One of the biggest questions we get from recruitment agencies wanting to grow is “how can we hire more 360 recruiters?”.
But perhaps that’s the wrong question. Perhaps the real question is “how can I grow without needing 360 recruiters?”
After all, why base your success on a growth model that depends upon people you can’t find?
Let’s start by looking at what a 360 recruiter is.
What are 360 Degree Recruiters?
In the 80s and 90s margins were much bigger than they are now so commission payments were significantly chunkier too. This meant experienced and highly skilled salespeople were attracted to the industry.
These people could pick up the phone, start a dialogue with new prospects, build a relationship and eventually convert them into clients. Most of them then went on to manage the client and max-out the placement fees over time.
Sure, they were supported by people to help them find candidates and look after the store whilst they were away but, in the end, they were truly 360 recruiters.
But there’s more to the tale.
Life was a lot simpler then. There were less preferred supplier lists and hiring managers were easier to reach – no mobile numbers where you can see caller id and few gatekeepers.
So to be successful you needed to be able to use the phone, engage people based upon your experience and personality and eventually grind the prospects into submission. Quite a collection of skills but the money was there to pay for them.
What are the benefits of 360 Recruiters?
In simple terms there were three overriding benefits of high-quality 360 recruiters: –
- Easy to manage: a decent commission scheme, a list of prospects and access to some quality candidates and you could pretty much forget about them. Performance means hitting their targets every month so it’s simple to manage.
- Predictable growth: if you want to grow your business it is relatively easy to predict how much a decent OTE 360 Recruiter will cost and how much GP they will generate. All you needed to do is hire them, or grow them yourself, and stand back.
- More effective: because they handle more relationships they are more efficient. Certainly, those who win clients, find candidates and manage accounts know more and need to communicate less.
What are the drawbacks of 360 Recruiters?
Once again there are three main drawbacks: –
- Availability: they are hard to attract and even harder to keep. Everybody wants them and there just aren’t enough to go around. Plus, the role is harder but we can’t pay as much these days because margins are smaller so there are less experienced salespeople entering the profession.
- Revenue: if, or when, a 360 recruiter leaves you to either set up on their own or move to a competitor, they will take a big chunk of your revenue with them. You will recover this, of course, but that will take time.
- Management: good 360 recruiters know they are valuable and this can lead some of them into becoming prima donnas. They expect more support, more training and often more money just to keep doing what they do. It’s supply and demand in action.
With so many drawbacks we must wonder why people still try and hire them or create their own.
Well, in our experience it’s because they’re not sure what an alternative recruitment model would look like.
What is the alternative?
What did Henry Ford do when he couldn’t meet the demand for his cars because he couldn’t hire enough talented engineers? He created a factory where the manufacture of a car was broken down into separate steps. He also equipped his less skilled, and more widely available, workers with tools and simple training to achieve a single task.
This is called de-skilling and is enabled by the division of labour and the use of tools. People become experts at this one thing and if they leave it’s no bother to hire and train up a replacement.
So, what can you do when talented 360 recruiters are hard to come by? Build a factory.
1. Split the tasks:
Recruitment means finding new prospects, starting and building a relationship with them, pitching, resourcing candidates, client care, cross-selling plus a dozen subsets. Break this process down and you can create roles that don’t require the talent or pay of a master artisan who can do them all.
2. Train the people:
Step back and look at that process above. Even in its simple form, you can see how many different skills someone needs to master to be a 360 recruiter. Shrink their focus onto just one or two of those tasks and the training becomes simpler and the time to mastery shorter.
3. Power Tool them up:
Any power tool makes a job easier and allows better quality to be delivered in less time. So it is with Sales Power Tools – they allow people with less ability and experience to deliver some outstanding results.
Some examples are:
- repeatable AIDA campaigns
- off the shelf valuable intellectual assets
- simple software to manage multiple relationships
- Many more
Once built they reap endless rewards.
4. A Framework, not a Process:
Processes tend to be rigid and take away the opportunity for the user to bring their own strengths and personality to bear. When making cars this is not a problem but when placing candidates, it is. So, create standardised frameworks for common tasks so people do them in roughly the same way but leave room for them to be themselves.
By creating your own Revenue Factory and providing a framework in which people can excel you create scalability.
People are easier to hire and replace if they leave, and they know only a portion of the process when they go. Your clients enjoy a consistent and yet, constantly improving service and their relationship is usually with more than one person.
Finally, you can easily expand out into new markets and offers simply by tweaking and reproducing the factory.
The bonus: any 360 recruiters you do find can still operate but with the support of the Factory, they’ll be faster and more efficient.
I’m not made of money Mike, you mad fool!
Do we want to triple your wage bill? That’s the most common protest when we first outline a factory model, and clearly, we do not.
Not only will you not triple the wage bill I would go so far as to suggest this approach will cost less for the same results. And that’s without considering the many benefits of your newfound agility and scalability.
The amount of time a 360 recruiter invests in delivering and growing a client is huge, and the costs you pay for such a person in wage and commission are significant, at least if you want to retain them.
By breaking down the role and expanding your supply of sufficiently talented people you can lower the costs whilst improving efficiency. Three people who are experts at one thing each will be far faster at producing clients that one person who is pretty good at everything.
Ford improved his output by 600% by building his factory. What would even half that improvement mean to you?
How to implement?
If you’re interested in getting your own Revenue Factory, as we call it, why not join us on our next interactive Webinar?
Free and without commitment you will be walked through building your own scalable recruitment business.