Using your dashboard to drive your profitability


Jim Coughlin: All right. I might as well get started. Hi, I'm Jim Coughlin. I'm not going to bore you with my background. If you haven't gone on LinkedIn and found out about. I don't know what kind of recruiter you are. You've got to be able to do that, right? This session is called Using your dashboard to drive profitability.

So the first thing I'd like to ask everybody on this call to do is put in the chat window. What's on your dashboard. What is on your dashboard? Let me share with you. And you have a lot of dashboards. You have your computer dashboard of your ATS. You have the dashboard of your car. I have a friend, they actually have a dashboard on their refrigerator.

There's like, you know, a computer on their refrigerator that tells them the temperature inside. They can even hit a screen that shows a video looks inside their refrigerator, their dashboards on the refrigerator. So what is on your dashboard? Just type in, you know, here's, what's on my dashboard. You're ready.

I'll show you. Here's my PowerPoint. Check out that PowerPoint. Look at that PowerPoint. So here's, what's on my dashboard. This is on the dashboard in my car. I have a speedometer tells me how fast I'm going, but I don't know why I have that because my wife tells me how fast she goes. You're going too fast.

No matter how festival goes too fast. There's that I have my fuel gauge. It tells me when I'm going to need to fill up. And I have my temperature gauge tells me if the engine is getting too hot, especially if I'm going up a hill with the air conditioning on. Now that's the dashboard in my car, but you have a dashboard that you drive your recruiting business with your staffing business.

If you're an owner, if you're a director of recruiting, if you're a recruiting manager, even if you're an individual recruiter, you have a dashboard, right. So type in right now. Type in right now. What, what, what is on your dashboard? I want to know what's on your dashboard. Okay. We're all live. Yay. Thanks.

Yeah. So I want to know what's on your dashboard and while you're typing in, what's on your dashboard, I'm going to tell you a story about that. It's a movie that Ron Howard directed and Tom Hanks starred in, it was called Apollo 13. Do you remember that movie? I remember when Apollo 13 actually happened. I was like 11 years old.

Very excited. If you don't know the story about this movie, by the way, put in what's on your dashboard in the chat window. What's in your dashboard. Number of job orders. Number of submittals, number of interviews put in what's on your dashboard. So this movie, let me get back to the movie. Apollo 13 is about the three astronauts that were going to the moon on the Apollo 13.

And something happened. Now, if you remember the movie, they're halfway to the moon, by the way, you know how long it takes to get to the moon in a rocket ship going 16,000 miles an hour. It takes for flipping days, six hours and 45 minutes. It takes a long time to get to the moon. So they're cruising along to the moon and they're about halfway there.

They're about two days. And all of a sudden, there's a short in their little rocket ship that sets off a fire in an oxygen tank and boom, and it blows up and they feel an explosion and they rock in the ship like that right. And then all of a sudden on the Apollo 13, The dashboard starts to light up and it starts to ramp rant.

There's alarms going off and gauges going. And Tom Hanks, who's playing the role of the commander of the Apollo 13. Jim Lovell gets on the radio and says, what Houston, we have a problem. You all know that, right? We have a problem and the gauges are going like crazy. His dashboard on the Apollo 13 is going ape nuts. And of course, down in Houston at mission control, every one of the technicians dashboards is going wrong and they immediately realized the first decision they have to make. This is key to them, this whole session of how you're going to use your dashboard to drive price profitability. The first decision they make is they have to save the astronauts.

Right. And, and the most important thing to save in the astronauts is they gotta make sure they can breathe. An oxygen is leaking out of the tank, right. Leaking out. So what they immediately do, even though there's all these lights going off in the dashboard, their dashboard is going crazy. The first thing they do is they go over to from the command module to the lunar mine.

The lamp, the lunar excursion module, they crawl into that and they make that their life draft and they seal off the command module. So now they have oxygen and then they start looking at the dashboard in the lamb and they realized the lamb is only designed for two guys, but they got three guys in it and they're sucking up all the oxygen and blowing out carbon dioxide.

And now they're dashboard. Says our carbon dioxide levels are going up. We're going to have to do something about that. And they redesign these scrubbers great movie. Anyway, throughout the entire movie, it's all about what does the dashboard say? What decisions do I make based upon that and what actions do I need to take now?

I take a breath. I want to know what's in your dashboard. What's in your dashboard, on your running your staffing from running your recruiting desk, you know, running your business. Now I told you what's on my dashboard in my car, my speedometer, my fuel gauge in my temp. Now there's other things on my dashboard.

There's my GPS, but usually I know where I'm going, so I don't need to look at that. There's my radio dial, but I usually don't need to look at that. Cause I plug in my iPhone in the ox thing and I can just say Siri, play Neil young. Cause I like listening to Neil young and a place. So I don't need to look at that because I don't need to make a decision.

So with your dashboard, whatever's on your desk. Open jobs. Number submittals interviews, scheduled placements made hours build average markup, whatever your dashboard is telling you. The only reason you're looking at it is, and here's my next slide is you're asking yourself these questions. Number one, what does it tell you?

So I'm going to go back to this, you know, and again, I don't need to look at my speedometer when my drug, because my wife has always going, you're going to. But the only reason I'm looking at my speedometer is to see if I'm breaking the speed limit. I need to slow down, cause I don't want to get busted.

I'm making a decision and taking an action. The only reason I look at my fuel gauge just to make sure what decision do I need to start thinking about where a gas station is to stop and fill up? Or can I keep going? The only reason I look at that 10th gauge is do I need to turn the air conditioning off when I'm going up the hill, I make a decision and take an action.

So. When you look at your staffing dashboard and I'll show you my staffing dashboard here right now. Okay. It's, I'm going to do three things. When I look at it, I'm going to say, what does it tell me what decisions do I make based upon what it tells me and what actions do I take based upon that decision, this is really important.

I know it seems simple. But the simple is what's powerful, right? Especially if we can follow it all the time. Now here's something else. If I'm not willing to make a decision and take action on what the dashboard is telling me, I don't look at it. I get rid of so many people, by the way, I counsel people all the time on the council companies, I'm working with several companies right now, staffing firms, they're showing me their dashboard and I go good.

What, what, what does that tell you? And what are you doing about that? Oh, we just, we just like to know how we did last year. We like to know that we had 500 job orders come in last week and we had 50 starts. I go, oh, great. That's good. But what does that tell you to do? Well, we did in there, they don't know.

So look, here's my staffing dashboard. You're ready. There's 10 things on my staffing dashboard. By the way in case you haven't read my background on LinkedIn, I've started and sold three staffing firms. I've consulted over 10,000 recruiters. I consult with staffing firms all the time is what I do. Okay. So I'm not going to bore you with a, you grew up in the staffing firm in 1979, which is when I started look here's what's in my recruiting.

If I'm going to run a recruiting organization. The staffing firm. Okay. I'm the owner of it or the general manager or I'm running a branch or recruiting desk. This is my staffing dashboard. Now you can add other things. I'll show it again. I just say, wait, Jim, you took it down too fast. Hold on. I got to get a drink is not beer.

It's liquid. You had this stuff. Good.

So here's, what's on my staffing dashboard on one side are my sales opportunities, which is simply how many open jobs do I have for the whole company. How many interviews are scheduled against those open jobs and how many offers out now? I know you could put in, I'll just put it here. So you only look at that.

I know you could put a lot of things on your dashboard. You could put, you know, the number of submittals against those interviews, how many placements we made, how many of your phone interviews versus you know, zoom interviews versus, you know, second and third interviews, right? How many, your technical orders versus clerical?

That's fine. You can do that, but I'm looking at three things. Open jobs, interviews offers now. I have, when I'm looking at my dashboard, like when I'm looking at my car dashboard, I have tolerances. In other words, I'm not going to drive my Honda accord 190 miles an hour, but I'm certainly not going to go 30 miles an hour on a 45.

I want to push that thing to the limit. And so when I'm running my staffing desk, I know I want a minimum of X number of open orders. I want a minimum of X number of interviews against that. And I want a minimum of X number of offers against that. I set my tolerances so that when I look at my dashboard, if they're outside of my tolerances, I'm going to make a decision and take action.

So let me give you an example. So if let's say my open job orders, I'm like running a hundred new openings. I've got a hundred open job orders at any given time. Maybe I'm getting 70 a day and I'm submitting on them and they're interviewing, they're closing out whatever. I'm looking to have a hundred open job orders a day that I can sick my recruiters on if it's 80 or less, all of a sudden I'm going too slow.

I make a decision. I've got to get job orders. Once that decision is made, what are the five actions I can do to get there? So, and I'll drill into this a little bit. We got some time I'm going to go. What are the five actions I can do to get more job works and call the clients and say, I need more job orders.

I can market different types of candidates that maybe they'd haven't hired from me before I can go out and get new business. If I don't have the interview scheduled that I want, if I want a ratio of five to one for every five submittals I make on a job, I want to see an interview, right. Especially if I'm working in MSP VMs market, but maybe, you know, you have.

Inter submittal to interview ratio on retail accounts. You know, if it's a retail account and I'm the only staffing firm on it, I'm going to get an interview on every two people I present. I present to you like that one. You don't like that one fine. Let's interview this one. Right? So I'm looking at my tolerances.

If anything's outside of my tolerance, I make a decision to do something. And then I have a corresponding action, at least five of them. So here's the rep what's on the rest of my dashboard. It let's say my open job orders. They went from a hundred and all of a sudden they're at 150. I now have to make a decision to be able to service that, that, that influx in that push that wave of new job orders.

I might need to increase my number of recruiters because my number of recruiters is my production cost. Right. So this is, you know, it, and there's a ratio and a relationship between these two people are going to ask me, what is it? What should it be? Look when people ask. Major league baseball player.

What should my average batting average be? Well, the best in the world was Ted Williams. It was over 400 one year, but most you know, major league baseball players bat 250, which means they get a hit every one time at four bats, they go to bat four times. They get one hit four times about one hit. If you can get, you get a hit at three times about you're amazing, but there's other aspects to playing baseball.

Right. Catching, fielding, throwing, you know that I'm okay if you have less of a, of a batting average. So the point I'm trying to make is whatever your stats are, they should be better, which means you have to know what your averages are right now. So I'm always looking at this relationship between what am I open job orders and what am I number of recruiters, because I don't want to have too many recruiters laying around and not enough job orders.

I'll either let go of the recruiters or get more job orders. So these two are very well correlated together. This is my production capacity. So this dashboard tells me if my job orders go down. One of two things need to happen. I either need to cut production capacity or get more job orders. And if I want to get more job orders, what are the five things I'm going to do to get that?

If I have too many recruiters, what are the five things I'm going to do to get rid of the recruiters or to get other job orders for them making sense? So anything that's on my dashboard, I'm going to make a decision and take action, or I don't look at it. If it's something I can't make a decision on. Why do I want look at it?

So let's look at the other side of the equation. So I'm going to move my PowerPoint over to the other side. Okay. So the other thing I'm looking at on my dashboard, and you could have your own dashboard. These are the 10 things that Jim Coughlin looks at when he runs any staffing firm. When I walk into a staffing firm, if I look at these 10 things, I know exactly the health of the company.

I know exactly whether they're heavy on recruiters and not enough on clients, whether they, whether they can turn the ratios, they need to turn these 10 things tell me everything, billable hours. What's my billable hours. I never want that to drop. If that starting to drop, I immediately make a decision to take action.

I immediately see did my number of contractors. And why did those hours drop? Was there a holiday in there? What do I need to do to get the hours back up? Are, are, do people need to get extended on assignment? Did somebody not show up for them? Right. Billable hours. Tell me everything. Average bill rate and pay average bill rate and margin.

Tell me if I'm making the money. I want, those are the tolerances. And then the last thing is my total hours, total billing and number of contractors. These are the 10 things that when I run a staffing firm are always up and always tell me what to do. This is my opportunity to sell. This is what's the result of my sales.

Okay. So there's my PowerPoint. Take a screenshot of that clinic. See it open orders. Interview scheduled offers out number of recruiters to produce on that. And then billable hours, average bill rate, average margin. I want that to go up in both areas. Total hours, total billing number of contractors. Now look, here's the point.

Here's the point? What does the dashboard tell me? What is it telling me? So think about Tom Hanks as Lieutenant commander, commander, Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, he's got all these gauges on and there's one point in the show. If you watch that show Apollo 13, where the alarm's going and Kevin Bacon's there. Right?

Turn that thing off I don't need, I don't need to look at that or listen to that. I already know we're in a problem. He's narrowing his focus to the most critical things, to his mission, the most critical things to your mission. As a recruiting owner, staffing owner recruiter is what is my lifeblood, which was the oxygen and Apollo 13 for you as the recruiting manager.

It's your open job. And your requirements from the client. If you don't have job orders, you're dead, you're choking off and you're going to die. Gotta have job orders and you gotta be able to produce on them. And the only thing I want to look at is what's critical to the mission. What is that gauge? Tell me what decision do I make on it and what are the actions I can take to impact that decision?

All right. So let me go a little further. Yeah, he would do it again. What does it tell me? What decisions do I make? What actions do I take? So decisions and actions are different, right? The decision is, oh, I need to get more job orders or I need to let go of recruiters, or I need to increase our P our markup, or I need to work on a higher paying jobs and not light industrial stuff.

That's got high risk. Okay. So here's, here's my other. Handy-dandy PowerPoint slide the dashboard. The dashboard gives you a message. You make a decision, you can take an action. Otherwise you don't look at it. And when the dashboard says whatever, here's what you want to do, whatever was on


Jim Coughlin: dashboard.

So you might have job orders on your dashboard, interviews, submittals. Number of placements. Number of starts whatever's on your dashboard. You want to have a decision tree. An algorithm and AI flow chart. And it looks as simple as this isn't this great that I got this stuff. If the dashboard says X, Y, Z, then the decision is to ABC fill in the blank.

If the dashboard says I'm going too fast. The decision is I need to slow down. The action is take my foot off the gas, put my foot on the brake or both. Okay. If the dashboard says I'm going to slow, the decision is I need to speed up. The action is put my foot on the gas, take my foot off the brake. Okay.

If so, if the dashboard says XYZ at the dashboard says, I, my job orders are dropping. The decision is. One or two in my mind, I need more job orders or I need to get rid of recruiters. Then the actions are, and you list at least five actions you can take based upon any decision you would arrive at based upon what the dashboard told you. I'll say that again. You, you I'll point right to the camera. You staffing them. Director of recruiting recruiter, individual production person, whoever, you know, the person managing the accompany. If you're dashing for every indicator on your dashboard that moves out of the tolerance level, what are you going to tolerate?

Right out of the tolerance level, either too much or too little, what decision would come from that? And what, based upon each decision, there might be two decisions. It might be if this, then that, right. If this then what are the five actions you would take right away? Because here's the worst thing that happens.

A recruiting manager and owner looks at the dashboard. They go get a job where they're going to done. We'd better get some new business. I don't know what we're going to do. How are we going to, and they don't have a plan. They don't have the contingency plan C I'm going to go back to Apollo 13. Apollo 13 is the, the quizzing central moment of American engineering and engineering.

Three guys in a tin can halfway to the moon are losing oxygen. And somehow they made a decision based upon all the information the dashboard was coming and taking actions on those decision to keep themselves alive. Not only to keep themselves alive. Keep going to the moon, they didn't turn the thing around and come back.

They keep going to the moon, they use the moon's gravity to swing them around and take back. So they took a free ride. They kind of mooched off of Isaac Newton and, and then as they were coming back, they realized they were off course and they had to use the, the landing rockets of the land to readjust their flight patterns.

So they would not burn up when they came into the app. It's amazing. And it was all because they had contingency plans and actually made some up about what are we going to do based upon the dashboards, telling us this we're off course, we're going to go right by the earth, or we're going to skip off the atmosphere and not be able to go in, or we're going to burn up.

We got to make a decision. Do we just kiss it off and start saying hail Mary's. Do we adjust our flight pattern? How do we adjust our flight pattern? What can we use? What are the outcomes of that? So your dashboard, shouldn't be a look in the rear view mirror. It should be telling you what's happening now.

So you can make a decision and take action to impact the, the what's happening on that dashboard. Right. So I think honestly, if we got any chats, I can't see if we have any checks window here. Let me see. We got some people in the session. We get Jay, Hey Jennifer, we get two Jennifer's and Paul here. So, and I got a couple of people on the call here, so that's the presentation.

So now your question is what should be on my dashboard? Right? What, what should I have on my dashboard? It's important. And what's important. Is whatever's going to drive your end mission goal. If your end mission goal is I want to have a hundred new placements by the end of the month, I want to a hundred new placements.

By the end of the year, you work backwards, say, well, the have placements, I've got to have the interviews to have interviews. I need to have candidates submitted on jobs, have canister bidding on jobs. I need to have job orders. It all goes back to job orders. Where am I going to get the job orders? Where am I going to get the recruiters?

What actions can I take? So I'm going to summarize this. And if there's no other questions then that's it, right? We don't need to have an hour. It's just a breakout session. There's another breakout session on sales that Janine is doing. I want to say a few things about club VMSA. If you not going to make a decision and take action on the, on what the dashboard is telling you get rid of the dashboard item.

Don't have it there. If you're looking at data on your dash. And you're not making any decision, not taking any action to get rid of it. If you are making a decision and taking action document, what that is. So everybody knows. Hey, look, if job orders go down, I'm going to do one of two things. Get rid of recruiters and the recruiters go oohhhh.

Oh no. Or I'm going to go look for more job orders or both. And if I'm going to look for job orders, here's the five ways I'm going to do it. If I'm going to get rid of recruiters, here's the five ways I'm going to do it. I'm going to take the lowest product production people and give them their walking papers.

Now, Hey, I'm club Just like it sounds club V M S Club forward slash. WSS gym world staffing semerjian club, forward slash WSS gym. You can get $500 off of becoming a club member where we give all sorts of information like that club VMSA. There's so much to it. You can just go in.

I'm going to give this shameless plug for club DMSA. I do executive coaching for owners and managers twice a month. In a group setting. We do mastermind groups. I do individual coaching an hour to time for people I'm working with one company right now, we're taking them from 45 to a hundred million in a year.

They're well, on their way in their first month they're already increasing production more than double. And it's not that hard to do because you build the dashboard to tell you where you're going and how you're doing, getting there. Okay. I dunno if you can you guys talk to me? I can't see the chat here.

So I see some, some things coming on. If you have any chat questions, we've got quite a few people on the call. If there's anything you want to say, if you want to schedule the meeting with me, I met jim@vmsxl.Com forward slash WSS. Jim gives you $500 off of a annual membership at club VMSA. We do video chats every day with owners of a contingent workforce programs.

It's a great stuff. Okay. I also do the mastering, the art of production, which is a 52 week session for recruiters and managers and account managers and owners on how to build your recruiting operation. Go to the moon. Now you may not be going to the moon, but hopefully you're shooting for the stars.

Right. That's kind of cute. So you may not be going to Mona. Hopefully you're shooting for the stars. Remember your dashboard. What does it tell me what decisions do I make based upon that and what are the actions I have to take? A decision is not an action. A decision is not an action. A decision is, yeah, I think we need to do.

That's a decision, but what you do is the action you take. So for every item on your dashboard, you should have two decisions. What happens if it goes below the tolerance? What happens if it goes above the tolerance and for each one of those decisions, what are the five actions that you're going to take?

Write that out your life will be amazing. Your production will go up. You won't be wasting time looking at stuff that you don't do anything with.

I'm going to leave the meeting we're done. If I can't say something that gives you value in 30 minutes, you don't want to listen to me. You don't want to listen to people. Well, moaning and groaning on telling you wold. I think you should do no action. What does the dashboard tell me what decision can I make in that?

And what, what actions, what five actions can I take right now to make that change? Bring that back in my tolerance level. I'm Jim Kauflin club forward slash WSS. Jim. Thanks for joining everybody. Enjoy the conference. Enjoy the summit. See you later. Bye bye.

What can staffing firms learn from the movie “Apollo 13”?

Tune in to Jim Coughlin’s session to find out!

Jim has over 40 years of experience in the staffing industry. As a former staffing firm owner and trainer Jim is a “dashboard” expert.

Understanding key metrics is vital for agencies that want to thrive in the years ahead.

In this session, Jim will show you how to set up your dashboard to drive profitability for your business.

Sign up to check out the full session for in-depth insights that you can apply to your business tomorrow.


No items found.


Jim Coughlin




Watch Session now