Careers Insight: The personal touch

When planning a recruitment project, the first and most important question is: why should someone leave one firm to move to another? So make your approach personal 

Gwilliam

There are some inexpensive ways of assembling a shortlist but there is always a risk it may not include candidates you could have seen if different tactics had been adopted in the first instance. It is important to remember that, when it comes to recruitment, there will always be other firms looking to do the same.

We recently completed a project for a specialist lender that wanted to recruit a business development manager who knew a certain region well and would be driven to develop the brand and business volumes there. Previous recruitment activity had cost the firm four months in time, involving more than 10 interviews with interested but non-compatible candidates.

By working collaboratively we found there were 17 appropriate BDMs with whom the firm had had no discussions. A headhunt call was made to all of them. The BDMs from mainstream lenders had an average length of service of nine years but all had territories that covered only a few of the required postcodes. In general, the idea of breaking service in order to take on a bigger territory was not an attractive prospect to 70 per cent of those approached, despite the potential for adding 30 to 40 per cent to total earnings. Unsurprisingly, work-life balance was referred to, along with security of tenure.

However, four of the BDMs acknowledged the need for a career plan and were aware that the specialist market was growing. It was a space that interested them. It became clear from their respective situations that change would stretch their skills, add dimensions to their CV and accelerate their earnings.

As with any shopping list, the process to select the right product, at the right price and with the right ‘sell-by date’ is only ever as effective as where you go shopping in the first place. When planning a recruitment project, the first and most important question is: why should someone leave one firm to move to another? There is power in an approach that has been researched and where the message is personalised. This should help establish trust and credibility early in the dialogue, which is imperative if the person is going to be inclined to think about the aspects of their current role that they are not happy with. It is then about outlining the reasons why the new opportunity will enhance their career.

The desire to have the best BDM in front of key brokers is a priority for those developing distribution. With this in mind, an important challenge to put to any BDM in a recruitment process is to ask whether they have consistently outperformed their lender’s natural market share in their region.

For those in the sales teams of the top 10 lenders, income has been very static over the past six years and earnings have not been geared to reward those who have outperformed the national average. 

The next 12 months offer the chance to earn relative to the value delivered. For those prepared to back their ability to make things happen, there is a lot of upside in being part of a new company and helping it to exceed its business plan.