03 Feb Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Recruiting
How many times in your staffing organization have you heard the following statements around the office?
“If the recruiters could find me the right people, I would have filled the positions.”
Or on the flip side…
“If I had more information about the requirements, we probably could have found the perfect candidate!”
It’s not uncommon in the staffing and services business to witness finger pointing in order to determine accountability for placements, or lack thereof. The recruiter/sales dynamic is an age old relationship that directly contributes to the success factors of all staffing agencies.
So how do we get the most productivity out of the sales and recruiting relationship?
Let’s jump back into the 70’s when you could smoke in your office and the suit and tie were standard issue. In the era when the search and staffing business model began to really take shape, most recruiters ran full desks. The recruiter job description was synonymous with the sales position. Because recruiters ran full desks, the result was positive and efficient, in that you basically had to get along with yourself in order to fill your open requirements.
But it sure isn’t what it used to be. Though a small handful of staffing firms still manage full desk recruiters, the majority of others operate on a conveyor belt-like process, with each piece of the sales and recruiting process sectioned off into smaller bite-size chunks: Advertise, source, screen, interview, write resume, submit, check references and background checks, paperwork, onboard, and contractor communication. It’s not uncommon for each of these pieces of the process to be handled by different individuals.
With these changes over the years, a successful relationship between sales and recruiting personnel has become vital to the success of the organization. Regardless of whether people like each other, a mutual respect has to exist in order to get results.
So, how do we tighten these relationships in order to achieve the highest level of productivity among the team? Based on our experience, these particular activities go a long way:
1. Team-Led Brainstorming Exercises
In the late 90s when I was running a staffing organization, once per month, several recruiters and sales reps scheduled a half day on Friday and spent 2 hours in a team-building exercise and then an additional 2 hours brainstorming on ideas on how to make our organization better. They were tasked with bringing back an actionable list that would be voted on by the entire team. The overall objective was to create a better work environment, increase our level of customer service, and improve the productivity of the entire team. This exercise proved to be a catalyst for building outstanding relationships between recruiters and sales teams.
2. Personality Profiling
There are various systems and testing tools in the market place that will give you a detailed insight into the psyche and make up of each team member. The intent is not to bucket anybody into a particular category, but to analyze the outcomes of the exercise and share the results so that everybody understands the different personality profiles they are working with. Pairing up individuals with complimentary traits often leads to increased performance.
3. Job Shadowing
Once a month, recruiters and sales reps should take a day to shadow each other, sharing responsibilities like making phone calls. What job shadowing helps accomplish is a deep understanding of each role as it relates to their specific duties of the position. Job shadowing will be a facilitator for increasing the quality of information back and forth between recruiting and sales.
4. Incentive sharing
Another effective way to get people on the same page is by providing extra incentives for efficiencies and team productivity. Your company probably already has individual incentive plans, which work well for the motivated employee to achieve their goals; however, implementing team incentives offers extra opportunity for recruiters and sales reps to attain additional recognition based on overall team achievement.
For instance, setting quarterly team goals can be productive as long as these goals are not conflicting to the progress of the other individuals in the organization. A good example would be to allow teams to earn early time off on a Friday if certain achievements were accomplished over a given time period. Remember, incentives don’t always need to be in the form of monetary compensation; comp time and vacation days are free to the company and prove to be nice perks if goals are met.
5. Free lunches
What better way to inspire great teamwork than to go to lunch together? It’s especially tasty if the company is paying for it. I always encouraged our people to get out of the office on a fairly regular basis, especially with their coworkers. Many people aren’t always open to spending money for a decent lunch out during the week, but if it is scheduled and paid for, then there is no excuse not to get out and refresh themselves for a couple hours while building relationships among the team. Set aside budget for a small monthly stipend toward team building lunches. Establish some rules around the policy so that it is used in a way that is productive for the organization. The results of this type of activity will surely benefit the working relationship between recruiting and sales people.
6. Implement Team Recognition Programs
On an annual basis, create opportunities for teams to be recognized for certain achievements. Most companies have Recruiter of the Year, Sales Rep of the Year, Quota Club, and other similar awards. Adding additional recognition that rewards individuals for their teamwork and contribution to the overall objectives of the company can go a long way. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is at the top of the pyramid, which plays nicely into recognition for those looking to reach their full potential. Implementing peer review as a form of recognition could also help incentivize others to work harder on the relationship between their coworkers.
All in all, there are many ways to achieve the same goal when looking to develop stronger relationships between sales and recruiting individuals. These are only six examples of the types of programs the echogravity employees have seen work well in our careers at various staffing firms.
If you are interested in brainstorming on how your business could implement these types of programs, or want to learn more about echogravity, give us a call at 847-960-3305 or shoot us an email email@example.com.
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.