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Recruiting Recruiters: Top Tips from Mike Walmsley

Posted By APSO, Monday, 05 January 2015
Updated: Thursday, 04 December 2014


In the first of the APSO Lunch & Learn webinars, UK based recruitment trainer Mike Walmsley shared some of his top tips for Recruiting Recruiters. Many recruitment business owners in SA complain about the difficulty in sourcing suitable individuals to employ (and train) as recruiters and this webinar shared some ideas on how to do this effectively. Included hereunder are some of Mike’s top tips.

Always be recruiting

Mike believes that one of the biggest problems recruitment business owners have is that they tend to leave recruitment of their own staff until they actually have a vacancy or a sudden upsurge in business and he believes that this often leads to employing someone out of desperation, rather than focussing on employing the best people.

In our business, great recruiters pay for themselves and then some and so you don’t necessarily have to have a vacancy in order to employ a great recruiter. Mike believes that his success in finding recruiters stemmed from the fact that he was always on the look-out, constantly considering individuals he met – whether call centre sales people, barmen or others – as potential recruiters.

“I always kept an eye out for recruiters trapped in the wrong job”

He says that what you should be looking out for individuals who possess transferrable skills and the discipline to succeed in our industry. In his experience some of the most successful recruiters have come from sales, the armed forces and debt collection call centres.

Appoint a Recruitment Champion

Mike believes that to properly drive the process, someone in the business, if not the owner, should be made the recruitment champion and should have to report regularly on the recruitment plan. He says that all businesses, irrespective of size, should have a recruitment plan that includes action items like:

  • Empowering other recruiters in your business to understand what you’re looking for and to advise you of any candidates they meet that could potentially become a recruiter;
  • Ensuring your LinkedIn profile, website and other business marketing material actively indicates “We’re Hiring” and that it SELLS what it would mean to work for YOU;
  • Create literature that you leave in your reception, have on your website and can provide to interested individuals on what a career in recruitment actually entails, what you’re looking for and why working for you would be a great career move;
  • Identify “stars” that you’d like to have working for you and then track them to ensure that you’re able to approach them – either now or in the future – keep a map of these individuals and talent track. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious!

Grow your Recruitment River of Talent

Ideally you’d like to have a metaphorical river of talent running past your door and the ability to dip into this river to pluck out the recruitment starts that you need to take your business forward. The river could be populated by experienced recruiters or potentials, “trainees” in other words, and could be grown by yourself, your network or even the use of Rec-to-Rec specialist agencies.

Mike shared several tips on how to grow the river, including:

  • Relationship building with clients, candidates and others within the industry;
  • Good old fashioned networking at industry events, sector-specific conferences and the like;
  • Name gathering (through references, interviewing and general sourcing strategies);
  • Mystery shopping to find out what other recruiters are really like;
  • Creative adverts on the platforms that recruiters frequent; and
  • Building a good relationship with a trustworthy Rec-to-Rec agency who truly believes that you’re a great place to work and who will then send the best talent your way

In closing Mike reminded everyone that the key is to understand what the key traits and skills are that you need from recruiters in your business (why not profile your most successful recruiters for this?) and constantly be on the look-out for individuals that match. 

Tags:  APSO  apsogram  discipline  empowerment  potential  recruiting  recruitment champion  recruitment plan  talent track  transferable skills 

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