Something that’s been on my mind over the holiday season is why there aren’t more virtual recruitment companies around.
And with virtual, I mean companies that are organised around a common set of goals, values, and mission, where the traditional ‘get them all into one big room’-approach is eschewed in favour of a network of professionals, enabled by a core organisation of technology, support, facilities and learning opportunities.
He’s gone mad, I can hear you think. But no, no, I’m actually serious. I know it sounds like a bit of a pipe-dream, especially when you consider the traditional business model of tightly controlled performance management, but the model actually exists in the real world, and it has so many advantages that it almost seems crazy that there isn’t even one recruitment firm that’s already fully moved in this direction.
But despite the recruitment sector’s apparent suitability (or should that be compatibility with?) for such a model (they are trained professionals, they work independently, they don’t need equipment beyond a computer and a phone, and they are largely self-motivating through the traditional remuneration model), we have to look elsewhere for organisations who have fully embraced a similar working model.
And somewhat counter-intuitively, we find a great example in a business sector that hasn’t got a reputation for embracing new methods of working particularly fast; law.
The arguably very successful law firm, Keystone Law, founded in 2002, has gone against the stream and built their success around a fully flexible working model that enables everyone to work where they like, when they like, in addition to having the freedom to develop their own business, rather than being bound by the usual constraints present in a typical corporate law firm. I recommend you to read more about them and their structure on their recruitment site.
Now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you that I’m a big fan of this type of flexible working model, and would like to see more of it implemented in recruitment. Looking at the case for it, the number of benefits are numerous, in terms of productivity and cost, as well as a boost in morale, motivation, and wellbeing.
It would make sense to build the working day around the needs of the clients and candidates rather than the notion that work needs to take place at certain delimited hours. It would also make sense to remove the requirement that the work takes place in an open plan office (open plan offices, coincidentally, are now universally reviled as the dumbest management fad of all times).
Once the fixed costs related to each employee needing her own fixed desk space are mitigated, the model would also open up more to part-time work, which would lead to an increased talent pool. Not to mention how it could be used as a powerful talent attraction tool, ensuring that only the most capable and professional recruiters ended up working for you.
In my mind, the potential to create something that could be considered the next level in the industry is clearly there, but it would take a certain type of visionary leadership to embrace a totally new way of working.
The good thing is that it’s entirely possible to get started on a smaller scale, building towards a flexible working model step by step. If you would like to explore how this could be done in your firm, feel free to get in touch for a free, no-obligation conversation. You can book through my calendar below, or email me directly.
Author: Ben Brett
As a recruitment company transformation expert, I advise coach and mentor specialist recruitment company owners and leaders.