The Science of Recruitment Industry Success – Part 1

The most successful recruitment firms do things differently than the less successful ones. Yes, “luck and chance” can play a role in outcomes… for a short period. However, good and bad luck events will tend to even out over time. Ultimately, as an owner with a team, your firm’s performance is mostly a result of your own effectiveness as a leader and manager. If you’re a solopreneur or a firm of just a few people, it’s mostly your effectiveness as a producer and business-person.

Staffing & recruiting firm success is a combination of both art and science. By art I mean using judgment, interpretation, feelings, and opinions to make decisions and take actions. Art is subjective by nature and is heavily influenced by your skills, experience, and what you feel and sense. Most of your moment to moment decisions and actions fall into this realm. The art of recruitment industry success is developed over time and is critical to your success. It’s difficult to teach the “art side” of placement industry success since it’s the way you’ve uniquely combined what you’ve learned through training and experience rather than an objective analysis of information.

By science I mean using observation, data collection, measurement, analysis, and experimentation to make decisions and take actions. This is objective by nature and lacks in opinions, judgments, feelings, and ego. From my experience, the science aspect of the recruiting business is usually the most challenging part for placement firm owners to embrace. Owners are usually driven by a strong desire to succeed (emotions and ego) and believe that their skills, judgment, and grit are the primary ingredients of their success. Unfortunately, when ego and emotions are activated, you’re vulnerable to the following pitfalls:

  • Continue doing things that don’t work rather than admitting that these actions are ineffective
  • Fall into comfortable, distracting behaviors like checking emails, social media, and “projects” instead of the actions that drive the highest ROI
  • Refuse to admit that we would benefit from outside help because we believe it’s a sign of weakness

Incorporating the science of recruitment industry success allows you to move past these self-imposed obstacles. This can lead to transformational changes in your business success as it does for the most successful firms in the industry. It provides the evidence you need to determine whether your processes are truly recruitment best practices or merely the accepted habits of your firm. Now that you know why to add science to your art, let’s cover how to do this.

Approaching your business as a science begins with observation and measurement of the “key metrics” of your business. Every business in the world has key metrics that determine success. In the recruitment business, everything starts with a job order and then flows from there. The number of job orders you write and how many of these you fill is one example of a key metric that you can consistently measure.

The beauty of measurement is that it provides you with meaningful, objective data on how well you’re doing and what you need to do to be more productive. Since data lacks ego and emotions, it’s a clear starting place for your roadmap to success. It helps you separate the effective recruitment strategies from ineffective recruitment strategies. Our next article will expand on this to help you activate the science of recruitment industry success in your business.

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