Cover - How Fit Is Your Recruitment Business


Do you have a business that's fit to scale? Discover your score and how you stack up.

Three men at meeting in office

5 Lessons I Learnt About Making Coasting Recruiters Accountable

Posted by Nicky Coffin

Coasting recruiters can be a real challenge for recruitment managers. It can be especially frustrating to be working with consultants that you know have the potential to do better, but they just don’t seem to be able to get it right. Even more so when you hire experienced consultants that promise high billings and fail to deliver.


Most of the time you feel that if they just picked up the phone more often, it would make a difference, but they seem to do everything to avoid making the calls. It can be really frustrating as a manager. Here are five lessons I’ve learnt about making coasting recruiters accountable:


The acronym SMART stands for 5 aspects of Accountability when Setting Goals and Priorities:


S – Specific and stretching


When setting goals and priorities with consultants it is important that the goals are very specific. A goal like “I want to bill more” is so vague that it will be difficult to hold the consultant accountable to it. They may bill £100 more and feel they have achieved their goal, when in reality they are still short of their billing target.




A goal that is specific describes in detail what is to be achieved. For example: A consultant that commits to making 20 more proactive business development calls within a week has a very specific goal to be accountable to.


M – Measureable


It is important to put a figure to the goal or priority. What gets counted counts…. So by putting a measure on the goal or priority will help the consultant to know when they have achieved it.


For example: If a consultant has two weeks to start increasing their billings, yet after the first week they haven’t arranged any first interviews, then they are still on ground zero – it’s unlikely that they will make a placement in the next week because they have no pipeline.


They might feel this is nothing to worry about as they still have another week to get it right. But if a goal is measureable it is easier to break it down into bite sized chunks. Every week or even every day it outlines what they need to achieve in order to achieve the goal. It creates a sense of accountability, a measure to show are they on track or not and makes them realize they have to consistently be taking specific actions to achieve their goals.


A – Attractive


A goal that is attractive makes people want to work towards it. If it is not something the consultant really wants they are unlikely to put in a sustained effort. Making a goal attractive involves finding out what the real personal value is to the consultant. What will billing £300k this year really mean for them?


Salesman selling car to family


Will it help them pay off their house or finance the renovation they want to do? Will it help them upgrade their car or pay for their children’s university education? The attractiveness is not just about the money, otherwise the target would rather be this this growing company. It is about defining what achieving the goal will mean for the consultant.


R – Realistic


It is easy to sprout big dreams, but are they realistic? Does the consultant have the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve them? Realistic goals are ones that are attainable. They instill a belief in the consultant that they can achieve them. They are therefore more likely to be accountable to realistic goals.


T – Time Framed

Time Management Solutions And Productivity


To be accountable a goal must be within a specific time frame. This outlines by when the consultant must have achieved certain milestones. A time frame really encourages accountability, especially in coasting recruiters.


I hope you found this article useful.  If you would like some more tips on how to deal with the inner game or help your team to deal with their inner game – join my FREE Webinar The 6 Step System to Convert Your Under Performers to High Billers in 14 days or Less’ 


Click on this link to sign up: 6 Steps Convert your Under Performers to High Billers


‘Til next time,