Act Accordingly

Written By Chris Hart

 This is something I tell my staff all the time. Well, not all the time, because that would mean they are always behind target. Which they are not. But it’s a way of working I try to instil in them when things aren’t going as well as they could. A methodology of sorts I suppose.

I am not the most senior person in the company I work for, I do manage multiple different teams but I report into the two directors of the business. And as a business I would say we are a decent size, we are approximately 50 Consultants spread across multiple teams being managed by multiple Team Leads like me.

The point I am making is that not everyone has the best level of self-awareness or acts any different when things are a bit tough. And as a Manager, I can tell you that other than money on the board and a strong pipeline, what I want to see when things are pretty shit is people acting like it’s pretty shit. And so do my Directors.

Do Not Sit Down

It has nothing to do with age or managing a bunch of millennials or Gen z’ers, I suppose a little of it has to do with the fact that in my early days in Recruitment I did work for some pretty old school companies. The kind of places where you can’t sit down until you get a CV out etc. But too often people fall into a habit, just doing the same old thing day in and day out, whether things are bad, or good.

Part of the problem is that Recruitment is a very repetitive job, so it’s easy to fall into a daily routine. The other problem is that even though you have more losses in Recruitment than wins, people generally only remember the wins. So, when you combine the two, you get the problem where people will act and work the same way they do when things are going badly, just as they do when things are going well. Because what they did last month when they billed £20k will work this month right? And if it doesn’t and they blank, then it’s just bad luck yeah?


Now I’m not saying you have to come in and re-invent Recruitment on a daily basis, but you can’t put it down to bad luck when you have a bad month and expect things to turn around ‘because it worked last month’. This is where a little self-awareness comes in, and unfortunately, it’s not something that can be trained, but it can be pointed out.

Back to my point, when things are looking pretty bleak, what your Team Lead, Sales Manager, Director or Owner will care about is that you are acting accordingly to where you are against target for the week, month, quarter or year. And even if you are the one over target, they will probably rely on you to set an example for the others in the team.

The reason for this is, that if there are no or very low figures on the board and the pipeline just isn’t there, then the powers that be just want to know if you give a fuck or not. That’s it. Obviously, they want the situation to improve, but at least if they can see that you care, then that’s a start, not all is lost.

But if you come in and act like everything is all rosy, or worse, oblivious to the fact that you are blanking for the month, don’t be surprised if you get pulled in to a room for some positive reinforcement.

Here’s my advice:

·         Ask your boss what you need to do to improve your situation

·         Make suggestions

·         Try to be a voice that can rally the team

·         Show urgency

·         Make a point of not being distracted by others, and at the same time don’t distract others.

·         Don’t be late – maybe, just maybe come in slightly earlier once or twice.

·         Don’t leave bang on 5.30 – unless you’ve absolutely smashed it that day – I’m not one for ever asking people to stay late, but it doesn’t go unnoticed when done voluntarily.

·         If you usually make 60 dials a day, do 70.

·         Don’t spend all morning talking about Love Island or whatever reality show everyone is watching at the moment.

·         Maybe don’t go out for a fag every 30 minutes.

·         A new job comes on just before you go for lunch, work it before you head out.

·         A new job comes on right at the end of the day – call your hot candidates before you go.

 You get my point; your bosses want to see that first of all you are aware of yours and the team’s current situation and they want you to act like it.

Act Accordingly.


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