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The ‘Desk Review’ Process that can generate Results in Hours

Posted by Nicky Coffin


One of the first steps I teach in recruitment manager training is working through a desk review with underperformers. This is where literally you take a look at everything that is on their desk and you work through it together. Look at everything that relates to their work: where they spend their time, what candidates and jobs they are working on, their adverts etc.



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

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When you are conduct the desk review with underperformers here are 6 tips to keep in mind:

1. Use a quiet space that will be free from interruptions – have the conversation away from their desk so they can talk freely.

2. Be supportive in your approach. Remember you’re get much better results if you have a caring attitude rather than a frustrated attitude. Let them know that you are on their side. This doesn’t mean that you will always be nice to them because at times you may ask them to do things that are challenging for them. The important thing for them to realize is that you as a manager are there to help and support them

3. You need to believe that they want to make changes and that they can make the changes. Henry Ford once said: “If you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you’re right.” What you believe is possible with your underperformer can impact them actually being able to turn things around.

4. Base your discussion on facts not on personality. Have stats on their performance to work with.


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

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When you conduct the review you will most likely find one of two results: Either they have lots of jobs OR they have no real jobs. You will also find that they are wasting time on activities that give them very little return.

To resolve the issue of time wasting work through the T…X Time Matrix. This involves looking at what’s important and what’s urgent and what’s important and not urgent and prioritizing activities according to that.

Doing a desk review helps to clear out the low reward, low quality jobs and candidates and start afresh.  It will also help the underperformer identify the reason they are not making target and re-focus them on what they need to do to get back on track.  Well worth 10 – 20 minutes of time investment I say!

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