Dear Mitch

Our company training’s the same thing every time. I know you do copywriting and retainer training. How can I make my boss understand this is something the whole team should know? Becci

By getting the whole team to ask for it.

Hi Mitch, I’m a big fan (desperate to know what the other side of your face looks like) but I can’t be creative on LinkedIn, or really show any character. Is there a way to bridge the gap without going ‘full Oleg’? Jen

Can’t or not allowed?

Also, being creative and being yourself aren’t the same things.

What I’m trying to say is I don’t really understand the question and if I did, it would probably take me 1,000 words to answer it.

So, I’ll leave you with an “Oleg” kind of answer.

Just be yourself. It’s the only thing you’ll ever be perfect at. Agree?

I’m a creative recruiter in York, and lose a lot of candidates to London or Manchester which my colleagues have. Do you think location matters to success? Anonymous.

Sometimes.

Clearly, London is an easier place to make money recruiting creatives than it is in somewhere like York.

Maybe you could focus more on jobs where the target candidates aren’t likely to be less experienced, single and more prone to relocate? Maybe focus on more senior roles where the candidates are local and have kids and mortgages and want to stay in the north?

Or maybe you could start selling York as a place to live to creatives in London who are thinking about settling down but can’t afford to live in or near London?

Hey Mitch, Do you think it’s possible to recruit somewhere you’re not located? We’re looking at opening in New York, but I need to show business opportunity before they move me. It seems too hard to me. Geoff

Yes it is, but you just have to re-order your life around the different time zone. But yes, very possible assuming you do all the right research and know what you’re doing.

Hiya, just wondering, how much should I ask for feedback from clients on process? Once the deal’s done, I don’t do much after care other than the next role. Is this something other people (or you) actually do? They seem happy but I could be better. Jane H.

Depends what you mean by “process” Jane.

If it was a process you created and were in control over, then yes, it’s essential you get feedback, so you can keep improving that process.

But if you were one of several other agencies then most clients are only going to see the ‘agency experience’ collectively rather than remembering individual contributions. Most only remember who found the successful candidate – and they’ll probably forget that in a few months.

I think investing in a post deal follow-up is a good idea if you want to try to wean the client into only working with you.

Mitch, is there a good strategy for getting referrals? I ask all the time, but never seem to get any. Andre, London 

Candidate referrals? If so, it depends who you ask and when you ask them.

The best people to ask are those who know you and/or have had previous dealings with you. Then you have to ask them in stages. Ask them on one phone call, then tell them you’ll give them time to think and call them back in a few days. It’s unlikely people will remember names when put on the spot.

The worst people to ask are people you’ve just pitched the same job to and those who’ve applied to it.

Then there’s the question of what’s their motivation to refer someone – and that is a whole other can of worms. Contrary to what you might think, most people don’t recommend other people for jobs in exchange for cash. Most do it because they want to help a friend and will feel good about it.

The exception to this can be if the cash reward is significant – and not the desultory amounts like £250 I see most recruiters offer. I think a real incentive would be £1,000 or 20% of your fee, whichever is the greater.