The Right Way To Use KPIs To Empower Your Team To Outperform The Market
We’ve been conducting an experiment – would our team become more successful if we evolved the use of KPIs in our business?
So what are we going to be talking about today? We’re going to talk numbers, KPIs. But this isn’t going to be your usual “best KPIs to track” kind of blog! Rather, I want to focus on the harm that KPIs do in a lot of recruitment agencies – and a different way of approaching them to really empower your team to outperform the market.
Let’s start with something that many of you know to be true. Recruiters often detest KPIs. The constant pressure to hit numbers and the risk of being challenged if those numbers haven’t been met is something teams often resent. It’s bullying people into the behaviours you want them to adopt, which is rarely going to be the way you get the best out of people.
But there is a different way.
Getting Your Team To Love Their KPIs
I have been experimenting with new ways of working within my team – and based on the success I’ve had I can help you to figure out an approach that your team will really buy into and be motivated by. The added benefit is that they will feel empowered to control and improve their own performance without needing to be micromanaged or cajoled into doing things!
First, let’s start with the transformational results I’ve seen. By doing things this way, our team has really gained a much better understanding of the activities in their working week that directly contribute to their recruiting success. As a result, they’ve been able to self-select the KPIs that they are most interested in monitoring. They have started to self-diagnose during the working week what they need to do to be on track for hitting their quarterly goals.
Now reflect on that for just a moment.
This is worlds apart from the usual micromanagement of recruiters, where every week you can expect to be hauled up to to share your numbers and be under the microscope re. whether you’re hitting those numbers and why you’re falling short.
(P.S. Numbers are tricky too. Numbers themselves mean nothing if you aren’t monitoring the right numbers or if you don’t know how to properly interpret what they say! Also we all know that numbers can be manipulated, right?! That’s especially likely to be happening when number tracking has been forced upon recruiters rather than being something they want to do for themselves…)
So what exactly have we done that’s different?
Creating An Environment Where Your Team Can Talk Openly
Within our team we have implemented two weekly catch up sessions. One of these is to look at everyone’s numbers and to see whether we’re on track as a team to achieve what we’ve set out to achieve for the Quarter. But the other catch-up meeting is a “safe space” meeting. It’s an opportunity for the team to get help, raise challenges they are facing and generally feel supported in achieving their targets – rather than feeling berated for not hitting targets.
That is us going into coaching mode, creating a safe zone where the individuals are able to actually talk about what they think is important and what they need. It’s about mindset. It’s about what they perceive as challenges. It’s about allowing them to come to the table with that.
See the difference?
Give Your Team The Freedom To Determine What They Want To Track
So alongside this safe zone approach, I have been experimenting with having my team monitor a range of numbers relating to their performance and our business. What needs to be monitored will differ from business to business – and also from individual recruiter to individual recruiter.
But let me give you an example so you get a feel for what we’re talking about here. We looked at one of my team to validate a hypothesis, which now we know is a fact. This team member has to do five online engagements before he gets someone to talk. That could be LinkedIn InMails or a LinkedIn post. It could be a tweet. This isn’t related to interviewing for a particular role, but rather it’s candidate engagement – listening to what a candidate has to say.
We learnt that, roughly speaking, for every three people he had a verbal conversation with, the conversation progressed to a full candidate screen; and for every six people he had a full candidate screen with, a candidate would be submitted to a client. Looking at these numbers has really helped our recruiters to see if they are doing enough of the important activities each week to generate the results they want. They are determining what numbers they want to focus on, rather than having KPIs dictated to them; and they are buying into the correlation between them doing enough of those activities and them being ahead of target.
This approach has really allowed everybody to see where they were spending their energy and where they were burning their energy, where they were spinning their wheels or what the return was from their activities.
A Team of Leaders Rather Than A Team of Micro-Managed Recruiters
The other thing that has happened is that the team has started looking at those numbers throughout the week, they have started self managing in a completely different way. And that’s not about hitting an outbound metric. My guys do not have outbound dial metrics and the like. The only goal my guys have is their revenue target.
I’m now in a position where I’m able to get them to recognize what activity they need to do, and they just go and do it. And that’s the truth of the matter. Plus they are able to course correct when they can see they are at risk of falling short.
This is about getting your team to be able to really, really understand their own data.
It’s about getting them to look at it and say I need to be talking to more candidates or I haven’t got enough job orders on or whatever the case may be.
It allows them to look at their own desk and course correct as needed. Achieve this and your team is now a team of leaders rather than a team of micro-managed recruiters.
But a key element in making this work is the weekly safe zone session to allow people to open up and share their challenges in a safe environment. If you only have the end of week session reviewing numbers and beating people up for missing targets and barking orders at your team then there’s no learning happening.
The challenge is making the time for this. Our mindset as recruitment business owners and billing consultants is often that everyone should be selling, selling, selling. So setting time aside to do this takes a conscious decision and firm leadership. You’ve also got to bring your numbers to the table as well. You can’t sit there and expect everybody else to have their numbers with you not leading by example.
I hope this has got you thinking about experimenting yourself in your business. The results are transformational. Need to talk it through with someone before taking the leap? Feel free to book in for a call with me and I’d be happy to discuss.