The whole concept of what makes a ‘good’ recruiter, and what’s needed to create a high-performance recruitment team, has changed a lot in the last 5-10 years. Yet, as an industry we’re stuck in our ways: We still look to the same old sh*t KPIs, techniques and strategies when building our teams.
But this needs to change if we want to continue getting the best out of our recruitment teams in 2021 and beyond. Here’s how to set yourself (and your team) up for success.
First of all, what’s changed?
So much has changed over the last ten or so years in terms of what the recruitment process looks like, and this has had an obvious impact on both how recruiters work and also what they look for in a job.
For example, the way in which candidates, clients and prospects prefer to keep in touch with recruiters has changed pretty dramatically, and there's a whole new generation of recruiters breaking into the industry that don’t want to be hooked up to an auto dialer and told to make 70 cold calls each day. However, those same fresh faces into the industry probably know how to market their jobs better than most seasoned recruiters, and this is an indication of how the landscape is changing.
Essentially, the skills and attitude needed to be a high-performing recruiter aren’t the same as they once were, and therefore how we measure, grow and manage high performance teams needs to change too.
Here are a few things you can do to build a high performing recruitment team in 2021…
Hire for culture fit and performance will follow
Look to your existing team: Which of your recruiters still smash their numbers even when you’re on holiday? Who does your team miss having around the office when they take time off? These are the recruiters who have already bought into the company culture and will be the key drivers of high performance across your team.
What traits do they boast? Whatever these are, think about how they contribute to the team and hire based on these positive traits. I have four traits that I’ve seen work particularly well within my team, so I take these into the interview room with me and score each interviewee from 1-5 for each trait. I ask whoever is interviewing with me to do the same to ensure there’s some alignment, then make a decision of whether the interviewee will be a good culture fit based on that score.
Treat your team like they own the business too
The easiest way to get your team to care about the business is to treat them like they’re truly part of it.
So, once you’ve found your best culture-fit employees, why not involve them in the hiring process when bringing in future team members? And if it’s clear to you that the agency really matters to them, let them have the authority to veto a potential hire if they feel there’s something that doesn’t fit.
Allowing your best performers to have a say in how you add to your team is the best way to create a comfortable and respectful dynamic. It’ll help build trust across your business, boost employee morale and share the responsibility of building the best team possible across the whole team.
Set collective and personal goals as a team
Of course the company has its collective targets that the team should always be striving towards, but what about each individual’s goals that they need to aim for on a weekly basis in order to get to that ultimate goal as a team?
And what personal goals are responsible for motivating your team to perform their best? Hitting ‘at least three quarters of the company targets’ won’t be a driving motivational force for anyone – you’ve got to go deeper than this.
For example, is someone on your team trying to get a deposit together for a house? Someone else hoping to take their family on a holiday to St. Lucia? Give them a platform to achieve those goals and the bond across the entire team becomes unstoppable.
Build personal goal-setting in to your team meetings so everyone understands and respects each other’s goals too. Asking some difficult questions, like ‘why do you want to achieve X?’ can be incredibly powerful, and you can continuously pull each team member back to their personal goals whilst coaching them forwards.
Align your team’s personal goals with the wider goals of the company and you’ll see your team support each other towards those ultimate targets.
Encourage them to solve their own problems
It’s easy to find yourself jumping into the middle of an underperforming team to try and solve the issues yourself. If you’re noticing results slip, it can be all too tempting as a leader to step in and take control, but this doesn’t actually fix anything - it just postpones a problem until another day.
A better way to manage a flagging team is to flip things around and ask them to come up with their own solutions to the problem. Give them access to performance metrics and ask them to dig into the data, figure out what’s wrong and come up with a plan to fix it.
It’s easy to tell someone they’re doing something wrong, but when you actually let them figure it out for themselves and come up with a solution, they'll respond more positively and feel more rewarded when things get back on track. It'll also encourage your recruiters to feel more accountable for the problems they face instead of relying on you to fix things.
Consistent feedback is often cited as a main driver for motivation in the workplace, and you really can’t afford not to devote time to providing ample feedback to your team.
Not only this, but you also need to learn to accept feedback as a manager and take it seriously, as this will make you a better boss and create an environment where your recruiters feel empowered and perform better as a result.