Millennials and Gen Z are fast becoming the mainstay of our workforce and the individuals we place into our client’s teams. 

They form the most significant cohort of your recruitment teams too; whether you are working with 360 recruiters or other more productive team models. 

Yet even though these groups, in theory, have different motivations and drivers, in a recruitment organisation you can group them into three main categories. 

Here they are. 

The underperformer, the average performer, and the star performer; and they all need different things from you to achieve the results that you, and let’s be honest, they want.  

So I’m going to share with you some quick ideas on how to get the best from the three different types because each person needs a different approach.  

So, let’s talk about poor performers first. 

The Poor Performers 


Dealing with poor performance is probably one of the biggest challenges that people mention to Katy and me in our RockIT programme. 

If you have someone who is consistently underperforming or just ‘doing’ the minimum, then this needs to be handled; fast. It’s not satisfactory, and it doesn’t tend to go away; it’s something that you must handle 

Many managers I meet, get nervous when they must manage underperformers, and yet it’s critical to reframe what is going on here. 

It‘s useful for both you and your team member to understand that it’s your job to help them get the best results.  Therefore you are going to help them by managing them closely. 

Leaving them to carry on, struggling, won’t help either of you. Things have to change now, and you’ll be helping them to make these changes. It might feel a little uncomfortable because you’re going to be taking them out of their comfort zone so they can get better results and quickly. 

So when you’re tackling these performance issues, firstly find out if the person accepts their performance is weak.  Then if they do, the approach should be to find what they believe needs to happen to improve. This may involve coaching, training, or even counselling should the problem be personal. 


Free Business Checkup Reveals…

“How Fit Your Recruitment Business Is For Growth… 


If they don’t realise or accept that their performance is poor, you must be able to show them that what they are delivering or ‘doing’ is below the company standard and expectation. 

In these scenarios, always use facts; in other words, figures, activities, behavioural situations you have observed that back up what you are saying.  

Never use hearsay. It’s impossible to run away from factual figures. So regardless of the reason, it should be clear that the performance has to improve. 

Here are some actions that will help you.  

The easiest way to tackle poor performance is in small steps. So, agree on series of small achievable goals. It’s easy to monitor these and to then give motivational feedback for a shift in behaviour. 

This might be outbound calls, emails sent, CVs out. 

Achieving small goals like this will help to motivate them as individuals even more. And then, monitor that performance. Short-term means daily targets and if necessary hourly.  

As performance improves, keep upping the target and get them to monitor themselves if possible and gradually increase the gap in time. Be very clear that you’re not going to discuss a future or further development until the performance is at an acceptable level. 

The Acceptable Performer 

So, next, let’s talk about the acceptable performer. The most challenging part of handling performance reviews is dealing with someone whose performance is satisfactory because they’re quite happy with what they’ve got.  

So what ideas and strategies can you use to motivate this individual to improve their level of performance?  

Well, firstly, get them to talk about themselves in terms of their business and personal goals. Find out what motivates them, get them to talk about their ambitions and their goals, and what development they want or need. 

Then from this information, you may be able to encourage improvements by negotiation and by tapping into their key motivational drivers. 

We all have them. 

Maybe they would like the opportunity to work on a new desk or be a mentor or train others in the team. 

Find out what is critical to them, often its development and responsibility, and then tap into this with a level of negotiation. 

For example; “When you achieve, X, Jane, let’s look at putting you on our new development programme.” 

Though the carrot and stick theory of motivation isn’t considered PC anymore, the carrot most definitely still works. 

Finally, let’s look at the performer we all want on our team. 



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

Privacy Policy Consent*


The Star Performer 

Let’s talk about the star performer – your champion. 

A favourite saying Katy and I use is: Champion your champions. 

They are a vital asset in your team, and it’s worth investing your time developing them. They need input and support just as much as your underperformers but differently.  

Focus on them as much if not more as you do your underperformers, set regular times to discuss their performance, letting them know your thoughts and give them regular motivational feedback on their performance.  

Also, explore where they want to go and what they can do to ensure that they’re happy in their job and encourage them to continue to grow and develop their performance. 

Here’s are a few actions that will help you with your star performers. 

Firstly, recognise their achievements, provide positive feedback, and link this into what motivates them. So some may enjoy publicly being praised, others might find that that’s not appropriate, i.e. something like time with the family or extra holiday.  

Consider and discuss broader reward mechanisms – things like additional training or professional development, and look at providing new challenges or new projects, perhaps management or critical responsibilities.  

Demonstrate your trust in their abilities and encourage them to inspire others because their performance will rub off on other members of the team. 

As role models for your team, your overall company standard will lift too. 

Useful? I hope so. 


Warm regards, 

Nicky and Katy 


P.S. If you want to scale your recruitment organisation we can help. It starts by arranging a call with one of us here.