“Pareto’s Principle”

The 4-Hour Workweek

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Having just read Tim Ferriss “The 4 Hour Work Week” whilst undertaking the quarterly review of our business I was reminded once again that Pareto’s Principle is our top strategic imperative.

Our top performers (the $1m plus consultants) get 80% of their revenues from the top 20% of their clients…FACT!

An equation backed by a simple desire to focus hard on getting deep relationships across a small number of clients. This creates trust, opportunity and therefore competitive advantage. Whilst it may take a little longer to show returns, given time,  your returns will be far greater.

Yet just about every new consultant I meet seems determined to build a long client list. Maybe this stems from the desire to get a few early wins but I reiterate that this strategy is flawed. Slow down, invest in  fewer clients and aim to build cultural and institutional knowledge, which in turn creates trust. It’s this trust that will leverage you into big returns and protect you from competitive pressures. You will also find yourself enjoying your work a lot more!

Next meeting you have with your manager tell them you want fewer clients!

Stripping it bare! Niche specialisation is the key.

As recruiters sometimes our proposition gets confused. When we present to potential clients it’s very tempting to rant on about great applicant tracking systems, robust assessment processes, social media expertise, great brand campaigns, or whatever. But really, when we cut through all the clutter, the thing we do that we are needed for is to target,  source and manage the right candidate. Yep we now use a whole lot of tools that were not always available but actually any good corporate recruiter and agency can do deploy these tools.

The thing they need us for is the experience and specialist knowledge of our sector. When combined with the skills to search out , engage and manage the process to successful outcomes our relevance never fades and our value is high.

Certainly I acknowledge that in-house recruitment teams and RPO providers can add great value to organisations in terms of volume hires but when the hard to find key people are needed we remain the best source. This is because if we are any good, we know where they are, what they want and we can go out and get to them.

A simple proposition but a complex role, hence there are many more $250k billers and much fewer $1,000,000 billers in our industry.

Be a niche specialist and great relationship manager if you want to stay high up in the value chain. You will always be relevant!

Performance Expectations must be higher!

Winston Churchill in Downing Street giving his...

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Raise the expectation on your recruitment teams and raise the expectation on your clients. 

Both these tactics lead to better quality and better billing! Both these tactics are the right manuevers as demand overtakes supply in our markets.

The next 12-18 months is not the time for conservative leadership. All our conversations should be aimed at high expectations and outcomes both internally and externally. I don’t mean blind faith, I mean clearly defined, focussed goals that commit all parties to great outcomes.

I’ve been watching the rise and rise of one team in particular in our group, Momentum Auckland, and how their individual and collective results keep soaring. They have a high level of retained assignments illustrating committed clients and they have a large number of very high performing consultants illustrating competent goal driven recruiters.

This team is operating in a market that got smashed in the midst of the GFC yet high expectations are being set and met!

Good on you lot… I think a great example for all of us leading recruitment teams!

And here is a very cool statistic … the job order book has gone from 5% to 52% exclusive retained over 18 months… I just wish I could claim it!