The Recruitment Performance Cycle ‘How to Guide’

The Recruitment Performance is a very very simple platform that can have a transformational impact on your business and your profitability. It’s not a quick fix and won’t increase your billings next month. What it can do is add immediate value to your team and business and help your scale and build a quality business.

  • It will help you and the team deliver consistent experiences to your clients and candidates
  • It’ll help your team collectively own and improve the recruitment process – it’s a powerful way to drive best practice across the business.
  • It helps get everyone on the same page
  • It links the training and delivery to the recruitment process and creates easy to access training
  • It gives you and your business your own bespoke and personalised training platform
  • You will save time and money
  • It’ll help you and team build your reputation in the market by creating a branded experience
  • It’ll give you a simple framework of continuous improvement

So how does it work? Once logged in you can access the TRN ‘starter for 10’ Cycle and either use it as it is OR as we recommend make it yours. To do this you can:

  1. Brand it – add your logo
  2. Colour it – change the colour of the cycle to match your corporate colours
  3. Name it – give it a name – The Playbook, the ABC Agency Way etc
  4. Your reputation is at the heart of your success – articulate your reputation by decide what you want to be famous for – your brand promise – and articulate it in the middle of the Cycle
  5. Nail the touchpoints – add touchpoints, remove touchpoints, re-order, rename touchpoints (which represent the significant interactions between you and the clients). Once you’ve nailed your touchpoints – they shouldn’t change much.
    • NOTE this one is designed around a perm client experience – it can be easily tweaked to make it reflect the contract/temp client experience. Equally you can add candidate touchpoints. It’s flexible
  6. Best practice standards – this is where the action happens! add/remove/change the  standards within each touch point to reflect your standards and what you want to see happening consistently
    • Add your your own videos, documents and images with each and any of the standards
  7. Make it live and dynamic – add some Actions within the Touchpoints which represent actions you will take to improve the touchpoints (such as review and change a process, run a training session, get some feedback etc)

The Cycle is easy to use, intuitive and when used properly will be an integral part of your business. It’s a living, dynamic framework for everyone to own. It’s beauty is in it’s simplicity.

If you want any support, have any queries or want to discuss it don’t hesitate to drop us a line on support@therecruitmentnetwork.com

Outplacement in a Box – The Ultimate Career Transition Platform for your Employees

The current economic climate is sadly leading to people being laid off and made redundant. It can be an incredibly challenging time for the individuals affected. 

We’ve all seen the news. Over and above the well known corporations and businesses laying off people, there are thousands of others we don’t hear of. A recent poll of managers by the Chartered Management Institute showed that 35% of managers anticipated making redundancies in 2020. 1 in 5 of those firms expect to cut between 51 and 500 jobs, 1 in 20 expect it to be more than 500 and 1 in 50 are poised to make more than 5000 people redundant. 

It can also be difficult for employers who are making changes typically because of financial necessity or the need to restructure. When you’ve made a decision that is hard on the employee, how can you continue to do the right thing by the employee, support them appropriately and also protect your employer brand?

Recruiters and recruitment agencies have the skillset and expertise to help their clients support the affected employees through this period by developing an outplacement support solution.

What is it outplacement? –outplacement support is practical (and potentially emotional) support for individuals being made redundant that helps them move into a new appropriate role as quickly as possible.

Hence why we have developed an online white-labelled outplacement online solution www.talenteering.com which is free to all TRN members (TRN Club and TRNWorld+) to offer to their clients and anyone else affected by redundancy. You brand it, personalise it and add immediate and significant value to your clients

Outplacement is a service that we should be considering by thinking through the following steps: 

1: Define the opportunity – is there a need for outplacement services in your sector/market/client base in the short to medium term?

  • Redundancies are happening and downsizing will continue during 2020. Not every sector or client will be affected.

2: Alignment – would an outplacement offering being aligned to your strategy?  It could:

  • Build your reputation as experts in talent – total talent solutions.
  • Build relationships with clients,
  • Grow the candidate pool,
  • Generate short term revenue.

3: Value – what problem would outplacement support solve for my clients? How would this offering help them?

  • Clients want to look after employees they’re laying off,
  • Clients want to protect their employer brand, 
  • Clients want to give a great employee experience, even when letting people go
  • Candidates want help.

4: The proposition – what might the outplacement offering look like? An option might include one or more of the following:  

  • An online solution within unlimited reach and minimal impact on your capacity – ‘smart’ – The TRN Talenteering Solution,
  • One day remote programme for single businesses making multiple redundancies –‘in house’,
  • One day remote programme for people from different businesses – ‘public’,
  • Multiple modules over a period of time – ‘modular’,
  • High end career coaching programme for senior execs – ‘high end’.

5: Content – what’s normally involved? It might typically include one or more of the following:

  • CV writing, 
  • Interview skills,
  • LI training,
  • Letter writing, 
  • Profiling and assessments,
  • Using Job Boards, 
  • Understanding the job market, 
  • Building your personal brand, 
  • Personal wellbeing and resilience, 
  • Career coaching, 
  • Registering with a recruitment agency.

6: The pricing – how much would I want to/could I charge for this:

  • Anywhere between ‘free’ to £5,000 depending on the proposition and your objectives, 
  • One day ‘in house’ might typically be up to £2k, 
  • ‘Public’ places might vary from £250 – £500,
  • Online could be offered on a per business or per person basis – the opportunities are endless.

7: Capacity and resources – have we got the capacity to deliver this?

  • The TRN Talenteering Solution online outplacement solution requires no work if you take it as it is (or you can choose very easily to personalise it by adding your own video or written content),
  • Everything else requires consideration – once developed it can be managed.

Find out more about our online white-labelled outplacement online solution www.talenteering.com or visit www.therecruitmentnetwork.com


Jurgen Klopp – My 20 Tips on How to Run a Brilliant Recruitment Business

1st June 2019. On the flight from Paris to Madrid with my son Frank to watch Liverpool play (and beat) Tottenham in the Champions League Final, I struck up a conversation with a German guy on my left, also called Frank. We did the inevitable ‘there are aren’t enough Franks in the world’ pleasantries then moved on to sport and football.


It turns out he ran one of Germany’s leading sports marketing businesses and had clients such as Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp’s former club. He knew Klopp well and his best mate was Jurgen’s business manager. We parted at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport having connected, I’d said we would take him up on his offer to go and watch Borussia Dortmund and was even more excited about the opportunity of being introduced to Klopp’s manager.


Jurgen was right at the top of the list of people I wanted to interview and probably never would (just ahead of Michelle Obama, David Attenborough and Bruce Springsteen).


I was convinced this was my ‘in’ to get an interview with the great man (yes, I’m a massive LFC fan and have been fascinated with how he’s transformed us from being ok/good to winning the Premier and Champions League.)


Anyway, needless to say, it never happened. He’s too busy, too expensive and too in demand ☹. In my mind I’ve conducted that interview a few times and having studied him, I have concluded he would have 20 lessons for business leaders in recruitment. In this interview that never happened, my opening question after our hug (he’s a big hugger!) would have been


‘So Jurgen, if you were running a recruitment business, what leadership lessons from the world of football and your success would you apply?’ 


This is how he would have answered:*


  • Define your Vision of Success and align, align, align  –  When Klopp joined the club in 2015 he developed a long term vision of success with the owners at Fenway Sports Group and every decision, player and investment ever since has been aligned to an achieving the agreed commercial and footballing success
        • What can we learn? Create a longer-term picture of success (more than just the numbers) which everyone can get behind and align every decision, every hire, every process, every investment to achieving it. The ability to focus and deliver on the short term is critical but we’ve seen at TRN the traction, growth and success businesses enjoy when they shape and share a longer-term vision of success that engages shareholders, management, employees (existing and future)


  • Data led decision making Klopp hired Ian Graham, Director of Research, who heads up a team of 6 providing intelligence led insights into player performance. Passion and opinion matter but underpin it with some data.
        • What we can learn? Analytics and data should be at the heart of the business – markets should be researched, performance analysed and data reported – make sure you have the systems and tech in place to provide it (it’s all out there if used properly)


  • Marginal gains – No stone unturned. Jurgen recruited Thomas Gronnemark to improve retention of possession from throws – it improved by 23% making Liverpool the most effective in the league.
        • What we can learn? If we embed a culture of cultural improvement and everybody buys into the concept of CANI (continuous and never-ending improvement, we’ll just get better and better). It’s an attitude.


  • Leadership at every level –People are encouraged to think for themselves and be leaders. Think of Trent Alexander-Arnolds epic corner in the semi-final against Barcelona (and the initiative of the ball boy who was so quick to give him the ball). Everybody can and should influence.
        • What can we learn? Encourage leadership and initiative at every level. Create a risk taking culture where risks and front line entrepreneurialism are encouraged. Bring in the right people, train them, trust them.


  • Culture first – Stay loyal to the Liverpool way and the agreed principles or you won’t last. Sakho missed the flight to the preseason tour, training sessions and voiced his displeasure on social media. He never got near the first team again and was sold to Palace.
        • What can we learn? Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Set expectations for behaviours and hold people to account. TRN is full of recruitment business who have built and nurtured great culture, leading to productivity, performance, reward and fun.


  • Minimum standards matter – if you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough. Loris Karius, our keeper before Alisson Becker, was a really great guy but not good enough despite the training and support he received. He had to go.
        • What can we learn? We need a team of people who GWC (get it, want it and are capable). If you don’t have that, your performance suffers. Be very clear what you want, very thorough when you recruit, and move fast if someone’s not right.


  • Delegation and defer to others – Klopp has surrounded himself with people who have strengths that he doesn’t have and doesn’t feel the need to pretend to be the best at everything. He delegates authority to specialists and players to implement the vision, the game plan and to uphold decisions made
        • What can we learn? As we scale our businesses, identify in advance what competencies you need moving forward in the business and develop people accordingly. Set expectations, create the agreed processes, experiences, activities and behaviour and delegate responsibility – it’ll slow your growth if too much is sitting with you. Release the grip.


  • Develop, develop, develop – turn potential into top performers. Robertson, Mane, Wijnaldum were good players, not great players. They’re now great players. The potential of people with a great attitude is extraordinary.
        • What can we learn? Build a learning culture – it starts with you and your management team. Be a role model for learning. Fast growth recruitment businesses are hungry to learn at every level. TRN members have a hunger to learn and access ideas which is why they join.


  • Grow your own – apart from spending big on Alisson and Van Dijk, Liverpool have invested and grown young and good players. They have avoided going for the individuals who are at their peak.
        • What can we learn? Taking big billers comes with a risk because of the habits they have. Show me less experienced talent with good mental horsepower that can be mould into someone who does it our way every time. Compromise on expertise if you need to, never compromise on attitude and character.


  • Listen to your team: Listen to your team. Give them a voice. Klopp changed his demanding training regimes and their schedule when players shared they missed the morning school run.
        • What can we learn? Your team and the individuals have a voice. Listening is easy. Doing something with it is what the best leaders do. The ideas and input from your team will make your business more profitable and better. Develop your ability to coach and question and facilitate. They need to feel listened to, cared for and valued. At TRN we run hundreds of engagement studies every year and insights can be transformational.


  • Wellbeing and resilience matters – Christmas 2019 – Liverpool’s players were tired (Klopp is very demanding) and he decided they should spend Christmas at home (unlike most teams) and not worry about the pre-match training. They recharged and smashed in-form Leicester 4-0 on Boxing day
        • What can we learn? The mental well-being and resilience of your team has a direct correlation with their performance. Develop a wellbeing programme – there’s plenty on this on TRN World www.trnworld.com. Re-energising, re-engaging, re-charging matters.


  • Customer led Remember the 2-2 draw with West Brom at Anfield in 2015. It wasn’t a great performance, result or supporter experience. At the end of the match, Klopp walked the whole team to salute the fans at the Kop end. Great for his personal brand, great for the reputation of the team (although it was questioned at the time). He has built a phenomenal relationship with the supporters and the community (locally and globally) – he knows his customers and cares.
        • What can we learn? Obsess about your reputation and brand. Obsess about giving a consistently excellent experience (rather than having pockets of excellence). Personal brand matters and the experiences you give your candidates and clients will influence behaviour – referrals, retention, cross selling etc – and impact performance and profitability


  • Be human Klopp makes sure he is kept informed on family issues of members of staff and players so he can empathise and support accordingly
        • What can we learn? Our employees work for us. They are contracted to do certain things. They also have lives and challenges and bad days. Get to know them as humans


  • Trust is everything – he trusts people to do their job. Michael Edwards is trusted to do run the transfer strategy. Players are trusted to play their part.
        • What can we learn? Trust has to be earned through competence and reliability. Micro-managers and controlling leaders rarely get the performance they want.


  • Leadership depth – Klopp has leaders anywhere and he knows his ideas will be managed and standards upheld when he’s not there – Hendo, Milner, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum all are key players in the dressing room, on the training ground, on the pitch and in the community.
        • What can we learn? No recruitment will scale without the strength and depth of management who can translate the vision, the decisions and the values into daily reality. Without exception, every successful TRN member has invested heavily in getting the leadership and management right. It underpins everything.


  • Team first Klopp memorised the names of all 80 employees who worked with and took care of the players. ‘Together Strong’ is on the wall of the executive suite and every employee, irrespective of their role matters and know they matter to the success of the club
        • What can we learn? Build a family, build a team and business full of people who care – for the purpose, for the customers, for their colleagues, for the quality of what they do. That’ll only happen if they know that you care for them in the first place


  • Total fitness leads to performance – Liverpool’s nutrition coach Mona Nemmer transformed the player’s intake and how they look after themselves. The full English was replaced with personalised menus based on individual blood values.
        • What can we learn? Whether it’s the food we eat, what we drink, how we sleep, the breaks we take – our physical state directly impacts performance. Educate and support the team


  • Values led “To have a complete idiot with you just because he can kick a little better is totally annoying”. Klopp has strong values and wants people who share them. Klopp invited Wijnaldum to his home for lunch before signing him – not to talk football but to ask him about his last holiday, to understand him and his Values and whether he would be a net contributor to the team culture
        • What can we learn? There are businesses that talk about Values (the majority) and those that live them and build a great culture (the few). Check out how to do it right on TRN World – there are plenty of tools and insights


  • Positivity Fact – Klopp has the best smile in world football, in sport globally and in fact anywhere you want to look. His smile makes you smile, even if you’re a Man U supporter. His positivity is infectious.
        • What can we learn? Positivity is a huge engager. Focus on the strengths, not the weaknesses. Focus on the successes, not the things that went wrong. Celebrate always, even the little things. Life is a dance, not a destination – enjoy it


  • Build the Network – Klopp has a phenomenal network of contacts and experts that he can and does draw from including Fenway Sports Group. He excels at relationships and has access to people around the world who can help him be a better manager, leader, expert and man.
        • What can we learn? Simple – join us at TRN therecruitmentnetwork.com. We’ve designed TRN to help recruitment business leaders build an even better business, have an even better life and become even better leaders (just like Jurgen!)


That’s what Jurgen has done and on top of the footballing success, the commercial value of LFC as a business has doubled and their customers (fans) are three times as happy. Jurgen – I salute you!


NB*full creative licence has been applied and the great man had zero input (unfortunately).



The Customer Experience Calculator – What’s your CX worth Financially?

While we all know instinctively that it makes sense to look after clients and candidates, it can sometimes be difficult to quantify the financial impact of delivering a consistently excellent experience. If we don’t how what it’s worth, the chances are we won’t make it happen. 

Typically, when recruiters at any level are asked what great customer and client experience is worth, they’ll usually reply along the line of, ‘It’s priceless’. This works for a MasterCard advert, but in reality, this doesn’t inspire people to get on board or tell them what they need to be doing.

If our team are really going to put significant effort and energy into delivering a great customer experience across the board, then we need to have a clearer vision of how much it’s potentially worth.

Client and candidate retention, increased business from satisfied clients, reduced margin sensitivity and referrals all come from developing a strong reputation with clients on the back of delivering consistent experiences and meeting and beating expectations. But what impact will it have & how can we measure that?

Well, that’s where the Customer Experience Calculator comes in. It’s completely free and can be used as a very simple yet powerful tool to help all consultants understand the financial impact of getting this right.

We’ve produced a quick video going through the how to use the calculator. If you’d like to download your own copy of the tool, fill in the form below to do so:

Using the Tool:

  • Click on the tab at the bottom of the attached tool depending on whether you are looking at Perm or Contract Recruitment
  • Complete the grey boxes with average numbers
  • Look in the box on the top right-hand side to see how much it’s worth to you if you deliver excellence and turn a transactional placement into a long term relationship

Get a taste of the full Recruitment Network member experience in an afternoon.

Guest experts, like-minded peers, and insights to help you build a plan of action to make 2019 your best year yet.

6 Tips To Get Your Company Culture Right

Culture is more than a ping-pong table in the corner of the office. while fun activities/perks bring everyone in the team together, it shouldn’t come across as forced fun to just tick the ‘culture’ box. Company culture goes deeper than those little perks, it needs to be addressed at a fundamental level from hiring right, promoting the right attitude, leading by example and establishing habits. Only then can you get a true company culture that not only will foster engagement but also promotes a genuine workplace which can attract talent.

If you’ve already got a fantastic company culture in place which you’re scared is going to change and warp with the introduction of new hires (Which It easily can if not considered and prepared for) then read our article on maintain company culture when you’re experiencing growth.

Tip 1. Hire people who culturally fit your company.

What came first the culture or the hire? The hire definitely. Employees need to fit in with your cultural guidelines right from the beginning. People are hard to change, especially in a professional setting. One person who is toxic to the company culture will affect their whole team, it’s never worth it and will be detrimental to your cultural quest.

One of the most effective methods of getting the right people, as used by many CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies is to bring employees and team members into the hiring process. The colleagues who will be on the floor with them each week will have a better idea of whether they’ll fit into the team dynamics.

Tip 2. Planning for Talent 

If you care about something coming to fruition, then you better have some kind of plan. A company culture which is clearly defined and documented is important, as you need to make sure everyone in the company is aligned to your values.

Your culture plan needs to clearly define what you want the company to be ‘No buzz words or wishy-washy sentiments’ get down to the brass-tax of it all, as vagueness can influence misinterpretations.

Tip 3. Make the culture and values of your company clear for all

Values, vision, culture and your why need to be clear for all to see, shout about it, promote it, live it, breath it and your team will adopt it. Many companies like to create signs and visual representations of the values and put them up in their offices and spaces, keeping the core values of your company front of mind will remind your employees of their importance.

Tip 4. Celebrate the team

Culture flourishes when we actively encourage and celebrate the individuals but also the teams that show there are living the values and vision of the company. Many companies celebrate their team as fundamentally part of their brand, on their websites and social media. A team that truly nails culture knows that the modern company is no longer vertical, the sum of its success is equal to the collective effort of everyone who has helped it get there.   

Tip 5. Get the team involved in the ‘treats’

It’s a good idea to diarise and organise gatherings outside of the work environment for your staff, to help build friendships and give a different setting for your teams to interact and fundamentally have fun building meaningful relationships with co-workers they may not have had the opportunity to build in the workplace.

Make sure these events maintain a level of consistency, and make sure you keep to them. These kind of events needs to be as important as a client meeting, if you want to show your staff that you care about them and appreciate the effort they put into you, so no giving it to the receptionist to organise and then dropping out at the last minute (It happens more than you think!)

And finally, make sure you’re getting the whole team involved in the organisation and ideas for the event. General consensus may be that Top-Golf isn’t as fun as you may think it is. Getting everyone involved helps build anticipation and interest in the event.

Tip 6. Promote exercise and healthy well-being

Exercise and healthy living is scientifically proven to boost productivity, but also helps to achieve a whole manner of different attributes from concentration, communication, happiness, reduce stress and more..

Smart companies know the value of healthy-eating and exercise in the workplace. From offering longer lunch breaks for exercise to providing free fruit in the kitchen, companies that help nurture an environment where health-consciousness is celebrated can help build a workforce that work smarter but also bond through exercise, diets and team activities.

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These 12 Management Ways will help you Become a more Respected Leader

Great leaders can have the power of truly effecting the people they work around. We can influence them to pursue greater things, grow into a better version of themselves or inspire them for the rest of their lives. Is that the kind of leader you want to be? Well, this comes from the leaders who are truly respected and admired by their people. Respect is earned not given, but you can certainly earn the respect of your subordinates by implementing these 12 ways.

Set the standard with a strong work ethic

Actions truly do speak louder than words and as a leader you should champion the work ethic of those around you. This kind of genuine passion and drive to work hard and set the benchmark only comes from those leaders who truly love their job and the position they’re in.

Don’t be afraid to take risks and be more decisive

Like the above point a leader needs to lead from the front and be a decisive force, you need to be able to show a clear direction and goal, so the rest of the team can follow. A decisive leader knows what they want and isn’t afraid of ruffling a few feathers to get there. Changing your mind and decision on a penny is a sure way to lose respect and show yourself as a weak leader.

Show respect for those around you

This one is truly a given, if you find yourself showing little to no respect for the people around you then you’re setting yourself up for failure right from the start. Great management is built on trusting and believing in those below you, if they’re lacking in certain aspects then it’s on you to help them build on those skills and inspire them to believe they can do it.

Believe in yourself

Yep, management is full of uncertainties and many decisions. But, the one way you’ll stand tall is by believing in your ability. This doesn’t mean you should go it all alone, there’s no harm in bringing in your team to discuss the direction you need to go, in fact we encourage it. But, a leader who questions their own ability and their place will see that doubt spread into everything they do, helping no-one.

Be positive

A positive attitude is a must! Humans are fickle with their emotions, if you come to your team with a bad attitude you’ll quickly find the rest of your team mirroring your mood. A team with a negative attitude will destroy the productivity from your team.

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty

A good leader will spend time knowing how each aspect of the job and will never be ‘Too Good’ to muck in with the rest of the time to get the job done properly. During the early SpaceX days Elon Musk would regularly pitch in with his engineers to build the Engine for the Falcon 1, even though by that time he was a multi-millionaire 3-time CEO. A leader who gets their hands dirty will connect with their employees on that personal level and build respect, showing that you’re not above their job.

Admit when you’re wrong

There’s no place for a big ego in effective leadership. There’s no weakness in admitting you’re wrong from time to time. As a decisive leader you’re going to take a few ‘leaps of faith’ for the directive future of the business, but a great leader will take responsibility and admit the faults of their decision, don’t try and blame others because that will get you no-where. 

Solutions not problems

A great trait of a respected leader is when employees or projects present problems they’ll actively try to get a solution rather than create more problems. It can sometimes be difficult finding a solution to a problem, but it needs to be your modus-operandi to find the solution no matter what.

Give effective feedback

Effective feedback is something we teach in our Next Generation Leaders programme and is a cornerstone to getting the most from your people. Feedback if done right can not only help you grow, but also effectively build and better your people. 

Be Available

If you’re never there, then you’ll never build respect. A good leader is always available to talk from business to personal. Respected leaders treat their team like their families, always available to lend whatever aid they need to help them. Employees who feel their boss has their back and will help them when they need it most will respect their boss insurmountably.

Listen and learn

A true leader never feels they’ve ‘learnt everything’ as there’s always lessons to be learnt from their team and what they bring to the plate. A respected leader listens to their people and take on everything they say, learning and moving the collective effort forward.     

Be fun

There’s no need to be the stoic type all the time, respect is earnt not only from being an effective manager of people but also from being able to let loose and create an environment which their team enjoys being part of! People who believe their workplace is a fun environment will be more engaged and more likely to stick around. 

Publicly acknowledge success

If your team are putting in that graft to really get something completed or have shone on an occasion which deserve special recognition, then it’s always a great idea to either reward them or publicly acknowledge their successes. This will help them feel proud of their achievement and let them know you recognise their efforts, helping build loyalty and respect.

It’s the little micro-moments in leadership where you go that extra mile and show everyone that you truly care for them and their well-being that will help build a genuine respect for you. So, stress about those little details and moments and make them habitual and recognise it will take time to build if you truly want to gain some genuine respect from your co-workers.

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My Top 4 Tips to Get More Efficient Meetings

Meetings are a little like Marmite, aren’t they? You either love them or hate them, or perhaps you love to hate them. Some teams do away with meetings and some drag them out much longer than they need to be.

Poorly run meetings can leave you frustrated and losing precious time which you need to get important work done. On the flip side, having no meetings can leave you feeling a little lost, and the team potentially not on-board where you’re heading as a business. So, the question really is how can we run an efficient meeting which helps get the most of all attendees in the most efficient manner?

It’s always a personal passion of mine to get our office meetings as efficient as possible and I’m lucky to have a team that feels exactly the same way as me about meetings gaining the most amount of value in the least possible time. So, below I’ve listed my top tips for getting the most out of your future meetings which can be infinitely more efficient.

Tip 1: Pre-meeting prep.

Preparation really is the key to anything. A great meeting always has an agenda beforehand which is sent out to the attendees. Your pre-meeting agenda needs to include a few key points so that everyone sits at that table (Or a circle of bean bags, we don’t judge) knows what they’re expecting, what the meeting is for and what they need to have prepared.

Here’s my list of points:

  • Title of the meeting.
  • What we need to get out of the meeting.
  • The time the meeting needs to take.
  • An agenda of the meeting (The amount of time each person gets)
  • What each person needs to have prepared when they come to the meeting.
  • Meet with individual attendees beforehand to quickly discuss important points that could come up in the meeting.
  • Scout out of the room and make sure you know how to work the tech.


Tip 2: Set a concrete time frame.

One of the biggest problems a meeting encounters is fluff, the chatter or tangents that taken the meeting off its desired course and eat up the time. If you’re heading up a meeting it’s important for you to keep a conscious eye on the time its taken and take responsibility of steering the meeting to reach the desire objectives.

A few tips for good meeting time keeping:

  • Pre-set the amount of time the meeting should take.
  • Give each person a set amount of time to talk through their points.
  • Start the meeting a little earlier for everyone to arrive and settle down.
  • If you see the meeting going off on a tangent, acknowledged it and politely get back on course: eg: “Great points John, but this is veering from the course of the meetings desired outcome, I’ve written this down and we can discuss this later”
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Tip 3: Notes and follow up

Another fallacy of a good meeting is the fact that there’s little to no follow up after a good meeting. The whole point of the meeting is to galvanise actions and propel the project forward. We like to have one person acting as a ‘scribe’ (It can be yourself) taking all the notes and comments throughout the meeting, especially the decided actions from the attendees. The true value comes in sending all attendees a smartened-up copy of the notes and the actions that have come out of the meeting, this adds accountability to all attendees; especially if you get them to commit to deadlines.

My tips for a well-documented meeting:

  • You or someone in the meeting should be writing notes throughout.
  • Make sure you all leave with a set of actions to move forward.
  • Get the team to commit to deadlines for their actions.
  • Send over a smartened-up version of the notes to all attendees.
  • Follow up with attendees on a 1-1 basis post meeting to discuss actions and hit home the points made in the meeting.


Tip 4: Bring in the right attendees 

Some people just don’t need to be in the meetings, simple as that. They might even feel like they need to be (The megalomaniacs out there). But, as the organiser of the meeting it’s ultimately down to you to bring in your all-star teams who will ultimately bring the most amount of value to the meeting. Some people can simply receive the notes and actions post-meeting if they would like some insight into what came out of it.

Here’s a couple of tips for this:

  • Once, twice, thrice: Go over your attendees list a few times and really think about who actually needs to be there for the desired objective of the meeting.
  • Meet with some of those you’re not sure about and discuss with them whether they’d be right for the meeting and offer to send them the notes.
  • Look up and chat to those who’s names you don’t recognise and decide whether them attending is going to be valuable in the meeting.
  • Don’t be afraid to dice and cut the attendees list.
  • Give plenty of time to adjust the list, as you don’t want to incur the wrath of someone who put off something for this meeting.


Ultimately this all comes down to cementing these actions and making a habit out of all the tips we’ve listed out here. If you come to the meeting with a pre-assigned agenda, the right people, the objective of the meeting, a list of actions and a solid follow up which people have committed to then you’re going to be renowned for hosting the best meetings in all the office!


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6 Tips to Become a Pro at Delegating Effectively

Every business needs managers and leaders who can delegate effectively. It is imperative to retain internal talent, propel business growth and maintain your companies culture.

Delegating is an art and is not easy to master. There is a tendency, especially amongst newer managers, to keep hold of tasks refraining from delegating them out to their team. Usually down to the worry that the task will not be done properly and that you as the manager are ultimately accountable and responsible for the results.

So, we wanted to give you some simple tips that will make delegating much easier. Like everything, it ultimately comes down to practice. So, use these 6 tips to get you on your way to becoming a pro at delegating.

Tip 1. Equip your team

A well-equipped team is in the best place to be able to successfully complete the task you delegate to them. If they are lacking in skills or motivation to complete the task, then you are setting them up to fail. As their leader it is your responsibility to equip your team with all the information and tools necessary for them succeed at that task.

When we say equipped, you may notice that it wasn’t just skills we mentioned. It is vital that your team care about taking on the task you are giving them, that they care and are motivated enough to do a good job.

Tip 2. Communicate effectively

You’ve equipped your team with experience, skills and the motivation to tackle the task you are about to give them. Now, you need to make sure that you communicate your expectations and requirements for the task effectively. If information is withheld this will only serve to make the task harder, setting them up for failure before they’ve even started.

The key here is that everyone is different. Some people will want a lengthy, detailed list, possibly written down, which they can keep checking as they work. Whereas, others may work best with bullet points and headline info which they can run with. In the latter situation it is important that you do communicate your definite requirements for the task, so nothing gets lost in translation.

Tip 3. Keep your business vision and values in sight

Delegating tasks allows you to keep a top-level view on things, so you can oversee the whole team. But remember, it is vital that you do not lose sight of the overall business vision and values. Your job as the leader is to make sure that everyone keeps this in their sights and doesn’t lose track on the way.

Equip Your Middle Management Team to Become True Leaders

The Recruitment Trailblazers programme takes them on a journey to build them up into an individual that has both the confidence and ability to understand what is expected, knows what is involved and takes responsibility for improving personal and team performance.

Tip 4. Develop the ability to let go, but not lose control

Being able to let go of tasks is not always easy. You want the task to be done properly, but don’t have time to do everything. As a leader you need to let go of some things and delegate them to your team. Deciding what to delegate though is a challenge, and it shouldn’t just be the things that you don’t like doing. Considering how important the tasks are to the business can help you to decide which bits to delegate and which to keep hold of.

The art with delegating is knowing how much to monitor while the task is being done. This will come down to the individual person that you have delegated to and how much support they will need to do a good job, without micromanaging them. There needs to be trust there between you and them and the support available if needed.

Tip 5. Trust the people that you’re delegating to

Trust is something that is built and doesn’t just happen, but for it to be built the opportunity needs to be there. The more you delegate your team and they do a good job of those tasks the more your trust in them will build. Although it may seem scary to let go of some things at first, you need to allow that trust to build.

Tip 6. Learn from mistakes

Obviously, you don’t want mistakes to happen or for things to be done incorrectly, but one of the best ways to learn is from mistakes. Analyse what went wrong, and then do what you can to solve any issues that arose. As we have already mentioned though, it is important that you have communicated your expectations and requirements for the task well to give them every chance of doing the task right for you first time around.

Delegating is something that you develop as a skill over time and the more you do it. It comes naturally to some, but others will have to work at it to truly feel comfortable with it. The key things to remember are to communicate your requirements and expectations clearly, and make sure that the person has understood what is being asked of them. Poor communication is one of the biggest reasons that delegating goes wrong. Remember these 6 tips, put them into practice and you’ll be on your way to delegating success.

Best in class training modules with Trailblazers

The programme takes them on a journey to build them up into an individual that has both the confidence and ability to understand what is expected, knows what is involved and takes responsibility for improving personal and team performance.

Million-dollar question – ‘How do I engage my workforce?’

To motivate your workforce, you need to really get underneath and understand what motivates them. Often when talking about motivations, one of the first things that springs to mind is money, targets and incentives, but this is not looking deep enough in terms of what truly motivates people.

In the TEDx Cosmo Park talk, Kerry Goyette, the Founder and President of Aperio Consulting Group, tells us about what motivation is, how to leverage it, and the counterproductive motivations that may be holding us back from success.

Myths of Motivation

To fully understand what motivates employees and people in general we need to get underneath what drives human behaviour in the workplace. Why do people do what they do when they come to work? To start with, we need to dispel some myths that surround motivation.

Myth 1

We frequently think and believe that a motivated person is someone who brings energy to the team and always gives 120%, but this doesn’t give us the whole story. We need to look deeper at the quality of their work rather than the speed and energy they bring to their role.

The other side of the story is that it is not just about quantity and energy, but it is also about quality. The type of person who comes to work and is productive, brings positive energy and outcomes to their day. Some people, however, bring negative motivations which are counter productive and put a block in the way of getting work done. We do all have a combination of each of these, both productive and counterproductive motivations and our success is determined by maximising these productive motivations and minimising the counterproductive ones.

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So, how do we do that?

All human beings are hard wired to connect, and our brains will not be fully realised without being part of a healthy group. Even introverts, who are probably reading this thinking, maybe everyone but me, but they will just thrive in smaller, more exclusive groups, whereas extroverts want to connect with everyone.

With differing types of people, we need to engineer our teams differently too. When we want to get something done, we often just want able bodies on the team who can do the task and set them to it. But this is not necessarily the best thing to do. The make up of the team could make or break a project and the performance of the people within the team.

Working within a team of high performing, productive people will not bring another person up to their level of performance. When you put a ‘C’ player into a team of ‘A’ players, the ‘C’ player brings those counterproductive motivations with them and is more likely to bring the ‘A’s down in their level of performance.

So, to boost people that mainly bring those counterproductive motivations we need to engineer the teams and workplace accordingly to help them to maximise their productive motivations.

Myth 2

We also often think of motivation as ‘one size fits all’. We think that to motivate a team we get them all together, inspire them and then send them on their way to do their work.

But different people have different motivational styles and to understand this, we need to look at the basics of motivation and to understand ‘What actually is Motivation?’.

Motivation is our drive to seek pleasure and avoid pain.

How successful we are in life is determined by our ability to work on and build our productive motivations and how effective we are at minimising our counterproductive motivations.

From this we can identify some key factors that contribute to our success in life and at work. On the pleasure side there are two motivations- ambition and accountability. Someone who is highly motivated on the pleasure side sees a world full of opportunities.

On the flip side, someone who is highly motivated to avoid pain, sees all the things that could go wrong. They’re good at mitigating risk and have the power of noticing issues that could arise. They want to protect and preserve what they have and are good at problem solving and agile in the way they work.

We all have a combination of both styles, but we tend to have a dominate focus, towards one or the other. So, when it comes to wanting to motivate your workforce, the question you should be asking is not ‘How do I increase our workplace engagement, how do I motivate my employees?’. Your employees are already motivated. The question you should be asking is ‘How do I unleash their already existing motivation?’.

To unleash the motivation inside someone who is highly motivated to avoid pain, when given a big, exciting, possibly risky project to get on with, there would be a different approach with them, rather than someone who is motivated towards pleasure.

Instead of ‘come on, we’ve got a really exciting project to get on with that’s going to grow our market share and bring in new clients’ you could say to them ‘we’ve got a new project coming up but I want to go through all the things that could go wrong if we don’t do it. We could lose some of our market share and we could miss opportunities to bring in some new clients’.

Hiring for motivational fit

So, when we hire new employees we need to consider their ‘motivational fit’. Just because a person can do the job doesn’t mean they will do the job, continuously and consistently. We need to decide what the role calls for and what kind of person will suit that role.

When hiring we decide in the emotional area of our brain in the first 3-5 minutes whether we like the person or not, and whether we are going to hire them.

There is, however, no correlation between how much we like a person in the initial interview and later performance in the role. In fact, the people that were most liked in the interview were not the top performers later, so this needs to be considered right from the start during the hiring process.

So, to ensure an engaged and motivated workforce…

  • You need to hire based on motivational fit
  • You need to then understand your employees and their motivations, to match them with projects and the teams they are part of
  • And finally, you then need to invest in these people. In companies and business, often it is the technology or facilities that are invested into before the people. Grow and invest in the people in your company
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Maximise Hire Performance from day one with The 100 Day Plan

I have often believed that 2 main ‘punishable’ management crimes exist.

Crime number one is short cutting the selection process when bringing someone on the team -not taking the time to select the right individual to join the team or the business. Normally this happens when either we haven’t really worked out exactly what we are looking for, we short cut the process because we are in a hurry or we don’t have enough options and take the best available even thought the gut tells us it’s not right enough. We’ve all done it and we’ve all paid the price. Ironically, despite being professional experts at it, recruiters often aren’t as good as we could be at recruiting for ourselves and selecting the talent.

Crime number two is losing an individual, whose loss we could have avoided – the avoidable regrettable loss.

I am starting to think that’s there’s a few more punishable, avoidable crimes that we could avoid. How about this one: turning an experienced confident high performing recruiter who smashed the numbers in their previous recruitment firm into an average performer lacking confidence in their new firm.

Recently I came across 2 instances of this happening which could have been avoided.

Competence, confidence and commitment are 3 ingredients any high performing recruitment consultant, or indeed any employee in any role, needs to have. Without competence, the knowledge and skill required to succeed, I am on a learning curve and performance will inevitably reflect that. We see that when bringing inexperienced recruiters or grads into a consultant role (which is the preferred approach for many recruitment businesses as we can mould the behaviours and activity). They’re still learning and take a while to get up to speed.  Without confidence, the focus, productivity and activity levels drop, as does how much I am enjoying the role. Without commitment, the impact on performance is obvious and immediate.

So, which of these is missing in the case of an experienced new hire who’s not delivering the expected performance for someone with their background. It’s not competency, they’ve been there and done it. And it’s not commitment, or certainly not initially, as they’ve made a conscious decision to join your business and are up for it. So, it must be confidence and when looking at these 2 instances I came across and looking at the root cause, I started to understand why and how this could happen.

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Confidence can be undermined when individuals are faced with new circumstances that they are unfamiliar with and insufficient support, guidance and training. Think about the journey of an experienced recruiter joining a new business and understand the gaps in knowledge that inevitably exist which make it such a radically different experience from where they were before– new systems, new processes, new colleagues, different culture, a new management style to get used to and often different sectors, markets, roles and clients to understand and become an expert in. It’s enough to challenge anyone and the change from the known to the unknown could throw anyone off track.

And yet it’s easily avoidable is we provide structured support. The 100-day plan is great example of how we can avoid the confidence drop, creating accountability for the new starter and helping people (experienced or others) hit appropriate performance levels when they should do. The 100-day plan is flexible and can be tailored by your business for your business and to an extent for the individual your onboarding. It’s good for the line manage, helping them set expectations, communicate expectations and hold people to account. It’s good for the individual being onboarded and provides clarity and structured support (NOTE – 1 of the 2 most powerful engagement tactics according global engagement specialists Gallup is clearly mapping out what is expected of an employee)

100 day plan download graphic

Get it right and we give the consultant the best chance of succeeding, get it wrong it costs, it costs big! and here’s how much:

If we assume that everyone consultant hire on a £25k salary will cost, you:

  • 20% of salary (£5k) if using a recruiter


  • £2k of an internal recruiter salary if he/she makes 25 hires a year and his/her costs are £50k per annum
  • Onboarding training time of manager’s £2k
  • Systems and operating costs run at £2k month, i.e. £12k over 6 months
  • 6 months’ salary, £13k

If someone leaves after 6 months because they haven’t worked out (which is normally our own fault):

  • £2k+£2k+£12k+£13k = £29k
  • Another 6 months to replace someone successfully, adds £29k again
  • £58k costs for one vacancy

Plus, opportunity cost

£58k of costs requires £230k of margin or NFI, if you are converting 25% to profit so… let’s give the new employee the very best opportunity to succeed and succeed fast and grow their confidence. Use the 100-day plan to give shape and structure – good luck with it.

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What does 2018 and the beyond look like for the world of Recruitment? We've got a fantastic array of insightful blogs from industry experts who have given their views on the future of recruitment. Plus the results from our Future of Recruitment Survey.

How to Boost Your Productivity in Just 10 Minutes

Ever been sat at your desk, with a complete block, not knowing what to do next?

Well you’re not the only one, lots of people suffer with this every day and one of the best ways to combat it is to get away from your desk. Yes, it does sound counter intuitive but getting away from your desk and exercising is an excellent way to over come this hurdle. It’s something we in our office practice and preach; we’re privileged to work in lush, Kent where our employees use their lunch breaks for runs, always coming back fresh for the afternoon.

Even 10 minutes of simple, low intensity exercise has been shown to boost productivity and prolong concentration levels, so when you come back to your desk you can then work for longer.

So, how does it do this? Let’s a little deeper into the science behind this…

The Science Bit

During exercise BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) is expressed, which promotes neurogenesis, the creation of new neurons in the hippocampus area of the brain, whilst also protecting the existing neurons. The release of BDNF is associated with cognitive improvement and alleviation of depression and anxiety.

Endorphins are a chemical released by the pituitary gland in response to stress or pain which can be associated with exercise. They bind to opioid receptors in neurons, which help to block the release of neurotransmitters and therefore blocking stress and pain, to minimize the discomfort you feel during exercise.

Endorphins are often associated with the euphoric feeling that you get post exercise, increasing self-confidence, promoting a positive attitude and reducing stress levels. The effects of an endorphin release can be addictive and can be compared with morphine or heroin.

Equip Your Middle Management Team to Become True Leaders

The Recruitment Trailblazers programme takes them on a journey to build them up into an individual that has both the confidence and ability to understand what is expected, knows what is involved and takes responsibility for improving personal and team performance.

Aerobic exercise reinforces neural connections by increasing the number of dendrite connections between neurons, creating a denser network, which in turn is better able to store and process information.

Blood flow around the body is increased during and after aerobic exercise, which in turn increases the transfer of glucose and oxygen throughout the body, increasing your energy levels.

Added Benefits of Exercise

During our Autumn Huddle, Tim Reid, co-writer of Peter Kay’s Car Share, ran a session with our members on creativity. In the session, to boost everyone’s creativity he got everyone to get up and move about. He said that moving around would boost creativity, mostly for the reasons that we have discovered here due to exercise.

We all know that busy people need to be good at time management and structured, organised exercise can help with this too. Being strict with yourself and scheduling in time to exercise can ensure you organise your time wisely, therefore improving this when in a work environment.

Anyone who has taken part in exercise knows that during and sometimes after we have to work through some discomfort. Not to the point of injury and pain, of course that should not be ‘worked through’, but in the case of effort put in and tiring muscles, etc. Discomfort is something that can sometimes also be felt at work or in business, not quite in the same way, but exercise can teach us to work through this discomfort nonetheless.

Benefits to Employers

As an employer it is definitely beneficial to promote exercise to your employees. Not only can it boost productivity, creativity and other desirable skills, but it can also help reduce sick days and boost morale. Fitter people are less likely to become sick, therefore less likely to be absent from work too.

A workforce with a high morale can achieve so much more. Promoting exercise and showing you care about their wellbeing can help boost their morale, mood and their trust and respect in your as their leader.

How to do it

The exercise we partake in doesn’t need to be strenuous to be beneficial, in fact low to moderate intensity is best according to a study.

As an employer some of the things you could suggest or offer to your employees to encourage them to be more active are:

  • Walking meetings- studies has shown the importance of walking on public health
  • Printers further from desks
  • Start up a company sports team
  • Organise a charity or fundraising event- like the rowathon
  • Install showers in the workplace to encourage Lunchtime workouts
  • Offer gym memberships or money off one as an employee benefit
  • Allow employees to leave half an hour early to get to the gym/do activities
  • Team building days
  • Bike or Walk to work scheme
  • Standing desks or gym balls to sit on

Some of the things that you, as an individual, can do to reap the cognitive rewards that come with regular exercise are:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park further away from the door at work or the shops
  • Find an exercise buddy
  • Make it fun- what do you enjoy doing, what did you enjoy as a kid
  • Sign up to a class

Although only doing 10 minutes of exercise on a one-off occasion does help, the biggest benefits are certainly seen when the exercise is undertaken regularly. So, here are some tips to help you to weave some exercise into your busy schedule:

  • Start small – it is best to create small habits that you can gradually increase, making lasting changes to your lifestyle, than aiming for a 30 mins workout every day and not achieving it.
  • Have fun – choose something that you enjoy, or you will not stick to it. If you genuinely don’t enjoy any, give yourself some incentive to work towards.
  • Don’t put barriers in the way – don’t worry about equipment or tracking the workout, extra effort or work kills new habits
  • Schedule it in – put it on your calendar or in your diary, make a plan and stick to it. Treat it as an appointment that you cannot miss.

The benefits of exercise are plain to see, for individuals and employers alike. From improving mood and reducing stress levels, to boosting your cognitive capacity and productivity, it can help with all sorts. So, will you be changing what you do, to add some exercise into your routine? Or maybe you are already exercising and reaping its many rewards.

Best in class training modules with Trailblazers

The programme takes them on a journey to build them up into an individual that has both the confidence and ability to understand what is expected, knows what is involved and takes responsibility for improving personal and team performance.

The Biggest Drain on Productivity? Bad Management

A recent study from ADP (Automatic Data Processing) claims that bad management is one the biggest drains of productivity in the workplace. ADP who surveyed 1,300 employees across the UK found a third of workers(32 per cent) regularly struggle to be productive in their job, with one in six (16 per cent) respondents blaming their manager – ahead of inefficient systems and processes (15 per cent) and staff shortages (13 per cent).

The ADP statement also continues to say that the UK has been struggling with continued low productivity levels for a number of years, consistently placed behind other leading economies, such as Germany and the US in official productivity tables. While recent ONS figures suggested a recovery is underway, reporting the biggest jump in productivity levels for six years, the ADP findings indicate that UK PLC isn’t out of the woods just yet.

Barriers to productivity also vary significantly based on age, with over 55s the most affected by bad management (20 per cent), while 16 to 24-year olds are more affected by social media (22 per cent) distractions from colleagues (21 per cent) and stress (18 per cent). Meanwhile, over 55s are revealed to be the most easily distracted in the workplace, with 17 per cent saying they are rarely or never able to be at their most productive.

Equip Your Middle Management Team to Become True Leaders

The Recruitment Trailblazers programme takes them on a journey to build them up into an individual that has both the confidence and ability to understand what is expected, knows what is involved and takes responsibility for improving personal and team performance.

“Productivity is vital for organisational and economic success, which is why maximising is a priority for employers. If the attempt to address this takes a narrow, Frederick Winslow Taylor approach, then it can be counterproductive and fail to engage and harness the creativity of their people,” commented Jeff Phipps, managing director at ADP UK. “It might be notoriously difficult to measure and improve productivity levels, but these findings provide a good indication of the factors that are most important. Ineffective management is a major drain on employee output, not to mention motivation and engagement, which is why investment in management training is critical. Processes, systems and technology must also be updated regularly, with the input of frontline staff, to ensure they are consistently helping them to work in the best – and most productive – way possible.”

Read the full report from ADP here.

How do we remedy bad management?

Sometimes bad management simply comes down to a lack of understanding and knowledge on effective management from the manager, we here at The Recruitment Network offer a comprehensive and in-depth course for up and coming billing-managers and management professionals on a journey to get the most out of themselves and their team.

To find more about our Trailblazers programme, follow this link:

Start by looking at yourself

Great management starts with efficient self-management, personal effectiveness, focus, and great delegation. We’ve discussed this very issue in depth with the first part of our three part series:  “How to Balance Personal Billings and Team Performance”.

Read it here:

You then develop the individuals in your team

In the second part of our blog series we look at how to get the most out of the individuals within your team, from hiring the right people, personality profiling, motivations, performance management, support and autonomy.

Read it here:

You wrap it up with a cohesive team

Part three of our series of effective management looks at bringing together individuals and merging them into a team, which turns you into a true leader. We talk about inspiring and animating others bringing the best out of them.

Read it here:

Best in class training modules with Trailblazers

The programme takes them on a journey to build them up into an individual that has both the confidence and ability to understand what is expected, knows what is involved and takes responsibility for improving personal and team performance.