Chat with us, powered by LiveChat 4 Ways Managers Can Develop Experienced Recruiters

4 Ways That Managers Can Develop Experienced Recruiters

by | Dec 3, 2014 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

In my previous blog post, I discussed the fact that the professional development of experienced recruiters in a recruiting firm or office is the responsibility of the manager.  Now I’d like to explore some of the ways in which that development can be achieved.

#1—Role Playing

The reality, of course, is that people in our business do not get paid for what they know; they get paid for what they do.  Improvement is only useful if it translates into increased production.  There is only one way to go from knowing to doing—and that is role-playing.  Role-playing is our “batting practice,” and we do it for the same reasons baseball players do: to polish skills and correct weak points, leading to improved performance.

The most frequent error made with role-playing is attempting to role-play face-to-face.  To be effective, role-playing must be real; that means on the telephone, not face-to-face.

You can’t consistently hit for a high average if you skip batting practice.

#2—Management Evaluation of Calls

The manager must find out what the recruiter is really doing on the phone.   How?  By listening in to their calls at their desk.  A simple analogy will show the worth of this.  In outside sales, it’s part of a sales manager’s job to travel the territory with the people they supervise.  While on some calls, they will participate in “key account calls,” and on others their job is to listen, evaluate, and then to conduct “curbside coaching,” with the aim of improving performance.

The technology to do this is readily available, either at any electronics store or with headsets designed with an extra jack for recording.  The easiest way is simply to record the call with the manager listening in via an earplug.  Speakerphones are not recommended, as they will alter the quality of the recruiter’s voice (reverberations are common), thus reducing the worth of the call.

Poor performers will resist this idea, as it will show them up.  Good performers will like being listened to, as they believe it shows them off.

Habit patterns can be broken and poor habits improved only by practice (role-playing) and repeat reminders.  The manager should insist that the recruiter put signs on the telephone as a reminder.  Examples of this may be “slow your pace” or “who else?” for a recruiter who stops at one referral.

#3—Conducting Sales Meetings

Aristotle wrote that, “The truest knowledge of an art is achieved only by teaching that art.”  The experienced search consultant will gain markedly by preparing for and conducting such meetings.

In a firm with five or more experienced recruiters, the manager should eventually be conducting no more than 50% of the twice-a-week meetings.  Every experienced recruiter has a skill in one or more of the facets of our complex business.  Even if it’s only playing a recording of a call and critiquing their own performance, they should be in charge of occasional skill improvement sessions.

The entire firm, but especially the meeting conductor, will be the beneficiary.

#4—Numbers and Ratios

Keeping track of numbers and analyzing ratios is mandatory.  As top business writer Richard Sloma wrote in his book, No-Nonsense Management, “Individuals can perform at their best only if they are regularly, formally, and objectively measured.”

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how managers and owners can prepare their team for development, as well as what they can do about “difficult” recruiters.

— — —

Steve Finkel, a guest writer for the Recruiter Training Blog and founder of Professional Search Seminars, is one of the recruiting industry’s leading speakers and trainers.  For more information about Finkel’s training products and services, including his selection of books for recruiters, visit or call 314.991.3177.

More Articles of Interest