How come we fill so many jobs with our own clients, yet fail to hire consistently good people into our own business?
Here’s a good joke about recruitment:
Why did the recruitment agency find it so difficult to hire good consultants?
I don’t know, why did the recruitment agency find it so difficult to hire good consultants?
Because despite the nature of their business they weren’t very good at recruiting
OK. Not funny. However, a genuine irony that even some agency owners would admit to. How come we fill so many jobs with our own clients, yet fail to hire consistently good people into our own business?
High demand for experienced recruitment consultants
… And not enough to go around
Like so many markets (insert Engineering, Construction, Nursing, Cybersecurity, Teaching et al) there is a high demand for experienced recruitment consultants and not enough to go around. This is a zero sum in that it is affecting all agencies. Why would a good recruiter, doing well leave their current agency and join yours? If you’ve got the answer to this then you’re over half way there. Yet, time and again I see agencies hire experienced consultants from competitors, having seen proof of earnings to endorse billings, who find they fail to achieve the same results for them. Why? Too much focus on biographies and results and not enough assessment of competencies, attitude and behaviour.
Dig deep into their answers
If you are seeking to hire experienced consultants then dig deeper into their competencies:
“Talk me through a client you’ve won this year and how you did it”
And then dig deeper into their answers with the following:
- How did you find them?
- What did you do?
- What challenges did you face?
- How did you approach them?
- What would you do differently if you could start again?
“Tell me about another …..”
Was it a one time occurrence or have they delivered consistently?
What will it take to succeed with you?
Think about the mission you want them to go on for your business. What will it take? What assumptions are you making just because they’ve worked at another agency for the last three years? How do you know that they have the capability to do what you need them to do? Stop falling in love with a biography. Stop assuming they can sell or close a passive candidate or apply a high level of work ethic because they billed £200k last year.
Draw up a true description of the role and define the outputs you expect someone to generate (beyond billings) in their first six months. What will they need to be able to do immediately? What can you accommodate developing them in? How will you ensure they can prove their capability in a 60 minute interview? Set the bar and do not settle for less. It will be painful and expensive.
We can help you develop a robust assessment process. Processes that have helped other clients grow from 4 or 5 consultants to teams of 35+
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