Friday, 7 November 2014

Work hard, play hard: why reward is so important in recruitment

By Jonathan Graham, Director at Inward Revenue
The recruitment world is certainly a tough one. Consultants are facing daily pressures to place candidates and secure new business in an increasingly competitive hiring market. At the same time, the rise of in-house resourcing teams and social media channels are making the role of the recruiter ever-more difficult. But, needless to say, employees find the job rewarding, otherwise why would they continue doing it?

However, while it is safe to say that some of the industry’s best talent do enjoy their work, agency owners must ensure they create an environment where individuals feel recognised and rewarded. Without this approach, businesses could be losing some of the top professionals to competitors.

So how can, or indeed should, you reward recruiters?

The traditional focus has been financial reward for professionals and, needless to say, individuals will be enticed by a competitive salary and commission package. But, given that other employers can provide this incentive, simply offering good pay isn’t enough.

For the dedicated individual really looking to make their mark as a recruiter, access to training and development opportunities is crucial. By providing the right environment for an employee to grow professionally, staff will not only feel more valued as a member of the team, but are also likely to achieve greater results for the business. In my view it is important that agency owners provide a structured and detailed training programme for individuals that provides them with the technical and softer skills to be able to succeed in their job. This shows a real dedication to the team and demonstrates to each employee that the company is invested in their future.

Leading on from this, it’s important to clearly demonstrate the career development opportunities to existing and potential employees. Recruiters want to know that they have the chance to grow professionally within a business, so use case studies to show how people can progress at the agency.
Creating a more engaging and social working environment is also crucial. Employees working overtime and during lunch breaks with little recognition of their hard work will understandably be de-motivated. However, if staff feel their dedication is rewarded with a little more freedom, they’re likely to be more devoted to the business.

For example, at Inward Revenue, we are greater believers that those who work hard should also play hard. As such we actively encourage company social events. This doesn’t just mean meals or nights out, though. In fact, we have a gaming lunch hour where we get staff together to take a break from their desks and play Xbox games together during the working day. We completely understand that sometimes an individual uses some of their personal time for work, so we like to give some of this time back to our employees.

Finally, it’s important that a company is flexible enough to accommodate staff where appropriate. In a world where work life balance is increasingly important to employees and technological developments have made it easier to work beyond the office, employers need to consider how they can adapt to meet the needs of their people. A good example is one of our own team members. Having been with the company a while and demonstrated successful results, this individual found himself in a situation where his personal life would potentially take him away from Leeds where our office is based. Given that he is a valued member of the business, we introduced tailored flexible working practices for him that means he can now work out of the office for several days each week. This simple option shows our employees and potential staff that we will go above and beyond to reward hardworking professionals.

Reward and recognition is key to attracting and retaining the best recruiters, but it is simply no longer appropriate to just provide financial incentives. If agencies want to compete for the very best professionals, they need to consider other ways of rewarding them.

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