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.
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)
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.