Dealing with Disagreements Between your Consultants
It is inevitable that there will be some disagreements between your recruitment consultants at some point. What will make all the difference to retaining a sense of professionalism (and reducing the likelihood of loosing good recruitment consultants) is how you handle the work or personal issues.Don’t forget that recruitment agencies can often appeal to quite highly strung people – recruitment consultants are often high achievers and rather motivated by money. This means that they can be very career focused and competitive – a recipe for arguments in the workplace, especially if there is a cross over in their database of clients or applicants.
A Highly Charged AtmosphereThe type of highly charged atmosphere in an employment agency is largely to do with the commission at steak – most recruitment consultants are paid a basic salary for their jobs, which is not too bad but not enough to live the high life and they then make up the bulk of their earning with commission. As this can run to several thousand pounds each month, it is no wonder that they are competitive. Factor in a slow economic climate, perhaps a couple of added resentments and you have a veritable boiling pot for problems.
So, what can you do about it? As the boss, you need to take it upon yourself to sort it out. That does not mean you need to leap in and tell them what to do – quite the opposite. You may decide to do absolutely nothing, but at least decide to do it!
The best way to work out how to handle work place disagreements between your recruitment consultants is to understand the personalities and the reasons behind the problem.
Minor IssuesIf it is a petty reason that will blow over, with both consultants involved hot headed, it may be better to just stay out of the way. If the pair starts to argue in front of other consultants or in a place which could be overheard by clients – in the office or on the phone – then you need to tell them to go elsewhere. Of course, you do not want their working day to be filled with petty arguments – just say something like ‘can you please go outside and sort this out for five minutes and then come back and get on with your work’.
More Serious IssuesIf the problem between your consultants is more serious, or breaching any kind of human resources rules, such as bullying or underhanded behaviour, then you must step in. Do not let problems fester for so long that you no longer are considered to have enough authority to help. Say that you are not prepared to have that sort of behaviour in your workplace and offer to talk them both separately in order to come to a mutually agreeable solution.
In the recruitment business, it can be ‘survival of the fittest’ – especially if you operate in a cut throat area of the industry, such as financial recruitment in central London. Be prepared that you will have to deal with issues now and again – don’t shy away from them and make it clear that you will have the ultimate casting vote.