The 3 Levels of Recruitment Performance for Search Consultants

Recruitment performance can be measured in multiple ways. You can measure it in terms of placements made. You can measure it in terms of billings. Heck, you can even measure it in terms of all the numbers and ratios that lead to placements made and amount of billings.

The bottom line, of course, is placements. To take it a step further (because there’s always another step), the bottom line of the bottom line is the average amount of each placement fee.

Let’s say you have two recruiters, and both of them make 10 placements in a given year. However, the average placement fee for the first recruiter is $15,000 and the average placement fee for the second recruiter is $25,000.

So during that one year, the first recruiter made $150,000 in billings. The second recruiter, on the other hand, made $250,000 in billings. Sure, they both made the same number of placements. However, one of them is much happier with their overall billings. And rightly so.

Assessing recruitment performance as an agency owner

The issue of recruitment performance becomes even more important if you’re an agency owner. To take it a step further (because once again, there’s always another step), it’s even more important if you’re an agency owner who also works a daily recruiting desk.

The reason is simple. If you’re in that situation, then not only do you have to worry about your own recruitment performance, but you also have to worry about the performance of the other recruiters in the agency.

Then, to add another layer of complexity, there’s the fact that not all recruiters are created equal. In other words, as an agency owner, you can’t just blindly apply the same expectations to all of the search consultants in your agency. Not only would that not be especially fair, but it would also not be terribly effective. A “one size fits all” approach to recruitment performance is not likely to get you very far.

There are multiple reasons for an individualistic approach:

  • You might not have hired all of the recruiters at the same time.
  • The recruiters probably have varying levels of experience within the profession. A search consultant just starting out should not be held to the same standards as one with 10 years of experience.
  • The recruiters have different strengths and weakness, all of which you must take into consideration before setting expectations for performance.

So what is an agency owner to do? How should they evaluate recruitment performance for the search consultants within their agency? More important, how should they evaluate performance in the most effective way possible so that everybody is maximizing their time and their talents and generating a tremendous amount of revenue?

To help answer these questions, we’re going to draw upon the wisdom Terry Petra, one of the recruiting industry’s leading trainers and business consultants. Petra has extensive experience as a producer, manager, and trainer in all areas of professional search, including retainer, contingency, and contract, as well as clerical/office support and temporary.

According to Petra, whether you monitor them or not, activity ratios exist for every aspect of your recruiting business. As a result, you can only benefit from knowing and using them. However, without including criteria for quality, the usefulness of these ratios is limited.

Monitor these activities, gather statistics, and establish realistic performance standards based on a historical view of your business and ratios. With newer companies, you may wish to rely on industry averages for you specialty area. In addition, you must consider the skills development timeline.

Remember that the standards were established from an analysis of the activity ratios of your successful people during their first year on the job. As the person’s skills improve, their ratios should compress.

Realistic recruitment performance standards

Once the employee has established himself or herself through consistently producing results at or above your company standard, new objective tools should be created by which performance can be measured. These new tools are the individual’s objectives and goals. The objectives define the necessary activity (ratios), while the goals define the desired results (production). Together, they serve as realistic performance standards.

Ultimately, you should establish realistic performance standards at three levels.

Level One: Minimum performance standards for new employees with less than one year of experience in the business

Level Two: Minimum performance standards for experienced employees with more than one year of experience in the business

Level Three: Individual performance standards for experienced employees based on your mutually agreed upon objectives and goals

The overall objective is to build your organization to the point where your management focus is on goal achievement. This is a self-directed environment in which the employees are motivated to achieve and are measured against their individual objectives and goals. This is the point at which, you as a manager, have proven your true effectiveness. However, all of this is meaningless unless you require strict adherence to these performance standards.

Beware the “exception trap”

Always remember that the true measure of performance is results. On rare occasions, you may have an employee who consistently achieves superior results without meeting the activity standards for your group. However, these people are exceptions.

Do not allow yourself to expect superior results for employees who are not meeting or surpassing the activity standards. You can delude yourself into thinking they may be that rare exception. This is the “exception trap.”

Manage your group through the use of realistic recruitment performance standards and NOT by exception. Performance standards bring objectivity to your management function and serve as a road map to success for your employees.

Improve recruitment performance with training!

Top Echelon offers a free monthly webinar as part of its Recruiter Coaching Series. After the webinars are over, we post the recorded version of the webinars in our Recruiter Training Library. These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics. These topics deal with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help recruiters make more placements.

In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:

For more information about Top Echelon and the products and services that it offers, visit the Top Echelon website by clicking here.