How Can a Firm Owner Enjoy More Recruitment Freedom?

Every firm owner and agency owner wants to enjoy more recruitment freedom. Sure, you love being a recruiter. You even love being an agency owner. But every once in a while, you want freedom from being both.

In other words, you want to work less and generate the same amount of revenue. Or, in a perfect world, you want to work less and generate even more revenue. That would be the “cat’s meow.” (And really, who uses the phrase “cat’s meow” these days?)

Recruiting is definitely a profession in which you can work less and bill the same or bill more. That’s because you do NOT punch a time clock. You don’t have to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an hour for lunch. Unless you really want to, that is.

Systems = recruitment freedom

Most people, though, don’t want to do that. You are probably one of these people. You want more recruitment freedom, to work less and earn more. But how can you accomplish this? To help us answer this question, we’re going to draw upon the wisdom of recruiting industry trainer Gary Stauble. Gary is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists firm owners and solo recruiters in generating more profit in less time.

According to Stauble, the answer is very simple:

Systems = freedom

If you, as the owner of your firm, go on a four-week vacation, what happens to your business?  What happens to the quality and quantity of activity?  Some authors have defined the strength of a small business as being directly proportionate to how much of it can continue in the owner’s absence.  Whether you own a large firm or a micro-business, having simple and effective systems in place will make it much easier for you to step away from your office without waking up at 3 a.m. in a cold sweat.

What is a system?

A system is a documented way of performing a task that solves a problem and ensures that the task is performed properly and consistently.  Creating successful systems means having effective forms, scripts, follow up, marketing processes, etc. that are used by you and your staff.  It also includes an effective carrot and stick management plan that helps your staff to manage themselves.

How systems give a firm owner recruitment freedom:

  • Employees are freed up to be creative because they don’t have to “wing it” or reinvent the wheel.
  • Everyone operates at a smoother pace because there is a proven, working process.
  • Systems reduce burnout and turnover.
  • The more you grow, the more you need systems and the more you will see the benefit of increased freedom.
  • Recruiters don’t have to “learn the hard way,” but rather they learn what works the first time.
  • The firm is no longer people-dependent; it’s systems dependent.  If a big biller leaves, it’s not the end of the world.  You have a system to “grow” a new one.
  • The owner can work four days a week or take a vacation with much less stress.

Each recruiting firm owner needs to decide what percent of his or her business needs to be systematized.  If you have a large firm, you will need more complex systems, whereas if you’re a micro-operator, you just need simple systems.  If you were a systems purist, you might say that if an owner goes on vacation for three months and the business proceeds without a hitch, then he has a fully systematized business.

Obviously for smaller operators or soloists, that’s not going to be practical or realistic.  So if you can’t systematize your entire business, then choose percent as a goal.  Try to systematize 25% of your business.  You may use automation or support staff to do this if you’re small.  So what that means is that if you go on vacation, 25% of your business functions continue without you.  Be sure to consider your firm’s size when deciding what level of systemization is relevant for you.

Examples of systems:

Let’s take Starbucks as an example.  What happens when you walk into a Starbucks?  Usually, you have the feeling that you’ve just walked into a friend’s living room: there’s jazz playing, people are relaxed and talking, some of them are having business conversations, someone may be typing on a laptop, there’s a cool ambience and décor, the colors are warm and rich, and there is a smell of robust coffee in the air.  The menu even has its own system: short, tall, grande, and venti.  None of this is an accident; all of it is a perfectly integrated system.

Every time you walk into the Starbucks, it’s the same experience, same quality of coffee, same uniforms, same ambience.  They’ve been able to kill their competition due to their precision.  The subtle message to you as a customer is this: we offer a consistently good service and you can trust us.  This consistency makes people feel comfortable with your service.

Here’s an example that comes from professional football.  The most popular offensive system in professional football is the West Coast Offence.  This system was perfected by Bill Walsh and the San Francisco 49ers.  Joe Montana is considered by many to be the best quarterback to ever play the game, and he worked in this system.

The West Coast Offense is a system with unique characteristics: lots of passing, screen passes, fast receivers, etc.  It is a system that started in San Francisco and has now been successfully duplicated in many other cities.  So systems apply to business, and they also apply in many other contexts, as well.

The firm owner franchise prototype:

Michael Gerber suggests that a firm owner pretend that their businesses will be the prototype for 1,000 other businesses exactly like it. Pretend someone is going to walk in your door next month with the intention of buying your business . . . but only if it works and works without a lot of work for the owner.  Imagine that your prospective buyer will need to see your formula on paper.

Could you explain to a prospective buyer how your firm ticks and hums and makes a solid profit each month?  Is there a documented “operating system” that you could hand to that person?  If not, then you may want to start to think of your business in a new way.  It doesn’t matter if you will ever open a second office or sell your firm because it’s the process of thinking this way that will give you the payoff.

So, if you want more freedom and peace of mind, then you need to systematize and “bottle” your very own proprietary success formula.  Once you have these systems in place, you’ll be able to enjoy much more freedom, whether you decide to grow or stay small.

Top Echelon’s Recruiter Training Library

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.

Gary Stauble has two videos in the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Library. These videos are listed below. Click on the title of each video for access:

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.

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