Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part series on building and managing a virtual recruiting team. Jordan Rayboy is a big biller, who, after running his business from an RV, now runs his seven figure firm from a home in rural Oregon. In part one, he detailed some of the mistakes he made in founding and building his firm. Today, he focuses on solutions. This article originally appeared in the December 2011 edition of The Fordyce Letter.
The biggest mistake I made over the years (besides those from yesterday) was that I DID NOT SET EXPECTATIONS AND HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE.
This should have started in the interviewing process, and continued with an environment based on accountability once on board.
In order to hold people accountable, they have to be pushing towards goals that they have bought into. They will be much more driven to achieve their goals (all that they want to have, be, or do) as opposed to hitting a number that you arbitrarily plucked from the air. Once they’ve shared what their goals are, you should use metrics to establish what activities are required in order to achieve those levels of production.
Here is what the process might look like:
- Determine a dream — what do they want to have, be, or do;
- Develop PIG (personal income goal) – pre- and post-tax;
- Based on commission percentage and ratios, determine billings, average. fee, number of placements (PL), down to number of first time interviews (FTI) and POEJO’s (MRI slang for candidate submittals) necessary per day and week.
Example: W2 goal = $250k. 50% commission requires $500k billings. $20k average fee = 25 placements. 8:1 FTI:PL ratio = 200 FTI/50 weeks = 4 FTI/week required. 2.5 POEJO:FTI ratio = 10 POEJO’s/wk.
It’s much easier to keep a recruiter focused on a weekly goal of recruiting 10 candidates to present to clients, and setting up four first time interviews, as opposed to focusing on an annual billing goal of $500k.
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Communication is Key
Communication amongst a virtual team is critical and can take many different forms. Some ways that we keep in touch include:
- Intraday 3-way calls with clients and candidates (this is the closest thing to osmosis I’ve found, and them being able to learn from hearing you on the phone);
- IM/Email hroughout the day — keep it business related;
- Daily morning meeting with the entire team — discussing hotsheet, what everyone is focused on for that day, and what critical activity needs to be moved forward to get closer to the money;
- Daily afternoon wrap-up with each individual — how did they do today, what candidates can we present to clients, what objections are they hearing that need to be overcome, etc.;
- Weekly metrics meeting with each individual — discussing the previous week’s performance, what went well, what needs to improve, and how can we course correct;
- Weekly training sessions as a group — we have online videos that we watch Tuesday at 5pm and then discuss as a group at the Wednesday morning meeting, including how we can directly apply what we’ve just learned to our specific niche;
- Quarterly reviews with each individual;
- Annual gatherings as a group — face-to-face time is critical for developing the long-term relationships amongst virtual team members. Whether this is a training conference, an industry trade show, or some other getaway with team building exercises, we try to get together as a team a few times per year.
In my virtual team, we are big on incentivizing performance. Some ways we do this are:
- Rock Star Trip — $250k AE; $500k PC; 25% office contribution for researcher
- Weekly contest — $25 for top blended (FTI/POEJO) percentage attainment (must be over 100% of goal to win)
- Quarterly contest — $100 for top percentage attainment of billing goal (must be over 100% of goal to win)
- Activity Bonuses — $25 FTI; $50 JO (new client); $25 JO (existing client; need first activity on a JO to qualify)
- $100 for our admin for invoices paid on time (she is now relentless following up with clients to get us paid)
The most important thing to remember is that managing a virtual team is basically about managing a team. Most of the same rules apply.
I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes along the journey. But as the old saying goes, “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from making mistakes. Mistakes come from bad judgment.” So don’t let the eventual learning experiences waiting for you keep you from taking action.
As Yoda says, “NO — Try Not! DO, or DO NOT! There is no try.”