Thanks to an improving labor market, people are feeling more comfortable exploring their job options – which means companies are having to work that much harder to retain top talent and keep them engaged.
As the CEO of a staffing firm, I know there are countless reasons for staffing firms to keep their recruiters engaged and happy, not the least of which is the fact that the recruiting industry has a notoriously high turnover rate. It’s also been found that longer recruiter tenure leads to better relationship development with clients and candidates.
There are extravagant ways to keep employees engaged. Though my advice draws from my own staffing-specific experience, what I’ve found to work for us can really work for any type of business.
Here are six of my tried-and-true tips:
1. Set the tone.
It’s not all about offering free lunches or half days on Fridays. Rather, it’s about the culture and ensuring employees feel valued and respected. If you develop a culture of hard-working, driven people, make sure your recruiters fit that mold. Invest in them early, before they even start contributing. Encourage them to attend conferences and seminars. Show them there’s always room for improvement and more to learn about this business, no matter what level they’re at.
2. Give staff your time and confidence.
Share techniques that have made you successful. Talk to recruiters about their candidates and clients, and have companywide meetings to discuss job orders and difficult placements. Brainstorm creative ways to fill roles. Encourage your recruiters to ask candidates and clients new questions. Role play and offer tips along the way. Perhaps most importantly, make this a part of your weekly routine.
3. Get to know people on a personal level.
Recruiting firms are fast-paced, but don’t just talk about work all the time. Take time to ask about employees’ kids or spouses. Find out what school they went to or where they grew up. Text them on their birthdays or anniversaries. Let them know how much you appreciate their hard work. Showing you remember the little details really goes a long way.
Don’t eat lunch in your office! Try eating with others in the break room. Or, bring a staff member out to lunch sometime (it would make their week). Encourage the firm’s upper management to develop relationships with newer recruiters. At large firms it’s difficult to do this, but when management take a few minutes out of their day, they’re showing employees they’re invested in them.
4. Start a mentorship program.
Pair new hires with experienced, successful recruiters. I always make sure our mentors work in a different department from their mentees. That way, they can share a unique perspective. Pair a recruiter with a member of the finance team; put a scheduler with member of the marketing team. Encourage the pairs to collaborate and see how the different parts of the machine come together. Mentors and mentees should meet once a week for 6-8 weeks. Encourage them to grab a cup of coffee or go for a walk, and to discuss everything from the new hire’s role to what’s going on in their personal lives. When mentees have someone they can confide in right from the time they start at your company, they’ll feel a part of the culture.
5. Celebrate everything.
Clap, cheer, fist bump and congratulate someone when they do a great job. Whether it’s winning an award, placing a candidate, getting a new client or hitting a sales goal, share that information with the company, team or department. Send companywide emails encouraging one another. If you’re not getting excited over every single win, you’re losing your passion, and that will rub off on your employees. When something exciting happens outside of the office, celebrate that too! If an employee gets engaged, send them a card and flowers. When someone buys a house, send a small housewarming gift. These gestures go a long way.
6. Mix it up.
Have employees sit somewhere other than their desk from time to time. Put a salesperson next to a recruiter, or an office assistant next to a scheduler. Encourage recruiters to listen to each other and talk about the candidates and clients they’re working with. This will give them a better opportunity to get to know one another and allow them to see how other departments operate.
One more thing…
Increasing engagement doesn’t need to break the bank. When staffing firms are engaging and supporting their recruiters and helping them succeed, they’re creating an effective workplace culture where recruiters will want to stay and grow.
Like this? Read up on other opportunities to make a difference in the staffing industry at www.opportunitiesinstaffing.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tom Gimbel is the Founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting firm headquartered in Chicago. Gimbel is an expert on organizational development, securing a job and hiring successfully. He’s been featured on CNBC, The Today Show, Fox Business Network, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Fortune Small Business and Crain’s Chicago Business. Gimbel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and is on the Board of Directors at Ounce of Prevention. He is an active member in the Young Presidents’ Organization, Economic Club of Chicago, American Staffing Association and Entrepreneurs’ Organization.