June 25, 2018

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How to Develop Better Training

Yesterday I sat in a meeting in a clientís office in with one of the top consultants in the staffing industry, Scott Wintrip. Scott is the founder of StaffingU (, a coaching and consulting firm specializing in improving performance within staffing companies. When he was telling our common client the criteria of good training and operations, he told them it had to fit within the framework of these three questions:

  1. Is it simple?
  2. Can it be replicated?
  3. Do we believe it is going to be effective?

I also added a fourth question. Is it fun? Letís just admit that fun is a major motivator of people who work in our business and make it fun for a change. Based on this line of questioning, how do the operations and training of your firm stack up?

At your next internal training meeting, ask for the help of your staff to improve the performance of your operations training program. As a group, go over each of those four questions, dividing the training of your operations into the following five categories:

  1. Client development: getting new clients.
  2. Candidate development: recruitment.
  3. Deal closure: putting it all together.
  4. External relationships: getting other people to follow our lead; sales and influence.
  5. Internal relationships: building our self-image, relationship skills and discipline.

If you own a search or staffing firm and donít have a formalized program of developing your people in each of these areas, then they probably wonít come up with it on their own. As an owner or manager, they look to you for guidance and instruction. If you donít give it to them, theyíll find it somewhere else.

I once had a frustrated owner of a large search firm ask me, "What happens if I train my staff and they leave?"

I answered, "What happens if you donít, and they stay?"

Developing a training specific training program doesnít have to be expensive. (For details on how to do this, visit one of my previous articles: Recruiting Tip For training resources, visit this article: Recruiting Tip ). Give each of your staff permission to brainstorm how to improve each of those categories. This could be a five week exercise, where you look at one category each week and follow Wintripís model to develop and improve a program of training.

If you own or manage a firm then you need to feed the hunger for good training with your staff. Thatís the biggest need I hear from the trenches of the industry right now: they are hungry for effective and solid training. Are you on a tight budget? Then give a hundred dollar bill to each of your recruiters and tell them to go to the bookstore to buy sales books together. Once theyíve read all of what they have bought, then do it again. Hold them accountable to read two pages everyday and discuss what theyíve read each week as a group together. If they arenít reading then you have an immediate gage of how motivated they are to win. If they arenít willing to do everything that it takes to develop their skills then they have already plateaued out. They will bill the equal or less than what they have billed in previous years, nothing more. If you do not strengthen your muscles, they atrophy. If you do not continuously build your skills and sharpen them, then you are losing marketshare to those recruiters who are.

If you work a desk and work for a firm that has never sent you to a sales or recruiting seminar or convention or has never invested in any training materials for you to use then start investing out of your own pocket. Youíll get the money back when you start producing and youíll actually be at an advantage over those who have everything spoon-fed to them because youíll appreciate it more. Buy your own tapes. Buy your own books. Pay for your own conference fees and airfare and lodging. Set up a budget of a percentage of your billings each month to invest back into your own desk. Attend your state and national conventions. If your boss wonít send you there then send yourself there.

In our business, whoever wants to win the most always wins. Start today by developing a specific and effective model for training and see how far you can go.

-Scott Love

Copyright © 2004 Scott Love

Scott Love is a syndicated columnist, an author, and the most frequently-published trainer in the search and staffing industry. He improves the performance of recruiters and recruiting managers regardless of the economy. To book him for your next meeting, call him at 1-828-225-7700. His speaking clients include large search firm franchises, independently owned staffing and search firms and major staffing industry trade associations.