From Super Recruiter to Super Recruitment Manager

04 Jul 2016



From Super Recruiter to Super Recruitment Manager

Talented recruitment leaders can be hard to find, but talent is also harnessed and grown every day within our recruitment businesses. I come across budding managers when they enrol on an REC development programme for management. They have generally excelled in recruitment and running their own desk, but when promoted into a management role, the reality of what’s involved can be daunting. All of a sudden the business has expectations that this new leader can cascade knowledge, skills, attitude, enthusiasm and success down to the rest of the team and still be just as productive! If only it were that simple!

I tend to get asked three common questions from the next generation of managers in recruitment. Here is how to address some of the fears that this job role transition can raise, so you can go from super recruiter to super recruitment manager.

1. How can I continue to be the top biller in the team whilst developing a team of potential successful recruiters?

Clearly some of the answers to this are to manage your time well and make sure you’re an appropriate role model whilst continuing to develop your own management skills.

Managing a team of recruiters is a completely different set of skills to running your own desk. You can’t just assume that because you’ve been a successful recruiter, you’ll be equipped to manage a team of people, even if, broadly speaking, they are in a role in which you have a successful track record.

It can be quite a nasty shock when you realise that, instead of being measured on how well your own desk is performing, your success as a manager is being measured on how well other people in your team are doing. Welcome to the world of the proverbial player-manager!

2. What can I do to make sure the team are as motivated as I am?

Ask yourself, do you really know what motivates them? It may not be what motivates you of course! We tend to assume that it would be money and in this target-driven environment, it’s certainly a factor for many people, but even then money is not necessarily the main motivating factor.

Think about it: have you ever left a company to work elsewhere because something other than money isn’t working for you? For example, looking for better prospects, a more prestigious organisation with a better reputation, a more supportive management team or a less-stressful environment.

Other motivating factors people might look for are:

Enjoying their work and/or the people they work with  Challenging/stimulating work Winning Job security Career development opportunities More or less responsibility Job satisfaction Benefit package – e.g. pension, child care vouchers, gym, discounted products Status e.g. job title or even the car they drive Training and development Incentives  Freedom to plan own work Good working conditions Work/life balance – family friendly policies

Some people love public praise and recognition when celebrating success. For example ringing a bell, a mention in the monthly newsletter, or a round of applause at the weekly team meeting. Others would cringe if they were to be made centre of attention like that and may prefer more private praise such as a quiet word or ‘pat on the back’ next time you’re alone with them in the facilities/refreshments room, or buying them their favourite sandwich for lunch as a treat.

If you’re not sure what exactly motivates them – and sometimes people don’t know themselves! -why not try giving them a list of ideas, such as those mentioned above? Ask them to choose their top three, but don’t give them the option of choosing money.

3. How do I deal with under-performance without upsetting or demotivating people?

If your team receive regular reviews that contain both positive and negative feedback, their expectation will be that under-performance will naturally be discussed as will good performance. They should then see those reviews as an opportunity to identify personal development areas, as well as receive recognition for good performance. Before you deliver negative feedback, ask yourself:


What specific areas need improvement?

Is it productivity, activity, commitment or compliance? What evidence is there to support this? Gather relevant data, stats or ratios over the period being discussed


Why do you think this is happening presently?

Has there been recent changes in the team or management?  Has there been a lack of training/coaching?  Are they working under increased stressful conditions?  Have market conditions worsened?  Do they lack direction/focus?  Is it something outside of work altogether?


How can you help improve this situation?

SMART goals Training courses One to one coaching or mentoring Provide structure/direction Increase levels of support

Going forward, you will be able to discuss what is expected of them, by when and highlight how they might go about it – all with your full support. Go ahead and make the leap into management and remember that the REC are always here to help. Visit for more information.

Written by: Janet Harvey-Mott, REC Trainer

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