Why Your Top Billing Recruiters Leave and How to Keep Them

Recruiters move around – it happens. But as an agency owner, a top biller leaving you to join another agency can have a devastating knock-on effect. And as if losing one top biller isn’t hard enough, often when one person goes, others follow.

You might like to think that this is out of your control, or tell yourself “they weren’t that good anyway,” but it’s important that you accept some of the responsibility for your top billers leaving because you do have the power to do something about it.

So, what are some of the lesser-known hard truths about why top billers leave your agency?  

You don't respect their time

Don’t be that leader who turns up twenty minutes late for scheduled meetings. This might just seem like business to you, but try to think of it from your recruiter’s point of view: they won’t commit themselves to any other tasks while they’re waiting around for you, so this is twenty minutes of their day completely wasted. You don’t appreciate waiting around for people, so you shouldn’t expect others to do it either.

You also have to respect that your team do have lives outside of work. This can be a hard pill to swallow, but it will make a difference to morale in the office. We all know recruitment isn’t a 9-5 job, but people who love their job and your business will work outside of core hours when necessary without you even having to ask.

I once worked at a company that had a Monday morning meeting at 8am! It played absolute havoc for people with kids, who had to juggle their personal schedule around this one meeting that could’ve easily started at 9am. This type of practise sends a message to your team (even if unintentionally) that you don’t really care about your employees as people.

You’re a recruitment dinosaur

You need to innovate to stay competitive in recruitment, and your recruiters will want to have some freedom to experiment and try out new strategies. But if you’re assigning them old-school cold calling targets and KPIs, you’re holding them back.

Why are we still placing so much emphasis on how many calls recruiters make? Don’t get me wrong, theres always a place in recruitment for KPIs as a tool for measuring success. But forcing recruiters to make sales call after sales call will just result in them winning unfillable jobs as they feel pressure to hit your out-dated KPIs.  

It’s far more productive to teach recruiters about making valuable connections with clients. Think about long-term strategies like building a personal brand, social selling and investing in decent marketing.

Great recruiters want to be at the forefront of the industry, so you need to adapt if you want to hold onto them. Have you ever asked your team what metrics they believe really matter nowadays? I bet it would make for an interesting discussion and you might be surprised by what they have to say!

Which takes me to my next point…

You never ask what they think

You might think you’re the one who needs to have all the answers and that you’re the only one who know what’s best for your business.

However, this is the kind of attitude that gets in the way of businesses growing – and it’s the kind of attitude that makes recruiters feel disempowered and want to leave.

Your recruiters will be bursting with ideas and great insights into the business (and the industry more broadly) that you don’t get to see.

They’re your key to keeping your finger on the pulse - show them you value that by asking for their opinion

They don’t have enough time to spend on self-development

If you want better ROI from your team but don’t provide the training, you can forget it. I’ve heard so many recruiters say that their training on the job has been practically non-existent but investing in your staff isn’t a ‘nice to have,’ it’s a must!

Providing training and development doesn’t just mean your team has more skills, it also means your best staff are less likely to leave. Personal development opportunities are the second most important factor for candidates when choosing a job, so why would it be any less important to the employees already working in your business? Your team needs to have the feeling they’re progressing and if they think they can’t progress with you, they’ll find somewhere else they can.

Losing staff is one sign that your company culture could use a revamp - download our eBook on nurturing a great culture at your recruitment agency and create a culture your employees will love and your competitors will envy:

Download eBook: How to Create a Winning Culture at your Recruitment Agency

Cameron McLennan

Cameron McLennan works within recruitment technology industry. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his family and playing golf.

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