How to turn mediocre recruitment consultants into world beaters

It’s the magic formula we all wish we had. The ability to turn poor performing consultants into absolute world beaters.

There are some fabulous training tools available that can help us business owners along the way, both online and in person, but if the consultant just doesn’t have “it” in them, it could turn out to be a fruitless exercise and a waste of energy and resources.

So how do we get them to turn around their performance, how do we give them the tools to succeed in both good and tough markets? From my experience it has to be a combination of things

They have to be surrounded by upbeat, excellent recruiters that they can learn from.

Secondly they need a solid training platform, that rigidly takes them through every step of what it is that great recruiters do, time and time again.

And lastly, from my experience, you need to combine these with the six things I have listed below.

If all this fails, then perhaps they chose the wrong career?

1. Be clear with where they are going wrong

Transparency is a huge part of my management style — I think its important to be clear to people so that they completely understand where they need to change and where they may be falling down.

Be clear that it’s not a “witch hunt”, and that you’re showing them where they are going wrong so you can start addressing the issues together.

Make sure you get their buy-in at the end of the meeting. No one likes criticism, but make sure they don’t leave the room with any resentment and that they know that you are there to help make them better.

2. Make small suggestions & targets

In my experience, trying to tackle all the problems at once doesn’t always work. Once you have agreed on the issues at hand, and you have their buy-in, then take baby steps.

Set tangible targets for the consultant. Ask them to achieve X by Y, and if they do this a few times then they get to move to Z.

Tackling their issues this way should pay dividends in the long run and will help them to buy into the process.

3. Pay attention to their metrics

We use cube19, but there are other KPI measuring tools out there that are equally useful.

People don’t like metrics/KPI’s, but sadly when the consultant isn’t performing, it’s best to look very carefully at their activity and the time of day when they are at the most productive. Metrics play a huge part in getting said consultant back on a winning path.

4. Get them to pay attention to their personal metrics

As important as getting them to believe in you and buying into their new improvement process is, is getting them to track it.

A good consultant should be obsessed with the numbers.

5. Be realistic

Whenever I have been faced with this situation I have had to bring myself back from what I want the outcome to be, and to be realistic about what it might be.

However much you put into this consultant, it might be that they just don’t want the success, they may not really like being a consultant and, as we all know, this profession without passion is a recipe for disaster.

So be realistic with what you want them to achieve and by when.

6. It might be the subject matter?

I am sure many of us have seen consultants working in the wrong teams before. They have all the tools to be a success but it might be their subject matter letting them down.

I remember the first time I saw it, a former Lawyer working in an HR recruitment team. I just couldn’t understand why she wasn’t in the Legal team, which I thought would have been a much better fit.

If you can, consider moving the poor performer to a different team. You may see that they are spirited and buoyed by the move and perform better.

Rob Green

Rob is the CEO of GRMSearch and has been with the company since its launch in 2013. He is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the group as well as operational oversight of the Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and Johannesburg offices.

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