Whether you’re a Branch Manager or a Managing Director, it can become easy to forget that alongside your company performing its day-to-day function, it also has to ensure its staff remains engaged in order to perform at its best. For recruitment companies, whose whole focus is the recruitment of the disenchanted, the unfulfilled and the ambitious, it’s easy to forget that their own staff may also fall into these categories. As such, recruitment consultants within an agency also need to be actively retained. For many independent recruitment agencies, this can be a challenge.
Unlike the big, national agencies, the independents tend not to have an in-house dedicated HR function. Usually, The Boss wears many hats, potentially functioning as Payroll Manager and Bookkeeper, Operations Manager, Marketing Manager and HR Manager. It’s a lot to take on but for smaller agencies, there simply isn’t the budget to employ people in non-fee earning roles, particularly in the early stages of the company getting off the ground. In situations such as these it’s very easy to bank on recruitment consultants being self-reliant and self-motivated. Whilst this is a nice idea, the reality is not always 100% so.
Recruitment is a challenging, competitive environment, which is why the good recruiters love it and excel at it. Talent, however good in its raw state, requires nurturing and development. Recruiters need to feel appreciated, be rewarded and invested in. So, as the person in charge of a team, how do you ensure you keep your best recruiters engaged?
The old adage of the more you put in, the more you get out, holds true. Investing in your recruiters to ensure they have the skills they need to do a better job will have an immediate knock on effect on the bottom line. Whether it’s new recruits learning the ropes, mid-termers being taken to the next level, or more seasoned recruiters being given the opportunity to hone their skills, investing in training will positively impact your business in two ways. Firstly, new skills will be brought to the table which should directly translate to increased billing and therefore higher turnover and increased profits. Secondly, investing in their training demonstrates a commitment to your staff who will feel they are be given the opportunity to learn and develop, rather than stagnate and decline. Once a recruiter finds themselves in a state of decline, they’re likely to start looking for alternative employment, probably with a rival agency who is promising to look after them better.
Talk to your team, find out what they value and find a way to deliver it. Importantly, find out what they’re dissatisfied with. If you know a problem is brewing, you have the option to fix it. Issues concerning salary, inter-team personality clashes, feelings of over-work, problems with the commute, can all lead to resignations. All of these issues though can invariably be worked around: if there’s no room in the budget for salary increases, identify alternative benefits that may help – sign up to the childcare salary sacrifice scheme, add an extra day’s holiday to the package, introduce flexible working, either allowing earlier or later starts, or working from home on certain days. Could the office be laid out differently to reduce the issues with noise or the potential for inter-office friction? Would different headsets help or a reallocation of certain duties? Thinking outside the box invariably reveals a solution – so long as you’re aware of the issues in the first place!
Recruitment is more fast paced now than ever with a significant increase in candidates per job application, more competition for top talent, more competition for vacancies. With unemployment at its lowest in more than a decade, recruitment has become a candidate’s marketplace. When a ‘hot candidate’ appears, placing them quickly is paramount, as if you don’t, your competitors will! Of course, placing them depends on having a live vacancy already, or having the ability to quickly source a role that will pique their interest. Identifying companies that may be interested and cold-calling them is time-consuming and often has limited results. Far better to be able to quickly identify, from an online search those companies who are actively recruiting and then target them specifically. The hit rate potential increases exponentially!
Giving your recruiters the tools they need to find the best talent more quickly than your competitors is vital. Investment in their skills, understanding their key drivers and providing them with the technology they need to work quickly and efficiently are three essential ingredients to their success. And everyone loves a winner!