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The Ideal Recruitment Office 01 August 2016


Many recruitment offices have an atmosphere about them: a collection of desks with consultants working the phones, intent on the candidates in front of them, eyes firmly set on the month-end figures and the commission that will, or will not, be coming their way – depending on their individual performance. Towards the end of the month the tone becomes sharper, the mood takes on an edge. Consultants avoid each other in case their fear of missed targets should show in their eyes, a signal there may shortly be blood in the water. The pace becomes frenetic. Everything is focused on the target: how much you’re going to bill.

Of course, this isn’t true for all recruitment agencies – fewer and fewer as recruitment progresses – but there are enough around that you can still spot the consultants caught up in this type of web. As a recruiter, I found this type of environment unpleasant and steered well clear of it. When I founded my own recruitment agency, I had very clear of what #MyIdealWorkplace would feel like.

For me, an agency has to have consultants who are able to work collaboratively. Ultimately, the business as a whole has to succeed. If one consultant works exclusively for his or her own ends at the expense of other consultants, then the success of the business is on the line. Whilst the role is inherently a sales function, I was never fond of the ‘sell your granny’ approach to recruitment, so as a business owner, granny-selling cut-throat consultants weren’t on my shopping list. 

As far as I’m concerned, collaboration and communication are instrumental to success. Sharing information on candidates, sharing knowledge of clients, these are two important keys to ensuring each vacancy has the best chance of being filled with the right candidate. That means happy candidates and satisfied clients. Satisfied clients come back the next time they have another requirement. Do that often enough and everyone keeps getting paid! In my ideal workplace, everyone gets paid – a lot!

That’s not to say the atmosphere in the office should lack frisson: after all, recruiters are sales folk at heart, and we do love a competition. When you encourage an atmosphere of friendly rivalry, you tend to get the best from people. Set individual targets, set the target for the whole office, make it in everyone’s interest that the office hits the target, not just the individual. Foster team spirit the right way, and you’ll foster the right kind of competitiveness, a positive energy everyone benefits from. My ideal workplace has great team spirit, lots of positive energy and a passion for getting the job done right.

I’m lucky enough to say that I do work in my ideal workplace – it’s hard work, but the thrill we all get from working together, seeing our candidates happy in the roles we place them in, and hearing the difference those candidates have made to our clients, genuinely keeps us doing what we do. We’re currently looking for the right person to join the team. If you share the same ideal workplace, I’d like to hear from you. 

Austin Lee Resourcing specialises in placing candidates with Procurement, Supply Chain and Logistics Management, as well as Financial Leadership, Chief Operating Officer, and Commercial Director level roles.

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