Ed Hunter: The Day Plan of a Non-Billing Manager

Non-Billing Managers are weird characters.

The sort of people who wander in from the shadows with a packet of sweets and a cheeky smile, ready to get a slice of your commission because they feel as though they’ve somehow contributed to your success.

Not only have these people hoodwinked top brass into thinking they’re valuable and worth hiring.

They also now want your commission.

Not all of it. Just as much as they can get away with.

Like a thick-spectacled confidence trickster sporting a garish jumper and a moustache, trying to work into their frail, elderly neighbour’s will by mowing their lawn every other Sunday.

Typically, Non-Billing Managers don’t have the dignity or moral standing of actual thieves.

Nor will they do you the honour of hiding their identity whilst robbing you blind.

They tell you they’re going to rob you. To your face. Then follow that with the utter audacity of telling you things you already know, and dressing it up as ‘Training’.

NBM: “By applying the upside down recruitment funnel, you’ll be more successful and that interview to placement ratio will increase.”

Me: “Look, Susan, you listen to me. You don’t know anything about my work.

The only thing you’ve recruited recently is the collective disdain of everyone in this building. And the only reason you’re telling me this is that if my billings increase, so does your slice.

Tell you what, get out my face and I won’t share with Management what you actually do every day. Which is, as far as I can tell, sweet F.A.”

Everyone knows a Susan.

And just to prove my point from my LinkedIn oddity, I detailed what my particular Susan actually does on a typical weekday.

Here’s her day plan:

08:00 – Have a lie in, remembering you scheduled a fake meeting first thing with an old contact that ‘promises to put you on their PSL’.

08:45 – While on the train in, write a post on LinkedIn about the perfect morning routine. Everyone else is doing it and you’ll look really great when it gets 30 likes. If in doubt, just copy someone else’s. Remember to lie about the gym and healthy lifestyle.

08:55 – Tuck into a sausage and bacon sarnie. Eat loudly, with mouth open so no one sits next to you on the train.

09:00 – Morning Sales meeting. Have one eyebrow constantly raised with a red pen to take notes when a Consultant doesn’t have a pledge for the day. Make everyone aware you’re thoroughly unimpressed by their lack of activity. Regular exhales and head shakes will enforce.

Finish meeting with a tired cliche. Don’t use the upside down recruitment funnel, they’re getting wise to it. Maybe go with ‘back to basics’? A clap as everyone walks off adds depth.

09:20 – Make a coffee while perusing Instagram.

Point out to whoever’s in the kitchen they should be on the phone now. It’s core sales. Can further increase personal misery if they’ve not done a deal this month.

09:25 – Send an email round complaining about the state of the kitchen. Get in some classics like “Would you leave your own kitchen in this state??!” or “Your mum doesn’t work here!!!”

The more pointless punctuation you can get in, the more you’ll look really authoritative and important.

10:00 – Midweek meeting/chin wag with the boss.

Try not to laugh too loudly so anyone looks at the glass-windowed corner office too much. If anyone does look over send their Team Lead an email asking “Why’s no one on the phone?!?!” Copy in the Consultant.

11:00 – Check emails – respond to less important first to ease into the day.

Emails in order of importance:

1) To husband asking why there’s never any toilet roll at home?!?!

2) Re: Lynn, Office Manager re her cat’s new outfit: “OMG HOW CUTE?!?! Literally dying!! When can I come round and meet him??”

3) Re: Lynn, Office Manager re new stationery request: “Yep, fine.”

4) Re: Ed from Monday regarding invoice chase: “No, I’ve not had time but if you could chase Accounts for me now I’ll make sure it gets done”

5) Re: Client re PSL review: “Thanks for this, I’ll attend in person and hope to continue our relationship.”

6) Re: to Ed’s client you’ve insisted control over to ‘streamline’ and ensure there’s only one point of contact: “Thanks for this urgent contract role, we’ll get on it today and have CVs with you by COP.”

7) Re: Client regarding offer for Jen’s candidate as you’re on her out of office: “Hi, that’s fantastic news I’ll offer the candidate for you straight away and get back to you with news ASAP.”

11:30 – Elevenses/fag break. Make phone call if necessary and pace outside the window so people think you’re multi-tasking. Gesticulate with over the top hand signals to give impression it’s a business call. Maybe chase that toilet paper request as you’ve STILL not heard anything back!

12:00 – LUNCH! Remember only a small sandwich as you’re taking Ed’s client out for a boozy one to thank them for business. Remind Ed he must have  all live roles boxed off if he wants to join you.

12:45 – Forward the email to Ed about the urgent contract role.

Remind him this is his nightmare client you’re kindly taking out to lunch in business hours. These roles coming regularly doesn’t just happen. Finish email with condescending sign off.

“Box this off now please Ed. By all means head down to meet us afterwards.”

13:00 – Swan off for a boozy lunch, safe in the knowledge this client’s a laugh riot and Ed’s role’s as niche as it gets.

15:00 – Return to office. Instantly go to Accounts and put in inflated expense form request.

15:15 – Make desk a bit of a mess to show you’re working really really hard for when Boss comes back in. Paperwork = activity.

15:30 – See how Ed’s getting on with the contract role. Half-heartedly offer help “if you’re struggling?” Send over a candidate you know’s already on a project.

16:00 – Scroll through LinkedIn.

Send shit inspirational quote accredited to Abraham Lincoln round to the team. Maybe put a hashtag in on the email so you look down with the kids, even though you don’t really understand what a hashtag is. #winning #inspiration #teamworkmakesthedreamwork

16:45 – Tell everyone on the team to listen in while you show them how you close a candidate. Even though you know Jen’s candidate’s desperate and they’ve already left 4 voicemails on your mobile asking if there’s any news. News that was promised seven hours ago.

17:00 – Offer Jen’s candidate. Overly loudly. Stood up. Twizzle pen in right hand. Make sure everyone’s looking at you. Look out window.

When they accept, email round the good news to everyone in the business and ‘CC’ Jen in. This will highlight your importance and make it look like you’re the glue holding this team together. Maybe put in another hashtag?

Don’t worry about checking for spelling. Shit spelling just underlines the fact you’re terribly, terribly busy #business

17:55 – Email the team reminding them how hard you’ve worked to get where you are but that with persistence, every one of them could be in your seat one day. Make joke about not meaning the literal seat and you brought that in from home.

18:31 – Call Ed into a meeting to discuss the client lunch from earlier. Nothing of note happened but it’s nice to assert authority and he has dinner plans. Make him think the client said the CV quality had dipped and “are we getting references on every candidate?”

18:45 – Check Facebook while having a good old natter with Mum.

19:30 – Email boss referencing the fact you’re still in the office. Something about seeing a mouse maybe? “They only come out when it’s quiet. Maybe that’s why I’m the only one that sees them.”

19:35 – Head home safe in the knowledge you’re the best employee this business has hired in the last ten years.

20:00 – Practice getting the tone of your evening moan right. “You honestly haven’t bought toilet paper?! No, it’s fine. It’s not like I don’t have a full time job too!” 

Needs to be the perfect balance of teary and angry. Coupled with a door slam if possible.

20:15 – Spend self-imposed time in isolation emailing the team, time slots for tomorrow’s catch ups. Put Ed’s in over lunch.

20:30 – Write LinkedIn status update about how recruitment’s easy if you do it correctly and have an amazing team.


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