Recruitment Insights

Building a winning team: Hiring and retaining top talent for your agency

May 16, 2024
Building a Winning Team: Hiring and Retaining Top Talent for Your Agency

Building the right team is pivotal in the competitive world of recruitment. A high-performing recruitment team doesn't just fill roles; it drives success across various fronts. But the journey doesn't end with hiring the right team — retaining your top team members is equally critical. We take a look at the key considerations for strategically building and retaining a winning team. 

Why it’s important to find the right team

A high-performing recruitment team can have a significant impact on success in the competitive environment of talent acquisition. Assembling the right team can bring about a range of benefits, including:

  • Faster, high-quality hires. With a quality team comes quality results — strong teams consistently discover top-tier talent, leading to higher success rates in placements and optimised expenditure. 
  • A strong position in the market. With a great team representing your business, the brand's reputation grows, helping to build trust with prospective applicants and clients, strengthening the competitive edge in the market.
  • Innovation. When your team works well together and performs at their best, they can come up with creative solutions to tough recruitment problems by pooling their diverse skills and experiences.

Ultimately, investing in a high-performing recruitment team can lead to the formation of a strategic asset that drives sustained success and growth in the recruitment industry. 

Strategically building your team

Finding recruiters that suit your business model

Identifying the right recruiters for your team is crucial to ensure alignment with your business model and objectives. Consider whether they possess specialised skills in a particular industry, or more general recruitment knowledge. While specialised knowledge might be seen as a significant benefit, you’ll need to consider whether this fits into your business model. A diversified agency with specialised recruiters for each industry segment comes with risks, such as over-reliance on individual expertise and potential bottlenecks. If you focus on a diverse range of industries and are looking to hire someone to specialise in one industry, you need to factor in the key-person risk. If they happen to leave, could the rest of your team cover the gap given that they had specialised knowledge in a specific area? 

Consider business size and growth

When evaluating your recruitment team, it's essential to take into account the size of your business and its anticipated growth. For smaller or newer businesses, versatility is essential. You might like to seek out employees who possess the adaptability to take on various roles and responsibilities, ensuring maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness. However, while flexibility is crucial, it's equally important to be mindful of the risk associated with key personnel. Dependence on a single person for critical functions can leave your business vulnerable in the event of unexpected departures or absences. 

Leadership abilities come in handy for agencies of any size. In larger organisations, recruiters may be responsible for leading and managing their own teams. To give the business the best chance at scaling, look for candidates who demonstrate strong leadership qualities, such as communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and the ability to motivate and inspire others.

Emphasising soft skills

When it comes to recruitment, the value of soft skills cannot be overstated, especially in a landscape increasingly shaped by technology. While automation and AI-driven tools can streamline many aspects of the recruitment process, they cannot reliably replicate the human touch required for effective interpersonal communication and relationship-building.

Recruiters who possess strong soft skills excel at building genuine connections with candidates and clients. Their ability to empathise, actively listen, and communicate effectively allows them to understand the unique needs and preferences of both parties, leading to trust and rapport throughout the recruitment journey.

Prioritising reputation

Consider the reputation of potential recruiters, as a strong reputation in the industry can enhance your agency's credibility and attract top talent and clients. 

By carefully considering these factors, you can build a team that is well-equipped to navigate the challenges and opportunities of recruitment. But once you’ve built your winning team, how do you ensure you keep them? 

Retaining your top team

Build a culture that resonates with your team

To retain your top team, it can help to focus on developing a positive company culture and adapting to the preferences of younger generations that are now entering the market. More so than previous generations, Generation Z values work-life balance and personal well-being. To reduce the generational divide, it’s worth reassessing whether practices you’ve been using for a long time are still appropriate in this day and age. For example, practices like mandatory cold calling for junior recruiters, which may contribute to high staff turnover rates.

Instead, prioritise collaboration, innovation, personal development, and flexibility in a people-focused, healthy workplace. By aligning with the values of today's workforce, you can attract and retain top talent for long-term success in the industry.

Training to improve job satisfaction and career development

Investing in training and career development opportunities is essential for increasing job satisfaction and retaining top talent in recruitment. Providing employees with access to ongoing learning and skill development enhances their professional growth while also demonstrating the organisation's commitment to their success. By offering training programs, mentorship opportunities, and clear career progression paths, consultants are empowered to continuously improve their skills and advance their careers within the company. As employees feel valued and supported in their growth, they are more likely to remain engaged and committed to their roles, ultimately benefiting both the individual and the employer. The result is a highly motivated and skilled team that drives greater success and delivers exceptional results.

Deliver on your promises

Ensuring your agency delivers on its promises is crucial for building trust and maintaining motivation among your team members. There's nothing more disheartening for employees than joining a company that seemed attractive from the outside, only to discover that reality falls far short of expectations. When new hires find out that not even half of what was promised is going to happen, it can lead to a massive deflation in their motivation and commitment.

To avoid this scenario, it's essential to be transparent and realistic about what they can expect when joining your agency. This begins with accurately portraying the company culture, work environment, and growth opportunities during the recruitment process. Providing a clear understanding of what their role entails, including both the challenges and the rewards, sets the stage for realistic expectations.

Seize the slow periods

Recruitment demand fluctuates with the economy and external factors. If you notice a decline in demand, use these periods to refine processes and upskill your team. This prepares your agency to excel when demand rises again. Each recruitment wave brings opportunities and challenges. Preparing for the future and managing expectations during slow periods means your team can keep busy upskilling and improving efficiencies. They’ll appreciate the upskilling opportunity, and your business will reap the benefits. 

Hiring and retaining the right team is essential for success in the competitive world of recruitment. By finding the right team, you lay the foundation for sustained success. By implementing these strategies, you can create a dynamic and resilient team that drives long-term success and growth for your business.

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