Welcome to this weeks recruitment manager training tip

I’m Nicky Coffin from Centred Excellence where we help recruitment business owners, managers and independent recruiters increase their own and teams results by 50% to 250% quickly.

Now this weeks question comes from Alli who writes:

I have a team of 2 brand new recruits – How do I motivate trainees who aren’t billing yet?


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Well Alli, this is a really good question and one that many managers and owners of recruitment businesses ask us about. Because if you hire trainees in your recruitment teams – there will always be a lag time to when they start making money – and also not every successful recruiter is motivated by money! So I’d like to share with you 5 quick and easy ways you can use to help you motivate your team:

1stly Find Out what they REALLY want – their Compelling Goal

With trainees and also experienced recruiters that are not currently billing, firstly find out what they REALLY want to achieve or desire (i.e. holiday, new flat, car), and then why they want to have it? What will it give or get them? What’s the real purpose for them to achieve the goal? These questions will uncover their deeper level values – those things that are really important to them so when you ask what will having a new flat give you or get for you, they may say something like success or recognition or security.



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When they really understand why they want it, why it’s so important for them, this adds to their motivation.

When you know what their goal is, it’s really useful to break the goal into “bite-sized” manageable activity chunks – so break down their yearly activity into monthly, weekly and if needs be daily activity.

I normally take their goal and work from the end backwards. So if they want to earn £40k in their 1st year – how many placements do they need to make, how many jobs they need to be working, the number of candidates they need to market out, the number of interviews they need to arrange, on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. So they can see that often it’s the simple activities that they do consistently that will give them the end result.

It’s important to remember that with brand new recruiters – they won’t know what they should be doing to achieve their goal – because they have never done the job before, so it is up to you to show them exactly how it works.

Be directive and show them what the most important activities are in order to achieve their goals. So for example, if they join as a resourcer – how many good candidates should they be sourcing each week to hit their targets that then link to their personal goals– how many leads specifically should they be getting from the candidates? Link it back to their goals.

The 2nd way to motivate trainees who are not billing is to Focus on Activity NOT Financial end results for the first 3 months.

Remember, as a recruitment manager the only thing you can manage is activity, you can’t manage the end results. You can influence your team to send out more CV’s, or make sure that they are asking each time for a recommendation or a lead or to increase the number of interviews arranged but you can’t make a candidate accept a role.

So focus your time on influencing the right activitity, because when you drive the right activity, as long as the quality is there then results will come.

With newbies – help them to focus on and master specific key activities – i.e. writing 3 great adverts per week, finding 2 great candidates a day, getting 3 leads a day.


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The 3rd way to motivate trainees that are not billing is to help them to structure their time each day

Get them to do a day plan – either the night before or before they open their emails in the morning and show it to you what their key priorities are for that day – what they want to achieve and how they are going to do that.

Also consider having a slot each day – core hours when everyone is on the phone together.



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This can help you for a few reasons:

a) outbound calling activity becomes a habit for everyone

b) you can get on with your own work and billings uninterrupted

c) you’re not asked questions every 2 seconds!

With newbies that you may want to review and touch base with them regularly until they are up and running and confident on what they are doing.

This is one of the most important skills here as a manager is to make sure that you are reviewing consistently with your trainees. Most managers forget about this and they are missing a trick – The reason being that if there is a problem, you can nip it in the bud rather than waiting until the end of the week and then find out that they haven’t achieved what you wanted them to do.

With some people you may need to touch base with them between 3 – 6 times each day. To set the day off, review mid morning, what’s worked well, what’s not worked well – what is their focus for the next 90 minutes, – lunch time and then at the end of the day. Patience is key here – and the saying give a man a fish and he can eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for life. You won’t have to do this level of review forever, just until they are confident.

The 4th way to motivate trainees is to celebrate the wins – no matter how big or small

Recruiters generally are pretty competitive and enjoy recognition. By celebrating the small wins – i.e. finding a good lead, sending out a CV, bringing on a job or finding a great candidate, your trainees will feel good about what they are doing and will improve their confidence and motivation. You know these small wins will add up to the bigger placement – so celebrate them.

Also consider running short incentives that are no longer than a week is a smart thing to do. Build the competitions around the most important key performance activities that you want them to achieve i.e. so if you want more CV’s to go out – have a competition around this. Make it visible – so for example high fiving each time a goal is hit, or writing the results up on a board so everyone can see.

Also some of the best incentives last only a couple of hours – i.e. a scratch card or bottle of wine for the person who speaks to the most decision makers in an afternoon. This really can create a buzz and also instant gratification with results.

The final tip to motivate recruiters that have not started billing is to Have Specific Weekly and Monthly Activity Targets

I am talking about targets that you expect them to achieve in the first 3 months.  Write these  targets down, even laminate them for the trainee to stick on their desk.  Also put them in induction folders and job specs.


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Review their achievements daily.  Sit down weekly with your trainees to review their activity Vs target results for that week and agree targets for the coming week.

So there you have it: 5 ways you can use to motivate your trainees in your recruitment teams who haven’t quite started billing that can help you transform performance instantly!




If you want to learn how to set up your business, so that it stops under-performance once and for all, then join my free webinar:  The 5 Secrets Our Clients Use to Build 7 & 8 Figure Recruitment Businesses

I look forward to seeing you next time!