Recruitment Strategy

15 Tips to Building a High-Performing Team in a Recruitment Agency

There are now 47 million fewer employees on the market than there were in 2020.  This phenomenon known as the Great Resignation is showing little signs of abating and the continuing exodus of employees from the global workforce is causing a great deal of consternation for organizations across the globe.

With so many companies conceding that they no longer occupy the higher ground in the recruitment game, the demand on recruitment agencies to deliver top-level talent is at an all-time high.

With this ongoing war for talent, it’s easy to think that hiring and assembling a team of talented recruiters is too much to ask for any agency right now, but we’re going to show you how you can.  Remember, it was Bill Gates who famously said that, had he not taken the time to assemble the brilliant minds and harnessed the passionate energy of his first team of employees, Microsoft would never have become the company that it is today.

The Benefits of Building a High-Performing Work Team

There is much that a recruitment agency needs to consider doing differently to remain competitive in the “post-pandemic” job market.  Everything from considering innovations in technology that allow you to respond more quickly to job seeking candidates, to assembling a workforce that is growing increasingly more mobile.  One particular concern for many recruitment agencies is how to successfully locate, hire, and train the right talent so that they can then be assembled into a team of high-performing, resourceful recruitment professionals that can complement one another and operate in unison.

Building a high-performing team is not a matter of chance. Once properly assembled, a great team of recruiters can make a wide array of contributions, putting your agency on a powerful trajectory to thrive in tomorrow’s globally competitive market.  

The Role of the Recruiter in today’s Marketplace

The recruitment professionals of today are required to do far more than post jobs and screen resumes.  They need to eagerly embrace new technologies and be able to use them to effectively promote open positions to passive job seekers online.  Being a professional recruiter today means a willingness to put on the “sales and marketing” hat to persuade job seekers to come and work for them, and, as we’ll show you below, a strong technical skill set is the foundation for recruitment success in today’s job market.

First, your agency needs to do a self-assessment…

Establish a Company Vision

Does your organization or recruitment agency have a vision?  Over 75% of employees feel that a clearly defined vision or mission statement helps cultivate a positive work culture.  If your organization doesn’t currently have a vision, creating one is a powerful way of uniting your team around a common goal.  

Imagine where you want your recruitment agency to be in 10, 15, even 20 years.  Then, encapsulate that in a statement. That statement should eloquently define your agency’s purpose while inspiring and evoking an emotional response from your team at the same time.  Remember, your vision is created to inspire your team to make the right choices and keeps them marching towards a specific goal.

Build a Recruitment Strategy

Much can be said on how to build a recruitment strategy, but it’s sufficient to say that your agency should first clearly define what specific solutions a new hire will provide your agency with.  Define the skills and traits the new employee will need to have and determine where you’re likely to find such talent online.  

Determine in advance how the candidates will be selected for an interview and how they will be scored.  Most important of all, have a plan for establishing contact with your candidates and be sure to keep in touch with them throughout the hiring process – an increasingly popular and effective concept known as “candidate engagement.”

Identify Required Skills

The recruitment landscape is wildly different than it was just a few years ago.  Remote workforces and significant innovations in mobile technology have made us a globally connected society.  Today’s professional recruiters need to have the skills to operate in this dynamic environment. 

To successfully recruit the best talent in this job-market a professional recruiter must demonstrate an eagerness to adopt new innovations in HR technology and they must be willing to perform the same functions as a marketing or sales professional to promote open positions in cyberspace to both passive and active job seekers.

Key skills include:

  • Listening 
  • Relationship Building 
  • Verbal Communication 
  • Social Media
  • Empathy
  • Technology

Asking potential recruiters if they think they’re capable of performing their duties like a sales professional and an HR professional all rolled into one is a perfectly acceptable question in today’s job market.

Start Building Your Brand

The widespread popularity of social media is providing organizations with a fantastic environment to promote their brand to a global audience.  This is achieved via employer branding: a process of promoting your recruitment agency on social media as a great place to work and build a career.  An employer brand is used as a recruitment tool for many organizations as it communicates the company’s positive culture to active and passive job seekers.  In many cases, employees contribute to this branding effort.

As the marketplace gets privy to the power of employee branding, more companies are planning to up their investments in these strategies in 2022 for the sole purpose of locating and hiring better talent.

Offer a Dynamic and Positive Interview Experience

The interview is one of your agency’s best opportunities to really engage with job candidates.  Today’s candidates, especially millennials and Gen Z candidates, are presently seeking out employment at organizations that share the same values as they do.  You should anticipate questions about your agency’s culture and how it contributes to social justice.  The interview is a great environment to address these questions.  A few key topics to make an interview more dynamic include:

  • Candidates will be interested in the career growth opportunities that exist; have a plan to proactively discuss this with candidates in the interview
  • It’s worth mentioning the stability of your agency so the candidate knows their role is secured on a long-term basis
  • Workplace culture is increasingly more important to candidates; use it as a selling point to attract them to your company during the interview
  • Discuss training opportunities and mentorships to show that your agency is dedicated to investing in building a strong team of recruitment professionals

Strive for Diversity and Eliminate Hiring Bias

Diversity and workforce “inclusion” can still be interpreted in many ways, but, essentially, it is a statement by your agency that you understand everyone’s uniqueness and you respect their differences.  When you invest the time to recruit a diverse team of recruitment professionals it is amazing to witness how much more resourceful and productive a team like this can be.  Remember, ethnically-diversified organizations are over 30% more likely to outperform their competitors so diversity should be a key goal.

Here’s an industry secret - the most competitive recruitment agencies on the market rely on a powerful applicant tracking system (ATS) that sits at the heart of all their recruitment efforts; a centralized software resource that stores applicant data.  These ATS systems can be a very powerful tool in helping your agency recruit a more diversified pool of candidates by eliminating hiring bias in the selection process.

Team Leadership

The pandemic continues to teach us new lessons on how to succeed in the “new” marketplace, including how team leadership skills are applied.  In the post-pandemic marketplace, effective team leadership means the adoption of new paradigms.  Perhaps the most important paradigm of all is the ability to understand, prioritize and then quickly respond to crisis situations.  The most effective leaders in the modern marketplace have the prowess to rapidly process all available (and often incomplete) information, prioritize what matters most, and then make decisions with conviction.   There is no longer room for “analysis paralysis” in this job market.  

Adopting a simple framework for rapid decision-making will be the key to leading high-powered recruitment teams in the future.  

Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence

There’s an old saying that “if you don’t manage your emotions, your emotions will manage you.”  The ability to manage and communicate one's emotions in healthy ways while also demonstrating an ability to understand the emotions of others (i.e., empathy) is one of those critically important “soft skills” that so many organizational leaders are lacking.  Being able to properly respond when the going gets tough is a key feature of modern leadership.

Cultivate the Team’s Culture

It has been well documented that the majority of entrepreneurs today believe that work culture is a distinct competitive advantage and can accelerate the performance of high-powered teams.  When you cultivate a positive culture within a team, each member develops a sense of belonging and increases their level of accountability to the team.

To start building this process, your team needs to unite to align with your agency’s core values, and that will serve as the foundation for everything the team will be responsible for achieving.  A positive team culture eliminates the fear of consequences from making new ideas heard, which can spark innovation.  A team with a positive culture and shared sense of purpose is more willing to openly consider the ideas of other team members and they’re more willing to discuss mistakes without fear of consequence. 

This enhances innovative thinking and contributes towards team chemistry.

Clearly Define the Roles of New Hires

Clearly defining the roles of each team member optimizes their operational efficiency and ensures that all members continue marching in unison towards a sole objective.  7 out of 10 employees feel that their sense of purpose is defined by their work and if their roles are unclear, defining that purpose is almost impossible.  When you clearly define responsibilities, team members feel valued, but it is incumbent on the team leader to clarify roles and responsibilities upon hire.  

Be Transparent About Expectations & Encourage Feedback

The most important thing that a team leader does is set clear expectations for each team member.  Expectations give each member the information they need to make the day-to-day decisions that support the team’s objectives.  One study shows that almost half of all the employees in America aren’t even entirely sure of what's expected of them at their place of employment.  Maybe that’s because setting expectations isn't always easy - it requires you to be very direct with people and that can come across as “bossy” or less-than-empathetic.

The fact is that expectations need to be established on “day one.”   Further, expectations should be measurable over time and the team members must all be held accountable.

Feedback is another crucial dynamic of high performing work teams.  You shouldn’t perceive feedback as an indictment or criticism of existing processes; it should be received as an opportunity that your team is taking to improve upon something that isn’t right within the group.  When team members bring their problems to their team leader, they’re demonstrating that they feel comfortable doing so, and that situation is better than having them eventually leave the company out of frustration of not having their voices heard.

Upskilling | Invest in your Team 

This is perhaps your most effective weapon against the Great Resignation - retention.  A concept that’s getting more emphasis as a means of retaining talent is upskilling, or investing in the skills of your existing team.  Make the team’s dynamics even stronger by investing in the growth and professional development of each member.  What’s more, upskilling is a much smaller investment than hiring and training a new worker.  Upskilling allows you to create a highly skilled, cross-trained team of high-performing recruiters that are more likely to think in innovative terms.  The cost of a “bad hire” ranges from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary so adopting an upskilling program can pay enormous dividends over time.

Honor Accountability

You cannot have a high-performing team when there isn’t a sense of accountability within the team.  Accountability is when people take responsibility for their own actions and it is directly linked to a team member’s commitment to their work and to the overall morale of the team, which leads to accelerated dynamics amidst the team and the team’s performance.

When people aren’t accountable, one person’s delay becomes the team’s delay.  Lead by example and hold yourself accountable first, and then demand it from your team.

Acknowledge & Promote Victories

The employees who don’t feel appreciated are also the ones that are most likely to leave, yet over 60% of the global workforce has gone without any form of recognition over the last year.  The truth is that acknowledging victories brings out the best in your team members.  Make it a practice of publicly recognizing team members for their achievements, and it will have a positive impact on your agency’s bottom line.   Effective ways of acknowledging victories can include a simple gift certificate, time off, or even a promotion.  There are myriad ways of acknowledging personal and “team victories” and this shouldn’t be neglected in terms of its importance to the employee or the team.

Leverage Technical Innovations in HR 

Business leaders today know that investing in new recruitment technologies is the best way to find and hire the top talent in today’s job market.  Staying on top of the trends in HR technology should be at the core of your efforts.  One of the marquee investments that a recruitment agency can make in accelerating the many redundant processes involved in recruiting and hiring new employees is an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Widely known for being the nerve center of an agency’s recruitment efforts, no matter how large or small, an ATS is a powerful software system that can be leveraged to the hilt in terms of maximizing the efficiency of your recruitment team’s efforts.  With innovative and powerful artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that can automate many standard processes that have traditionally consumed extensive amounts of time and innovative features that allow your recruiters to engage with candidates throughout the entire hiring timeline, modern ATS systems are being widely adopted in the marketplace to do the “heavy lifting” that’s been burdening recruiters for decades.

Manatal

If there is one company that recruiting agencies and HR executives around the world trust the most for resourceful innovations in HR technology, it’s industry titan Manatal.  With the most powerful and robust ATS systems on the market today, the Manatal ATS platform offers the latest innovations in AI-based technologies and has built a verifiable reputation for offering many solutions to the modern job market’s most challenging problems.  Recruitment agencies around the world rely on the Manatal platform to successfully combat recruiter burnout by offering automated technologies that drastically frees up time so that recruitment teams can focus on tailoring recruitment strategies and finding the best talent.  

As organizations frantically try to draw upon the same pool of talent, recruitment agencies and HR professionals need technology solutions that are capable of reliable process automation.  AI-powered services can immediately transform long-time stodgy recruitment and hiring processes and we continue to push boundaries and deliver the best on all fronts.

Try Our Platform For Free For 14 days

As recruitment agencies, you can discover for yourself just how effective our AI-powered ATS platform can be at accelerating the performance of their recruitment teams with a free trial of our software.

Conclusion

Despite the job market being so heavily tilted in favor of the job seeker, building a dynamic team of high-performing recruiters is absolutely achievable.  Applying the concepts mentioned above will put you in the strongest position to build your team in the shortest amount of time and will also help you to strengthen your team through upskilling and team collaboration.  Along the way, remember to really listen to your candidates and demonstrate a genuine curiosity about their motivations and passions.  By demonstrating empathy, even with passive job seekers, your company will be building a pipeline of great talent that can promote your organization or agency to others as a great place to work based solely on their interviewing experience with your agency. 

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