So you’re on your way to work, you’re telling yourself it’s going to be a good day and you’re going to be awesome. But then you walk into the office and the KPI demands begin! Spec CVs, book client visits, make cold calls … it never feels like you’re doing enough to please your boss.
Being forced to focus on these KPIs can feel really outdated and really frustrating, but it’s important to remember that these have been the bread and butter of recruitment sector for decades. And whilst the new skills that you bring to the job today will charge you forward in the long term, the skills that your boss has learned over the years shouldn’t be swept aside either.
How to work with a recruitment dinosaur
The trick to improving this situation is in understanding why your boss is managing you like this, as it will help you come up with a way to compromise between the old way and the new.
Here are three of the most common gaps between the old-school and new-school way of thinking, and what you can do to bring these styles together.
“Social media is a waste of time”
The challenge with social media is that it can be hard to gain solid, tangible results: You can spend hours laying the groundwork for social recruitment and have nothing to show for it – it’s a real slow burner.
How to compromise:
To continuing working these channels, you need to set tangible goals to show your manager that the 30 minutes you’re spending on social each day are actually productive. Clarify your goal with your boss and keep them updated on a weekly or monthly basis to show the progress you’re making.
Make sure you attribute every lead, job, and new registration with ‘social media’ as the source in your CRM if that’s where they were generated from. This in turn will help your manager understand what it is you’re trying to achieve with these social channels and give them what they need to calculate a return on investment based on the 30 mins a day that you’ve been spending on them.
You’ll quickly be able to show that on a salary of £30,000, 30 mins a day equates to just £7.69, and in one month you’ll have spent the equivalent of £30.76 (in which time you’re highly likely to get a job on worth £5,000!). That’s a whooping 16,546% return!
“Just send out more CVs”
As far as your boss is concerned, the more CVs you send out, the better chance you have of making placements, right? And statistically this does make sense, but we all know this ‘spray and pray’ approach only rubs clients up the wrong way and makes you look unprofessional.
How to compromise:
Advances in recruitment technology have made it so easy to ensure your CVs are always targeted and relevant to your audience so you’re not wasting time on prospects that aren’t going to bite. Your recruitment CRM should allow you to automatically capture clients’ and prospects’ hiring preferences and then generate a list of candidates that are specifically tailored to what they’re looking for.
If you’re targeting prospects by email, you could create a short video introducing yourself and the reason why you thought these candidates were of interest. This will massively increase your chances of getting a positive response to your CVs – ask your boss if you can test out this process and use the data to convince them that this is the way forward.
“Just get on the phone”
One thing you do need to appreciate is that cold calling has been the life blood of the recruitment industry for decades.
Your old-school boss probably still has the attitude of “just give me a phone directory and I’ll show you how it’s done” because this is a strategy that worked for them when they were a top biller. They’re not trying to make you miserable by getting you to do something you don’t want to do – it’s just that cold calling has always been their go-to behaviour when trying to build a desk.
But whilst picking up the phone is still just as important today, cold calling doesn’t work in today’s business landscape in the same way it once did.
How to compromise:
Picking up the phone isn’t negotiable in this industry, but who you call and under what circumstances you call them is definitely up for compromise.
Whenever you have to hit the phones, make sure you’ve used your recruitment CRM correctly and you have a warm list of targets ready to go. This could be contacts that have engaged with your business in the last three months, past contacts that you’ve not called in the last eight months, or candidates you’ve placed in the last few years who have now been promoted to hiring managers.
These contacts will already know who you are when they take your call, so they’ll be warm to your approach – and that’s the key to updating your recruitment sales calls.
In time, your manager will see that you’re starting to get better results faster with this strategy, as your call-to-conversation rate will be far higher. And when this happens, rather than fighting with you, they’ll be asking you what it is you’re doing differently and how they can get the rest of the team to follow you.
I did a talk on this exact topic recently at a conference and got such a great response that we turned it into an eBook. If you’re having trouble convincing your dinosaur boss that you need to update your sales strategy KPIs, this should give you what you need to convince them! You can click below to download it.
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!