rate of 653,000, the best reading the industry has seen in 19 months, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. On an annual basis, permits were up 17.7%. Both single-family and multifamily permits were up on a monthly basis, 5.1% and 24.4%, respectively.

While housing starts slipped by 0.3%, they were up 16.5% year-over-year. The monthly decrease was fueled by an 8.3% dip in multifamily starts, after the sector saw a 35.0% increase in September. The change brought the annual rate for units in buildings of five units or more to 183,000. Single-family starts were up 3.9% for the month, for an annual rate of 430,000.

The news helps to substantiate yesterday’s report that builders are feeling more optimistic about the industry than they have been for more than a year, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which tracks builder confidence.

The numbers are still low, of course. Both starts and permits will likely set record lows this year, and while an HMI reading of 20 is higher than it’s been since May 2010, it would take a reading of more than 50 to indicate that a majority of builders describe conditions as “good.”

Still, the report was a good one, wrote Patrick Newport, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, in a statement today. “It has supporting evidence that the single-family market is finally getting off the mat and that the multifamily segment is continuing to make small strides, and that we should expect good housing starts numbers the rest of this year.”

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.

San Antonio Solar Boosters, Lennar and KB Home


Posted on: August 22, 2011
Source: San Antonio Express-News

Of course the buyer of a new luxury home can consider installing solar panels. Why not?

But for the first time in San Antonio, solar panels are becoming an option for homebuyers at an affordable price point, and in the kind of new homes that many people purchase: production homes by large, national builders.

Supporters of solar energy say it’s a sign that green building has become more widespread in the market and that local homebuyers are growing increasingly sophisticated about energy efficiency.

Lennar Homes recently opened a model home with solar panels in the Kallison Ranch neighborhood off of Culebra outside Loop 1604 and will start offering solar panels as an option in all of its communities.

KB Home also will roll out solar panels as an option in all of its San Antonio communities this fall, and last week installed solar panels on a model home in its new La Fontana neighborhood off of U.S. 281 North and Evans Road.

“It really demonstrates a maturing of the market,” said Cathy Teague, a spokeswoman with KB Home. “Not every buyer will want to do solar panels, but there are a certain number of new homeowners who are interested in seeing how far off the grid they can get.”

Anita Ledbetter Devora, executive director of Build San Antonio Green said people also have realized they don’t have to install a huge and expensive system to run an entire home — they can use solar as a way to permanently shave utility bills instead.

“The tipping point is that we have more educated installers and builders,” Devora said. “Years ago it was an all-or-nothing mentality. Builders are putting in more affordable systems. It will make a difference in your utility bill without breaking the bank.”

Lanny Sinkin, executive director of Solar San Antonio, said some homeowners and builders take a phased approach. “You can do some one year and some another year and just keep building your system,” he said.

According to Solar San Antonio, the cost of a 5-kilowatt system — a typical choice that can handle about 40 percent of a home’s energy load — costs about $27,500 installed. But a CPS rebate whittles about $11,250 off of the cost, and a 30 percent federal tax credit shaves off another $4,875. That leaves a typical buyer of solar panels paying around $11,375.

“It really changes the whole proposition,” Sinkin said.

Both KB and Lennar declined to provide specific costs for the solar panel option, but Brian Barron, director of construction for Lennar, said the build will be able to lower the costs thanks to volume discounts.

In 2010, San Antonio-based Imagine Homes, a smaller volume builder, was the first to offer solar panels to buyers of homes at a moderate price point, in neighborhoods where home prices start around $140,000.

About 10 percent of its buyers have opted to put solar panels on their homes so far, and John Friesenhahn, a partner with the company, said he is seeing increased buyer interest in solar energy.

“My hunch is that it’s gas prices as well as the heat,” Friesenhahn said. “When gas prices go up, and people get these huge electric bills from CPS, they stop and think about their budget.”

Friesenhahn said in Imagine neighborhoods, a basic 2-kilowatt solar unit generally costs anywhere between $12,000 and $16,000 before the CPS rebates and tax incentives.

So far San Antonio has 382 photovoltaic units, mostly on homes, Sinkin said. Another 70 are awaiting approval from CPS.

A few years ago, though, the city had hardly any solar units — just five systems in 2008, according to information from CPS and Solar San Antonio.

Devora said she hopes that number will start to grow quickly, and was happy to see solar offered on homes where the utility bill savings can make a real difference in a household’s budget. “We’re seeing a huge change in the residential market,” she said.

KB Home, based in Los Angeles, has 28 neighborhoods in the San Antonio area and the Miami-based Lennar has nine communities. They are both among the top 10 most active builders in the market, and together have more than 13 percent of the market share of new home building, according to the housing research firm Metrostudy.

Barron said Lennar isn’t sure how many buyers will choose solar. But already the new model home has been drawing people curious about the panels. “Buyers these days expect some type of green efficiency program,” he said. “Installing solar panels is something we consider as the next step in green building.”

Read more:

Congratulations Challenger Homes & New Home Star!

Challenger Homes, New Home Star Take Top Market Share in Colorado Springs
PRWeb – 10 hrs ago

Rapidly expanding Colorado builder and sales management partner hit milestone.

Colorado Springs, CO (PRWEB) July 28, 2011
Through the midway point of 2011, Colorado Springs-based, Challenger Homes has a good reason to be confident. For the first time in the homebuilder’s 11-year history, the company has moved into first place in Colorado Springs market share. The year-to-date permit report, published this month, marks a milestone for Challenger and sales management partner, New Home Star.

Although many builders continue to struggle, Challenger has thrived in recent years. The company has also remained steadfast in its practice of remaining closed on Sundays, despite most builders opening for business. In a market where every new customer counts, this practice has forced Challenger Homes and New Home Star to be very customer-focused the other six days of the week. Given the builder’s recent success, the approach appears to be working.

“We feel very blessed to be in this position during a very difficult market. It is a testimony to all of the great people working for and with Challenger Homes that share our vision and values,” said Challenger Homes president, Todd Anderson. “By focusing on some timeless basic principles, we have been able to not only survive this housing recession, but thrive to become one of the top builders in our market.”

Challenger has experienced year-over year sales growth in the high double-digits, since partnering with New Home Star in 2009. The national sales management and outsourcing company partners with builders across North America to drive bottom line results. In Colorado Springs, that partnership has assisted Challenger Homes for consecutive record years in one of the most difficult housing markets in history.

“Watching what has happened with Challenger Homes over the past two years has been amazing. It’s a special experience to go from 15th to 1st in market share; one that you don’t get to experience often. I’m proud of the extraordinary team effort and thankful for the results. There is no doubt we are blessed,” explained New Home Star president, David Rice.

About Challenger Homes:

Over the years, Challenger has sold a lot of homes, in a lot of different designs, to a lot of different people. However, the core principle hasn’t changed. More House to Call Home, designed around the customer, at an affordable price. For more information on Challenger Homes, visit

About New Home Star:

New Home Star is a national sales and marketing company, providing builders and developers with comprehensive management and outsourcing services for today’s housing market. New Home Star currently partners with over 30 builders spanning 3,000 miles across the United States. For more information on New Home Star, visit

Four Great Builders to Watch!

Four Builders. Same Story.
Similar choices beget singular successes.
By:John Caulfield

Great minds think alike, the saying goes. So it’s not surprising to discover common threads that connect the recent successes of the four regional builders we profile on the following pages.

All of them have refreshed and edited their house plans within the past 24 months, often by introducing new series with flexible designs. The builders have concluded as well that offering more choices through options empowers their customers and generates more profit per sale.

Another common thread is construction efficiency. Each company used the recession to work out how to build houses quicker with significantly fewer employees but without sacrificing quality. Simplifying their house plans certainly helped, as did the availability of labor willing to meet the builders’ higher production demands. Keeping their associates and subs happy is now a critical component of each company’s business model.

It’s worth noting that each of these builders projects healthy growth over the next few years within its local markets. That doesn’t mean, though, that they aren’t also looking to attract out-of-state buyers who are relocating for reasons of business, lifestyle, or retirement.

To continue reading this article follow this link:

Lennar Atlanta Celebrates With “Derby Days”

Lennar Atlanta Celebrates With “Derby Days”

Never ones to shy away from using an event or holiday as a reason to celebrate and decorate their Model Homes, Lennar Atlanta has announced that this coming weekend from Friday 5/6 though Sunday 5/8 will be “Derby Days” at all their Atlanta new home communities in celebration of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby.

All Lennar Atlanta Welcome Home Centers will be decorated and events planned by the individual New Home Consultants active in that neighborhood. This means that if you tour multiple communities this weekend you may be offered a piece of authentic Kentucky Derby Pie, have the chance to win Kentucky Derby memorabilia or just shop for your new home in a festive environment. Sorry, but Mint Juleps are not on the menu.

“Derby Days” will be taking place throughout the northern metro Atlanta area including Caswell Overlook townhomes, Creekview at Shiloh Valley, Mirraview and Tanglewood in Cobb county. The new Lennar Atlanta Forsyth county communities of Laurel Heights and Hanover Pointe. Trey Vista in Buford will be the location to join the festivities in Gwinnett county. These communities range in price from the $150,000’s to low $400,000’s.

Don’t forget forget to follow Lennar Atlanta on Facebook to stay up to date on activities including events like “Derby Days” for all their Atlanta communities.

For More Information –
Ph. 404-931-7462

I Am Woman, Hear Me Saw

From: BUILDER 2011Posted on: May 5, 2011 11:02:00 AM
I Am Woman, Hear Me Saw
Habitat For Humanity’s Fourth Annual National Women Build Week will start 257 homes by this Sunday.
By:John Caulfield

Mel Ressler has worked for Habitat for Humanity, on and off, for the past decade, including time spent with AmeriCorps. This week, she’s supervising the construction of two homes in Charlotte, N.C., that are among the 257 houses Habitat will start in different markets across the U.S. between April 30 and May 8 as part of its fourth annual National Women Build Week.

Women on construction sites may still be more the exception than the rule, but they’re more evident on Habitat’s sites, where on any given week 10,000 female volunteers are helping to build Habitat homes around the world. Over the past 20 years, all-women crews have built 1,800 homes under Habitat’s auspices, the first of which was started in Charlotte 20 years ago.

To finish reading the article click here:

Taylor Morrison Takes Top For-Profit Private Builder Spot on BUILDER 100 List

Closings decline 21% among 10 largest private home building firms.
By:Teresa Burney

Surviving the worst housing market since the Great Depression represents a major achievement for a privately funded builder, but the top 10 for-profit private builders of 2009 were able to do more than just stay alive–they also managed to hold their own against the cash-rich publicly funded builders.

No private for-profit builder took a top 10 on the BUILDER 100 list, but one, Taylor Morrison, at No. 13 with 3,347 closings, came close. (Nonprofit Habitat for Humanity International achieved the rank of No. 8 on the list, with 5,294 closings.)

David Weekley Homes, The Villages, and Shea Homes weren’t too far behind with more than 2,000 closings for each of them. (See sidebar below for individual companies’ closings and revenue numbers.) However, Shea Homes, with a 35.2% drop in closings and a 40.1% fall in revenue, dropped several spots, falling behind David Weekley and The Villages.

Yet, as a group, the top 10 private builders were, for the most part, able to stay close to the same spots on the lists they held last year. Woodside Homes, even under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, only dropped one notch, from No. 20 to No. 22, with 1,788 closings in 2009.

Of course, 2009’s difficult business conditions made an undeniable impact on these firms. Business remains a fraction of what it was during home building’s peak, and most large private builders on the BUILDER 100 took a sizeable hit again last year. As a group, closings were down an average of 21%. Revenues were off as well, by 23.9%, as the companies discounted homes to get them sold.

Only one private builder, Ashton Woods Homes, grew closings last year, boosting its business by 9.7% to 1,319 deliveries. However, its revenue still declined 9.5% in 2009.

(Editor’s note: Housing nonprofit Habitat for Humanity, the No. 1 builder on this list of top 10 private builders last year, would have also been the biggest private builder this year based on last year’s criteria. However, this year we decided to restrict this list of the top 10 private builders to for-profit firms only.)

Top 10 For-Profit Private Builders in 2009

1. Taylor Morrison (B100 rank: #13*)
3,347 closings, $1.3 billion revenue

2. David Weekley Homes (B100 rank: #17)
2,229 closings; $690.million in revenue

3. The Villages (B100 rank: #19)
2,115 closings; $658.5 million in revenue

4. Shea Homes (B100 rank: #20)
2,091 closings; $838.9 million in revenue

5. Woodside Homes (B100 rank: #21)
1,788 closings; $469 million in revenue

6. The Drees Co. (B100 rank: #22)
1,500 closings; 519.6 million in revenue

7. Highland Homes (B100 rank: #23)
1,455 closings; $511.2 million in revenue

8. Ashton Woods Homes (B100 rank: #24)
1,319 closings; $319.5 million in revenue

9. McGuyer Homebuilders (B100 rank: #25)
1,280 closings; $325.7 million in revenue

10. Perry Homes (B100 rank: #26)
1,267 closings; $368.7 million in revenue

Source: BUILDER 100
* Numbers in parentheses refer to the company’s overall rank on this year’s BUILDER 100 list.