Beautiful Basics is something I promote to all of my employees at Lorien. You’d be amazed at how many people can get caught up in using the latest tools and buzzwords, and forget the core skills. I’ve been fortunate to have witnessed the evolution of recruitment and business in general, in terms of better access to people and smoother technology. One thing that hasn’t changed though, is the ability to do the basics right. Whether you’re at the start of your career, or somebody more experienced, it’s always useful to have a reminder of these things. They can be the difference between being a consistent top performer, and a mediocre one. Here are a few to bear in mind.
1) Track everything: Unless you’re blessed with the brainpower of Mike Ross from Suits, there’s no way you can keep track of every contact you have with your clients and candidates. And guess what? Even Mike needed to refer to records every now and then! Any tools you have available are only useful if you're committed to using them, so make sure you're organised with all the information you gather.
2) TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More: The above point links in with this. Don’t be that person who tries to keep all the information to yourself because you’re worried about potentially losing out on a placement to a colleague. And never believe that underhand tactics are the best way to get ahead. While sales is a competitive game, it’s also a team one. The ones who understand this are the ones who rise up to senior roles.
3) Don’t be a ghost: Communication is absolutely everything in this business. Every recruiter at Lorien is told the same thing on Day 1 – speak to your contractors once a month, and when they start a new assignment, physically meet them again within 3 weeks of their start date. When it comes to interviews, always give your candidates feedback, and if the client hasn’t provided you with any, push them for it. The same also applies to the client relationship - keep them updated at every stage of the hiring process.
4) Have a passion for people: A big difference between a good recruiter and a great one, is that the former believes they are just selling jobs. The latter knows that they’re also selling themselves. Someone who has the ability to connect with people, regardless of their level or industry, has a far better chance of going to the top. This also means actually speaking to them, rather than hiding behind an email or a LinkedIn InMail!
Top Tip: Something else I tell new starters on their first day is to remember the acronym PEEL - Phone 'Em, Email Later. Whether you’re canvassing a prospect or telling a client about a potential issue – as tempting as it is to send a quick message, this should be used as a follow-up. In the first instance, the human touch is far more effective.
5) Everything has a target: This doesn’t just go for your own KPIs. Every role you are recruiting for should be qualified, with a deadline agreed and clear expectations set. This second point is especially important. A common mistake made by new recruiters is to come out of a briefing having nodded their head to every expectation the client has.
While understandable, remember that you are a consultant and your job is also to advise them about the wider market. They won’t thank you if six weeks down the line it becomes clear that the goalposts were in the wrong place. Refer to your more experienced colleagues if need be, to make sure what the client wants is realistic.
There are more Beautiful Basics which I could go into but the important thing is that you never let go of the core skills. A great example to use is that of elite sportspeople. No matter what level they step up to compete at, and no matter what additional things come onto their radar, they will still follow the same basics which were drummed into them at the very beginning of their career. And I’m sure whatever industry you work in, elite is exactly what you are aiming for.