Being a successful leader, particularly in recruitment, is a challenge that becomes exponentially more difficult during a transition period in the organisation. As a business grows, so do the individual teams, and so must the leader. Unfortunately, many recruitment managers maintain their same leadership approach as their team gets bigger – this could be a big mistake.
Leading a large team in recruitment is different to leading a small team, and employers need to be conscious of either making the transition with the team or passing along the torch. Neil Bolton, CEO of Recruitment Systems, debunks conventional leadership models and offers agencies some advice for how to effectively lead a growing business.
As a business grows, so do the individual teams, and so must the leader.
Managing leadership transitions in Australian recruitment
There is a debate that occurs commonly in recruitment with regards to which is a better leadership style, push or pull management. The concept is straightforward: 'Push' leaders urge their employees on from behind and 'pull' managers lead up ahead by example. Neil explains why there shouldn't even be a debate.
"I'm pretty convinced that the best way to be a leader is to . . . um, lead? That's where the word comes from, after all. It's no different to any other leadership job. Get out in front – don't be at the back. Pushing never works as well," he said.
This is especially true during periods of growth when teams need to see their manager out in front of the pack, leading the way. With that in mind, it's also important to keep tabs on the size of your team as the business grows.
Neil Bolton's pyramid model of recruiting leadership
Most recruitment agencies start out small; a manager will be leading a small team single-handedly, and will be doing so with ease. Problems can arise, however, as the team begins to grow larger – but don't worry, there's a solution.
"A leader can only really manage 15, perhaps 25 people before the hands-on touch is gone," Neil says. "But if the leader has trained fifteen other leaders then they can have teams of fifteen under them, which means you have 226 people all going the same way."
This approach effectively builds a leadership pyramid under one manager, both aiding the growth of your business and cultivating leadership qualities in lower-level employees. With the help of a strong leader and an intuitive administrative system, like TRIS Recruitment Software, your agency can move to the next level.