With many recruitment companies expanding their teams, I’ve noticed that I am questioned more and more about giving feedback; especially as it often doesn’t give the results that billing managers want.

Over the next couple of articles, I want to delve into the area as it’s vital to have an effective feedback process if you want to improve your team’s results.

The good news is that providing feedback, both positive and developmental, can have a huge impact on your billing team’s performance.


Feedback Types

There are two main types of feedback: motivational and developmental. From this day forward, please remove the words “negative feedback” from your vocabulary… it’s useless and totally unhelpful!


Motivational Feedback

a recruitment team sitting at a table receiving motivational feedback from their recruitment manager

This is easy and will have a huge impact on your billing team.

When you provide feedback like this, the purpose is to build confidence, encourage and reinforce the behaviour you are commenting on – this is what we most often think of as positive feedback.


Step 1: Describe the behaviours

Here is an example…

“Vanessa, that was great the way you asked questions when you were talking to that candidate. You built some fab rapport and getting the name of another possible candidate was spot on!”


Step 2: Refer to positive consequences

“The good thing is, Vanessa, as you do that more and more you will start to build up a bank of great candidates who you will be able to talk to clients about. That will accelerate your chances of making even more placements; which will be great, won’t it?”

Notice how the above interaction is essentially positive reinforcement that is going to bring both Vanessa and the business positive results.

Complimenting Vanessa on her excellent coffee-making abilities, though “nice” appreciation feedback, isn’t going to have the same impact.

Top tip – look for ways of giving motivational feedback as a way to reinforce the behaviours you want.


Developmental Feedback

a recruitment manager delivering developmental feedback to a recruiter - sat at a table with a laptop and notepad

This type of feedback tells your consultants what they need to be doing better (think of it as “constructive” feedback) and most importantly HOW TO DO IT – this is often missed.

Remember the purpose of developmental feedback is to help your recruiters get better and therefore improve their results – making it critical feedback.

It’s all about improving their performance. Telling someone; “don’t do that or why did you do it that way?” isn’t particularly helpful.

However, reframing what you say and making some suggestions is. Here is a three step process that, when you follow it, will work:


Step 1: Describe the behaviour

“I noticed on that call, Vanessa, that you asked a lot of closed questions straight away and the candidate ended the call without you getting much information.”


Step 2: Refer to the consequences (negative or positive)

“By asking those questions, the yes and no answers didn’t give you the answers you needed, did they? If you continue to do that, you won’t be able to find out enough about the candidate to know if they are the right person for the jobs you have on the board.”


Step 3: Offer suggestions, ask questions, or give an instruction on future behaviour

Have some pre-prepared questions, Vanessa, that will open up the conversation. An open question will often result in a more detailed response, for example questions that start with, Who? What? Where? For example, you could have asked the candidate what would make her consider a move or what would be important about the culture of an organisation for her to say yes to a job offer?”


All pretty straightforward, wouldn’t you agree?

It is… provided you are planned and prepared for a few other things that can cause things to go wrong. That is timing and delivery (for example, might it be better to deliver it as formal feedback or informal feedback)… and their response!

I will cover that next time.

It’s also worth considering how you might encourage peer feedback and share customer feedback as an additional way to really motivate your team.


If you’re a Recruitment or Executive Search Business Owner that wants a proven system to help your team make 5, 10 or 20 extra placements a month, reliably and predictably – then CLICK HERE for our micro training. We walk you through the 3 Machines we install into our clients’ businesses:

1. The Attraction Machine – so you get consistent quality jobs (or quality candidates).
2. The Conversion Machine – so you make a lot more placements.
3. The Delivery Machine – so you scale your team without burning yourself out.

The same is totally possible for you too – and within 30 days you could have your team making a few more placements and a bit more cash coming through the door. CLICK HERE to watch.