Running a recruitment agency is hard at the best of times. From day to day admin tasks, to getting on with your job, the responsibilities can be overwhelming. Who would want this job, right? Well, you do. And with good reason too. You get to run your gig, create your choice of working environment for yourself and your team, and you get the excitement that comes along with blazing your own trail.
However with all this going on it can be really easy to forget that you need to constantly think about the less tangible things, like employee morale, and happiness levels. Yip, your recruiters need constant attention and you need to inspire them too! Here’s why (stats courtesy of officevibe.com)…
- 88% of employees don't have passion for their work
- 36% of employees would give up $5,000 per year to be happier at work
- 79% of leaders believe they have a significant retention and engagement problem
From the above stats, you can see that many employees are disengaged and there’s a significant percent so unhappy that they would give up a chunk of their salary to enjoy their work more. Then there’s the fact that 79% of leaders know they have a significant retention and engagement problem.
So, how do you create a working environment your recruiters love and ensure that everyone who turns up to work every day does so with purpose and ownership?
1. Start with the Basics
For a recruiter to feel safe and comfortable, and even inspired in their job, there are several things to factor in. The first is the basics, the things that constitute the baseline of their job. So, make sure your recruiters know what’s expected of them and that they have a clear outline of what their job is. This means that they know what success looks like and they know what goals and milestones they have to hit.
2. Don’t Micromanage
A recruiter who feels micro managed won’t make decisions based on their own initiative and they’ll feel frustrated by their lack of autonomy. Setting targets or KPI’s can work well to set activity expectations but make sure they are tailored to each individual and not just a blanket rule. Not everyone works the same way and each individual recruiter can contribute something unique. So, when working with your recruiters find out what they want from their job and look at how you can provide them with that direction.
3. Create Development Plans
Another way to get your recruiters behind you as a leader is by providing them with direction and support. Show them that their job with you is a long-term investment and that you want them to build a career in your agency. This sort of plan can help recruiters to feel more secure in their job, more willing to contribute, and able to add their voice into the direction of the agency.
4. Prioritise Socialising
Providing environments and events designed to let your recruiters mingle and get to know one another really helps to build a sense of culture and belonging. After all, recruiters are a sociable bunch and work place friends mean that folks are more likely to stay in a job longer. Polling company Gallup claim that people with a best friend at work are 7 times more likely to be motivated and productive.
5. Hold Strategy Days
Part of getting your recruiters behind you is showing them that their voice matters and that they can contribute to your agency’s direction. A team strategy day can create the kind of environment that allows for new ideas to be shared. For example, you could split your agency up into smaller teams and get everyone to contribute and share ideas on the direction they’d like the agency to go in. This sort of event can create a sense of camaraderie and the feeling that everyone is in it together. At Firefish, we did something similar at the start of 2017. Here’s a video of our strategy day:
What is worth noting is that this sort of day is hard to put together. It’s not easy to plan it out and there’s still plenty that we could learn from it and plenty we could do better. But the important thing is what it shows your team. They know they have an input into the direction of the business and this leads to increased engagement and retention too.
6. Be An Inspiring Leader
The balance between trying to bill, do your job, and motivate and inspire your recruiters is certainly tricky to get right. But, in spite of these challenges, if you manage to lead your recruiters into becoming self-sufficient and autonomous employees, you’ll have a lot less work to do in the future. After all you’re only as strong as the team you have behind you.
The Job You Love
So, as a leader you need to show your recruiters both personal progression and company progression. They need to know that their job is something that you and your agency are investing in for keeps. These things all lead to better retention rates and it presents a far more compelling case for your top billers to stay with you too.
Wendy McDougall is Chief Fish of Firefish Software. In her spare time, you'll find her playing squash or feeding her inner geek with the latest technology!