Managing a team of recruiters is a tough gig, especially when you’re expected to make placements yourself. You’ve no doubt done really well to get you to the point of having your own team – but managing people is a completely different ball game. You can’t just worry about yourself and your own performance anymore; you’re now responsible for the wellbeing and profitability of others, too.
Finding a management method that works for you takes time; no one gets it right immediately. Striking the correct balance of friendliness, seniority, delegation, praise and deserved discipline is extremely difficult. Whether you are a first time manager or a decorated boss with years of experience, it’s important to continually check your habits.
Failing to nurture potential and encourage success in the right way will eventually result in higher employee turnover, dips in performance, unsatisfied team members and low morale. In one way or another there consequences are costly and avoidable. How? By checking your leadership style against these red flag ‘bad manager’ behaviours:
Watching someone delegate task after task, without practicing what they preach is extremely frustrating. Great managers lead by example and set the bar high.
2. Crushing comparisons
Continually making comparisons between the work of some employees vs others is really patronising and belittling. Making examples out of people doing really well can be inspirational, but can also have negative effects if people start to feel they’re never going to be as good as you want them to be.
Favouring certain people in the team might not be a conscious decision you make, but can happen without you realising. Who do you consistently ask for extra assistance? Who do you spend the most time with? Who do you praise the most? Who do you feel has the most potential? If the same person keeps springing to mind, the other people in your team are probably noticing too. Each person will require a different level of management and support, but employees in the same team should feel as valued as each other.
3. Insufficient feedback
Leaving people to their own devices encourages independence and the use of initiative, however failing to provide proper constructive criticism or praise can leave employees feeling unsure as to how they are performing. Your employees shouldn’t be kept guessing as to whether they are doing a good job or not.
4. Being too friendly
Trying to be too ‘cool’ with your employees can make them feel they don’t have a proper figure of authority to look up to. If you try to be too friendly and connect with them on a super personal level, they might feel uncomfortable raising serious issues with you about their role, your actions or other serious issues concerning colleagues. There is a balance to be struck between being friendly and being ‘too’ friendly.
5. Being a dictator
Further on from my previous point, it’s important not to be too stern, bossy and unapproachable. Yes you are more senior than your team members, however, a team is supposed to work together and gel as one unit. If you only ever talk about work, targets and performances, your colleagues won’t feel they connect with you as a person. There’s no exact science about how to strike the perfect friend / manager balance, but it’s important to remain professional and open.
6. Lack of comms lines
Great managers should advertise an ‘open door policy’, where employees know they will have an avenue of speaking with you and raising any concerns. Setting up weekly meetings can be extremely helpful in making sure that workloads don’t get in the way of frequent feedback sessions. By holding regular one-to-ones, you’ll be able to spot a dissatisfied employee quicker, and address the case before it’s too late.
7. KPI inflexibility
Having KPIs is great, especially in recruitment where your success is only as good as your output. However, all recruiters will have a different style of working, different clients and different strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to create individual KPIs for different individuals. All employees can’t be painted with the same brush.