Solutions To Top Seven Owner Challenges

  By Barb Bruno  |    Posted on Sunday March 10, 2014 at 01:39:56 AM

Category: Columns, Expert Advice

We hire type A, assertive sales people who are motivated by money.  Challenges and issues do occur and you must determine your actions prior to issues surfacing.  It would be natural to side with the employee who produces more or has tenure vs. a new or unproductive employee. However, this type of action would destroy morale and backfire.



One of the greatest challenges for an owner of a staffing and recruiting firm is delegate vs. be their business.  Many owners and managers feel they have their business on their back.


You function in many different roles on a daily basis.  Review the various areas of responsibilities listed below and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in these areas.  This will determine if you need to improve on your skills or hire someone else for certain roles.


It is important to evaluate your skills and responsibilities to ensure you are aware of best use of your time.  What is the 20% of your efforts that provides you with 80% of your results?  There are instances where you will need to stop doing tasks you enjoy, that are not best use of your time.


Evaluate yourself on a scale from 1 – 10 on the following areas:  (10 being the highest rating)


  • Business Planning                        _____
  • Human Resource                         _____
  • Sales and Marketing             _____
  • Customer Service                         _____
  • Follow Up                                     _____
  • Referral                                     _____
  • Back Office | Accounting             _____
  • Technology                                     _____
  • Legal                                                 _____
  • Administrative                         _____


If you have rated any category lower than a seven, this is an area that either needs your attention or you need to delegate this area. Your value increases substantially when you are focused on those talents which provide you with the greatest results.


Action Item One:   Conduct a time study for the next twenty working days.


Action Item Two:   Number the items you listed from the most important which you list as number one to the least important functions, numbered last.


Action Item Three:   Attempt to delegate the bottom ten items on your list or complete those activities during non-prime time hours. You may consider identifying talent from Odesk or fiverr.



As an owner, it is critically important that you focus on profits vs. sales especially in the temp or contract business. Goals will only be attained if they are mutually agreed upon between you and your sales team. If you set goals for them, and they do not believe they will achieve them – goals will not be attained.


If you have ever erased goals and not added them to future months, you have sent a loud message that you will not hold people accountable for their goals. You have also allowed your employees to give up their income goals for the year. Goals not attained should be added to future months.


Focus on the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) of your employees, if goals are attained. Your employees will not produce more because you want a record month, quarter or year. They will only produce more if they understand how it will benefit them.



Individual numbers, stats and ratios are the best indicator of performance.  In order to accurately predict sales and profits, minimum standards must be set. You can track additional stats, but the six most important numbers to track are the following:


Recruiting Metrics:


  • Recruiting call to hit
  • Hit to interview
  • Interview to send-out
  • Send-out to placement or fill (only first interview)


Marketing | Sales Metrics:


  • Marketing presentation to job order or assignment by phone or in person
  • Job order or assignment to fill


Once you know individual ratios, you can manage by the results each person needs daily to consistently hit or surpass goals set. This takes the emotion out of your decisions and prevents your decisions from backfiring.



Think of how long it’s been since you’ve read or revised your Policy and Procedures Handbook. Without processes written down, your decision could be affected by the type of month you are having or your current mood or emotions.  Decisions made based on emotion are often inconsistent and can result in turnover or loss of key employees.  If you don’t have a handbook, there is no better time to write one then now.


Most disagreements can be resolved by quoting sections out of your employee handbook which provides you with a fair and consistent way to handle internal issues.



It’s just not common sense to keep reinventing the wheel. Once you have identified a system that works, you just keep repeating the process. If every person in your office is working from the same play book you will all close more deals, because details will not fall through the cracks causing deals to blow up. 



The most important decision you will make is deciding who is on your team.


  • Evaluate your current team members
  • Determine if you have the team you need to achieve your company goals
  • Put marginal employees on probation with a detailed plan of action
  • Determine if anyone has quit and stayed
  • Upgrade your team
  • Create a hiring process



The staffing and recruiting profession is a sales environment where contests and recognition help create a motivating environment. Recognition does not need to be always monetary.

Instant gratification will get you results in the following areas needing attention:


  • Individualize contests
  • Accept individual challenges twice a year
  • Ask each employee what would motivate them and customize your contests
  • Make contests simple - KISS method
  • Allow multiple winners, not always the top producer in your office


Take time to review these seven management challenges.  Pick the one that you will implement first.  It is a proven fact that where you place your focus is where you will enjoy results.

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