5 Elements of Agency Culture to Help Retain & Recruit Recruiters

by | Apr 21, 2022

Like in every other sector, recruiting professionals are in high demand right now. If you want to recruit recruiters, salespeople, & staff, you need to provide strong incentives for them to work with you—beyond just salary and benefits. 

That’s why your agency culture can be a powerful asset. Fostering a people-first environment makes it easier to land client deals, build relationships & elevate both agency & individual recruiter brands. 

Here are 5 elements of agency culture that will help you recruit & retain recruiters.

Why your agency culture matters

This industry talks a lot about developing great candidate experiences. So let’s take a page out of our own book and focus on building exceptional experiences for our own recruiters, salespeople, and staff. 

Culture goes beyond some nice words on a website. You can say all the right things, but do you actually put them into practice?

  • Do people feel valued in your organization?
  • Do you challenge them to achieve and expand their potential?
  • Do you provide them with the tools and support they need to do their jobs?
  • Do you use failure as teachable moments? 
  • Do you have an objective way to measure performance? Can your team self-diagnose & self-correct? 

If you can build a culture where you put your people first, they’ll have the motivation, drive, & tools to aggressively work toward your agency’s goals. Thus, an exceptional culture is critical to your agency performance. In fact, one study found that 91% of executives stated that “culture is as important as strategy for business success.” This makes perfect sense: half the battle is getting the right people on the ship. Only then can you steer it in the right direction.

5 elements of your agency’s culture to recruit recruiters

Now, these are general insights. The reasons why your people will stay or leave your agency are going to be specific to you. 

That’s why it’s important to dive into what these reasons are. Then, follow through on them. 

1. Focus on perks that your ideal recruiter actually wants

73% of employees leave their job because of a bad work environment or company culture. While it may seem obvious, focusing on what your ideal recruiter or salesperson wants out of their job—and providing it—is a big part of crafting a company culture. Otherwise, you’re going to invest in distractions that aren’t going to attract the right people. 

For example, most recruiters are go-getters, full-speed-ahead people. If that’s who you want to attract, providing ping-pong tables in the office won’t help you at all. Instead, incentives and resources for the recruiter to own their professional growth will be more attractive.

What’s more, many new recruiters are attracted to the field because they want to make a difference in people’s lives. Highlighting the positive impact of the work you do—both at a macro and micro level—can put your culture in a positive light. 

Ultimately, recruiters don’t want to be patronized or pandered to. Give them the tools they need to do their jobs better, then get the hell out of the way. 

2. Foster healthy competition

Recruiters tend to be competitive. An environment that encourages healthy competition will be more appealing to recruiters, especially if there are incentives attached. Plus, competition benefits your agency as well—it pushes everyone to peak performance, helping you reach your goals faster. 

Competition can be tied to any number of metrics:

  • Placements
  • Calls/engagements
  • Pipeline
  • Reviews

For example, you could set up a prize for the recruiter with the highest average review rating (out of 5 stars)—drawn from real-time candidate feedback—at the end of each month. The prize doesn’t have to be expensive, as bragging rights will often be incentive enough. 

Ultimately, what you are doing is creating a culture where winning thrives— which directly impacts performance and creates an environment people want to join.

3. Encourage recruiters to build their personal brands

While the master brand for your agency is important and certainly matters, each recruiter has their own brand that attracts their own unique “lane” of candidates. By supporting personal brand building, you’ll attract & retain top recruiters who take their long-term career growth seriously—and will reap the results for as long as they stay with you. 

Plus, candidates don’t work with agencies. They work with their favorite recruiter. Allowing your recruiters to elevate their personal brands will only elevate your overall agency brand. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. 

4. Provide recruiters with necessary automation tools & technology

Breathe easy: automation will never replace the recruiter as a person in our industry. The relationships between recruiters and the candidates they serve are crucial and provide the foundation for the entire industry. 

But as recruiters take on more and more candidates, many of their more mundane tasks will start eating up more of their time. Automation provides a way for that to happen. In fact, 75% of recruiters say technology is going to be integrated into a much larger role in their hiring process for the coming years.

Tools that help save time in candidate pre-qualifying, assessments, nurturing connections, bias-free hiring and more—-all of these will improve not only the candidate experience, but make the recruiter’s job easier as well.

5. Provide feedback & transparency

If you want to create an environment where people are encouraged to improve and grow, you need to foster transparency. This enables them to see what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, and where they can improve. 

By collecting real-time reviews from candidates, you create a mechanism for providing that transparent feedback. When recruiters see positive candidate reviews, it boosts their confidence, which leads to greater team morale. When they see negative reviews, it provides an opportunity to improve and adjust their behavior—and it gives you peace of mind to know that issues are being addressed at the most critical moments. 

Final Thoughts

By taking your culture seriously & promoting it as part of your brand, you’ll attract good-fit recruiters to work with your agency. If you don’t prioritize culture, you’ll have a hard time filling those positions with top candidates. 

Remember: culture isn’t just another business strategy. Strategies change as the needs of the business evolve, but culture stays the same. It’s a core part of who you are: and that should never change. 

If you focus your recruitment efforts around hiring for culture, you’ll end up with recruiters, salespeople, and staff who will contribute to your organization over the long haul. That’s an investment that will reap massive rewards. 

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