How To Train and Onboard Your New Recruiter
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When should the training start for my new recruiter?
Training brand new recruiters or rookies, does not start on their first day with you…
…their learning starts on the day that they accept your offer to come and work for your recruitment business.
When your new recruiters accepts your offer to come and work for you, I want you to assign books for him or her to read by the time they start working with you.
Get them reading and self-learning
If you’re a medium-sized recruitment business, buy the books and get them sent by post to your new recruiter or buy the books and give them to them physically when they turn up to pick up their offer letter or meet the team.
If you’re a small recruitment business and you can’t afford to buy them, that’s ok. Maybe it’s a hoop you get them to jump through. So, “Look, I’m going to give you a reading list, I’ll expect you to purchase these books, Kindle or hardback, and I would like you to have read these books by the time you come to work with us.”
Recruitment Training: Book #1
The first book that I would definitely have for a brand new rookie coming in to our recruitment industry is The Professional Recruiter’s Handbook. It’s written by Ann Swain, she’s the CEO of APSCo, The Association of Professional Staffing Companies. An amazing woman, and one of my earliest mentors.
Ann Swain co-wrote this book with Jane Newell Brown, again, a very, very accomplished recruiter and an author. This book, it’s called The Professional Recruiter’s Handbook, Delivering Excellence in Recruitment Practice. It’s a great book to give your recruitment rookies.
Recruitment Training: Book #2
The second book, and you’re going to have to forgive me for the blatant plug on this one. I’ve written my own book, and it’s a great book. If you haven’t got the book you need to get it! It is called, ‘Recruitment Blueprint: Control the Deal and Make More Placements’. It’s available as a Kindle download from all good digital stores.
Recruitment Training: Book #3
The third book you should give them is your training or your operations manual. Anything that you can get your rookie recruiter to be consuming to get into the groove before they come work for you, you should get them to read or prepare before they come to work for you.
Recruitment Training: Book #4
There’s just one final book. It’s along the same lines as Professional Recruiter’s Handbook and Recruitment Blueprint. It’s called 'The Rich Recruiter'. It’s available on Amazon, and it’s written by Andrew Leong.
It's Not Optional
Make this an assignment to be completed.
It’s not a suggestion, it’s not optional, it’s not a suggested reading list.
It’s an exercise to be completed. It’s an assignment that you give to these people before they come and work for you.
The reason why this is so important is because, the patterns of behaviour for a new recruiter’s whole career, are established during those first 30 days of working.
Establish The Right Patterns Of Behaviour
The patterns of behaviour for a recruiter’s entire career are established, they’re laid down during that first month of working in your recruitment business, or someone else’s recruitment business.
So if you’ve taken on someone that maybe did their first 30 days somewhere else, guess what?
Whatever pattern of behaviour was established there, that’s the one they’re going to have for the rest of their career. Sure as eggs is eggs, that’s what happens.
Remember, 27 years of doing this, that’s exactly what I’ve seen.
Start Making Demands Of Your New Recruiter IMMEDIATELY!
Let me tell you why, most recruitment business owners that I speak to don’t start making demands on their rookies until month 2 or 3.
I know I because I did that too.
I took the opinion, “Well, okay, they’re brand new, let’s let them shadow someone, they’re in training.”
Four weeks I would write off. I would do training, but I wouldn’t think about activity.
And that’s a real shame, because we don’t start putting any demands on them until month two or three.
We don’t start setting high goals or demanding high productivity until the recruitment rookie’s already got into the habit of delivering low productivity.
It’s like in that first four weeks, traditionally, we let them ease in, don’t we? We don’t want to scare the rookie recruiter.
“Oh my goodness, we don’t want to introduce them to new business because they might really freak out.”
Why do recruitment business owners, too many of us, why do we feel compelled to ease people into something?
We shouldn’t be doing that. What we’re doing is damaging those recruiters.
We are setting a pattern of low productivity, low expectation from that first 30 days in training.
Ask For Commitment From Your New Recruiter
If you think about you as a new person, when you join something new, when we first went to school, when we get into a new relationship...
...you are never more willing to commit than that first day, are you?
Think about it.
Your new recruiter’s exactly the same.
They are never more willing or keen to commit to high, hard work and, disciplined work habits and high productivity as they are on that very first day of working with you.
That’s the time for you to start making demands, not after month two or three.
Set The Right Targets
The objective of traditional recruitment skills training is to show a rookie recruiter how to make placements by getting send-outs or first (client/candidate) interviews.
What I want to do is change the spin on that...
...and this is where you’re going to get ahead of your competitors.
Don’t put the emphasis on making placements.
Put the emphasis on send-outs.
Put the emphasis on first interviews, and not the placements.
Think arrows, or darts, not the target. We need more arrows, that’s what we want. Arrows are going to give us more chances of hitting targets, and that’s the key.
Annual Production Goals For Recruiters - WRONG!
Traditionally a recruitment business owner sets a production goal, like a revenue goal, for the rookie recruiter during his or her second or third month.
So it’s an annual revenue target. In the second or third month they say, “Well done, rookie, you passed your probation, now what we want you to do is we want you to do ‘X’.”
Some really keyed-up recruitment business owners, this is what I know they do, they say, “What do you want to earn this year, rookie?” And the rookie says, “Uh, £50,000,” or whatever your currency is, whatever the figure is, the rookie gives them a figure. So the owner says, “Well, in order to earn 50k, you need to invoice 100k this year,” £100,000 in recruitment fees. So the rookie’s sights are set on producing 100k.
I’m going to show you something really, really key.
The rookie’s sights are set on this 100k, (insert your own figures they’re all relative). The rookie works as hard as she can to achieve that goal, let’s say, by getting, 15 interviews a month.
Then, during her second year, she sets the same production goal of 100k. She says, “Look, I did 100k, £50,000,” or whatever, depending on the packages and what have you. “I’ve earned £50,000, I’ve done really, really well. I was a graduate, I’ve just earned 50,000, that’s pretty good.
So this year, my second year, I’m going to do another 100K so I can get another 50K.” But this time she’s a better recruiter, and this time she does it with 12 send-outs a month. Do you remember she did it with 15 last year, second year she’s doing this same figure, but she’s doing it better, so she’s doing it in less send-outs, 12 first interviews a month.
The third year, now she’s conditioned to set only production goals or revenue goals, she aims for the same 100k, but now she does it with 9 first interviews a month. As she becomes more and more skilled, she just keeps doing the same production with fewer and fewer send-outs.
And for me that’s mad!
I’ve seen that too often. I used to do it with my recruitment rookies, a few £100k, you’ll earn this, do £150k, you’ll do this. Always about these annual goals.
And I learned it was wrong!
Activity Goals For Recruiters - RIGHT!
What’s the right way?
The way to set goals with a view toward long term production increases is to set activity goals. Now this is something I talk about with my Recruitment Masterminds private coaching group all the time.
I’m not saying, “Forget about revenue.” That would be madness for a recruitment business owner.
Don’t forget about revenue, certainly don’t ever forget about profit. But what I want you to do is to set activity goals for the recruiter.
Focus your recruiter on send-outs or first interviews only.
From the day that she starts, the rookie recruitment consultant should measure her self-worth in terms of the number of send-outs she gets.
So if you can condition her to get 20 send-outs a month every single month, remember that’s just 5 a week. It’s an interview a day.
Set your recruitment rookie 1 interview a day, or 1 send out a day, that’s not an outrageous target, surely.
Think about it.
Condition Your Rookie Recruiter
If you can condition your rookie recruiter to get 20 send-outs a month every single month, then she may still bill 100k in that first year.
But here is where is gets interesting, the second year, and as she improves, that same 20 send-outs a month will deliver 160k. (Again, insert your own figures here.)
The third year is going to give you, or give her, £250,000 worth of revenues. When she becomes better and better, a consistent number of send-outs is going to yield higher and higher billings.
You get it, right? You’ve got to set the expectation.
If you set it, from the very beginning, it’s 20 send-outs a month, for everyone in your recruitment business, that’s the figure that we measure people, that’s the figure that people think about their own self-worth.
The problem that we have as an industry is we bring rookies in and what do they do? They look up at us, they look at our seniors, they look at consultants that have been in the business a year, and they see those people not doing 20 send- outs a month.
They see those people, it’s like “Wow, this person just makes 2 interviews a month, and he’s making a fortune. He’s making £200,000 a year.” “That’s what I’m going to do.”
What we do is we condition low activity, and high production, put the emphasis on the production goal.
Keep it on activity.