A huge challenge for recruitment managers is that they not only have to lead a team but continue to bill as before. Here are our 5 recommendations for billing managers. What you can be doing, on a day to day basis, to succeed in this demanding role:
- Manage your teams expectations – they will expect you to have all the answers no matter how new you are to the role. Try not to give them all the answers, tempting though it may be. Get them thinking too and create an environment that allows them to ‘have a go’ and coach them to help them learn from their failures, as well as their successes.
- Encourage them to take responsibility – as well as training your team in the right skills and knowledge, encourage them to be accountable and gradually take responsibility for their own actions. If you don’t, they will be too reliant on you and this can cause bottle necks and stunt their [professional] growth.
- Manage your boss's expectations - talk to your boss, offer regular progress updates and don’t hesitate to ask for their help as and when you need it – it's their job to support you. Try to work their way but willingly contribute your ideas.
- Organise yourself - contrary to popular belief, great leaders are not available 24/7. Make sure you protect some time in the morning and afternoon each day, when your priority is client and candidate tasks on your own desk. Interruptions shoudl only be for an emergency – and don’t forget to agree what constitutes an emergency up front, as what's business critical to them may be different to what's business critical to you!
- Lead by example - don’t forget your team will begin to emulate your best practices [and your worst] so make sure that you are setting the right example.
By Lander Associates
Find out more about the ONLY international, recruitment specific leadership qualification at our dedicated website: www.landerleadership.com or read our one page snapshot
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We often think we are giving people praise however the reality is it is often sporadic and unspecific. We also often hold back from giving praise for fear of people getting a big head or becoming complacent or simply because we think they are just doing their job.
This is despite the fact that surveys and research have shown time and time again that it pays to let employees know that you’re paying attention to what they do and that you really do appreciate their efforts.
We get in the habit of only letting people know how they can improve as we have an innate ability to pick up and focus on what is wrong in a situation.
Taking a few moments to focus on spotting what someone is doing well and simply express your appreciation can have a powerful impact on an employees’ self-esteem, which in turn will improve their attitude toward work.
To maximize the impact make sure you:
The increased development in technology in recent years has resulted in employees being able to work anywhere and anytime – from home, the airport, on holiday and so on. More and more people work from home permanently and some work from home on set days per week allowing their work and home life to co-exist.
I came across an article recently in Grapevine magazine discussing this issue and it revealed that one in five workers are in fact not allowed to do so. This got me thinking about whether or not this should be the case –should companies be offering this to all and is it a good idea?
The article explains that research by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) found that 4.5 million workers wish to work from home on some days a week but are not given the option to do so. We all know that some work simply could not be done from home, but for those jobs that can be there appears to be great benefits.
The TUC argue that allowing employees to work from home will result in “Better staff recruitment and retention; improved motivation and productivity; improving the quality and reputation of the service; reduction of sickness absence and travel costs; and infrastructure cost savings”.
So is this true? We don’t believe that all companies should suddenly allow their team to work from home on a permanent basis – interaction with your co-workers is key. However we do relate to what the TUC are saying and believe that a large part of the issue surrounding working from home is trust.
Recently re tweeted, Greg Savage's views on his blog ‘Kill off the bikers. Fire unprofitable clients now!' posted earlier this year on The Savage Truth, put me in mind of my own experiences working with customers that made me no money and worse still actually harmed my business.
Leap of faith
Building a business of choice is the name given to one of my business development programmes. But this was more a statement of intent than a snappy course title. Many years ago, when I first took that leap of faith to start my own business along with my small team of trainers, I was excited, full of enthusiasm and believed that what we had to offer was the best thing since sliced bread - if only I could get people to see that too! As a young (er!) entrepreneur I had every confidence that we would be successful – but paradoxically lacked confidence in the very same! When our first few customers took their leap of faith in us and put their managers on our (then, as we believed,) cutting edge leadership programme and sent their recruitment consultants to develop their key skills with us, I was thrilled but more than that grateful! Appreciative of the belief these early customers showed in our abilities, thankful that they were actually giving us money to do what we loved to do anyway! To be truthful, our first few clients were people we knew really well and those who were already advocates of our work, so it was the second wave of customers we were actively seeking, in other words the nirvana that is new business!
Ignorance seemed like bliss
Once someone has identified you, as the company they would like to work with, they are looking for constant reassurance that they are right! First impressions are created at the initial point of contact, but they are reinforced every time they experience an interaction with your team. Whether communicating by email, twitter, blog, website, letter, telephone or face to face, your company is sending a message to that individual about who you are and how you value them. If you hold someone in high regard and care how they feel and what they think about you - and importantly what they will say about you -, then each and every interaction you have with them will be planned and delivered thoughtfully. When people are going through the recruitment process, they are weighing up all the evidence ‘for and against’ coming on board with you - and the best talent will be doing this with several companies at the same time. They’ll be benchmarking all the companies they are considering against their ideal and comparing you with your competitors. It doesn't matter how brilliant your induction process may be, if you lose people during this early part of the process, you’ll never get them there to experience it anyway!
Little things can become big gestures during the first impressions stage. Things like:
- Picking up the phone to talk to someone, as well as sending them an email.
- Offering people as much information as you can about the role, your team, the company, your vision and the opportunity as readily as possible - and keeping it real!
- Looking after the people who aren’t successful, who aren’t quite right for your team - they will be for someone else and they are out there right now, telling their network how you treated them and you can directly influence what they say by your actions.
Are you piercingly clear on your current direction?
When did your organisation last re visit your vision?
In such turbulent times it is easy to continue on with your old vision - which was probably set in a better climate - while we are busy getting on with the important things like successfully sailing out of a recession. Your existing team will question your leadership credibility if the purpose, mission and values of the business are no longer relevant - nor realistic. We talk about the importance of engaging the hearts and minds of our people to retain talent and step one of engagement is alignment. How can people align with our goals and direction if they are not clear? Given that 1 in 3 (CIPD survey 2010) or 1 in 4 (PWC survey 2010) of your current workforce would consider a move in 2010/11, its worth working on this as a key part of your talent retention strategy.
But what about talent attraction?
These days it’s almost impossible to become a successful recruiter if you aren’t a wiz at using your social media skills. Over 3 million people in the UK alone use LinkedIn and good recruiters use it as a tool to source candidates and clients. The majority though, don’t know what they don’t know and could be getting so much more from it than they realise.
Even if you are that social media ‘wiz kid’, that’s only half the story. If you don’t have credible, consultative headhunting skills, having the names of top talent is meaningless if you can’t confidently approach them to professionally present an opportunity.
Using these skills together is the key, so learning them together makes sense.
Lander Associates has teamed up with LinkedIn expert Mark Williams (Mr LinkedIn) to create a unique training programme that combines LinkedIn and traditional headhunting techniques.
LinkedIn skills from setting up that ‘killer’ profile to discovering applications that you should be taking advantage of to really extend your network, go hand in hand with using a headhunting structure that gives professional credibility, managing even the most senior candidates with confidence.
Hello RCEURO readers! I am delighted to climb on board again as a contributor. I have worked in and had a passion for recruitment for many years (won’t say how many!) - and love having the opportunity of sharing thoughts and ideas with the global RCEURO recruitment community.
I met with Alan a few weeks ago and we were talking about recruitment companies starting to hire talent again as the recession conditions continue to ease up. He referred to the process as ‘on boarding’ (US term!). It got me thinking about the key parts of the service we should offer new recruits to welcome them on board. Historically attrition rates for 0-6 months in the recruitment sector have not been good! Last year’s CIPD annual survey report from the UK quoted a 20% turnover.
The journey to join a new company starts when a candidate responds to a job advert , twitter alert or is approached by someone about a role. From that moment on, every time the candidate ‘touches’ your organisation, there is an opportunity for you to provide outstanding service ensuring a great experience. British Airways called this ‘Moments of truth’ – though probably not well advised to use them as an example right now!
On boarding 1:
Much of the new talent choosing the recruitment sector across the world will be Y gen, so a definite first port of call is your website. Many recruitment companies have really good websites projecting a great brand but quite frankly when you click to the ‘join us’ page it’s often pretty uninspiring at best and just plain boring at worst! You have to plan how to engage with potential candidates.
I was really interested to read a piece courtesy of Recruitment Dad this week on the results of his study into recruiters. It created a lot of buzz on Twitter so I'm sure some of you have already seen it but in case you haven't, have a read here - it is definitely some food for thought.
The study basically illustrated what may have come as a shock to some, but was to be expected for others: recruiters weren't very good at their jobs. Here are a few particularly shocking statistics:
- Only 7 out of 20 asked Recruitment Dad (the fake candidate) his name
- Only 3 took a phone number
- Only 1 made him feel confident that they could help
- 0 asked about personal circumstances
- 0 asked if he had applied for any other jobs
And that is just a small selection!
Unfortunately this study just reinforces what many people already think about our industry - that recruiters don't really care about candidates. And that is very frustrating. Not only are these individual companies creating a bad name for themselves, they're stopping the rest of the sector getting the respect it deserves. Knowing the right questions to ask really is in the basics of recruitment that every consultant should have perfected.
These results really highlight the importance of investing in your staff. We don't only say this because it's our business - it's because it's true! Yes, giving your recruiters a ‘recruiters for dummies' guidebook is one way of doing it but the chances are that what they read won't stay with them for long, and they'll be repeating all the mistakes that those surveyed above did. Only by learning interactively, providing feedback / analysis and putting new skills into action at desk level is that learning going to work.