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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).

 

#YNWA #TRN

12 Reasons why recruitment leaders need to think about what they are doing right now.

There is no doubt that these are very unchartered waters for recruitment leaders and recruiters across the globe and whilst the current situation we are facing creates immense challenges for many of us, it does also generate some unique opportunities to create more productive, more profitable and more sustainable recruitment businesses that are truly fit-for-purpose in tomorrow’s market.

Over the past few months, I have worked with literally hundreds of recruitment leaders, all currently navigating through a global crisis unlike anything anyone has experienced before. No one has a guaranteed, fail-safe, textbook plan to get through this and that is ok.

However, as everyone is trying to figure it all out, there are some clear common themes that I am seeing emerge from the thousands of conversations we have had these past few months that I have pulled together into a simple 12 point plan.

This is not a guarantee of success, of course, but a guide for recruitment leaders (and their employees) that I am convinced will help recruitment organisations in some way both survive and thrive these extraordinary times, and more importantly emerge as fitter, stronger and better businesses on the other side.

To set things up from the outset, you first need to…

Avoid the Sideshows

All that matters right now is survival. You simply have to be around at the end of all this, when the markets bounce back, to be able to fight another day.

This means absolute focus on that, first.

Understand what sits outside your circles of control right now (you can’t control the markets, you can’t control the macro covid19 situation, you can’t even to an extent accurately control revenue coming in to your business) but instead align your thinking to just the things you can control (costs going out of the business, where you invest your time and / resources, low-risk revenue generating opportunities) and those things that that will have the biggest impact on assuring your survival and your ability to thrive on the other side.

One recruitment business we work with have been running some phenomenal marketing campaigns over this time, being very noisy on social media and keeping their brand front of mind. That’s great.

But what they weren’t doing was selling. They were neglecting sales for marketing. They forget their Calls 2 Action. They weren’t driving a pipeline of new business. They hadn’t adapted their sales approach, so their old approach just felt out of place (and rightly so). It felt good, it kept them busy, but with no real results.

We changed their focus. We realigned sales with marketing and redesigned their selling process to ensure every interaction was output focused with clear measurable actions for the customer to follow up and now they are seeing genuine conversions. It just worked.

You can also control how you plan to…

Design your New Normal

There are too many people simply asking the wrong question right now – what will the new normal be after this? This wrong. The question we should all be asking is what do we want our new normal to be after this?

This is an extraordinary opportunity for us all to take the lessons we are currently learning about ourselves, about our businesses, about what we value and proactively construct a future that we want.

Don’t let paralysis set in, waiting / hoping to find out what tomorrow might look like, but go out instead and build the future you want right now.

As the lockdown has started ease ever so slightly, there seems to be a sudden rush back to the old normal, but why? Is that actually what we want?

I heard of a story the other day of a recruitment manager who had spent an entire weekend in his old office getting it ready for the mass return of his employees. Distancing arrows everywhere, signs on the doors, hand sanitisers on the desks, screens up and so on – he had worked tirelessly to get things ready and had done a great job. But when he announced this to the team on a video posted on social media, not a single one of them actually wanted to go back. They felt they were 10x more productive working from home, using commuting time to do more business and just getting more things done.

I am by no means saying that we should get back to normality as soon as possible, our businesses / our economy needs it, but does that normality have be modelled on the normality of before?

This leads nicely into the next point of the plan…

Look Way Back to See Way Forward

These past few months have been unlike not other. You can’t compare what we are going through to a typical downturn in a typical economic cycle. This is not typical.

This is an event-led downturn driven by something that is impacting people’s lives in very deep and personal ways.

From both a health and economics perspective, we can certainly look back and get some pointers from similar historical events that have occurred before but the world evolves at such a fast pace that comparing the current economical cycle with that of the Global Financial crisis of 2008 is just not a like for like comparison.

Politics and global trade relations have evolved in the last 10 years, social demographics have changed, technology has moved on significantly. Imagine all having to work from home using the technology and broadband capacity that we had even just 12 years ago!

What we can learn from history though are trends and more importantly how certain trends will have both quickened as well as aligned because of this, thus creating new markets, new needs, new opportunities for businesses.

  • Have you mapped out the emerging trends in your markets that came out of the last downturn?
  • What do these trends show you about how your market evolves in situations like this?

But now is really not the time to let your thinking get anchored in the past. Instead, we need to look forward 3 to 5 years at what the current trends are telling us about your markets tomorrow and then work your strategies back from that.

This future trend analysis will then help you to start building out how you will…

Create your Own Recovery

Business leaders in recruitment tend to be entrepreneurial, and entrepreneurs by nature tend to be optimistic. I am definitely an optimist, with a very heavy dose of realism, and personally cannot stand pessimism.

Not for once ignoring the terrible plight that many are facing right now, the reality of the matter is that for most people, we will get through this and good times will return. You don’t have to be an optimist to know that.

The bit that really separates the optimists and the pessimists, the part that prevents the realists from moving forward whilst the opportunists are picking up market share, all comes down to timing. When.

When will the recovery come? When will my markets come back? When will we start growing again?

The optimist in me, coupled with some very sensible data / insights from some of the best social economists out there, points towards a “V” shape downturn – the market drops off a cliff, as it has, and then fairly sharply bounces back again. At the time of me writing this, even the UK Govt are swaying towards that prediction.

Remember what we said above, this is an event led downturn – the recovery will be driven less by the traditional number analysis that the economists calculate and more by the social will of the people aching to get back out working, to get out of lockdown, to just get on.

However, what some leaders forget is that businesses do not have to necessarily follow the same trend as the markets. They will be influenced by that, of course, but a business can have its own “V” shaped bounce even if the market itself is on a “U” trajectory.

Look at it this way, the recruitment market will inevitably be smaller after this. There will be winners and losers, and some business simply / sadly won’t make it out the other side. The markets may contract / shrink and take longer to return to pre-covid19 levels (if at all) but with a smaller market, those recruitment companies still strongly trading have a greater market share opportunity with less competition to go up against.

So, move. Move faster than everyone else and decide what type of recovery you’re shooting for by developing your…

Outside In Strategy

You must look beyond the walls of your business to build your future strategy.

It is easy to become too inwards focused at times like these, when in reality (once you are on top of your business survival plan) you need to look at the bigger picture and more importantly at the wider supply chains within your target markets. If you don’t, you might end up walking head on into a load of challenges that will negatively impact your growth plans or indeed a bunch of opportunities that will make them fly.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What exactly is going on right now in your markets?
  • What parts of your target market will be decimated because of this, and similarly, which parts will grow?
  • Which companies are just about getting through this and which companies will be thriving? Why?
  • If those companies are thriving, which of their suppliers will also be doing well?
  • Which areas of the market will capitalise most on the ensuing upturn? Why?
  • If those companies start to do well, which of their suppliers further down the supply chain will also follow suit?

What are those supply chain trends telling you about where you should be focusing your sales and marketing resource, and also what products / services do you need to be developing right now that align to what your customers are going to want to buy (from you)?

We recently created a market map for a retail recruitment business, drawing out the future supply chain in retail and how that has and will be affected by all that is going on, helping them identify a number of brand new, high demand / high margin niche areas to target.

If market share is going to start increasing, we now need to maximise our return by doing some…

Bottom Up Planning

Without doubt, one of the clear trends that is coming out of all this, is the extent that many businesses have actually been running fairly inefficiently in the past.

Now, when our backs have been put against the wall, and we have been forced to literally cut out as much as we can from our businesses (and quickly), we have all managed to do it across most areas. Whilst in some cases quite hard to do emotionally, it has been relatively easy to start spotting areas of inefficiency, unprofitability, and wastage that have slowly creeped into our business over the years, especially when we were in the good times and business was booming.

What this period has made us all do (and we have had the time to do this), is to focus long and hard on cash generation and profit maximisation, perhaps more than we have ever done before. Turnover and GP is irrelevant if it doesn’t drop enough to the bottom line.

  • Where does the real profit in our businesses come from?
  • What drives EBIT and generates cash?
  • Which clients deliver the most contribution to the bottom line?
  • Which products and services that we sell create the most net yield?
  • Who, amongst our consultants, delivers the most ROI?
  • Do we have the right people, in the right jobs, doing the right things that generate profit?
  • What is the one thing we do above all else that really makes us money?

Over the past few weeks, my conversations with recruitment leaders has been firmly fixed on retraining and redeployment of people and re-engineering of business structures to, quite simply, create greater capability to generate greater profit margins.

We have just completely flipped a recruitment business (circa 40 consultants) that utilised a 360⁰ recruiter model to a hybrid 120⁰ / 120⁰ / 120⁰ model redeploying their consultants to be either recruiters, new business or account managers / penetrators – we are reforecasting the second half of the year with greater costs savings per head and increased job flow / conversion ratios accordingly.

This will of course impact everything within your business, from incentives and commissions to hiring plans and importantly culture. That is why a great recruitment leader will always put…

Purpose over Profit

How ridiculous is that! Profit should come before everything right? Wrong.

Profit is created by having products / services that your customers value and want (need) and a team of employees in your business who deliver an amazing user experience to get those products / services out to your customers efficiently. The whole process of profit generation falls down when one of those elements is missing.

Purpose drives the culture, that drives the behaviours, that drive the customer experience.

Deliver an incredible customer experience, backed up with a fantastic product / service and you will create both profit and growth. Focus too much on the profit and you will create a heartless business with limited commitment and a disengaged culture.

These past few months have been an incredible test of a company’s culture and whilst many organisations have stepped up and put their values and purpose at the heart of their strategy during this extraordinary time, many haven’t.

Our employees don’t just have financial concerns right now, they are also fearful for the health and wellbeing, they are being emotionally challenged, they have very real and personal worries, which is why this is so different from a typical economic downturn. The leaders in a recruitment business need to lead with far greater heart and demonstrate genuine empathy more than they have ever done before.

After this, we will all be remembered for what we did and didn’t do, which is why we should now…

Leave the Shutters Up

Never before have we had the most incredible opportunity to get as close to our customers as we have now.

We meet them in their lounges / bedrooms / sheds, our meetings are interrupted by their children and pets running in, we have to look them in the eyes and focus more intently on their words than ever before, we genuinely care about how they are, they genuinely care about us. The barriers between our clients as corporate people and our clients as just people have been removed and the shutters are no longer down. This changes everything about the business of business.

One of those recruitment trends that we have been watching pre-covid19, is the swing away from customer / supplier relationship and more towards true partnerships. Where recruiters are seen as a transformational business partner not as a transactional supplier of services. This has now been accelerated and creates huge opportunities for recruitment businesses to reposition themselves.

Look at what you offer your clients…

  • Is it easy to buy from you easy and use you?
  • Is it hard to get rid of you?
  • Have you an embedded solution that makes you sticky?
  • Do you have a line in your budgets for MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) and a matching strategy to deliver that?

Look at how you work with your clients…

  • Do you deliver a truly celebrity user experience to both clients and candidates?
  • Do they value what you do?
  • Do you get paid according to that value?
  • Is most of your business contingent (arm’s length, low trust relationships)?

Look at the output of your client relationships?

  • What is the typical length of a customer relationship?
  • What percentage of your existing customers’ total annual spend on “talent” do you have?
  • What is their intended spend across all agencies and direct hiring over the next 12 months?
  • How much of your new business is referred to you by existing customers?

If you can set your business up to reposition your offering more towards long-term, embedded partnerships and less towards contingent supply, then you can start to…

Feed the Machine

This is where marketing meets selling, and selling becomes a continuous part of your DNA, not an enforced KPI.

For years marketing has been kept independent from sales. It was about making us look good in print and online, about how much kudos you can get per social media post to feed your ego, about how much (often pointless) noise we can make above the competition. Now more than ever, people are online consuming content, seeking out ideas, watching brands and marketing has never been so important.

Sales on the other hand has always been about the phone, the meetings, the numbers game. It is equally as important as marketing, but when done badly can create huge wastage and inefficiency in a recruitment business (do we still think working towards the 80/20 principle makes sense?!) and negatively impact brand value (external) and consultants’ confidence (internal).

So both are critically important, but not in silo. These are not independent things but instead are two very joined up parts of your ability to create consistent sales pipelines – what we refer to as “the machine”.

All day, every day, the machine needs to be fired up and fed – not when we get time to do it (as per the 360⁰ vs 120⁰ example in Bottom to Top Planning above), but continuously. All day every day.

The machine also needs checking every day for performance improvements (squeezing better conversion ratios at every stage of the sales pipeline) and it requires an automated process to sit behind the human effort to ensure efficiency can be made to improve conversion ratios at each stage of the pipeline process.

Don’t forget to adjust your selling styles to fit the market and…

Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

This is one of the most exciting evolutions of the recruitment sector that will come out of all this, I think.

In some parts of the sector, selling in recruitment has become as bland as it has become superfluously complex, which is why so many struggle to win good quality new business (exclusive, retained, high value, long term contracts) based on deep relationships and trusted partnerships.

  • We miss opportunities because we don’t explore deeply enough into the customers’ real challenges.
  • We try and sell products and services that aren’t applicable because we don’t understand their real needs.
  • We focus too much on short term, quick wins and less about building long term solutions.
  • We still talk about price and not value.
  • We sell the same “product” as everyone else keeping our competition always relevant

These are of course generalisations, but I am sure ring true for many if we honestly look back on what we were all doing pre-covid19.

Selling is not one dimensional, but nor should it be complicated.

It should be consultative, truly consultative, helping customers to understand their future needs, to challenge their perceptions of what is possible and working collaboratively with them to reengineer talent processes tot drive efficiencies and outputs that make a very real and tangible difference.

It should start with a blank page, a bunch of data and a load of questions – where it ends up is anyone’s guess, but it will more often than not end up far deeper and further down the line than traditional selling does. Let the conversation decide, let the problems be discussed, let the solutions flow.

We built one of these just before the lockdown with an SME recruitment business in the marketing space – literally a dual branded blank canvas that the recruiter literally took to the sales pitch and worked through with the HR team. 2.5 hours later the customer had in principal agreed a six figure exclusive contract when before they just had two perm roles to discuss!

It is about building win:win outcomes where both recruiter and customer achieve what they want and not more one than the other, because if you do that, I guarantee you will far more…

Enjoy the Journey

I’ll start this by going to back to the beginning – these are very unchartered waters for recruiters but even more so for recruitment leaders who are meant to know all the answers right now. Give yourself a pat on the back for what you have done and how you have responded so far, and more importantly give yourself a break.

Recruitment leaders have concerns about the economy, about families, about personal health as everyone does, but they also have to keep an eye on how the overall businesses are faring, about how they are faring as leaders, about the team, about just about everything! Emotionally, this is tough and our resilience is being tested.

But it doesn’t have to be.

The start of every new day is a new opportunity to drop in the next building block of our future. Throughout every day we have wins, however small, that we must celebrate with our teams. We also have challenges that ultimately we somehow overcome, that should also be celebrated.

The end of every day is an opportunity to celebrate another step closer to a new and better normality.

As an observer, I find the whole thing fascinating, watching how people are responding to all this, from those who have buried their heads and hope it will all just go away, to those who just want to ensure they…

Don’t Waste a Good Crisis

Winston Churchill said this in the mid-1940s, referring to the emerging US / Russia / UK alliance that would go on to become the United Nations and the opportunities that were coming out of the crisis that was the Second World War. And his words were as right then as they are today.

These are challenging times for sure.

The recruitment industry will change because of this. Recruitment businesses will change because of this. Recruiters themselves will change because of this. But if you want to, for the better.

This is rapid fire evolution.

Be an observer of everything right now – the good, the bad and the ugly, inside and outside of our sector – and look for the opportunities that change creates.

Don’t look at this time as being “difficult” and instead see it as being “different”.

Learn. Adapt. Compete.

  1. Avoid the Sideshows
  2. Design your New Normal
  3. Look Way Back to See Way Forward
  4. Create your Own Recovery
  5. Outside In Strategy
  6. Bottom Up Planning
  7. Purpose over Profit
  8. Leave the Shutters Up
  9. Feed the Machine
  10. Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem
  11. Enjoy the Journey
  12. Don’t Waste a Good Crisis

The obstacle is an advantage, not adversity.

Since the covid19 lockdown really kicked in I have been absolutely fascinated, you could almost say obsessed, with one thing in particular over these last 9 weeks, and that is how people have responded to what is going on around them and more notably, what has driven their response.

Having never experienced the trifecta of a Brexit, global pandemic, downturn before, the majority of us are sort of making this up as we go… and I think on the whole most of us are doing a pretty good job of it, all things considering!

However, the bit I find truly fascinating right now is the link between people’s thought processes and the resulting realities we end up facing. There is no doubt in mind that a large part of the situation we currently find ourselves in socially, economically, even down to the actual number of cases / mortalities from Covid19 itself would have all been very different had people’s responses to all this had been different. Hindsight is always a beautiful thing, of course!

I am by no means calling into question here how anyone has reacted over this time.  I am not sure I really have a right to do this as my experience of the current situation will be wildly different from many others’ experiences and we all have our own, deeply personal journeys to go on right now.  This is not what this is about.

What this is about, and the question I think we all need to ask ourselves now more than ever, is to what extent are we aware of our reactions that are being driven by certain triggers that surround us?  In other words, do we realise how much our personal behaviours change because of the resultant effect of other people’s responses to a perhaps completely disparate situation?

We’re seeing this right now with the whole Dominic Cumnings situation and how this is currently playing out…

  • An event happens as it did with his trip to Durham (you may think what he did is right or wrong, or you may be indifferent).
  • The media comment (appropriately or inappropriately, you decide).
  • People respond to how the media respond (generally in one of two different ways).
  • People respond to how other people have responded to how the media commented (go with me on this!).
  • People change their behaviours accordingly (again, generally in one of two different ways).
  • A resultant situation occurs that will trigger a new reality (with new belief systems and new responses to future events).

The fact of the matter is, that with all that is going on around us, the way in which we respond to everything now will ultimately determine what each of our own personal outcomes will be coming out the other side of all this, from both a personal as well as a business perspective, and what our journeys will be like on the way.

I’ve been intrigued recently by the work of Ryan Holliday (check out his book The Obstacle is the Way) and how different people over history have responded to the different obstacles they have faced, and importantly the methods they have used to be able do that.

The process Holliday describes in his book can be broken down into three distinct parts, that I believe should make up our strategies moving forward to how we deal with the situations, obstacles, adversity we currently face.

  • Part One – Perception: What is your attitude towards the situation you are facing (remember, this will ultimately determine the outcome)?
  • Part Two – Action: taking each problematic situation, each obstacle, and turning them into an opportunity (this nicely ties in nicely with some of the Blue Ocean Strategy work we have been doing).
  • Part Three – Will: Building up levels of perseverance to help overcome any obstacle

What we have before us right now is not only the ultimate challenge for many of us, but also the ultimate opportunity, and how we respond to what is happening, how we respond to other people’s response to what is happening, will determine what our own personal outcomes will be from this.

Spend less time concerned about what other people are doing, how others are behaving, and more time understanding how you are responding so you don’t miss out on the huge opportunity that will naturally derive from situations like this.  As Holliday concludes in his book:

“The extent of the struggle determines the extent of the growth. The obstacle is an advantage, not adversity. The enemy is any perception that prevents us from seeing this.”

Women in Recruitment and The Recruitment Network announce new online mentoring programme

Women in Recruitment, the APSCo initiative supported by a range of stakeholders in the recruitment sector, has partnered with The Recruitment Network to offer a free online mentoring programme specifically for members of both networks.

The programme is set against a backdrop of recent research by Women in Recruitment which shows that only 11% of recruitment firms offer dedicated female mentoring schemes and over 80% do not offer enhanced maternity benefits on order to aid retention.

The programme enables female mentees in the recruitment profession to access experienced mentors (male or female), equipping them with the skills, guidance, motivation, emotional support and a role model to help them climb the career ladder or develop their business.

Commenting on the launch, Ann Swain a member of the Executive Committee of Women in Recruitment and CEO of APSco said:

“This new scheme has been launched online initially so that we can facilitate mentoring throughout the COVID 19 crisis – but meetings can also take place face to face once circumstances allow.  The aim of Women in Recruitment has always been to give practical support in attracting, developing and retaining female talent as well as helping to establish the recruitment profession as a ‘beacon of excellence’ for gender equality, so that we are able to disseminate best practice throughout the wider workforce. This mentoring scheme will add real value to that aim and will be particularly beneficial at this time to those women currently on furlough.

 

Gordon Stoddart, Founding Director of The Recruitment Network said:

“Considering the growing fight for talent in our industry and the increased emphasis on diversity within our businesses, The Recruitment Network is committed to looking at how the recruitment industry currently attracts, retains, and treats their female talent. We want to identify any systemic issues currently in place, offering our members not only valuable insight but also practical initiatives and advice to make improvements which will help them to improve diversity. Partnering with Women in Recruitment to make this happen made absolute sense and we look forward to matching up female mentees with great mentors in the coming weeks.”

 

Find out more about the initiative by clicking here.

Proact, don’t React

I’ll be very honest, I wasn’t actually sure if the verb “proact” was a real word until this morning! I have heard about being proactive, of course and I have heard a lot over the last few weeks about being reactive and reacting, but right now, with all that is going on, if this word PROACT is not in your dictionary, then it absolutely should be.

Let’s put some perspective to all this.

For many recruitment businesses, for a huge part of the global staffing market, things are just tough – a period in time that very few have ever experienced before. This is not a typical economic downturn that we are facing right now, but an event led downturn, fused with high levels of emotions, fear, uncertainty and concern for the health and wellbeing of colleagues and loved ones.

Quite simply, this is extraordinary.

But extraordinary times require an extraordinary response from an industry that I have always classified as extraordinary and that is just what, in part, we are seeing.

In short, there two options here for recruitment businesses, and both options are needed if you want to navigate through this, survive and ultimately thrive.

Option One is a Defensive strategy, about putting in place immediate processes and structure today to secure the long term welfare of your current business tomorrow, and that includes the people you have working in that business. Not everyone needs to do this, but most do.

This is about planning for the worse with your budgeting and cashflow forecasting for the next 9 months, stockpiling as much cash as you can to weather any drop in business, taking back full control of your outgoings, reducing your workforce to those who can add the most direct value to your cash position right now using the government furlough lifeline, squeezing every business opportunity there is available today, setting up your structure to make these unusual working conditions for many to be “business as usual” for the short term and more (you can access a complete toolkit for free to do all this at www.trnworld.com).

None of this is different from what a recruitment business leader should be doing anyway in typical market conditions, but only exasperated by what is going on right now.

Option Two comes next, and you should be well on top of this already.

This is all about what you are doing today to both capitalise on the market when it bounces, but also to ensure that you are 3 or 4 steps ahead of everyone else (competitors and clients) to take a steal on the market when that bounce does come.

Based on some of the socioeconomic studies we have reviewed, I am fairly confident that we are getting to the lower peak of a V-shaped downturn right now (everyone has an opinion, so do make up your own mind on this), so a steep return to some semblance of business normality is not that far around the corner. That is good news for those who have managed their defensive strategies well (option one above) but even better news for those who are now gearing themselves up for the bounce already.

Your consultancy led conversations with customers should centre around “pre-order recruitment”, and developing retained embedded talent solutions today to ensure they are ahead of their competitors when the bunfight for talent kicks back off after the bounce.

Your BD and Account Penetration activity across your non-furloughed workforce should be at an all-time high, albeit adjusted for the current situation (let empathy, common sense and humanity lead your sales approach here).

Your focus should pivot towards current and future niche hotspots within your markets. Never before will a quick PESTLE analysis of your markets be so paramount to determine which areas will bunce back the quickest, the highest and with the greatest need for your products and services when we hit the other side of the “V”.

Your internal workforce planning should not only be focused on training them hard now whilst in furlough to have the skills they need for tomorrow (consultancy, sourcing, talent planning, strategy, social marketeers etc.) but also how quickly and ahead of the pack you can get your team off furlough and back in the game. We’re having some great tactical conversations with TRN members about different ways to increase billing headcount now to be +30 days ahead of their competition when the markets turn.

… and so it goes on.

I liken the offensive part of all this to playing a game of chess – you have to pre-plan what the next few moves are going to be even though you can’t guarantee what the opposition will do; you can only control what you can control and influence where you can and only you can determine how bold your next move will be.

At the end of the day, a crisis is defined as a time when difficult or important decisions must be made. We are currently in a crisis, an extraordinary crisis, that needs pragmatic thinking, controlled decision making, calculated defensive strategies and bold offensive plans.

Now is not the time to react to what is going on around us, but a time to take control, look forward and power our businesses through to the other side.

Now is the time to proact.

Find out more at www.trnworld.com – free to all during these extraordinary times.

Are you looking for opportunities where the starts aren’t?

I wanted to tell you very quickly about a cool story that I thought that has always sort of, stuck home with me over the years.

Many years ago I was involved with a program working with underprivileged children where we used to use scuba diving and sailing as a backdrop to help children unearth their real talent, their potential, and stretch their comforts zones.

One of the exercises we did with some kids that we worked with in Australia, is that we took them up to the Whitsunday Islands, and we took them to one of the islands to do some stargazing at night. We decided to take a professional stargazer with us to show us some of the key constellations and different sorts of star patterns out there. As we were looking, the stargazer was showing us all these different constellations and things, but then towards the end, he said, now, I want you to see if you can find the Platypus. 

So I spent about 15, 20 minutes with these kids looking up, just trying to see, where’s this Platypus, I couldn’t see this Platypus anywhere. Then what he said is, just stop for a second and stop looking at the stars, and start looking where the stars aren’t. 

That was interesting because then after about five minutes of looking where there weren’t any stars in the sort of, the dark patches or the patches where there weren’t any stars visible, you could slowly start seeing almost a perfect formation of the shape of a Duckbill Platypus.

What a wonderful analogy I think, to take with you as a child, as an adult, and in business, when it comes to things like business development, and penetrating markets because I think we spend a lot of time working with what we know, but actually what a wonderful way of looking at it, to try and find opportunities, unearth opportunities where the stars aren’t.

Now if you think about anything recruitment, I was making a list of some of the areas where I think, there’s some much opportunity here that we’re just missing, that we need to focus on because we’re too busy focusing on the stars and not necessarily where the stars aren’t.

We’re doing a lot of work recently around Blue Ocean Strategy, there is a document link here (Blue Ocean Strategy)  With a whole load of information about how to get Blue Ocean Strategy in your thinking and your business planning for 2020.

As recruitment leaders, we need to be thinking around things around penetrating our customer base.

Are we cross-selling?

Are we upselling as much as we could be?

Have you mapped out how much market share you have within each of your existing customers?

Have you identified what your customer lifetime value is? And what percentage of that do you currently have?

Have you identified how many of your products and different service lines, if you have multiple products, multiple service lines, are your existing customers buying?

What is your strategy, your innovation, your incentives within your business to make sure that people are cross-selling and upselling a lot more than potentially they are today?

I think that’s a massive opportunity that we’re missing.

Also, from outside of your existing customers, looking at your product mix, we talk a lot about the Boston Matrix, the types of products that you should have in your Matrix, but certainly thinking about the types of products you should be developing or taking to market, in tomorrow’s markets, especially in 2020.

You’ve done all that work to get that business, how do you get more out of them?

So I think it’s a wonderful analogy to think about as your looking for strategies for 2020.

It’s not just looking up at the stars and thinking where are the stars, but also looking where no one else is looking where the stars aren’t.

Flexible working – the question of choice is no longer a question of choice!

Look at any of the multitudes of data that has been produced around the subject, and the message is clear – the jobseeker of today, the jobseeker of tomorrow There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, having worked in the staffing and recruitment industry now for over 25 years, that the world of work has not only changed significantly but is also continuing to evolve at a breakneck speed… many businesses, however, just haven’t kept up or aren’t responding at the same pace and this is having a clearly detrimental impact on their ability to stay agile, competitive, profitable and ahead of the curve.

Simply put, jobseekers today, wants flexibility in terms of where they work, when they work and how they work.

Evolutions in technology, changing skill requirements, the live and uninterrupted access to behavioural norms through social media, global talent shortages and more, all play their part in ensuring that the ball falls perfectly back in the court of the jobseeker when it comes to what they want from an employer and how they want work to be.

The choice for employers is simple – either ignore the reality and hinder your growth potential as a business, or adapt to what is going on around us and develop alternatives ways of providing work solutions, in ways that we are being asked to provide.  And this is pertinent right across the board…

In my experience, there is definitely the perception that evolved, adapted worker solutions are only really applicable across senior skilled roles – the idea that we can only offer alternative ways of working to white collar, corporates at the higher end of the pay scale. That is just wrong.

The common thread across all workers today is flexibility – they want to have fluidity and agility in their work, whether they are a chef, a software developer, a mechanic or an banker – and if businesses aren’t offering that flexibility then they are risk of missing out on attracting the best talent in the market (which can stifle growth), of not retaining their workforce (which can squeeze profitability) and in many cases harbouring non-engaged workers (which can wipe out productivity).

I have always been a big fan of the concept around creating “non-customers” in constricted markets, something that many organisations are currently experiencing in what is becoming an ever more prevalent talent short market – the idea that if we have to fight against heavy competition in a market for a share of the pie then we are always limiting our scope and potential for growth.

Equally, I am convinced there is a huge amount of skilled talent out there that companies are just not getting anywhere near, simply because they are “non-candidates”.  In other words, these are jobseekers who simply would never work (even consider working) for your business because you don’t offer an attractive enough proposition that meets their needs around flexible working conditions.

So, what can the leader of a profitable and successful business do if you want to remain relevant, competitive and agile?

Training and developing new skilled workers is a great way to, in essence, create the talent you need, but that is both time consuming and costly and often a distracting, non-core function for many business owners – partner with experts who know how to deliver this efficiently and profitability as an outsourced function or recruit someone internally to focus 100% on this.

Instead, create a structure within your business that both enables and embraces flexible working by following these five simple tips:

  • Create flex with your flexibility – you don’t have to have one singular way of working for everyone. Let the flexible working model evolve around the people in your business so keep reviewing it and getting feedback from your workers as to what works for them.
  • Forecast your workforce planning – the agility a flexible workforce can create for your business is immense when it comes to managing peak periods, not over employing when you have quiet periods, dealing with last minute contingencies, so wherever you can, pre-plan and pre-empt when these peaks and troughs are likely to occur to maximise the benefits.
  • Promote what you do – if you are a forward-thinking business that has built an environment that is clearly attractive to today’s jobseekers, then make some real noise about it. Build social campaigns to get your message out there, get your compelling proposition in front of the people you want in your business, use a specialist partner to help take you and your business brand out to the jobseeker market.
  • Treat all your workers in the same way – even though you may end up with a blended workforce of perm, part time, gig workers and so on, consider them equals in how they are dealt with / your processes so you don’t lose the philosophy of being one, unified team (even if they are disparate).
  • Trust your instincts – if you are going to go for it, then go for it. Don’t go half-hearted into creating flexi working but instead trust your instincts, trust your workers (you may feel a little less in control – that is ok) and trust your processes / technical infrastructure to keep order.

Recruitment businesses today understand the jobseeker market better than anyone else – they spend all day in it, talking to the market and creating solutions that support the needs and challenges of their customer base.

Partnering with a specialist recruiter who understands your specific market and working with them to build an appropriate outsourced talent solution that is not just about finding talent but about creating a total talent solution – flexible, agile, progressive and fit for purpose for your growth plans – is something I would suggest all business explore in detail. With the right recruitment partner in place, you can literally transform your potential and remove one of the biggest barriers to growth.

For any business owner that wants to attract and retain the best talent in the market, who wants to enable the growth of their business, who wants to increase profits, then the question of choice is no longer a question of choice – it is business critical.

3 Tips to Engage Potential Candidates with Elliott Manning

When Elliott Manning Managing Director of Kayman Recruitment visited TRN HQ we asked him for his top tips when it comes to engaging potential candidates, especially for recruitment business leaders.

 

With candidate engagement being a massive push for businesses now it’s imperative we do this right and engage the right people to be able to build their teams. Demand for recruiters is through the roof at the moment, perhaps now more than ever. 

 

Let’s hear from Elliott and his tips to get on top of candidate engagement.

 

Firstly, Social Media

 

Social media is huge at the minute. Linkedin is growing to the point where it’s one of the biggest social media networks and has a lot of pull for professionals looking to grow their business networks.

 

The market itself is an interesting one. Now it’s all millennial-based, it’s all digital age. So we’ve got to try and keep up with that. And over the last, even, ten years of me being in recruitment, it’s changed dramatically to the point where we’re not active as much on job boards. We’re trying to now sort of approach the market more on a social media basis where we’re attracting talent, you know, through that route.

 

So we make a lot of noise on LinkedIn predominantly. Making a lot of noise on social media for us is attracting a lot of attention.

 

 That attention, we try and convert it into people that are interested in coming to work for Kayman, that know about Kayman, that know about us as a business, that are aware of us through different things that we’ve interacted with them on social media. Predominantly videos, general market-relevant information, what’s going on out there, statistical stuff, blogs.

 

We’re pushing it out to the industry as well as utilising things like events. What we’ve actually noticed is while utilising social media, is rather than us talking about businesses as a whole, which as you know every business will represent themselves as the best company and the number one to work for. We’re trying to sort of be a bit more specific. You’ll know as a recruiter, they are approached all day everyday by different businesses.

 

So for them, it’s more about getting to the point and providing value to them, what can they be expecting from your business, what are the benefits and incentives? What’s the business culture like? If they already know this because they’ve seen it on their social media feed they’ll be much more likely to engage with your approach.

 

As I said, if they’re a good recruiter, they could be getting approached daily from different recruitment companies, that are all similar in size, offering the same incentives and commissions. But where is the hook? With this, you need to be a lot more specific about why they should be coming to work for you. Which leads me on nicely to point number 2…

 

Marketing collateral, 

 

It’s important to have something to send out to potential candidates, even if it’s just a 1 page document, a 1 page PDF that has all the companies benefits and incentives, laid out nicely so they can either download it from your LinkedIn page, or if you’re approaching them it can be sent with your opening message. It can also be worth including links to videos around your incentives and team holidays if you have any.

 

This saves them a lot of extra work, rather than having to go away and read up about you they have all the headline information available to them as and when they want to read it. When we send out for example confirmations from the clients we work with I encourage them to give us marketing information to send on to the clients. We find that when this is an option we get a much better response than if we’re just directing them to a website. This information is also great for the candidate as they can use it for preparation when they come in to interview.

 

Point number 3. Reputation.

 

This is such an important thing for businesses to get right, having a great employer brand is for me the number one thing we look for when working with recruitment businesses. These are the questions you should be asking yourself as an outsider looking in:

 

What’s your reputation like?

 

What’s your retention like?

 

Are you an award-winning business? if so, in what, where, why?

 

Are you putting this out to the market? Are people aware of you? How successful you are? There’s a recruitment agency that are based in the city and they are pushing out all their awards nonstop. They’re entering as many awards as they can, and fair play to them, they’re winning. They’re doing great and it just shows there is so much more about them as a business and their reputation is second to none. Then if you look at the staff who work there, there’s so much more longevity to the business, everyone seems really happy, they have a great team ethos and that’s a massive thing for a potential new employee to see.

 

One last piece off advice from a reputational point of view is no matter who interviews with you, whether you’re going to hire them or not always leave them with something good to say when they leave. Tell them about the business, about the plans for the future. So that whether they like you or not (or vice-versa) you can give them something positive to say if your business ever comes up in conversation and that conversation can be a positive one.

I hope this gives you something to think about when it comes to attracting candidates, if you have any question or want to get in touch regarding any positions then please connect with me on LinkedIn or visit kaymanrecruitment.com

Less Portal, More Personal

So over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a number of tender documents for a number of The Recruitment Network members, I’ve been helping them put together their proposition to send through to different organizations, to win their business.

 

Something I’ve been amazed about is how impersonal these have been. I find it incredible

in today’s day and age that businesses are still trying to develop relationships with suppliers and customers or companies are trying to develop relationships with recruitment companies, based on tick boxes on documents, as opposed to really getting to understand how a partnership could be formed.

 

Obviously, we’ve written these proposals, and we’re going to win a couple of them, which is great news, and they were obviously worth quite valuable sums of money. So we’ll carry on doing that and we’ll carry on helping our members win proposals, public sector, private sector, etc.

 

But I do think it’s really important as recruitment organizations that we spend more time with our customers trying to build up the personal relationship side of what we’re doing.

 

I’m still fearful that recruiters spend a little bit too much time hiding behind emails, hiding behind InMails, almost delivering a bit of a portal-driven service, in essence, because sometimes it’s easier to do that, sometimes maybe we’re a little bit lazy, or maybe you don’t even have the time to do it.

 

Whatever the reason is, I think it’s happening more and more at the moment. I can’t help thinking that whilst technology is there to make us more agile in how we do stuff and I certainly get that and I certainly embrace that. I do think recruiters need to get out and spend more time in front of customers to develop proper relationships, to be able to tender and pitch for business

based on building a partnership proposition that is fit for purpose and best in class and best practice for both parties, not something that just ticks a number of boxes on a tender application.

 

So, I think that a lot of this is down to us as recruiters to spend more time developing minimum standards and targets and objectives based around what I’ll refer to as touch time with customers.

 

So, I don’t know, in your business, how much time you’re spending as a recruiter, how much time you’re spending in front of your customers, talking to your customers, getting to know them properly, but if you’re not doing enough of it, then I suggest it’s something that you need to think about.

 

Otherwise more and more we’re going to end up being in a very portal-driven relationship, which based on this tender, 60% of the weighting was based purely on the price, as opposed to the quality of the delivery or the quality of the relationship.

 

That, to me, is quite scary and quite frightening. Certainly, a question mark whether you want to go for a business like that or a partnership like that, but more importantly, I think we need to try and help our customers move away from that mentality as well.

 

It’s up to us as the recruiters to become more personal and less portal.

Goal Setting 2020: Ships in a harbour are safe…

Where has the year gone?!

 

With just 9 weeks to go until the end of 2019, recruitment business leaders should be focusing on 3 things:

 

Ensuring the year finishes on an absolute high –

 

There is still time to make 2019 your best year yet – a big chunk of the work / effort you and your teams have put in these past 43 weeks is still yet to be realised, so close off October, then rally the team together and get everyone to commit to the next two months.

 

Make everyone pledge to what they will contribute to the Big end of year Push – a nine week sprint to the end of 2019 – no excuses of distractions (aka the Christmas parties!).

 

We’ve just posted all of ours on the walls in our office, so everyone is accountable for what they have to do, no hiding.

 

Celebrating the successes, and the failures –

As the year starts to draw to a close, it is the perfect time to reflect back and celebrate your W3 (what has gone well in 2019, what hasn’t gone so well, and what will we do differently in 2020?).

 

If you’re planning an end of year awards, then use the good news stories to remind people on all the good things they have done (back office to front office) and use the bad news stories and learning points to build on.

 

This needs to start happening now, as the data and insights this gives us, enables us to properly…

 

Set Stretch Goals, that everyone wants to achieve –

 

Well ahead of the end of the year, your 2020 goals need to be defined, agreed, signed off and shared.

 

Everyone in the business should be doing this from operations, to leadership, to recruiters, to BD, to marketing – this is not just a Directors’ thing behind the closed doors of the Boardroom.

 

In recruitment, your 2020 year starts in November 2019, as a two-month lead time keeps the cycle of BD and talent pooling ahead of schedule, so give your people a simple goal setting template (ask me if you need one to use as a template) to complete in their own time and present that back to the management team to mutually sign off in the next couple of weeks so they can start working towards them already, well ahead before the new year kicks off on Jan 2nd.

 

The key here is to make sure the goals that are agreed for 2020 are in the stretch zones, not the comfort or panic zones.

 

If the goals are genuinely unrealistic, that puts people in a Panic Zone which in turn creates negativity, fear and actually shrinks the size of someone’s original comfort zone.

 

Similarly, staying in a comfort zone does not create growth, learning or even aspiration.  It is safe and boring, and that is not what Goal Setting is about. Never forget, “a ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”.

 

So, what are your goals for 2020?  How far will your stretch yourself, your business to make next year the best year yet in your business?  Now is the time to decide…