23 Apr 2018
Recruitment to Recruitment and Key Performance Indicators
Working as a recruitment to recruitment consultant, I get to hear all sorts of reasons why recruiters and Executive Search consultants are not happy in their jobs. You may not be surprised to learn, one that regularly crops up is an “overly KPI’d environment”.
The candidates I speak to that most often complain about micromanagement or a meeting every morning to go through what numbers they hit the day before are the underperformers. By which I mean – the people that are not billing as much as they want/are expected to. They often feel that an environment where they manage their own time and workload will mean they have the freedom to spread their wings and really perform.
Here is the thing. The top billers at the same “overly KPI’d” environment don’t complain about the KPIs. They tell me that they don’t often hit all the numbers but frankly their managers don’t mind because they keep putting money on the board.
So, what are KPIs and why are they useful for managers and consultants? Key Performance Indicators are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a consultant is achieving their target. By target, I mean a consultant’s billing target.
Common KPIs in recruitment include business development calls, jobs picked up, candidate registrations, client visits, CVs sent, interviews, offers and placements.
KPIs should be used as a tool to highlight where a recruitment consultant needs training or mentoring if they are not effectively hitting or they are missing their target. As an example, a consultant may be regularly picking up 3 jobs per week but not getting many interviews. Are they taking a good job brief? Are they asking the right questions when registering candidates? Are they submitting candidates correctly or swiftly enough?
Unfortunately, KPIs can also be used to make consultants feel that they are not good at their job and don’t deserve to be making any money because they are perceived as not putting the effort in.
Here lies the difficulty. If you’re a consultant that is working hard but not getting the results, look back over your KPIs, use them to find out where you’re going wrong and ask for help from your manager in order to improve your skills and bill more. Managers (even the bad ones) want consultants who are keen to learn and improve.
However, if you’re a consultant that isn’t working hard and not getting the results – moving to a business that doesn’t have KPIs doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to work hard.
That doesn’t mean that KPIs are used only for good. Some clients will withhold bonus unless every single KPI is hit – even if a consultant has billed well over their target or if they have only placed 7 contractors in a quarter instead of 8.
If this last example is your place of work – then we should talk. My clients want to pay consultants bonus because it means they’re billing well.
If you’re not billing well, asking for training but not getting it – then we should talk. I represent clients that win awards for the training their In-House trainers provide not only to new consultants but to experienced billers, manager and directors.
So, for all that KPIs are often brandished by consultants as the reason for leaving a business – when used as a tool to improve individual performance alongside individual effort they are invaluable.