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I took my car in for its MOT & Service the other day. True story. After begrudgingly agreeing to the astronomical repair bill, “It will be ready for you to pick up by 5pm, Mr. Bennett”, I sauntered on down to the local grease monkey. Guess what. It wasn’t ready. So, I waited…and waited…and waited.

And so, I mused.

If recruiters are the engine, then clients and candidates must be the fuel, right? They are responsible for keeping a [recruitment] business running.

Is it time for a ‘Recruitment MOT’? Let’s have a look under the bonnet, shall we?

Quick Check

So, what quick checks can you do to make sure you’re not caught out by a minor fault?

Well, enhancing the performance of your business is a little like trying to get more miles per gallon out of your car. If the engine isn’t as finely tuned as it needs to be, you’ll never be getting good enough fuel efficiency. You could find yourself broken down on the side of the road as everyone else passes us by. Waving.

Identifying where you want to get to in your business is, of course, critical. Once you have agreed where you are going, your focus should move back under the bonnet. You can then eliminate wastage and maximize efficiencies across every element of what you do.

Fuel Up (clients and candidates remember!)

Too often, I find recruitment businesses obsessed with overfilling their engines with fuel. They become engrossed in attracting as many new clients (and candidates) as they can. Isn’t it better to get the right fuel in your engine to begin with?

Some consultants work with clients who they really shouldn’t be spending time on. They are neither valuable nor do they appreciate the work they do for them.  Clients who drive down margins and devalue the service offering show little respect. So why work with them?

Would a mechanic spend their day fixing cars, knowing most of their customers will probably not even pay them? Probably not.

Get in Gear

Let’s assume we’re driving a 5-gear, manual and not automatic [before the recruitment ‘bashers’ jump all over me!]

Now, driving in first gear will eventually get you to where you need to be however you’ll end up putting a huge strain and pressure on your engine and will of course take you longer. It’s the same for a recruitment business.

The landscape is markedly evolving. Generally speaking, it’s moving from a transactional, volume-driven model to a far more targeted and niche one.  It, therefore, requires a shift in the way recruiters approach their desk. Smarter? Perhaps. More aggressive? Maybe. Creative? Without a doubt.

Whatever it is, check your clutch and get into 5th gear. Now.

Change your Tyres

When I took my car in for its MOT last week, the first thing Tony [that’s his real name] commented on was my tyres. They had taken a beating over the past 12 months that’s for sure. He gave me the, “…it’s gonna cost ya…” look. You know the one.

The more worn down your tyres are, the less grip you’ll get on the road, especially when conditions start to become a little challenging.

Unlike me, I’d imagine there are many recruitment businesses that have done a great job of maintaining their tyres over the past 12 months.

However, just as I was amid a winter storm, I reckon quite a few have started to slip around, losing some of their traction and in some cases have started skidding out of control.  In other words, they’ve lost their way. 

Is it time to rethink your strategy? Consider what is working and what is not?

It might give you the opportunity to change your tyres. You might be able to align what you are doing with what the market is dictating and ensure your consultants follow a plan that is both strategic and outcome-focused.

Hit the Road Jack

Getting everyone on board in the business to run an MOT is achievable if you get buy-in. It can lead to a whole host of improvements in performance.

Typically, car owners get an MOT once a year. That’s fine… for a car.

The more conscientious Recruiter should be opening the bonnet and analysing all the time. Ideally trying to find new ways to improve efficiencies and maximise every opportunity.

Once you’re ready, give ‘Honest Tony’ a call, fuel up, get in gear, change the tyres, pass the test and hit the frog ‘n toad.

There’s a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.