For the past 3 months, I have been working with a labour-hire business improving their performance. That is, re-engineering the business; attracting top performers; managing them and building the revenue streams.
This particular business had not really grown for over 12 months and the revenue was only just covering the costs - no real profit. The MD was tired of the day to day slog of running a business and wanted to go off and do other things.
I saw potential, however much needed to change. Here's what I did to improve the business. In fact, I increased the hours (and revenue) by 80% in 3 short months. A great achievement in a declining market.
Take a look at my checklist for success:
Are the right people on the right seats on the right bus? This was my first assessment. A hard one to make and there were casualties. To grow the business, I needed smart, driven people whom I could stretch to achieve the results needed.
Make them accountable. Next part of my process was to introduce KPI's for everyone in the business. I wanted to know if there were any skill gaps, who was lazy and who didn't want to play the game my way. I must stay the majority got on board - in fact there was only one long standing individual who didn't. This person had some power in the business as she was related to a major client; never a good thing in my view.
Give them clear direction and expectations. I found that I spent many one on one's re-iterating these so that the individuals could move forward. Every team member was given a new, clear job description. The old ones were full of "competencies required" and had very little about day to day activities and expectations.
Lead from the front. During my time in the business, I sat on the consulting floor - listening and watching. This helped me understand the dynamics of the team. Who the team players were and which members were "protecting their patch". I answered the phone; pre-screened candidates; did reference checks and refined each and every process.
Get excited about the results. Every time hours increased by 1000; I gave them a lunch. We made a fuss every step of the way. Essential to keep everyone motivated.
Make perm placements! This business had not had a perm placement focus and I knew this would have immediate impact on the bottom line. I have never seen it work when casual consultants are expected to also fill perm roles so I sought out a perm recruiter for the team.
Here's what I learned from the experience:
Expect that not everyone will get on board with the change. Have a contingency plan. Decide as early as possible who needs to be involved with the strategy and deliver it to the key players. That way they can influence those below them.
Keep delivering the vision. When things get tough, excitement rather than dread will be evident.
Keep energy levels up. I noticed the energy in the office change when one individual arrived and change again when that person left. I had to work hard to combat this.
All in all it was a great experience and reconfirmed in my mind that recruitment is recruitment is recruitment. Some do it well, others do it very badly. I hope the business that I helped can continue on with the growth that I set in place.
Until next time, be the best you can be........