Building a High Performance Recruitment Team

  By Patricia Conlin  |    Tuesday June 12, 2019

Category: Columns, Expert Advice, Motivational


Have you ever dreaded going to work because there was someone at the office who consistently brought you down or disrupted your focus or worse was actively sabotaging your efforts to make progress? Sometimes, you may have complained about this co-worker to a boss only to have it fall on deaf ears because this person appeared to be getting “results” for the company? You felt like there is constant conflict and disagreement and were afraid to speak up or share honest feelings for fear of personal backlash.  Some recruiters go so far as to leave an organization when the toxic workplace impacts them to such a degree that they can no longer perform well or just don’t like the work anymore. What happened here and how can it be fixed in order to create high performance teams? 

Imagine a scenario where you are part of the team that encourages you to accomplish your goals, holds you accountable because they care, wants you to learn more each day in order to do your best, listens to your ideas, concerns and allows you to make mistakes without demeaning your effort. They support your goals both professional and personal and offer you the flexibility you need to fulfill your responsibilities at home as well as at work. Working in an organization like this is motivating and energizing and performance is sure to be much better than in the first scenario.

What can Recruitment firm owners do to create a better environment at work to build high performance teams? Below are 6 tips to boost your team’s performance and engagement for more success for everyone:

Leadership - Become a better leader by focusing on developing your soft skills more and more every day. Listen to your staff fully and with deeper focus to ensure they feel heard, take full and final responsibility for any mistakes, set-backs or failures to deliver with client projects, show you care about your staff by offering them the job flexibility to go to a fitness class in the morning some days or leave early for their kids or work from home 1-2 days a week to help them manage their commitments etc. In addition, the best leaders lead by example so be the person who works the hardest, and helps others through the inevitable ups and downs of the business.  

Clearly defined roles and goals - Having job ambiguity can cause confusion and conflict. Make sure each member of your team knows their deliverables and set expectations up front. For example, a Researcher is responsible for providing 3-5 quality resumes for 10 roles to the Recruiters responsible for each project over a set period of time. They can use the tools they believe will best assist in accomplishing this goal to give them ownership for the goals and the flexibility to make adjustments where necessary. For Recruiters, there could be a deliverable of 2 quality candidates send outs each day and Business Developers should have prospecting goals and metrics in place as well. Setting clear expectations with staff up front allows for Managers to review results and assist in coaching for improvements. Setting clear expectations up front with clients as well will help create better outcomes when possible challenges and issues are addressed up front. As well as individual roles and goals being clearly defined, the entire organization needs to have shared goals that unite them in their daily pursuit of excellence.

Regular Communication- High-performance team leaders stay in touch with their team. They constantly communicate in a positive proactive way to keep people focused on the vision and mission to accomplish. It’s easy for anyone to get distracted or lose motivation when things go wrong. High-performance team leaders keep people informed, up-to-date and on track. The members of the high-performance teams participate in regularly in team briefings or meetings to review key project details and discuss challenges, plans and ideas. In these meetings, the team members have the opportunity to raise matters of concern or importance for the entire team. The focus of such discussions is on achieving continuous improvement at work and for the candidate and client experience and results.  Communication within a team is vital and mandatory for building a high performance team in order to bringing clarity and understanding to each member as well as creating an opportunity for levity, bonding and friendship. 

Resolve Conflict Effectively- Conflicts can tear teams apart and leaders need to work to help resolve differences quickly and promote cooperation. Often team leaders assume that the members of the team will resolve conflict on their own but that is rarely true and a leader must step in before a toxic environment is create.  Sometimes, individuals will cause conflict due to internal jealousy or perceived unfair treatment. The leader’s role is to ensure that roles and objectives are clear so disputes can be resolved. Team leaders that focus on competition versus cooperation never achieve outstanding results. However, when an underperforming team member creates on-going conflict it needs to be addressed right away. If after coaching and open dialogue and several attempts to assist with improvements, no changes are made, it is better to part ways then to allow the negative energy and attitudes to impact the rest of the team. Even high performers can carry negative attitudes and need to be managed carefully so that they do not impact the other members of the team or negatively affect client or candidate relationships.

Vision and Inspiration- The goal toward which the team is working needs to be explicitly clear and ideally written in a way that will allow everyone will be inspired to work towards achieving it.  Each team member must be committed to the achievement of that goal and operating without hidden agendas or competing priorities.  Focusing on a collective mission perhaps with a collective reward is unifying and creates deep team bonds.  It is equally important for the entire team to have a vision of the higher purpose. A powerful exercise for any recruitment firm is to spend time to create and display a company mission statement with your own unique values as an organization. Seeing these values displayed on a wall or website will contribute in building not only a high performing team but also create increased trust that potential clients and candidates will respect and appreciate.

Create a learning environment- Recruitment owners and leaders need to encourage and facilitate a culture of continuous learning by allowing knowledge sharing, opening supporting “failure” by creating an environment of learning from past mistakes, and by continually working to improve the hard and soft skills of team members by recommending them to attend courses and programs that would help in enhancing their skills.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Henry Ford

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Michael Jordon

I’m inspired to help other recruiters achieve their true potential. Why? I’m passionate about the business of living fully and achieving personal and professional goals that are meaningful. During the decades of owning and running a leading Talent Solutions company, I have witnessed countless people suffering from burn-out, chronic illness, severe stress, depression and anxiety. I also seen the difference that it can make to focus on being a better leader and building soft skills so decided to use my decades of experience and training as a successful recruiter, Black Belt Martial Artist, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Emotional Intelligence Trainer to develop specific leadership and performance training and coaching programs. These on-line and live coaching programs at can help you learn how to increase energy, improve performance and build more focused, resilient and engaged teams for more success.

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