2. Not Testing Their Drive
Please try to break these 3 competencies. If you like them, simply build a scorecard, devise questions to drill into the competencies and then ensure an effective handover from interviewer 1 to interviewer 2 and 3.
I. Drive: work ethic, never say die, hunger, determination, massive commitment, will do whatever it takes etc
II. Interpersonal effectiveness: persuasive, likeable (candidates, clients, colleagues), sales ability/potential sales ability etc
III. Self-management: disciplined, a problem solver, updates the database after every call (only needs telling once to do this), sends targeted emails after every sales call, makes the ‘8 PM candidate call’ whereas colleagues come into your office the next day saying, “I couldn’t get through, she was on voicemail” etc
Of course, psychometrics can help uncover lack of drive. Fail to use them at your peril.
3. Not Role Playing
Nicki, who billed £350,000 in her first year, was a 29-year-old floor walker for Harvey Nichols – i.e. she didn’t fit the profile of a graduate with a years sales experience that most recruitment directors might seek when hiring trainees.
For me, role-play is a very powerful way – early in the screening process – to do 5 things:
a) Assess their ability to solve problems under pressure
b) Assess their persuasiveness
c) Assess their resilience
d) Give them a feel for what recruitment is really like
e) Assess their capability to take constructive feedback
Nicki nailed the role-plays and demonstrated that she had so-called, ‘natural sales potential’. But I also made good hires from people who didn’t nail the role plays first time – what they demonstrated, however, was the resilience to have another go and to show significant improvement 2nd time around.
4. We Do On-The-Job-Training
Tell me please, what does ‘on-the-job-training’ actually mean? Are you teaching the new starter 20 ways to find candidates without LinkedIn, Facebook and advertising whilst hearing a snippet of a phone call and giving some feedback? Are you teaching them how to take effective job specifications whilst concentrating on your next sales call? Are you teaching them to handle tough objections whilst typing up an email to an important client?
On-the-job feedback is NOT training – it is a form of coaching but only if done constructively (and usually it is not done constructively).
One of the key reasons that Parker Bridge grew from 3 to over 120 staff globally was that we had a world-class internal training programme comprising our very best ideas, plus best in class from the world’s top recruitment trainers.
If you only do one thing as a result of reading this article make sure that you invest in proper training for all your staff, but particularly new starters. You can check out www.RecruitmentTraining.com here.
5. 10am Start
Please do not tell your new starters to arrive at 10am on the first day – (perhaps because you are disorganised, you haven’t organised a PC, desk, training programme, login to the CRM, email address etc?)
What I’m really getting at here is, set the tone for how hard you want them to work on day one!
Get them to arrive early with their written plan of how they intend to have impact within your business. Let them know that the day will be fun but hard work including homework in the evenings (give them a taste of what it’s like in the real world) and, critically, set the expectation that they should bill early.
And test them. Your side of the bargain is to invest in world-class training to help them succeed. Surely, their side of the bargain is to demonstrate that they have learned it?
6. Not Firing Quickly Enough
There’s obviously an exception to every rule but whenever I hear the comment, “Jane didn’t bill for the first six months but, three years later, she is now our top biller,” I worry on behalf of that recruitment company.
In my world, ‘Jane’ would have billed earlier because she would have received world-class training, effective one-to-one sessions with managers and ongoing development sessions each week (bite -sized 30-minute sessions do not eat into management time significantly).
You see, when you have inducted people effectively into the business it’s easier to fire someone who is underperforming sooner because you know they have been given every chance to succeed. Invariably, many recruitment directors do not do this and therefore they hold onto 7/10 calibre performers for too long and only come to their senses after many £1,000s have been wasted.