Motivational Monday #109 Failing Intelligently


Motivational Monday #109 Failing Intelligently

We need to teach the highly educated person that it is not a disgrace to fail and that they must analyze every failure to find its cause. They must learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts in the world.

Charles F. Kettering


I guess when you come down to it life is very straight forward and full of simple choices – do I say ‘yes’ or ‘no’; do I go talk to that person or not, do I exercise or not? And interestingly I think a lot of the time the range of choices we have to select from is fairly small. Very often two – to do something or not to do something.

Why when do we have so many difficulties making choices and especially choices that take us into new areas? I think the answer is simple, a friend of mine put it plainly the other day:

“Fear only stops you doing things”

Consider that for a second. When you have reluctance or apprehension (both lesser forms of fear), have those feelings ever encouraged you to try something new? I suspect not. Fear of the unknown seems to be something that is hardwired into our DNA. I suppose hundreds of thousands of years ago when our ancestors were finding their feet, wandering off into unknown dark new places wasn’t the smartest of plans.

It’s time to rise about that inherent reluctance. It’s time to be more open to choices that take us to new places and to experience new things.  

So let’s consider this point in more detail, what is it that we are afraid or anxious about? Very often it’s that vaguest, and yet perhaps the most pervasive fear, fear of failure. It comes up all the time. It’s lurking in the shadows behind so many of the ‘no’ decisions we make because we are too afraid to say ‘yes’ and then ‘fail’.

So what can we do to shake this one off?  Well there is a way forward highlighted by Charles Kettering in his quote – “learn how to fail intelligently” –to do this the first thing you have to do is fail at something. So actually in itself that quote is urging you on. Try new things, fail at them… and then consider what happened?what you can learn from that experience to take you forward? Because that’s what failing intelligently is all about.

It’s about moving forward, developing yourself and your life through the experience of failing at things. Allowing the opportunity to fail better and more intelligently, repeatedly until you reach a level of competence that is then considered success!

If failure is an art, as Kettering puts it, then like any art it will take time to master and each one of us, if we put the effort in, will be able to master the art in our own unique way.

Your style and method of failure will be unique to you and so will your successes when you learn to fail intelligently!

So maybe today is the day to say yes to some of those new things; a day to go out and intelligently fail!

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart


Taking Stock


Taking Stock

“Every disadvantage contains an equal advantage”

W Clement Stone

So I was quite ill recently and it meant lots of time in bed or sitting very weakly on the couch. For a while there wasn’t even the opportunity to think about things and I existed in a dazed fugue like state. 

However once that passed I was able to start pondering a few things – like how does my cat know that it’s twelve o’clock and turn up everyday bang on time to be fed, why does LinkedIn keep making horrible design choices for itself and why does it always rain when I visit Huddersfield (or London for that matter)?

Okay I admit not the most earth shattering of questions but hey I was ill. 

After more time had passed and I was further improved I started thinking about things that are more important – how to improve my training courses, what had changed on LinkedIn since I was off and how will they maintain the quality in the next season of CBS – The Good Wife Official Site (That’s important trust me!)

I also got thinking about Edenchanges and the articles that I produce. It’s been a constant irritation to me that I haven’t been able to produce the blogs as consistently as I’d like. Sure I’ve put one out every week for six years mathematically but that’s only because I’ve had some weeks where I have doubled up and others where I’ve even produced three!

My internal schedule has been to produce various types of articles on a weekly basis but realistically this has not been happening so … time for a change. After all Albert Einstein sensibly said the following and who am I to argue with him?


So in order to smooth things out I’m going to be putting out one motivational article every two weeks and then on in-between weeks I’ll put out a recruitment or business related article. Some weeks might see a bonus article however don’t hold me to that!

Yes it’s still one article a week however its on a different topic each week which might just be the trick…we will see how well it works!

I’m also going to take down quite a few of the existing articles. These will then be scrapped, edited or rewritten and reposted as is most appropriate. 

If there are topics you’d be interested in me writing about then drop me a note in the comment section below or email me on Also reach out tome if you are interested in being a guest blogger.

So in conclusion W Clement Stone was right and something positive came out of my downtime. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have next week’s article to draft up!

Until next time, be successful!

Stephen Hart


Four questions to help you decide if you should drop a LinkedIn Connection

LinkedIn Network Face - Red

Four questions to help you decide if you should drop a LinkedIn Connection

Sometimes you need to consider specific people and decide whether they should stay in your LinkedIn network.

Now why you might want to do this is up to you. I’ve talked recently about my changing opinion on being an open networker – read it here (The reason why I have decided to shrink my LinkedIn network) and additionally I wrote about making broad decisions about potentially getting rid of groups of connections (How to Create a More Focused and Profitable LinkedIn Network). But what about making a judgement on specific individual connections?

I think it is as important to keep your LinkedIn network up to date with your current business practices. If you change sectors, win a client, lose a client or generally have an experience that makes you think

‘hmmm, maybe they are no longer relevant, or in line with, my best business interests’

you might then consider dropping the person from your network.

And not just them – depending on the reason you are dropping them you might want to remove everyone in their company. Remember that your status updates go to all your first tier connections as a minimum so if even one person in a company is connected with you then they might see your update which they can then share with their network or simply tell the other person about.

At the end of the day do remember that if you post something on the internet people will see it and honestly you can’t fully control who will see it. All you can do is make it a little more unlikely that someone will see it!

So here are four questions you might want to consider when considering if you should stay connected to someone on LinkedIn:

  1. Are they relevant to your business interests?
  2. Do you want to be associated with them?
  3. Do you want them seeing your status updates?
  4. Do you want them to be able to view your connections?

If they aren’t relevant to your business interests but they seem like nice people then maybe follow them on twitter, invite them on Facebook or some other social media. I’d recommend keeping your LinkedIn network business focused.

Say you decide that, having done business or spoken to the person, that they are a real jerk do you really want to show the business world that you associate with that sort of person? Guilt by association is a reality.

This needs to be considered especially if you shift your business focus and become rivals or competitors in some fashion. You don’t want them easily seeing all your clever marketing!

Yes you can hide your connections but it’s an all or nothing option. If you hide your connections from one person it hides them from everyone. That goes against the spirit of LinkedIn for me and if I don’t want someone easily being able to see who I am connected to then I’ll drop them.

It’s a choice you have to make but why should everyone suffer because of one person? Equally why should you network be cluttered by people who are no longer business relevant or individuals you want to associate with?

Take action and prune as necessary!

Until next time, be successful;

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,


The Power of Being a Niche Recruiter


The Power of Being a Niche Recruiter

When, at the beginning of the year, I surveyed Yorkshire based Managing Directors of recruitment companies one of the big things that came back was an overwhelming belief in the power of recruiters working within a niche (full details here).

At the end of February I was down in London attending a ukrecruiter and RIBA event where one of the panel debates was on being a niche recruiter.

The three panel members were Alan McBride, David Smith and Alana Carroll.

A couple of interesting comments were put forward by the panel – all of whom run niche recruitment companies and the comments closely echoed what had come back on the Yorkshire focused survey that I had conducted:

Alan McBride of Camino Partners Ltd said

“Being a niche recruiter is a strength because you have the option to say ‘no’ to clients; then when you say ‘yes’ the no adds strength to the yes.”

It’s a great point and was made in reaction to a question of whether a niche recruiter should go outside of their speciality should a client ask it. The point was made that it was sometimes heart-breaking to have to turn work away however the purity of the desk was felt to be more important and more profitable in the long run than grabbing a quick fee outside of the niche.

David Smith of Interactive Selection said

“Live and breathe the industry. Embed yourself in it.”

David expanded on this and explained that it was important that a recruiter looking to go down the niche route really needed to have some level of interest in the sector. That would then make learning about the industry and going to exhibitions and events much more pleasant and positive.

On that point going out to events and exhibitions was highly recommended by all panellists and having a background in the sector was recommended strongly by Alana and Alan. To be clear they didn’t feel it was an absolute prerequisite but certainly beneficial.

Alana Carroll of Gravitas Recruitment (SW) LTD said

“Build your business based on reputation. Treat candidates and clients with equal respect because you never know who will be important in the future.”

All experienced recruiters reading this will be nodding with agreement – candidates become clients – is the old adage within recruitment but the panel member, and I agree with them, felt that things have moved on from there. Given the current skill shortage in most sectors the value in candidates, especially passive ones is who they in turn know.

In other words there is no need to wait for candidates become clients – they are, right now, capable of making you introductions to unique, off the grid, placeable individuals who can make you a fee!

In summary the event in London was thought provoking and well attended by recruitment directors from across the country. On a personal level it provided an opportunity for me to meet a number of contacts who I have only known online up to now and rather pleasingly several of the people who I met are regular readers of this blog!

These director level events are held quarterly and I think they are well worth considering attending if you go with an open mind, as you should with all networking events! You can view future events via the ukrecruiter website.

Stephen Hart

Development Specialist,


Recruitment Survey 2015 – the Results

View from the top LI

Recruitment Survey 2015 – the Results

The recruitment industry has been through the mill these last five years but the corner seems to have been turned … or has it?

At Edenchanges we thought it would be good to go out and ask some questions of the people who are most likely to know – managing directors of recruitment firms. These are experienced business professionals and recruiters and at the leading edge of the recruitment industry.

And because Edenchanges are based in Yorkshire, and we thought it would be interesting to get a northern perspective so we limited our questions to Yorkshire based managing directors – although the firms queried recruit across the country and in several instances globally.

The four survey questions which we asked were:

  1. Where do you see the biggest challenge to recruitment firms coming from in 2015?
  2. Given both the continued increase of social media recruiting by companies directly and the increase in internal recruitment teams, how can external recruiters still add value to their clients?
  3. What advice would you give to a new recruiter coming into the industry in 2015?
  4. What do you think is the most important skill for a recruiter to master?

The answers were honest and thought provoking and you can read them online (or download a copy) by clicking on the image below:

View from the top

In summary whilst almost every company questioned is looking to expand there are clear challenges ahead that recruiters need to address. The markets are shifting and recruiters need to adjust what they do if they want to thrive.

I would like to thank all the respondents who generously took time out of their busy schedules to share their views with me. This e-book has been written and produced in the belief that we in recruitment are stronger together.

Stephen Hart

Development Specialist,


How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 14 Activity Level Calculation

Calculator LI

How to be Successful in Recruitment Part 14

Activity Level Calculation

I often get asked by consultants how hard they should work and it’s one of those questions where there isn’t a single answer. However I do believe there is a way to work out what the answer is for each consultant so let me share that with you now.

Activity Level Calculation

This calculation shows you the amount of first interviews you need to arrange on a monthly basis to achieve your target.

What you need to know

You need to know the following pieces of information to enable you to work out your required activity level.

NOTE: A send out is a first interview – yes old school jargon but it’s the school I went to!

  1. Annual target
  2. Average fee*
  3. Send out ratio**

* If you are brand new to the business then find out what the company average is and use that figure

**Send out ratio = Number of first interviews vs. number of placements made – again if you are new find out what the ratio typically is for new consultants in your particular company alternatively work on a 1:10 ratio

How to calculate your Activity Level:

  • Step 1) Annual target  ÷ Ten* = Your monthly target
  • Step 2) Monthly target  ÷ Average Fee = Number of placements needed per month
  • Step 3) Number of placements need x Send Out Ratio =

Number of send outs needed per month – to hit your annual target

* Yes you could divide this by 12 but this is one of those situations where mathematics has to move over for sales so let’s divide it by 10 and carry on from there! (Feel free to email me if you want to know specifically why I recommend dividing it by 10 –

And that’s it; as simple as that. I outlined an example below of how this can break down and you’ll see that it requires the hypothetical consultant below to be really quite productive! The thing about this activity level calculation is that it’s real and true. Yes you might buck the trend and do slightly better numbers but that just means you will over achieve by even more.

Any consultant who is serious about hitting their targets should consider the activity level result as the minimum that they should achieve each month.

Sample calculation:

Annual target:   £150,000

Average fee:      £8,500

Send out ratio: 1: 8 (one placement for every 8 first interviews arranged)

  • Step 1) £150,000 (annual target) ÷ 10 = £15,000
  • Step 2) £15,000 (monthly target) ÷ £8,500 (average) = 1.76 rounded up = 2      
  • Step 3) 2 x 8 (send out ratio) = 16

The result clearly shows that the individual needs to arrange 16 first interviews per month to expect to hit their annual target.



Development Specialist,


Lessons from the Wolf Pack #13 How to Structure a Phone Sales Session

Picture of a wolf pack which represents recruiters

Lessons from the Wolf Pack is an ongoing series of recruitment advice articles taken from, or inspired by, situations and events observed during our phone coaching sessions with recruitment consultants making real, live calls to win business and find candidates. This is advice directly from the recruitment front lines!

Lessons from the Wolf Pack #13

How to Structure a Phone Sales Session

Anyone who has been in one of my sales training courses knows that I advocate making scheduled business development calls in the morning. I also have an opinion on the best sequence to make those morning calls.

Before I share that though be aware that I am saying scheduled business development calls here. If you get a lead in the afternoon then you follow that up either immediately or at the next best time to make the call. You certainly do not have to wait for the following morning. The calls you schedule are the ones that are in your sales pipeline which are going to be a mix of follow up calls, new approaches to prospects, calls to existing clients etc.

Now when the morning comes it can be a daunting task to start making calls and working your way through your call list. What I am going to share here is a simple trick to make your morning calls start positively.

First, pick a few low value calls to start your morning with. That is calls that if you fluff them it won’t make a huge difference to your recruitment desk. Calls to smaller prospects very often fit into this category. If you drop the ball with those calls the amount of potential business that you have lost is very minimal.

So make three or four calls of that nature first. Basically get yourself into the game and up to speed. Then when you are into your groove make some warmer calls; chase down those hotter leads or prospects that you have, in an effort to bring in a quick, and easier, win.

By calling after those first few unimportant calls you will be much more ‘in the game’ and much more likely to make good sales calls. And when you are chasing your hot leads that’s when you want to be at your best!

Once you’ve exhausted those calls then you move onto the colder, newer calls; reaching out to companies that don’t know you or have rebuffed your advances in the past.

It’s important when you get to those colder calls that you don’t start to cherry pick who you are going to ring. At this stage in the process if they are on the call list then you ring them. Don’t waste time trying to ‘pick a winner’ just get on and make your calls.

One of the keys of a successful business development session is to minimise the time between calls and speculating which company is most likely to give you business simply wastes time.

In summary what I am recommending is making the following calls in the sequence listed below:

  1. Make three or four low value sales calls
  2. Chase hot leads and prospects
  3. Make the rest of the calls on the list working from the top down

I’m writing this in January and if you’d like an analogue then the above is a bit like the winter commute. You get in your car, turn on the engine and set off for work. For the first few miles the car is freezing cold inside and the car engine struggles just a bit as it warms up.

Once it’s been going a few miles everything gets smoother; the inside of the car warms up, the engine thaws and the journey becomes noticeably smoother.

That’s what we all want for our sales sessions isn’t it? A smooth comfortable journey!

I know that few people actually like making scheduled sales calls but to be successful in recruitment this is still a critical activity. The above advice should help make your morning sessions go a little smoother!

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,