Recruitment… Same Sh*t Different Day…

In the past day or so, the Ex-President of Egypt has been pronounced dead… then, not quite dead…then clinically dead… and then down with a nasty dose of man flu.

At the same time Melbourne experienced the strongest Earthquake we have had in a century! This is how it went down in our house…

My Wife: ‘What was that?’

Me: ‘What was what?

My Wife: ‘Oh, nothing.”

Me: ‘OK…’

And finally, Frankel destroyed the Queen Anne Stakes field by 11 lengths, but still manages to avoid the greatest there ever was – or will be – Black Caviar. One word for you Frankel… Soft.

That’s right, all of that happened in the past 24 hours… So what, you say… What’s that got to do with recruitment you say… Well… nothing…absolutely nothing…  I say.

The point is that during that same 24 hour period 2 of my colleagues made placements and I won a retained consulting assignment. And yet, just like the major news stories reported yesterday, we’ve moved on.  We took no time to celebrate our wins. No time to enjoy our success…  And that is wrong.

I blame MTV, Generation Y and Social Media.  Don’t get me wrong I really like MTV and I can’t do without my Twitter and Facebook… and I like most Gen Y’s… usually on Fridays and Sunday mornings.  But this insatiable appetite for instantaneous information, immediate gratification and the next big thing leaves us with very little time to appreciate the great things we do as recruiters.

I’m just finishing off my business plan for next Financial Year and I want to build in a way to celebrate EVERY win.  I want to find a way to thank my staff for doing their jobs well.  Yes, I have an attractive commission structure, and no unfortunately, I don’t see the value in ‘ringing a placement bell’, or doing ‘a placement dance’.  But I think with all the crap we put up with as Recruiters.  All of the disappointments, effort and frustration that we face on a daily basis.  All of the pressure, all of the molly coddling (there’s ‘phrase of the day’ right there!), all of the massaging of egos, all of the difficult candidates, all of the difficult clients and all of the unreasonable bosses.  If we can’t take time out to really celebrate placements, pat ourselves on the back and recognise good work… If we can’t do that, then we are… well… a shit industry… There… I’ve said it… and I’ll say it again… If you are doing your job well – meeting realistic billing targets and making placements.  If you are doing all of that. And if you are not given time and the opportunity to celebrate each placement – then really what is the point? We are a shit industry.

I know there are businesses out there that do celebrate wins – and to be honest I’m calling on you to leave comments, let me know what you do, let me know how you are rewarded… Ok ok, you have probably worked me out, so I’ll come clean… I want your help so that I can finish my bloody business plan…It’s doing my head in!!

Seriously though, we all know that life moves pretty fast (just ask Ferris Bueller). And this is  particularly so in the world of recruitment.  We need to find a way to celebrate the good things that happen at work – even if it just for a little while- and I’m sure we will all enjoy our jobs much, much more…

And now, an unsolicited word of advice… Always give 100%… unless you are giving blood…

Craig Watson

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6 thoughts on “Recruitment… Same Sh*t Different Day…”

  1. Hi Craig, I was at an HR thing yesterday in regional Victoria where a comment was made by an HR manager that he had advertised a tasty job in the medical field but had not had ONE response. He then engaged a specialist recruitment agency and had a number of obstetricians to choose from. There was a ripple of…I don’t know… amazement in the room at the time. I had some further discussions with a couple of HR folk after that who seemed to be unaware of how specialist recruitment worked, that sourcing people who are not actively looking to change jobs is WHAT THEY DO. I just found it interesting that there was amazement that the result would be different when engaging an exec search firm to find you someone suitable as opposed to bunging an ad in the Courier.
    As for how to reward wins… if you come up with anything good, let me know – I too am pondering this very subject

  2. In the past, I did a reward chart for all staff. They had to list any item worth $0 – $500 that they would love to be rewarded with. This way I knew what was important to each person and the reward was specific. They loved it! I also used Leisure Days – where they could book a leisure day once a quarter and it was taken out of their sick leave entitlement. We had rewards for anniversary’s (not leaving!) and rewards for 5 star client feedback forms. Best thing was when they were random and for specific behaviour.

  3. mmm, we get everyone together ( including partners because they put up with a hell of a lot too ) and go out for dinner or long lunch when monthly targets are met

    It isn’t cheap but by god it promotes loyalty and an excellent team bond – especially if partners get along with other partners

    and everyone has a great laugh and a cry about the shit we put up with

  4. Our EGM faced the same situation earlier this year and put it out to the business for suggestions. So now we have a white board next to his desk, each time a placement is made, temp or perm you pop your name on the white board and collect a token. Each Friday we have wrap up and token holders get a small prize, wine, that sort of thing and its a prize for each token you have too, and then go into a major draw, with a winner drawn at the end of the quarter. It’s a substantial prize, iPad, etc. so now we celebrate all placements weekly in front of the whole business. Granted, it’s not particularly high level stuff, but it’s great for celebrating wins for everyone in the business together, not just high billers getting mentioned each coy meeting. During the wrap up we celebrate newbies first placements, project wins etc etc. All with a Friday night wine or beer in the hand of course. It’s been received really well.

  5. People like to be recognized. Some prefer financial rewards. Some prefer a night out with the team. For others, it’s simply a quiet thank you. Once size does not fit all. If you compel the introvert to spend a night with the team when she doesn’t really want to, it’s not a reward. It’s an obligation. I miss the good old days when such thing weren’t issues. Maybe I haven’t been doing this long enough, but knowing that I’ve executed well and won the deal is reward enough, at least for now.

  6. Hey Craig,
    having worked in Agency land for 12+ years I have seen and heard about a lot of schemes for reward and recognition. Overwhelmingly, whilst they start off with great intentions, they inevitably lose their lustre or the commitment to them wanes. IMHO – the key is attitude.
    I would say the single most important element is simple recognition, even as simple as Directors/Owners having an awareness of “wins”

    I have been constantly amazed by how often consultants have told me that their employers would not even know what client/jobs they are working on, let alone the specifics of placements they have made. (they always seem to know if they are behind target though!)

    Imagine the impact if within 24 hours of every placement made within an organisation, the director sidled up and let loose with a “I heard about the win with company “XYZ” and I just wanted to say well done” Even better, following with an open ended question such as “tell me about how you engineered the win there?” would allow the consultant in question to wax on a touch about how good they are, how they solved this major issue. (lets face it, most of us recruiters are a touch needy and love to shine a light on what we have achieved)

    I know that most owners will say they do not have the time for this – perhaps they are spending all of their time reworking the reward scheme?

    Of course, this works best when it becomes part of the culture of the organisation, and yes, when followed up with some tangible rewards/prizes/perks.

    Sorry for the long reply, but I had 2 cents in my pocket and wanted to share

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