Finishing up this first mini-series on motivation I wanted to talk about Daniel Pink and his take on motivation and how it works for busy business owners like ourselves.

A lot has changed over the years including how human beings have developed and what really is important to us when it comes to fuelling our levels of desire and motivation.

Carrot and stick motivation doesn’t work long term.


What does then? Intrinsic motivation.



“Your team does a lot of work – but they could do better. “ 

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Intrinsic motivation is based on the joy of completing a task in its own right; who hasn’t nailed a client meeting and punched the air as you left the building?

Or had an awesome run of connecting with candidates on the phone to the point where you were inspired to keep going all day?

If you have; which I sincerely hope is the case, you have experienced intrinsic motivation in action.

The desire to do things because it matters, because you like them, because they are interesting and part of something important.

Daniel Pinks motivation studies are based on the fact that the complex and creative style of today’s jobs mean that traditional rewards can lead to less of what employers want and more of what they don’t want…..yikes. This can explain why star billers can go ‘off the boil’ sometimes.


If you want to know more about this subject have a look at his video below.



Recruitment Is A Complex Industry


Recruitment is a classic example of a complex industry. It involves relationships and people for a start and intense periods of activity (market mapping, search, candidate screening) without any guarantee of reward.

Who hasn’t spent weeks on a role only to have the candidate accept another offer or the client withdraw the role at the last minute.  Weeks of work and financially nothing to show for it. So what motivation can work in these situations?

Well the new operating system for businesses that want to work at a different level and in a new way revolves around three key areas:



“Your team does a lot of work – but they could do better. “ 

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Autonomy-the urge to direct our own lives


Daniel Pinks Motivation Centred Excellence 3


Who hasn’t taken control of their own ‘steering wheel’ to direct where they want their life to go?

Many recruitment professionals I deal with were once billers for other companies who then took the plunge to start their own recruitment company. Ideally you might not want to lose your best biller, so how might this work for people in your organisation?

What about starting a new desk for your company? Or a new division? What about a different style of incentive that helps your consultants raise their game? What about letting your senior recruiters develop and analyse their key KPIs?

These are classic ways I see recruitment directors building in autonomy into their organisations.


Mastery- the desire to get better and better at something that matters

Daniel Pinks Motivation Centred Excellence 1

Every human being is wired to be successful and mastery comes along with that. Especially when you have brought on board great new trainees. They will be hungry for development and will want to master their craft. How will you make this happen? What investment plans in them have you got in place?


Purpose- the yearning to do what we do in the service of something significant

Daniel Pinks Motivation Centred Excellence 2

How does purpose work in your organisation. We all need a purpose it fuels us.

Part of your organisations purpose will be wrapped up in your company vision and values.


  • Have you got that in place?
  • Did you involve the team?
  • How often do you communicate your vision with the team
  • Do you as a CEO/MD/Manager live the company vision?


At a higher level these are the building blocks for a self-managed profitable recruitment organisation.


The traditional ideas about how to manage a recruitment company are ok if you want initial compliance followed by a haemorrhage of key consultants to your biggest rival; the choice really is yours.


I cover motivation and how to make it work for you in depth on our various Recruitment training programmes

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


Warm regards,