6a010536babee3970c0120a4ec8813970b OK, for all you Bleeding Hearts out there, I apologize in advance for what I am about to say.

In my work with recruiting firm owners I see 2 common problems as it relates to tenured recruiters who are producing poor results right now.  In my conversations with the owners they have a sense of loyalty to these people.  I agree.  But shouldn’t there be a reciprocal sense of loyalty from them?

I don’t mean loyalty in the “hangin’ around” mode.  I mean a sense of loyalty in stepping up the activity to help you through the downturn.  Don’t get me wrong, many are.  I speak only of those recruiters who have mentally “gone fishing” for the recession because the thought of making 80 or 90 calls again makes them sick to their stomach.

My gut tells me you are paying these people a draw and/or salary.  Correct?  Is this money down the drain?  If you have someone on your recruiting team you owe them leadership and you need to wake them up.

Here’s some ideas:

  1. Have a goal setting meeting with them and get them excited about some short and medium term goals. Get SPECIFIC here!
  2. Define those goals in revenue, # of placements, # of interviews AND, this is KEY, the number of presentations needed.  Then divide this activity by the number of weeks in the goal to get SPECIFIC weekly activity targets.
  3. Ask them if they want you to hold them accountable to THEIR goals.  Here is the key, don’t buy into their excuses and tell them you aren’t buying their excuses.  They will thank you for this.  Not in the moment, but after the price is paid and they have what they want, they will build a shrine to you!

If, however, they don’t respond to the above, they are NOT being reciprocal with their loyalty.  You gave them a chance and they are draining precious cash flow that you could be investing in other areas of your business.

You have two choices at this point, 1) ignore it and pray the recession ends quickly OR, 2) Set some specific expectations of YOURS.  Make their employment week-to-week, conditioned on them hitting your production targets.

Note: The expectations should not be placement based, but presentation, phone time and interviews arranged based.  If they don’t hit these, THEY chose to leave, you are not firing them.  Make sense?