Defining desired behaviours first
Indicators can include:
- Is new client acquisition a focus, or account expansion and penetration?
- Is your team consolidating their work and building foundations for future growth (by building a detailed, annotated CRM and candidate database), or just scraping by on month-to-month billings?
- Do you need to focus on doing more deal volume, or improving average deal value?
Creating incentive tiers
Incentives operate like a series of levers that your leadership can pull, the ‘carrot’ to the KPI ‘stick’. A range of different incentive tiers can help you clearly see where and when you can have the desired impact on your team’s performance:
- Basic – which behaviours need to be encouraged on an ongoing basis, to keep the wheels turning? (e.g. monthly sales goals).
- Strategic – what can you layer in to steer the agency in a certain direction, such as incentivising winning new customers, penetrating new markets, winning retained business or more contract work?
- Short-term – what instant-impact incentives can you use to generate activity spikes when needed, either pro or re-actively? For example capitalising on seasonal opportunities, building pipeline during a sub-par quarter, or accelerating out of a New Year slump?
Leveraging a full range of incentives
As an employer, you have access to a wide range of tools which can be used to encourage recruiter output.
As your incentive plan matures, it’s important to take advantage of the full set of options in order to shape culture, develop employees and maintain healthy cashflow.
A high-level overview of different incentive types might include:
Commissions, bonuses, shares and share options
Job title, salary, responsibility, leadership, autonomy
Courses, conference attendance, materials
Holidays, remote working, company cars, expenses accounts
Client meetings, company offices
Group & team goals, office goals, company goals
Making sure incentives are understood
After the effort and expense of planning incentive programs, take the time to ensure that your team knows exactly what’s available to them and how to achieve it!
Developing a weighted pipeline system is an effective approach, grading each opportunity a recruiter is working on by vital signs such as how advanced it is in the process, the level of client hiring urgency, number of competing candidates etc.