Even if you’re running a stellar recruiting agency, you’re going to run into performance issues—not because you have bad recruiters, but because you have human recruiters.
The key is to fix these issues ASAP before they become big problems.
For example, let’s say you have a recruiter who never follows up with their candidates. Over time, they become frustrated with being ghosted and tell their friends to avoid your agency.
If you aren’t collecting real-time feedback into that issue, then you’re not going to notice a problem until it becomes public knowledge.
What’s more, when you can address issues early on, you can implement a simple fix. Perhaps our example recruiter doesn’t follow up because they’ve got too much on their plate. In that case, you have the option to break up the work, either to another team member or via automation.
This is why it’s critical to not just capture reviews annually or quarterly, but to collect them in real time. By gathering insight into recruiter performance—both good and bad—you can proactively address issues that arise and avoid big, costly problems.
Real-time reviews: the key to proactive recruiter management
Most recruitment agencies have some kind of feedback mechanism in place, even something as simple as an annual NPS survey.
There are a number of reasons these types of surveys fall short:
- NPS provides very high-level feedback which is sparse on details
- NPS surveys generally only happen once a year—when the opportunity to address the issue has already passed
- NPS surveys generally only cover the candidates and clients who choose to work with you—but 360-degree feedback requires that you look at the people who don’t work with you as well
NPS, or any year-round surveys, are difficult to act on. And ultimately, what’s the point of receiving feedback if you can’t do anything about it?
Real-time recruiter reviews, on the other hand, help you address issues as they arise, keep problems from compounding over time, and give you the insights necessary to improve your organizational performance so you can retain and refer more candidates.
How to leverage real-time recruiter reviews
Capturing real-time reviews is only half the battle. If you want to see improvements as a result of that feedback, you have to act on them. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
1. Get everyone on board
Real-time reviews work best when they are rolled out across the organization. Otherwise, you’ll have an incomplete view of how you’re performing.
This is easier said than done, especially if you’re working with legacy recruiters. That said, here are some ways to help the stragglers get on board:
- Show everyone the value of receiving the reviews—particularly in how it can help them improve their performance
- Provide incentives for certain review thresholds (i.e. 10 reviews, 30 reviews, 50 reviews)
- Publicly acknowledge recruiters who are receiving reviews, whether positive or negative
When recruiters start receiving positive reviews, you’ll probably see an uptick in morale across the organization. Even negative reviews can have a positive impact, as recruiters have transparency into their performance and self-correct in real time.
The key is to make sure everyone knows the value of the reviews and has skin in the game. Only then will they take them seriously.
2. Keep frontline managers in the loop
Executives or the HR team aren’t the ones who mentor and coach your recruiters. It’s your frontline managers and team leaders who are actively involved in the day-to-day and push your recruiters along.
So sending reviews to an HR manager isn’t going to help at all. Sending them to frontline managers will.
When frontline managers receive this real-time feedback, they can act on it quickly:
- Communicate with the client that the issue is being addressed
- Work with the recruiter to adjust their behavior
- Follow up periodically to check on their progress
- Encourage the recruiter once the issue is resolved
If you want your real-time reviews to make a difference, make sure your frontline managers are involved in the process.
3. Don’t just focus on the good—read the bad reviews too!
Everyone loves getting a good review. It’s the bad ones that people shy away from.
But bad reviews are just as important—if not more important—for leaders who want to improve their organizational effectiveness. In a changing industry where candidate experience is the recruiter’s North Star, knowing where you’ve fallen short can help you make adjustments as you move forward.
Here are some critical steps of any process that addresses performance issues:
- Listen to the client or candidate. It’s important to understand their perspective in order to address their concerns effectively.
- Respond with empathy. Keep your response professional and polite, even if the interaction was rude or hostile.
- Resolve the issue. If there are any outstanding contractual obligations, address those. Then work with the recruiter or salesperson to make sure they avoid making that mistake in the future, if the issue was their fault.
A clear, documented process can help keep everyone on the same page, and ensure that everyone is acting consistently.
Although it may seem unpleasant—and it will be, especially if egos are involved—most recruiters will be thankful that you took the time to invest in them and help them fix their performance.
It shows that you genuinely care about them—and that if there’s an issue, you’ll help them rather than replace them.
4. Show candidates and clients that you take their concerns seriously
Real-time reviews don’t just help you fix internal issues within your organization. They’re also a great way to build your external reputation among candidates, clients, and prospects.
When you let issues go unaddressed for weeks or months at a time, you’re sending a message to these people that their concerns don’t matter.
On the other hand, when you address issues in real time and are proactive about communicating that with the candidate or client, it sends a different message: we care about this relationship, and we’re willing to put in the work to make things right.
In an industry that is struggling to rebuild its reputation, showing that you care about maintaining the relationship with the candidate or client and that you’re treating them like a human being will help you stand out from the crowd.
Final thoughts on real-time reviews
No one expects an organization to be perfect. No one expects a recruiter to be perfect. That’s simply unreasonable—after all, we’re only human.
What people do expect, and reasonably so, is that when a problem arises, you’re proactive about fixing the problem. This involves capturing real-time reviews, addressing the issues in those reviews, and then reporting back to the client when it’s done.
If you’re wondering how to do this quickly, easily, and scalably, click here to start a free Great Recruiters starter plan.