Recruitment Leader

Six Habits of Successful Recruitment Leaders

4 min read
Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland

Getting to grips with what it takes to be a successful leader doesn’t have to be daunting. Poor leadership can indeed cost recruitment agencies dearly, but it’s never too late to make improvements. If you’re willing to put some time into building on your existing talents and growing your understanding of the traits that make a leader great, you’ll be well on your way to success. 

Here are six great ways to ensure you’re covering all angles when it comes to growing your leadership skills. 

1. Know what you’re doing – and why

Recruitment is a highly competitive industry, and if you want to be able to set yourself apart from your rivals, you need to lead with purpose. This means knowing how to lead with integrity and ensuring that you’re living up to and modelling the values your agency believes in. 

A study from The Oxford Character Project found that UK companies followed 42 distinct values and that the average held was four per company. Could you say what yours are? Take time to consider the values you live by and how they can play into your company values.

2. Be honest, trustworthy and straightforward

The more honesty you offer your employees, clients and recruitees, the greater your leadership powers will be. It can be tempting to gloss over inconvenient details or fudge the truth a little when trying to get ahead, but it only has a negative effect in the long run. 

It will also send the message to the rest of your recruiters that they can’t tell the truth. A Glassdoor survey found that 56% of people survived admitted to hiding their true feelings at work while 75% thought they might get in trouble for saying what they really felt. It can be very hard to lead people when you don’t know what they’re really thinking!

Practice open and honest communication and learn how to create trust in the workplace, and you’ll soon see the benefits. The best leaders know how important it is to be straight down the line.

3. Lean into being a leader

You’re most likely in your position because you’re an excellent recruiter, but if you want to lead successfully, there are a few other skills to add to your set. Look at the big picture rather than quick wins, which may only translate into short-lived success. 

It can take some work to get to where you need to be, management wise.  From communication and collaboration to learning how to delegate, the skills required to manage other recruiters differ from being one yourself. 

Get to know what kind of leader you are and use that knowledge to shore up your weak points and further polish your positives. 

4. Create a great culture in-house and out

One of the best ways to inspire your recruiters and boost your business is to do everything you can to create a great company culture. Not only does a good culture boost satisfaction and engagement, but it can also help retain recruiters. After all, a study by SHRM found that nine out of 10 workers who rate their culture as poor have thought about quitting, compared to only 32% of those who rate their culture as good. 

If you can extend those positive feelings into the wider recruitment community, then all the better. Offer career development opportunities, consider sponsorship, run open days, don’t poach and be a thought leader where you can be. Rise above the competition and be an agency with a great reputation.

5. Help your recruiters be the best they can be

One of the most powerful things you can do as a leader is to help every recruiter under you reach their full potential. Employee development should always be a top priority, especially if you want to avoid losing your best people

From the moment you onboard new staff, you want to be able to inspire your recruiters, and a great way to do it is to show that you’re committed to their growth. Offering opportunities for employee development not only upskills your recruiters but makes them more likely to stick with you and do their best – what’s not to love?  

6. Be open to experimentation and innovation 

You already know how imaginative you have to be to snag the perfect candidate, be sure to apply the same thinking to your company. Set aside time every few months to have a roundtable with your recruiters and ask them to share details of what they’re seeing out in the field and brainstorm ideas. 

Offer plenty of forums and opportunities for quick observations, from company newsletters to easy access employee communication software. 

The more agile you can be and the readier you are to react to what your clients are actively looking for, the more likely you’ll be able to lead your team to success. 

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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues.

Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today!

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