There’s a famous motivational saying by William H. Johnson, ‘If it is to be, it is up to me’, and there’s no better route to success in the recruitment world than by following this adage.
Successful people know that they must forge their own path in life and that they must take full responsibility for their careers if they expect to end up on top. Savvy recruiters do this by writing their own development plan.
1. Conduct your own performance review.
This means taking stock of your career strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and disasters. In the last year, where could you have done better, and where did you find the work easy and fulfilling? How are you managing the admin side of recruiting, and are you making efforts to build your talent pool and client referrals?
Every recruiter has their talents and weak spots; the difference is that successful recruiters don’t ignore their weaknesses but create an action plan for overcoming them.
2. Build your selling skills.
This one may seem rather obvious!! And many recruiters go on auto-pilot with their pitches once they’ve been in the job for a while and may forget to develop their selling skills further. Given that the power to persuade is the core skill of a recruiter, it is vital to continue to hone your sales techniques.
There are so many resources out there to improve your pitching, closing and retention skills- whether that’s reading sales blogs or books, attending seminars and webinars, or reaching out to your billing manager for some one-to-one coaching.
3. Broaden your knowledge.
The best recruiters are great conversationalists and are full of interesting data and facts they can use to help their clients and candidates get results. This means keeping abreast of recruitment trends in your sector (and beyond), keeping an eye on economic data and potential new opportunities, and reading the latest literature on leadership, interview skills and business strategy.
Clients will be impressed when you always have a new idea to help their business grow or impress a candidate with some tips to improve their interview skills.
4. Have clear goals in mind.
It can be very tempting to try and improve every measure of your performance at once, but it’s a strategy that invites splintering your attention and possibly not getting much achieved at all.
Instead, your development plan should be extremely clear and focussed on only one or two goals at a time, with each goal split into small, measurable steps with deadlines.
Know exactly what is needed to reach your goal (for instance, if you want a promotion in two years, what exact skills and qualities will you need to get there?
5. Predict and plan for obstacles.
The road to the top is rarely a smooth one, and often peaks and troughs along the way. What do you see as a potential obstacle to your success? Can you plan for this, have alternative options in place, or will you simply need to improve your confidence and ability to rise to meet challenges when they come?
6. Ask for assistance.
You should sit down with your billing manager and let them know what your goals are.
A good manager will be able to help you frame them successfully (in ways that reflect well on you as a member of the team.) They can also help you with career planning, and perhaps suggest a mentor or further reading or training to help you develop in the long term.
Any manager worth their salt will be very happy you’re taking charge of your career, as it means that you’ll bring success to them and the company!
7. Measure your progress.
This will be easy if you’ve formulated a good development plan as outlined in step 4. Because you should have broken up your goals into small, measurable steps, it will be easy to see when you’re falling behind the deadlines or targets you set yourself.
Measuring progress is an extremely important aspect of ensuring success— otherwise, your development plan will probably just languish in a drawer after a rush of initial enthusiasm!
Set time aside each week to assess your progress or set a goal of checking in daily to ensure you’ve worked on at least one thing (even if just an email or reading a blog post) that moves you closer to your development goal.
When you take the reins of your own career, the possibilities are endless. A development plan is the most strategic, productive, and motivating way to take control of your success.
Until next time,