Training your staff – How to do a skills audit

It’s a good time to be in recruitment. In fact, we think the recruitment industry is set to grow by around 5% over the next year ().

It’s a good time to be in recruitment. In fact, we think the recruitment industry is set to grow by around 5% over the next year ().

Clients are navigating candidate shortages and political uncertainty, so in many sectors, they rely on professional recruiters to help their business succeed.

But a booming industry means increased competition. To keep ahead of the competition, you need to demonstrate to clients that your consultants are the best around. But how do you do that?

Having a solid employee retention strategy is key. As the voice of the recruitment industry and 11,500 individual recruitment professionals, we identify three core pillars to a successful retention strategy:

  1. Training your staff
  2. Recognising your staff
  3. Rewarding your staff

Career development writer Sharon Florentine of CIO says ‘providing ongoing education and clear paths to advancement’ is one of the top strategies for employee retention.

In the first edition of a three-series blog, we introduce you to the first pillar – training your staff. This piece is all about effectively conducting a skills audit to identify the skills gap and addressing your team’s training needs.

Identify the ‘core’ skills gap

  • The first step is to list the skills your business needs. Think about the following:
  • What’s on the job description for the functions for your recruitment consultants?
  • Are they the right skills, or are they still relevant?
  • Are there any that are missing because of market changes / it’s been a while since you updated the JDs?
  • Are there any skills that clients have started to ask for and you predict might be on the rise? 

So – you now have a list of skills, how well does your business match them?

Can you honestly say your consultants are 8 / 10 and above for the core skills? If they aren’t 8+/10, now’s the time to decide what to do about it.

How? Prioritise.

  • The likelihood is you will have consultants that are great at X but not so great at Y, and vice versa. Think about:
  • How can you share knowledge between them?
  • What do you do to encourage inter-team skills development?
  • What are their career aspirations?
  • Is recruitment where they see their future in?

Making someone the “trainer” to others in the team for a particular skill can really make someone feel valued. But if it’s a gap across a number of people, a new area you’ve identified that is ripe for development, or something where you just need to step it up – now’s the time to develop a training programme. Let everyone pitch in their ideas for this but make it clear that you will need to prioritise those ideas, so it is a business fit.

It's time to action

You’ve got your priority list – now’s the time to action it.

The hardest bit of commissioning some form of external training is being assured of the quality. If you want to go down the qualification route – make sure it is with an accredited awarding organisation. It’s a highly recommended route for those serious about their career in recruitment.

MPA Recruitment invests in their rising stars through Level 3 in Recruitment Practicse 

If it’s training on certain skills, what’s their track record – how long have they done this training, can you see any customer testimonials? Good trainers never mind being asked these questions!  If you get stuck on this or want a sounding board, have a conversation with your REC account manager, or me at [email protected]

Keep the momentum going

Training isn’t just about one day out of the office.

What’s your plan to embed the training so you get some ROI? How do you communicate to your clients and candidates that your consultants have recognised skills, and are now even more equipped to advise them on ways to succeed? That’s why many of our members have looked at our individual membership.

The REC offers a company-purchase scheme of individual membership for consultants who are serious about their profession and want to show clients their credentials. The individual membership offers them access to:

  • Post-nominal letters – added to their personal branding sites and collateral recognising them as a professional recruiter (e.g. on LinkedIn profiles )
  • Professional guides – offering a wealth of information and practical tips for recruitment professionals
  • Member-exclusive rates on recruitment training courses - for beginners and experienced recruiters to new team leaders 
  • Access to online student hub – where they can access study materials and prepare for their exams (for those taking qualifications)
  • CPD scheme – to keep track of their career development and identify areas of improvement (for those taking qualifications)

As an employer, we all want peace of mind that our team is the right one, with the right skills and the good guys are going to be loyal.

If you wish to explore this membership scheme for your team, or have any feedback on the blog, drop me an email at [email protected]

In the next edition, we’ll look at methods and tips on successful recognition of your staff as part of your employee retention strategy.