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Hugh Gallahgher
Gallagher Search Group
Adopt A Sales Mentality For Recruiting Talent
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Hugh has been recruiting talented professionals that make a difference for their new organizations for over 25 years. ​ The Gallagher Group brings over 25 years professional search experience to both our clients and candidates. We help our client companies attract and retain the talent they need to grow their businesses. Our broad based networks, resources and experience make us THE go-to company in the Lehigh Valley and beyond.

In this episode

Hugh Gallagher of the Gallagher Search Group advocates businesses should structure and manage their recruiting function like they would a sales team. Staff recruiting with go-getters who are high performers, incentivize them like you would your salespeople, and watch the talent roll in. Hugh looks at recruiting as a production function, not a support role. He makes a compelling case for changing how you recruit. He doesn't believe that recruiting should always be under HR. Consider putting it in the line organization. Hugh leaves us with the key steps to implementing a production-driven recruiting function.

Adopt A Sales Mentality For Recruiting TalentHugh Gallahgher
00:00 / 23:49

A glimpse of what you'll hear

03:16 The problem with recruiting is that it needs to be treated as a production role; not as an HR support function

05:08 Manage and incentivize your recruiting like you would manage and incentivize your sales team

07:53 How you build a high performing recruiting function inside a big organization

09:02 Managing a high performing recruiting team requires metrics, incentive compensation, and the right type of person for the role

10:28 Benefits of structuring your recruiting function as a production rather than support group

14:45 What you do to implement a production-based recruiting organization

17:13 Learn about Hugh. Email Hugh at or call him at +1.610.246.7400.

Episode Transcript
(Note: this was transcribed using transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast.)

Centricity Introduction 0:04

Welcome to the Best Kept Secret videocast and podcast from Centricity. If you're a B2B service professional, use our five step process to go from the grind of chasing every sale. to keeping your pipeline full with prospects knocking on your door to buy from you. We give you the freedom of time and a life outside of your business. Each episode features an executive from a B2B services company sharing their provocative perspective on an opportunity that many of their clients are missing out on. It's how we teach our clients to get executive decision makers to buy without being salesy or spammy. Here's our host, the co founder and CEO of Centricity, Jay Kingley.

Jay Kingley 0:43

I'm Jay Kingley, co founder and CEO of Centricity. Welcome to another episode of our Best Kept Secret show where I am happy to welcome Hugh Gallagher at the Gallagher Search Group. The Gallagher Group helps clients attract and retain the talent they need to grow their businesses. He is based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Welcome to the show, Hugh.

Hugh Gallagher 1:07

Thanks, Jay. Great to be here.

Jay Kingley 1:08

Fantastic. Now, Hugh, I have been in the corporate world for many, many years, I have been heads of companies, I've been heads of business units all in the line, so to speak. And I have always had mostly a good relationship, sometimes a little tenuous relationship with the HR department, which are, of course, supposed to be a big support system, to people that are running p&l and lines of businesses along with other corporate functions. HR really did two major things for a line of business, which is they help you attract your talent, and then they help you manage and retain your talent. But I want to speak for a moment on attracting talent. That's the first thing that you're doing when you're building a business and you're putting a team together. If your business is growing, you're going to be in that matter of talent, even in a stable business, you're going to have some very natural turnover. So you're always going to be looking to not only bring in new people, but constantly level up. Now so often, HR would run that process on behalf of, you know, whoever was going to do the hiring and for that particular business, but you know, it always seemed like it ran like a support function. You know, at times, I think there's a lot of frustration with HR people. They're sweet, they're nice, but they don't always know exactly who it is that you're looking for, particularly around some of those intangible characteristics that are so important. Sometimes they don't always get their urgency, or how everything fit together. But they were always nice but wasn't quite at the level that I and I think others expect it to be. So as someone who has been in the talent business for most of your career, what is it that they're getting wrong in terms of how they're looking at the attraction of talent?

Hugh Gallagher 3:29

You know, Jay, I think the biggest thing is that, as you're very accurately pointed out, in most organizations, the recruiting function is housed under human resources. And generally speaking, the folks, as you mentioned, are dynamite in HR, they're great, they're lovely folks. But it is a support role. And in order for recruiting function to really to operate at optimal levels, it needs to be treated much more as production role. And I know that's counterintuitive, the way most businesses run now, there are some that obviously due to great success. But I think that's the big thing that they're missing is that it really needs to be treated as a production.

Jay Kingley 4:10

And when you talk about our production role, explain a little bit about what you mean.

Hugh Gallagher 4:15

Well, where, it's almost like a sales role where you're managing and setting up metrics and expectations for performance. So that, you know, just like in a sales funnel, you need to start with a lot of people will whittle it down to final closures. In this case, you're starting with a larger pool and you have to be responsible for self generating that pool. If you're sitting there and actually waiting for folks to apply. And I always cringe when I hear HR folks use the word applicants because if you're waiting on applicants, it becomes much more of a good fortune, that strategy. And we've talked offline about strategies, you know, it's one of those things that just becomes really, really challenging and you need to incentivize, manage your recruiters to function in production roles so that they're getting both the quantity and quality of the folks that are hiring line managers need to see to build their groups, to new levels of success.

Jay Kingley 5:14

So if I'm getting you and I gotta say, this is a very different point of view here. And I want to think for a moment about how this would look in sales, because I love that analogy. I mean, you wouldn't build a sales team who were getting paid a fixed amount of money, independent of their results, you wouldn't measure them on just the number of what I call inputs. I voted digit. Did you have enough conversations today? Did anybody ask you if they were interested? And focus on that, as opposed to the outcomes, which is, you know, how many clients how much revenue? What's our margins? How much repeat business, how much loyalty, those types of things, and you would never run? I think what you're saying you would never run a sales team the way so many companies run their part of HR that's in charge of talent acquisition. So are you really saying that you should have that same mindset as sales to set up your recruiting function?

Hugh Gallagher 6:24

I'm saying very, very similar, a lot of the moving parts are exactly the same Jay, you know, I mean, you really do need to have that accountability, it can't be a nine to five mentality, it has to be I have to deliver mentality, as such an sp managed that way, it has to be compensated that way. If there's no variable compensation piece in this, you're going to get the outcomes that you've always gotten.

Jay Kingley 6:48

So one of the things that, you know, you hear a lot, our executives and other experts who talk about how critical, you know, talent is how the biggest asset of any business is their workforce is the skill expertise and knowledge of their workers. And you're pointing out this massive disconnect, that the people inside your company who are on point to bring that talent in, aren't being managed in a constructive, output oriented way, just like you would do for sales. And isn't it the case that you are selling your company, to your employees, who in many cases are the frontline people, they're going to be dealing with your customers, the same way that a salesperson is selling the services and products of a company to customers?

Hugh Gallagher 7:51

It's exactly that. And you know, even further more to that point, you hear every business magazine, every interview your culture, culture, culture, culture. Where do you think the culture comes from, you're not started your people create. So unless you're recruiting and attracting the right group of people, and unless you're structuring your recruiting function to find those types of folks, they're gonna see eye to eye with the direction you're looking to go, you're going to really, really struggled to establish that kind of culture.

Jay Kingley 8:21

So how do you basically construct this inside of your typical HR type organization? Or do you? I mean, how do you how do you do it?

Hugh Gallagher 8:34

It can be done, I would recommend, I've heard organizations letting recruiting function itself be a standalone function. I've seen it sometimes housed under operations. And I think there's maybe a stronger argument for it to be there than under HR. But in any case, you need leadership that understands what we're measuring. What are we looking at, you know, what, first interviews? How many? How many raw contacts are we making? What do these pipelines look like? It's just like managing a sales pipeline. You can't look at five openings and see four of them with zero people in it. And one guy that's halfway through, you got people with all of their deliverables on their end, as business unit manager, are kind of in full staff. So if their staff is not full, you're stressing the existing staff, you're, you're going to come short on numbers, and just those are natural things. And unfortunately, unless you're incentivizing your recruiters to produce in that kind of capacity, they're going to get paid whether they deliver or not, and your organization suffers. It's unfortunate.

Jay Kingley 9:40

So you're talking metrics, you're talking compensation. But I wonder if you're not if there isn't also an implication for what types of people are going to be the right people to bring into that role? And how are they similar and different to the people that you would typically find in an HR department?

Hugh Gallagher 10:03

Again, I think we're back at the distinction between production support, you know, where you can be nice and a production role. But you can't not produce in a production role. And that really is what it comes down to is, you've got to be able to get numbers and drive qualified talent through the pipelines. So that these folks are getting they need to build their teams up. And unless you have that, you're really going to struggle. And you know, it's the same thing we've seen for years. So many different examples out there.

Jay Kingley 10:39

Fascinating. I mean, I love this perspective, it is such a different way of looking at it, it's such a different way than I think most are doing it. And yet, it is incredibly compelling. So let's sort of go on to what I think is the next area to explore. If you have an executive, whether it be the CEO or head of a business unit, and even to a degree, their counterpart in HR that finds this as compelling as I do. Tell me at that decision maker level, what benefits can they expect?

Hugh Gallagher 11:21

You need to look at what the harm is of not filling these spots? Where the cost of vacancies? Are? Your people are not people not in spots, people not delivering on what those job responsibilities are? What does that causing for stress for the manager? What does that causing for output for the team? What does that causing for morale? without putting any numbers on it? This is just conceptually where we're at, then you can get into the actual numbers and say, My God, you know, we're only 75% or 60% or 90%, that percent might be the money you make that year. You can't leave that on the table, because you're not you're not getting the right folks on bus.

Jay Kingley 11:59

Absolutely agree. It reminds me you know, when I think about sports, and you think about everybody, you know, from the owner, and executives and, and head coach or manager and all the fans, what is the thing that they probably spend more time than anything else on it is the team. And they have lots of sleepless nights, when you've got someone who's injured or can't perform, or new doesn't doesn't know, the playbook, it's a massive stressor leads to a lot of sleepless nights compared to those who've really got it down where they're just crushing it out there and have that smile on their face, because their talent is aligned with their objectives and what it is that they're trying to see. And I know that there aren't necessarily a lot of companies out there that have made this kind of change. But I know that it has been done. You know, so he let me ask you in terms of the business itself, what do you see out there in terms of the harder benefits, and how it can really move the needle for a business to run your recruiting this way?

Hugh Gallagher 13:08

We know of a organization locally here in Pennsylvania, that they're not a nonprofit healthcare organization that was struggling, like everyone has for talent, kind of shifted that wholesale, but generally wholesale to this production model. And just got a call bogey out there a variable compensation number, maybe five grand for the recruiting team for the month, which is not a huge sum spread over X amount of recruiters. If those folks were hitting their numbers, and you and the company was paying out that five grand that was allowing them to open up an additional service unit, where the revenue was 100 grand. So you can see I mean, the numbers are staggering. What that little bit of extra expense is going to yield an extra revenue. And you can do the math in your own head of what this is going to cost. It's also much again, it's so much better for morale for retention, to have good happy employed people working for you every day rather than stress people working short staffed, working extra hours and really driving themselves crazy but driving their managers crazy also, because there's not enough talent around them to do what they need to do to work.

Jay Kingley 14:19

And you're also getting this organizational alignment between the people that are running the business and the people that are responsible for bringing in that talent for the business or real team as opposed to this league, you know, butting heads in fingerpointing, that so often occurs.

Hugh Gallagher 14:37

No question I mean, you look you'd made a sports analogy earlier. Look at some of these, this variable compensation as they do with sports contracts if the performance space if they don't perform at those levels, you're not paying them any extra. And if they do, it's the best check your rent every month. If you can get me 35 home runs and 120 or be honest, what's the chalkboard it's just a blank book make it out because I knew that kind of talent. That's what we're talking about here is that if that person you sign in their base salary is whatever it is, and they have at home runs and driving 60, you don't pay them any extra and nor should you. But the superstar sugar, a couple extra bucks, and for them.

Jay Kingley 15:21

Completely. Now who you've made, I think, this very compelling argument not just for how to change your thinking, but how that flows through, and makes a real difference both to the decision maker in the business as a whole. So if I'm a CEO of a company, or I'm running a major business unit, what are the steps that I need to do to implement a program like this?

Hugh Gallagher 15:50

First, then commit to it, you really do. And those are not small steps to skip over. Because this is a wholesale change of thinking this is not all, that's not the way we do it. This isn't the way most people do. So I mean, you're going to have to recognize the, for lack of a while we're on the baseball machines, the Moneyball way of thinking, you know, we're looking at things outside the box and trying to get creative with how we're doing what we're doing. But once you have that, you need leadership in place, too. And unfortunately, because it is a support function, the most talented and talented human resource, folks are not production oriented, recruiting managers, they're just not. That's not the role, that's not the background. So you need to find someone with that kind of a background that can assemble and manage a team and motivate them and hold their feet to the fire, make sure they're performing the levels, you're setting up for them.

Jay Kingley 16:41

This is a real, I think, game changer. In terms of totally rethinking the talent acquisition side of your business, this absolutely can move the needle for any business where talent is critical. And I'm hard pressed to think of a business where that wouldn't be the case. So with that to cogitate over, we are going to take a quick break and come right back to learn a bit more about Hugh, and what his business is all about.

Centricity Introduction 17:21

Wondering how much longer you have to grind and chase after every lead conversation and client, would you like clients to knock on your door so you no longer have to pitch follow up and spam decision makers. Well Centricity's The Tipping Point program uses a proven five step process that will help you get in front of the decision makers you need by spending less time on doing all of the things you hate. It's not cold, calling cold email, cold outreach on LinkedIn or any other social media platform, or spending money on ads. But it has a 35 times higher ROI than any of those things, leveraging your expertise and insights that your prospects and network value. The best part even though you'll see results in 90 days, you get to work with the Centricity team for an entire year to make sure you have all the pieces in place and working. So you can start having freedom of time and a life outside of your business. So email to schedule an 18 minute call to learn more.

Jay Kingley 18:19

Welcome back. Let's find out a little bit more about Hugh. Hugh, let me start by asking you, what are the pain points that you and your company solve for your clients? And why is it that they need you to get rid of that page, you know, the

Hugh Gallagher 18:37

The pain points we solve, or we can help deliver the talent you're not finding on your own. It's really what it comes down to. And we have a consultancy practice which we can help train your staff on how to do what we do. So between those two areas, every organization we've worked with, either directly in training their staff or directly with helping a track staff for them, has benefited from that relationship with us. You know, I have been doing this for 25 plus years. Incredibly well network, this is not an ego thing. But it's just unfortunate thing about being 54 as you get older than you know a lot of people and you get to a certain age where you can play that to your advantage and that and that's really worked out pretty well, for us. And most importantly for our clients. You know, that's really what they're buying with us as a contact.

Jay Kingley 19:27

And so on that consulting side, just to be clear for our listeners, you actually could help any company out there implement this concept of how do you take your internal talent acquisition side and set it up as a production function rather than a support function? Is that fair?

Hugh Gallagher 19:46

That no it's absolutely true. That's where a lot of this content that we spoken about has come from has been the work we've done with other clients. So yeah, we've done things as short as half day seminar to a year plus on some. A couple of days a week type deal. So I mean, it's and everything in between.

Jay Kingley 20:04

And that's a great segue into my next question where I want to understand what is it that makes you and your team, you know, great at what you do, because I always like to remind people, nobody hire someone because of what they do. Because if that were the case, we'd all be settling for what's mediocre and average. We all want to work with the best given constraints of our budget. But that aside, we want to work with the very best, so who, what makes you the very best?

Hugh Gallagher 20:34

Again, I've been doing this 25 years plus, I've placed people in every state in America, you know, couple placements in Canada, and maybe the listeners we have, but it's something that track record is what it is. And at some point, you're buying a track record in your buying experience, and you're buying networks. And in all of those areas, we're awfully good, not so egocentric to say we're the best but we're rather we're we're we've really been able to I'm really proud of our record of delivering for our clients. So we've built relationships with over the years.

Jay Kingley 21:09

Now you've talked about your 25 years of experience, I encourage everybody to go on to LinkedIn and look you up connect with you there and know, you'll get to see some of the details of what he has done in his career. But my question to you is, what has happened, you know, in your personal life or your professional life? That would answer what for me is the more interesting question of not what you've done. That is what LinkedIn is good for. But why or why are you doing what it is that you do.

Hugh Gallagher 21:43

And I mentioned this with every one of the on site training things we've done and with every person that I've trained, both in my own company and fire companies is that in our world, when everything's working the right way. It's the best job I've ever seen. Our client gets a terrific new hire, the candidate gets a terrific new opportunity, and we get paid. And between those three things, we get paid fairly well. And that's about it. You know, we're but but those three things where you're welcome, and you want to be well compensated for a job well done. And you know, there's nothing more rewarding than people picking up the phone and saying, Hey, you got me a job. 15 years ago, you changed my life, you put me on a different trajectory and talking to people that have said, you helped us do X, Y and Z. Can you do it again? You know, man, that's just some dynamite to hear and try to tamp down my ego. But that's you're asking me a central question. This is where it comes from, though it is from having those experiences and having those successes over and over and over. And seeing the impact you make both in people's lives and in organizations lives.

Jay Kingley 22:54

We talk about the first part of every show we internally use to praise you know, your provocative perspective, because we like our guests to challenge the thinking of all the people that are running businesses that listen to the show. And today, you certainly provoked us and challenged us to rethink what is a wood is such a critical function for any business, which is the acquisition of talent. And I'm sure that we've got a lot of listeners here that are going to want to reach out and continue this discussion with you. What's the best way for them to contact you?

Hugh Gallagher 23:35

Email is, I have no problem call me directly on myself 610 246 7400. There's the best two ways to get me.

Jay Kingley 23:45

And to make it easy for everybody. Check the show notes. And you'll find that information there. Now he before we go, some of our guests privately and they think that I don't hear this, they call me the arm twister, because very few of them get out of the show without getting their arm twisted, to give a little bit of a gift for our listeners. So I'm going to virtually reach over twist your arm until you say uncle, Hugh, what can you offer our listeners for sticking with you

Hugh Gallagher 24:25

More than happy to offer a 25% discount off of our standard fees framework we're doing.

Jay Kingley 24:31

Guys that is huge, huge. So I want everyone reach out to you engage with him, particularly around this concept of talent acquisition as a production function. And if it makes sense to move forward. Tell you Hugh, hey, I heard you on the Best Kept Secret show I want my discount. I love it. Hugh. I want to thank you for being such a thought provoking I guess on the show today thank you thank you to our listeners and audience let's continue to crush it out there. Until next time.

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