Turn Zombies into Top Performers

Posted by Bond Team | April 28, 2015 |

Zombies – they’re everywhere. From The Walking Dead series to the 12 (yes, 12) movies about zombies slated to premier this year, the “undead” are lurching your way faster than you can yell, “Walker!”

I know your team is full of top talent. But on those occasions when staffers suffer through a temporary, zombie-like rough patch, you need to be prepared to intervene. Here’s advice for agency managers – an anti-zombie serum if you will – to help you cure zombies on your staff and get them back to their talented selves.

Implement Anti-Zombie Training Tactics

Your shambling recruiter or salesperson may need augmented training until he or she returns to human. Amy Bingham, staffing industry consultant and coach, says that managers should give underperforming employees specific goals and regular follow up.

“Put the individual in ‘intensive care,’” says Bingham. “If you only meet with this person once a week currently to review progress, step it up to two or three times a week, or even daily huddles if needed.” If there’s no improvement after a few weeks, your employee may be feeling disengaged or dealing with external circumstances.

Counter Zombie (Temporary) Bites

Personal factors may be affecting your salesperson or recruiter’s performance. Before giving up on him as a permanent zombie, consider outside issues – without prying or invading your employee’s privacy.

“There may be something going on in the employee’s life that is negatively impacting his or her performance,” says Bingham. “Rule that out before assuming the individual is just slacking off.” 

The biggest cause of stress for Americans is money – including positive events, such as buying a new home. Your employee may simply need time to handle a stressor before turning back into a star performer.

Cure Sales Zombies on your Recruiting TeamSet Zombie-Preventative Goals

Another tactic to bring your staggering salesperson or recruiter back to life is to clearly set and measure smaller, short-term goals. From sending out prospect emails to submitting job orders, set targets, monitor results and assess what may be impeding your employee from being successful. If your salesperson is struggling to connect with clients in a new niche area, help her set up Google alerts to obtain valuable content and industry news. 

Your staffing agency software can help monitor goals set and results. For example, your applicant tracking system can create KPI reports on recruiter goals such as candidate calls, emails, interviews, submittals, offers made and placements.

Develop a Long-Term Anti-Zombie Serum 

If you have a star salesperson or recruiter who’s starting to look a little yellow around the eyes, he may feel disengaged or be looking for a new job. If you’ve invested in your staff member and want to keep him on your team, this is a good time to reinforce opportunities for professional growth. Set up a meeting to determine what long-term goals will benefit him, and outline steps to move him forward to help him stay engaged.

Another key component to keeping staffing employees engaged is making sure the agency culture is empowering. “[A] real growth culture is a lot more than just promotions and the vertical hierarchy,” says Jim Kanichirayil, Bond regional sales manager. “Keep and grow your talent by building a culture of inquiry and innovation. Empower them to find solutions to problems. By taking this approach, you are preparing your people to stay with your organization and really make an impact independent of the size of your company.” 

Zombies No More

It’s natural that even top salespeople and star recruiters experience ups and downs in performance. When your talented employee hits a zombie-like rough patch, with guidance and support, hopefully she’ll recover from “undead” mode quickly. You’ll be back to a full-strength team of top performers with no zombies in sight. 

Cure the zombies now! Download our newest eBook, “7 Ways to Survive Recruiting in 2015.”

Category: Management

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