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If you’ve come here for some Christmas cheer today, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. It’s not that I’m a grinch, just with a frantic end to 2023, I’m yet to roll out my yule log. Trying to sell and buy a house simultaneously, whilst also committed to Jury Service for the last 2 weeks of the working year, means that some festive frivolity will most definitely feature in the blog – just not this week. Instead, and given the behaviours I’ve witnessed from recruitment GMs of late, I wanted a quick overview of things you really shouldn’t be doing in 2024.

Operating a deficit model

Incredibly, a tiny number of firms still think this is reasonable behaviour. For those not in the industry, or have only ever worked for fair and reasonable bosses, the deficit model works as follows: A Consultant has a target/threshold/standard requirement. Once they bill over this, they get paid commission. This is standard practice. With a deficit model, if a Consultant doesn’t hit their threshold on any given month or quarter, the defecit is added to the next month or quarter. So for someone new to the industry, country, or desk, they may take 6 months to get to target. And then on month 7 they’re told “You’re $80k in the hole, plus your target of $20k this month. Best of luck digging yourself out”. These people typically find themselves trapped in a never-ending cycle of trying to catch up. If you are a boss who thinks this is a good idea, you might as well ship Cambodian 16 year old’s over to have sex for money to pay for the air fare. You’re no different.

Attaching stigma to redundancy

This applies to all of us. We make jobs redundant, not people. We performance manage people out of the business who aren’t performing. If you are made redundant, it is not a performance issue or a euphemism for one. We’re all guilty of getting this wrong. Some of the biggest billers and best performers I know have had their role made redundant previously. Hell, I’ve even been made redundant – as incredible as that may seem…

Reducing your fees

I spoke with a Recruitment GM the other day who has a new competitor. This new competitor has launched with a unique business model. Is driven by AI? Do they harness the power of outsourcing? Is a totally unique way of recruiting? No. They’re doing what they always did, but at 8%. I speak from experience when I say that it’s very difficult to provide a consistent, quality service at 15%, time you have to pay the bills and buy a flashy watch. Doing less than this is a compromise on service. Don’t do it.

Hiring lesser candidates “direct”

Clients do, this which is silly enough, however even Recruitment Agencies an Internal functions are guilty of this. Daily, you will witness a former colleague, employee, or candidate pop up on LinkedIn with a new flashy job. You think yourself “why the hell did they hire that sex pest??”, and then you realise: the lack of an agency fee makes clients incredibly forgiving. Needless to say, it rarely works out.

Playing favourites

We all get on with some better than other. In my office, I have a special connection with the young fella who waters the plants. However, certain firms run on the basis of cliques. New Zealand in particular seems to be a country largely concerned with a “face didn’t fit” mentality. Because of this, we see capable people who are just a bit different being side-lined, whilst the pretty grad who went to the right school and says the right thing to the boss getting prematurely elevated into management positions. If your motive to run a business is to receive sycophantic praise from underlings, then start a fashion magazine, not a recruitment firm.

Representing candidates without their permission

A mainstay of the rec to rec industry, but something I have never done. Not even once. How hard is it to have a chat, call, or flick a text saying “What about Absolute IT?”? This happens across all sectors of course with some firms relying on some small print to sneakily get permission to turn your CV into a billboard on Willis Street. The thing with this, is that it’s not actually that effective. And it doesn’t save much time. It’s just great for those lazy people who work really hard to be lazy, and there’s a few of those around.

Anyway, I’m down in Rotorua for the Rice/JOYN/SuperHUMAN Christmas do currently, so that’s enough negativity from me. Time to sink some Bloody Marys and cause chaos on the luge.

Merry Christmas.