6 of the Best TED Talks for Recruitment Agency Owners

When you’re running a recruitment agency, finding the time to be inspired can feel low on the priority list. But keeping up with big ideas in the business world outside of recruitment is how top-performing agencies stay competitive.

TEDtalks-min-1These videos are packed with innovative ideas that blow you over in less than 5 minutes – and if you’re really busy, you can watch them at twice the speed!

A few years ago, we published a blog on the best TED talks for recruiters and it was one of our most popular blogs to date.

So, we thought we’d put together a list of TED talks just for agency owners like you.

1. On nurturing great leaders on your team

Despite all the money businesses are pumping into leadership development, there continues to be huge leadership gaps. Why is this?

In this excellent talk from Roselinde Torres, she looks at how our ideas about what makes great leadership are outdated because we base them on a working world of the past. What makes a great leader today?

She shares her research on the characteristics of the most successful new leaders, what they do differently and what practices enabled them to reach their full potential.

Great leaders don’t keep their head down, they see around corners, shaping their future – not just reacting to it”, she says.

2. On retaining your best recruiters

The title of this talk is 3 Ways to Create a Work Culture that Brings Out the Best in Employees’ but the real takeaway from Chris White is how stop losing your best recruiters to a competing agency.

The key, White claims, is in making your employees feel like they have a say and that their opinion matters. If you change direction with a strategy, don’t just expect your team to oblige – ask them what they think and encourage them to speak out.

Involving your employees in decisions is how you get them more invested in your agency and help them feel like they belong. Embrace being challenged and become responsive!

3. On creating a high-billing working environment

Andrew Sillitoe is a leadership coach-turned-motivational speaker who spent years training recruiters to become leaders internally at SThree.

He has a huge back catalogue of videos on professional development and team management – many of which are specifically targeted at recruiters – including the time he spoke to Firefish about how to run a top-billing agency without risking burnout!

In this particular talk, Sillitoe speaks about the importance of establishing and communicating your company story to give your recruiters a sense of meaning and purpose in everything they do.

Communicating the ‘why’ is the only way to create a high-performance culture keeping your recruiters focused and motivated in every single call they make.

4. On the agile working revolution

Amazingly, Anne Cantelo was already talking about an ‘agile revolution’ way back in 2017, well before we knew a global pandemic was about to change our lives.

It’s so interesting to hear how experts talked about agile and hybrid working before it was forced upon us. If you’re a recruitment agency owner who sees agile working as a fad that will pass and something that’s just about convenience for employees, you need to watch this talk.

Anne’s predictions suggest that agile working is the future whether we like it or not – watch this if you’re struggling to be convinced.

Download: How to use agile working to become the strongest agency in your niche

5. On the difference between leaders and managers

In Stop Managing, Start Leading, Hamza Khan speaks about ‘The Management Paradox’: You need management to grow a business, but people don’t like to be managed.

Recognising the difference between managing and leading can play a huge part in your recruiter retention rates. You want to fill your agency with leaders who nurture great recruiters, and to achieve this they need to give recruiters space to reach their potential. The more you try to manage your employees, the less effort they’ll put in.

This is something our Chief Coach Kai speaks about a lot at Firefish. For example, focusing on impact rather than outcome, checking in with your team, not checking on them. Managing millennial and Gen Z recruiters the way we used to manage factory workers is seriously counter-productive for your business.

6. On becoming the agency everyone wants to work for

Former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, Patty McCord, is a real straight-talker who isn’t afraid to challenge the norms of the business world. When we became a Work From Anywhere business in 2020, our Chief Fish Wendy took inspiration from the way Patty McCord was doing things differently.

Every one of her 8 lessons on building the company people enjoy working for are completely spot on, and the video covers almost every main point of the other TED talks in this blog all in under 5 minutes! If you only have time to watch one of the TED talks in this blog from beginning to end, make it this one.

To create an agency everybody wants to work for, you need to nurture a positive workplace culture – it's the key to longevity and growth!We’ve created an eBook with a step-by-step guide on how to do this.Download eBook: How to Create a Winning Culture at your Recruitment Agency

Katie Paterson

Katie once headed up the Firefish blog and marketing team. She now works as a freelance copywriter and continues to contribute to our award-winning blog.

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