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The Three P's That Drive Success in Recruitment

People who have built one successful recruitment business can almost invariably replicate their success. It isn’t rocket science but a question of discipline, hard work and getting access to the right expertise at the right time. I learned this early in my career – I was fortunate to be mentored by some great recruiters and managers – and so when I started directing a recruitment company I quickly brought on board someone who could help me avoid mistakes and make good decisions ensuring the business grew faster.

While there is no substitute for experience, if you want a mantra that will remind you where to focus your energies then the three P's of recruitment (planning, processes and people) is a great place to start.

Planning is critical to success. Without planning the business will lack focus and likely be inefficient. At a strategic level your three year plan should cascade into a yearly plan that sets your targets for twelve more detailed monthly plans. The commitment to planning should be embedded within the business. Researchers should have monthly plans broken down into weekly plans and daily plans. Consultants should have quarterly plans broken into monthly and weekly plans as well as daily to do lists they prepare the night before to give them focus and be most efficient with their time management. Assuming plans include targets, timeframes and accountability (they should) then a culture of planning will become embedded within the company. The structure and discipline that ensues will drive success.

Processes are critical to scaling businesses as they maximise the likelihood of outcomes being replicable. For young businesses developing and documenting processes can seem formal and structured, however it is critical if your team is to grow. Documenting processes ensures continuity in spite of staff changes and equally importantly provides potential investors with confidence that the business’ success will continue even with staff changes. While it is always tempting to put off documenting processes, investors will typically look back three years to ensure the business has been well run. The two key processes you must put in place that are most often ignored are:

  • monthly board meetings (or a meeting with a mentor if you are a one person band or small business) at which minutes are kept, key actions and accountability documented and followed up behind, plus filed in monthly reports.
  • a succession plan for every key person within your company (even if a one person band it is good to know that there is someone who can support you if you are on holiday or off sick for example).

People are the foundation of any recruitment business. Your staff, and in particular your top billers, are your most important asset. Without enough good staff you won’t be able to grow. Your annual plans will tell you which positions you will need to hire for and what the trigger points for hiring are. While recruitment is important (you should have a hiring plan to enable you to fill all key positions at any time) without a robust retention and development strategy you will find yourself in a perpetual hiring cycle simply trying to replace people who have left. Offering a competitive remuneration package is no longer enough to keep good billers. Companies need to put in place personal development plans for all staff, communicate career progression structures, and invest in training and development (this is so key that I now gift every TEAM Member I advise a company-wide online training licence so you can train all of your staff for free). As I mentioned at the start of this blog, as the director of a company I made sure that we had a non-executive advisor/ mentor to help us grow as efficiently as possible as we navigated unchartered waters. The sooner you are able to bring on an experienced advisor in some capacity the faster you will find your profit and growth accelerates. Those who have been there and done it before know the mistakes to avoid as well as the strategies and tactics that will deliver results.

If you would like to trial a free session to my cost/time-effective remote advisory service via Skype or phone - designed specifically for TEAM members - then email me