Recognition programs have been around you since at least your preschool days when you earned those coveted gold stars in the classroom. Each person appreciates seeing their work recognized, and those that are competitive especially enjoy seeing themselves appear as outstanding. Independent recruiters working smaller offices can forget this at times when their recruiters hit goal targets, close placements, or even hit a work anniversary. Here are five good recognition ideas for recruiters.
- Ask what motivates them! One of the easiest ways to get your recruiters to work harder for you is to give them the incentives they want. For example, an employee who really values time with family and friends may appreciate a full day off work instead of a reward check. Others may also not care about monetary value but prefer an email to the entire office recognizing them for a large placement or target volume hit. You will always have those that just want to see the money and do not need any additional recognition, but having an open conversation up front is the best way to know if you are rewarding their work efforts in the best way possible.
- Give them networking. As a recruiter, endless cold calling and days of no victory can really wear down even the most cheerful personality. Many times to not feel as isolated, networking and relationships with others in the industry can help. If your independent firm is a member of a split-placement network, offer covering the cost of attending a networking meeting as recognition program for star employees. Not only will they feel special for attending an event, but the networking and conversation can lead to them building skills to take back to their desk and make them even better recruiters.
- Create a program that allows participation at all levels. If you have more than one recruiter, it is commonplace to have recognition programs that have them participating with one another. Add yourself to the program! For example, set a goal for a recruiter to have 1 placement per month, but then also for yourself to close 5 placements per quarter. If you are successful but your recruiter is not, have them work an extra hour of cold calling. If they are but you are not, you must do it. Having these fun recognition programs shows that you are working just as diligently as your staff, and may also fail from time to time. If you both are successful, celebrate with a lunch or dinner together.
- Get away from strict bench-marking and reward on the fly. Many times, recognition programs award staff at the end of a month, quarter, or on an annual basis. While this is still great, a nice change would be an on the fly recognition program for day to day business. For example, if your staff has put in major overtime on a particular search, recognize that as a “week warrior” and give that individual Starbucks gifts card as a pick me up to their hard week. Seeing their daily activities recognized gives staff a boost to keep working as hard as they know it is not going unnoticed. Another good idea if you a few recruiters is to give them a stack of cards and allow them to recognize one another. Peer to peer recognition is just as valuable as top down programs, and many times helps you notice the strength of your coworkers.
- Share with/ask industry trading partners what works for them. While it is easy to think to ask other independent firms what they did to close a large placement or how they expanded into a new region, it is less top of mind to ask how they recognize their staff, but I guarantee those with a strong program are successful with business as a whole.