My apologies if this blog comes across a little like a “Jerry Maguire” mission statement, but believe me, this is not my intention.
When I started my company here in the US, I really didn’t understand the cultural differences between recruitment in the UK and staffing in the US, but what I did know is that they both had the horrible reputation of being a stack ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap, fake it till you make it, one hundred calls per day, badly trained, with low staff morale and with extremely high staff turnover. It is because of this attitude and culture I estimate that the life of a recruitment consultant or recruiter on either side of the pond is less than 12 months with 80% of recruitment companies in our industry.
The recruitment industry has a very unenviable and sometimes volatile and unethical reputation. This may be hard for many owners, MDs or CEOs to accept, but it’s fact, especially with those companies with high attrition rates. These types of companies focus only on KPIs or call stats that are sent out 1-5 times a day telling you how bad you’re doing or how bad you are at your job, or highlighting the guy at the top of call stats whom is a call machine and how you should be just like him. Yeah, you know him, that motivated guy, the one who’s always on the phone, interviewing 50 candidates per day but has no relationships or substance to his calls, the one whom everyone is holding in high esteem, he’s the guy that wins the star of the week award for highest no of calls that week, yes he’s the busiest fool in the office, yes the guy whom will usually be fired in 3 months for not billing.
That’s often the reality of recruitment companies, it may have been effective in the 90’s when recruitment professionals were simply trying to become the next Wolf of Wall Street but it’s not a recipe for success anymore.
Now I’m not saying that when I moved to the US I wanted to change the recruitment world or single handedly change the view of how recruitment is viewed, I’d be a complete idiot if I thought that, but one thing I can tell you is that growing up in recruitment, I never once looked at my own stats or KPIs and I was still a very successful recruitment consultant. The other guys whom were equally as good as me also didn’t need them but one thing we all had in common was our will to succeed and we were all with that company for a long time. We had time, we became passionate about our job, we became experts in our markets, but the underlying fact is that we were at that company the longest.
This got me thinking about how I want the US Company to look, what type of people I wanted to work with, what was our Mission, Vision, Values, Culture? I thought about how to attract the best staff, keep them and motivate them and have them feel as successful as I have done for all those years. I truly want them to become an expert in their field without the constant staff turnover that 80% of recruitment companies seem to have.
The solution? It had to be culture, this was the secret, the answer to the attrition equation, the one thing that will attract staff to my company and the one thing that I needed to get right to ensure that when we hire people, they stay.
Simple, right? Well so far so good, IT Works Recruitment Inc. has been set up with a very strong ethos of Continuity, Credibility, Consistency in everything we do. This sits at the cornerstone of how we treat our clients and candidates and it’s also the ethos of what colleagues expect from each other. There is also a large emphasis on the word “opportunity “. Opportunity for everyone in that we try to ensure we deliver upon everyone’s expectations of us to help them realize their own personal goals and dreams as I have done myself by moving to the US.
I think we can tick this box, I have relocated three consultants from the UK to the US, I am setting up an office in California and one of my consultants dreams is to travel, so he will be involved in this. We have started management training for those whom want to progress within the company and we have won the 2016 Best Companies to work for award as voted by the employees.
I wanted to create a company that will be the company of choice for recruitment professionals in Atlanta. A company that engages, empowers, develops, innovates, collaborates and really does value its staff. I know you will be familiar with all these phrases and paraphrases and will have heard it all before but let me tell you, we are doing this right now, we have a very motivated team, a very successful team and a very strong will to succeed, and we are succeeding, everyone is succeeding and everyone is involved, across all levels, from trainees to management. If you were to ask me why, it’s very simple: I didn’t develop the culture, WE DID.
We continue to find innovative ways to improve upon and develop what we have now adopted as our MAGNETIC CULTURE. Thank you Kevin Sheridan for this title, it was at a staffing conference when I met Kevin and listened to his talk, thinking that many things he’s talking about we are either doing or we’re trying to get there, he paraphrased it beautifully with “magnetic culture”.
Magnetic Culture, “A magnetic culture is one that will attract top talent, draw that top talent in, energize the workforce and make it difficult for people to leave”.
Oh yes, and lastly, our attrition in our three years in the US is three people lost, two were by choice, it just wasn’t right for them and one has left for pastures new, Maybe, just maybe there is a lesson here, my role as CEO is to build a successful business not to continuously replenish staff.