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The F Word That Most Recruitment Managers Don’t Use – Recruitment Manager Training Tips

Posted by Nicky Coffin

Having underperformers on your team can be challenging, especially when you know that they are capable of so much more. But there is one very important thing you as a manager need to remember. You cannot approach the issue of underperformance based on their personality. You must deal with it based on FACTS.

Remember that your underperformer may already be in a bad space. Emotionally they are probably feeling down because they know they aren’t getting the results they should be. Their confidence levels could be low, so the last thing you want to do is make their underperformance about them as a person. It must be about facts and figures.

What to do:

1) Have a ‘moving forward’ meeting to discuss what’s stopped them and the plan moving forwards

You can’t change the past, however you can use past facts and figures as feedback on where they need to focus to get better in the future.  When you sit down with them have their past activities, KPI figures and results. This could be the number of CV’s sent, list of live jobs, phone call activities, number of interviews conducted or placements made.  Anything that is specific to their current performance.   Look at what they need to change moving forward to get better results and ask “what’s been stopping them from achieving the results they want?”


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

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2) Build rapport to create an environment of change

It’s important to build good rapport if you want an underperformer to open up.  If you are getting resistance this means that you need to build more rapport.  One way to do this is to share a story of when you or someone else you knew was really struggling. Tell them how you took stock, looked at what you needed to start doing and what you needed to stop doing.  How you put together a simple plan, focusing on what you could control and influence, for example sending out good quality CV’s, asking good questions consistently, going back to basics and focusing on the activities, rather than the end result.  And little by little, taking one step at a time, celebrating small successes like an interview request or a great lead, in a short space of time interviews started happening and results came through.


3) Help them prioritise the activities that will give them results

In other words, it is not enough to just be busy.  Remember to focus them on being busy prioritizing the tasks and activities that you know are going to help them get results.  As a manager, you can only manage activity, you can’t manage the result.


4) Agree Activity targets and time to review

Agree what activity they will be focusing on, start with real basics, finding good candidates, asking for leads, sending out CV’s, taking a good job spec.  Remember you may need to hold their hand a little initially and guide them through the processes to find solutions and then agree a plan of what they are going to do.  Set and agree a time to review.  Whatever you do, remember to review with them… this is normally the missing key that managers forget that loses them 000’s.  Put it in your calendar, alarm it on your phone, whatever will remind you to check in with the consultant.



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

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I hope you found the article helpful.  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