• Mike Walmsley

5 red flags that your biggest biller might not be management material after all…

Most recruitment businesses have one ‘superstar’ recruitment consultant; the person the trainees aspire to become, and the person you hope never decides to leave your company.

So, when that superstar recruiter starts to get hungry for their next challenge, and asks to step into a management role, naturally you would want to say "yes". Why wouldn’t you want them training an army of superstar billers for your business?

But, there’s a catch. Big billers rarely make the best managers.

100% focus on deals is fantastic for billing big, but there's a whole new skill-set needed to lead, manage and inspire a team to bill more together than they might individually.

Most big billers find recruitment relatively easy. That’s part of the reason why they’re so good at it! The trouble is, we all know recruitment can be a gruelling job at times, and some of your consultants will need more time, energy and support than others.

If your big billers can’t empathise with those who don’t find it as easy as them - and don’t step in to help when they can - you might find yourself losing consultants faster than you can hire them.

Most new managers are hyper aware of the fact that their team’s performance is a direct reflection of their performance as a manager. As a result, new managers in recruitment can often become obsessed with KPIs, dials and numbers and have very little interest in the people they are managing.

Consider this; how much does your potential manager know (or care) about employee engagement, performance management or managing through process?

It’s easy to think you’re a big fish when you’re in a small pond. Top performing recruitment consultants need to be confident - they wouldn’t be good at their job if they weren’t. The trouble is, it’s easy for confidence to become blurred with arrogance when you’re the best player on the team.

Find out how open your potential new manager is to ongoing learning - not of their recruiters, but of themselves. There are over 50,000 management books on Amazon, so isn't it logical that there's a lot to learn about how to become a top manager?

High achievers are always setting themselves their next goal; it’s only natural that a big biller would want to become a manager. The trouble is, many big billers are too single-minded – some might say selfish – to manage a team. Their priority will always be their own billings.

Try and find out what it is that is motivating your big billers to pursue a promotion. If they’re not genuinely interested in investing their time into the development of their team, perhaps they would be better off as a manager of big accounts or a division, as opposed to a manager of people.

The biggest red flag that your superstar recruiter isn’t ready to become a manager is that your business is not ready to support them in their transition into the role.

If you don’t have a management training programme in place, with clear goals for them to achieve and a structured means of reporting their progress and holding them accountable, then you absolutely should not promote them, as they undoubtedly will fail.

There are some big billers that just aren’t cut out for management, and that’s fine! Before considering promoting anyone into a management role, click here to download our diagnostic tool, which will help you to decide if they’re a good fit for the role (or if, as above, they should become an account/divisional manager instead).

Then it’s time to put a management training programme in place in your business.

My production team has filmed 65 recruitment and business experts that you can access to run monthly development sessions with your managers. High-level recruitment-specific management training for just £180 for 12 months (that’s 49p per day) and it comes with dozens of recruiter training videos within a branded Learning Management System, where you can track who is implementing the content that you want them to master.

Sign up for free for a couple of weeks and then simply build in one hour per month with your management team to watch a management expert for 15/20 minutes, turn off and discuss how you can implement ideas into your business.

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