Alright, listen up all you professionals out there, especially those in the staffing industry! If you wanna stay on top of your game and keep those clients happy, you gotta prioritize continuous improvement. And let me tell you, just having some boring old performance management system in place ain’t gonna cut it.
Don’t believe me? Well, even the bigwigs themselves have admitted there are better ways to boost your recruitment company’s success. So, stop clinging to those outdated methods and start thinking outside the box. It’s time to revamp your feedback system and really get that continuous improvement ball rolling. Trust me, you’ll thank me later when you’re crushing the competition like the boss you are.
The Goal of Performance Management Lost Its Way
Kathi Enderes and Matthew Shannon of Deloitte agree that today’s employees view their company’s performance management efforts as confusing, subjective, and not occurring an adequate number of times.1 In the experience of many professionals, performance management seems to be simply a numbers game that unintentionally puts employees against each other.
Instead of using their performance evaluation to set goals and improve the employee experience, workers feel this inadvertent comparison makes them feel unappreciated. Research done by CEB revealed that 6 percent of Fortune 500 companies had let go of employee rankings altogether in hopes of moving on from traditional performance management.2
What is the case for staffing agencies? Putting recruiters and the rest of the team into the traditional process of evaluating performance did have its benefits. Everyone gets a sense of how they are doing when it comes to talent acquisition, but there is a tendency for this means of a performance review to be general.
Also, performance management tends to center on the past and present: the quality of hires, the number of clients served, and so on. Recruitment leaders tend to skip giving actionable insights and goal setting on what to improve in the future.
It’s high time for recruitment companies to skip using performance management as a sole means to look into how to increase their effectiveness in staffing for these other reasons:
Timeliness. Performance management processes take time to complete. A recruiter may have encountered tens or hundreds of applicants only to find out their handling of interviews needed work. The opportunity to correct one’s wrongs has passed multiple times.
Relevancy. An offshoot of this lack of timeliness is how applicable the evaluation is. The long time before the results are delivered may give an idea to the staffing employee that numbers are no longer relevant to the employee’s current outlook on their work.
What your recruiters have learned about handling demanding clients or unresponsive candidates are the same things they’ll read about in performance reviews. It’s frustrating for them that feedback to them doesn’t contribute to employee growth.
Authenticity. The process is reduced as a means for performance appraisal. Effective performance management is equated to looking into which employee to promote or which one is failing to meet targets. There is no actual employee engagement happening.3
Recruiters and other staffing professionals aren’t given a pat on the back for a job well done or guided into how else they can help applicants find their best roles. If the process is only something to overcome, why do it anyway?
A Feedback System: Your Staffing Company’s Continuous Performance Management Method.
Performance management doesn’t drive performance. Opportunities for employee engagement are lost, and instead of focusing on what quality performance could be, recruiters feel they are compared to one another through outdated evaluations. Use methods that collect feedback straight from your consumers, the clients, and potential hires your recruiters to handle fills in the different areas performance management fails to meet:
Better recall. When clients or potential hires send their feedback about their experience in the hiring pipeline, feedback can be quickly processed or directed to staffing firm employees who handled them. Feedback is timely, and your employees will better remember when they assisted this particular hire or client.
Compared to performance management reports that take days or weeks to complete, the staffing employee has recent memory, and better understands how to move forward with their job.
Goals are made concrete. When your staffing employee faces a certain complaint from a client or hire, they can discuss it with you in full detail. You can then discuss the steps to correct this mishap and recreate goals to avoid future complaints.
This is nearly impossible with performance management reports. Feedback can be general, and the employee will end up following a directive they don’t recall what for. The recency of the occurrence makes it better to calibrate what is better behavior from now on.
Improved employee engagement. With feedback from clients and candidates coming in, there is a multitude of opportunities to discuss with your team what your customers are saying about how your services are delivered.
But more than just mere conversation starters, constant feedback is an avenue for your team to voice out their concerns about how your company is going about business. Instead of waiting for their annual performance and speaking about their opinions at the last minute, your staffing team is encouraged to express themselves immediately. Employee motivation is met through constant feedback.
Team initiative is achieved. Aside from being motivated, your staffing agency can apply changes immediately based on client or candidate feedback you recently received. Compared to a compilation of input from numerous situations indicated in a performance management report, even the slightest feedback can be immediately put into action.
Discussing it with the team immediately improves your services’ calibration, and your movement to meet company goals is tweaked toward a better direction.
We are not totally discounting the benefits of performance management. However, for staffing companies that handle clients and potential hires upfront, it’s better to hear from them first and foremost. After all, employee performance is directly linked to customer satisfaction, and in this case, leading applicants to the right roles and building competitive workforces are expectations your agency should meet. Listen to what they have to say to get firsthand info on improving performance.
Related reading: Building Tomorrow Starts Today: 4 Staffing Lessons from Apple
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1 Lalwani, Puja. “What Is Performance Management? Definition, Process, Cycle, and Best Practices for Planning.” Spiceworks. https://www.spiceworks.com/hr/performance-management/articles/what-is-performance-management/. Published last August 10, 2020. Accessed last February 25, 2023.
2 Centrical. “Traditional Performance Management Doesn’t Drive Performance nor Engagement. What Does?” https://centrical.com/performance-management-doesnt-drive-engagement/. Published last July 25, 2015. Accessed last February 25, 2023.
3 Engler, Scott. “Why Performance Management Doesn’t Drive Performance.” LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/brief-history-why-performance-management-fails-drive-scott-engler/. Published last January 26, 2016. Accessed last February 25, 2023.