Someone recently told me to change the way I measure success. A simplistic view but it really resonated with me especially as I’ve been in recruitment and sales environment for over 15 years, where success has predominantly been measured by the cold hard fees on the board. Those who have been in recruitment will be familiar with the term “you’re only as good as your last month” but for me, it's certainly never been just about fees, so what does success look like if it is not financially based?
When reflecting on how I measure my “value” as an executive recruiter within the medical sector, I came up with 4 key elements which make me feel fulfilled and proud to do what I do. Refreshingly - fees, monetary return and leader-boards didn’t feature anywhere. Perhaps I’m not your stereotypical 'salesy' salesperson but in actual fact, I’m thrilled about that. My measure of success is ultimately determined differently, so starting today I’m calculating my value by adding the following elements together so my clients and future prospects will understand the “measure of me”.
Recruitment is often deemed a necessary evil and the lowly consultant can be categorised alongside the unfortunate bad rep of car salespeople, estate agents and the like. However, you wouldn’t be in recruitment unless you liked the people element of the industry and enjoyed interacting with them. I can hear a few scoffs when reading this as you may have met some unsavory characters along the way, but in general “I’m a people person” and “people buy from people” is relevant and evident in a people-centric industry such as recruitment. Personally, I relish spending time with like-minded commercially astute individuals where I can creatively and pro-actively ease a client’s recruitment pain points and challenges by using the network and relationships I’ve built over time. I offer more than a transaction; with my clients, I seek a partnership and a collaborative relationship where I can add value, advise and support their organisation on its strategic and often business-critical decisions. Ultimately relationships I can be proud of and nurture for the foreseeable future.
With a genuine interest in my clients and an in-depth understanding of their business direction, future opportunities often present themselves as a result of the trust and relationship which has been built. There is a huge sense of satisfaction and gratitude when a client comes back to use your services again, despite undoubtedly the numerous attempts from competitors to break those connections. Although we’d like to think we’re part of our clients business, often once a senior position has been placed we are surplus to requirements, but then for the client to re-engage and rekindle the relationship speaks volumes. The recruitment market is saturated but you’ll know with most things that if you’ve had a good experience – you’ll go back.
There is no greater compliment than a recommendation, especially if it comes from aspirational CEO’s/MD’s who you’ve had the pleasure of working with. For those individuals to refer you on to their peers and network speaks volumes about the service they’ve received. A strong ambassador who sees the value in the retained partnership and who is prepared to champion your service to a wider audience is the best business development tool you could wish for. At Collingwood, our network, relationships and partnerships reach far and wide and as good word spreads, doors open and new opportunities arise. Where those referrals lead is an exciting prospect.
Learning & Development
Having recruited into various industry sectors and varying size businesses, every client requires something different from the recruitment campaign so personal learning is continuous. Every candidate has a story to tell and every business has a story to share, so being the storyteller, interweaving their expertise together is quite a privilege. People can relate and empathise with stories far more a sales spiel which is soullessly regurgitated. Knowledge of your sector gives you confidence and credibility in your space, however, the key thing to remember is to listen and learn from others experiences so you can try different things. If you enjoy the learning process and have a genuine enthusiasm for sharing stories then the engagement from your audience will be evident. Personally, I find the medical sector fascinating and inspiring, therefore, enthusiasm is never an issue.
What’s interesting when I reflect on these personal measurements is how much they align to Collingwood as a business and mirror our company vision to be a trusted advisor. The fact is we are not a transactional business looking for a sale, instead, we seek an opportunity to help by understanding our client’s challenges and vision. We are always looking to learn from the medical businesses we support to refine the service we provide and that’s why clients come back and as a result, we’ve built long-term partnerships.
To find out more about Collingwood, our process and how we support our clients get in touch on 01829 732374.