Hi and welcome to this weeks – recruitment business owner tip.

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

This weeks question comes from Sam and it relates to balancing billings and managing a team. There is a way! 


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Sam wrote:

“I’ve just been promoted to manager and I have my own target as well as a new team target and I’ve been really struggling to balance my time between my own billings and  managing my team.  Do you have any suggestions about how I can do this?”

Well Sam, this is probably one of the biggest challenges that new and experienced managers have.  As you’ve stepped up to manager, you now have a whole host of added responsibilities over and beyond your billing responsibilities. So I’m going to share with you some ways to make sure that you create the time you need to work on your own work and also making sure you give your team enough time too.

As a manager you will now need to juggle three key areas, the first area is achieving the task i.e. hitting your target, the second area is building a cohesive team and the third are is developing individuals. So you need to make sure that you are allocating time to achieve the task, time for the team, time for the individual and also yourself.

The key thing to remember with these 3 areas is that with this is that you don’t have to spend equal time and energy on all three.  You’ll find there’ll be times when your focus changes depending on what’s happening in the business.  Sometimes you will be spending more time with individuals, sometimes more time with the team.

So my first bit of advice would be to make sure that you are prioritising your workload and only working on your key priorities.

Learn to ask yourself, is what I’m doing at this exact moment linking back to my strategic goal?  If it’s not, then stop doing it. Make sure you have time away from the madness for yourself to review and plan each week so you know exactly what your key priorities are.  I would suggest reviewing either at the end of the week or beginning of the new week – assessing what went well, what didn’t go so well, where you are in relation to your monthly goals and what your key priorities are for the week and where you are going to be focusing your time.

My next tip is to only work what I call certainty.

What I mean by this is to only work on candidates and clients that you know you have a 80+ plus like hood of placing.  You will know what I’m talking about when I talk about the clients that you know inside out, that you can phone up and get an interview immediately without a CV and those candidate that are in your ideal niche and only working exclusively with you.  You need to get really disciplined and focused with where you spend your time, because now you don’t have the freedom to deal with of time wasters.

If you do get a job or candidate comes in that come in that’s a 50 / 50 certainly, then delegate it to someone else to do and manage it from a distance.   Use these situations as a way to up skill others and also make sure that you are only working on activities that will bring you results quickly.

My third tip is to focus on achievements not volume.

Leading by example is important, however, you don’t need to make hundreds of business development calls to demonstrate you can do it – pick the areas where you know you are going to get the best results quickly.  If you are going to demonstrate business development pick clients where you know you are going to get results quickly. Remember it’s not a numbers game – it’s a quality game – Work the best jobs and best candidates.

My 4th tip is to focus your time on influencing business growth.

What I mean by that is where can you use your time cleverly to increase business growth. For example, joint visits with consultants where they have won the business, but with you going on the visit will open up many more doors for them and for the business.

Doing something like Mike (one of the managers I work with) who is a divisional director.  He went on client visits with one of his top performers and showed him how to win retained and high level business that increased the average placement fee from £8k to £15k – that added another £168k onto that consultants and his teams billings for the year – not a bad return on his investment for 6 hours of his time.

Make sure that you meet with the key decision makers in your teams top accounts – so that you have a top level strategic relationship with the MD or CEO and your consultants have a relationship with the line manager.  As you will know, you have a very different conversation at MD level than you would LM level and this can open up doors for your team.


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My next tip is managing one target achievement.

What I mean by this is to pick the one area in your business that you know that when your team master it will make a significant difference to results and start driving that. So it could be getting 3 quality 1st interviews per job or turning C or B grade jobs into A grade jobs or getting an exclusive candidate a minimum of 2 interviews.

It’s useful to know that if you focus on one area you can do it 100% excellently.  When you focus on 2 areas you have instantly cut your excellence to 50% and then if you have 3 areas you have cut it down to 33% –  so focus on one target achievement – it’s much easier and more effective.

The next tip is to get mega organised.

As a manager you need to be super organized, this is a very important behaviour to master. Only put something in your diary if it’s a priority. Enter all fixed events first, enter any appointments you’ve got booked, so client meetings, presentations, training.  Keep on track of events that your team are attending, so again, client meetings and training.  You want to block off time weekly to review analyse and realign your personal and teams plans. This could be making sure you have blocked 15 mins for an at the desk informal review each week and then an hour each month for a formal review where they know that they will get your undivided attention and focus.

You could introduce ‘surgery hours’ as one of my clients calls it – specific times of the day when consultants can ask you questions that are outside core hours. Also Don’t be afraid to leave unallocated time, you’re going to need it.

My final tip is to share best practice and work to your teams strengths – so use your team to share and upskill each others.

Look at the areas your individuals are strong in – how explore how you can use that skill.  so finding people in your team who are brilliant in certain areas that they are teaching others how to do it rather than you, so you are sharing the workload.  If you’ve got someone who is great at getting leads – get them to teach others.  If you have got someone who is great at clients visits – get them to take people with them to learn from them.  This is smart on 3 levels – 1) it forces them to become an expert – if you want to become great at something teach it to others, 3) it helps to up skill them and give them extra purpose and 3rdly it saves you time!

Remember you don’t have to do everything, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience around you and also in other teams – use it!

So there you have it some key ways to balance your time between your own billings and  managing your team. 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’ll be showing you some excellent tips and techniques to get big performance fast!

I look forward to seeing you next time!