In my most recent two blogs I’ve looked at positive steps recruitment consultancies can implement to help ensure steady and sustained growth. However, it is often equally informative to learn from mistakes as to forge a faultless path.

The most common mistakes that recruitment consultancies make tend to be hiring mistakes – doctors as they say make the worst patients.

Mistake 1 - unstructured hiring

Many recruitment firms get into a cycle of making some money then hiring, making some more money then hiring etc. Typically hires will be made to grow the team that is generating the revenue or alternatively to the division which has the greatest prospect of growth. Three years later it will be quite apparent that the company invested in the wrong areas wasting resources. The three year plan should include the ultimate team structure that you are striving for and a plan for how to get there. Hire according to that plan.

Mistake 2 - poor hiring

Too many consultancies are willing to hire the first person who may be able to the job as they look to maintain their growth plans or deliver a seamless service to clients or candidates. To avoid this, companies should be constantly mapping the market identifying people they might hire and building relationships with those candidates. However, before looking externally to replace lost talent or grow the team, you should always look internally to see whether the talent is already within your organisation. If these people are overlooked, you may well be emergency hiring again sooner than you’d hoped.

Mistake 3 - chasing new business

For some firms there is a tendency to chase new clients at the expense of servicing and growing existing clients. The lower the churn of your existing client base, the faster your company will grow.

There is one easy way to avoid these mistakes. Develop a detailed internal performance plan and make someone responsible for delivering it.