It’s not just commission: other ways to reward your consultants

While commission will surely be the bedrock element of your new rewards scheme, it doesn’t have to be the only method. We see many recruitment businesses that incorporate different incentives to create a high-performance culture, including:

  • Lunch clubs

  • Company trips

  • Super biller retreats

At Konquest, we believe that great reward programmes include strategic incentives, long-term rewards, new age incentives and short-term rewards. In this article, we’ll look at each of these in turn.

Strategic incentives

We talk a lot about aligning your rewards scheme to your long-term business strategy. However, sometimes you need to get a job done quickly. Adjusting your rewards scheme to reflect these new short-term objectives can be extremely effective. 

For example, if you discover that your agency needs to retain more business, you could incentivise your consultants with an additional one-off bonus for each retained deal won, or a bigger bonus for consultants who secure a certain amount of retained business in a given month or quarter.

These adjustments are usually temporary and can change with your strategic priorities. 

Long-term rewards

Your optimised rewards programme should be ingrained in your culture, rewarding your team consistently and progressively over time. We believe a well-rounded rewards programme continues to reward performance beyond a given month, quarter or year in isolation. When you incentivise consistent performance, tenure and loyalty, you boost employee satisfaction and retain your best people for longer.

For example, you could reward consultants for tenure or lifetime billing milestones. This approach allows you to include non-sales staff in line with a fair and inclusive culture.

Here’s an example setup from a tech agency based in Newcastle:

New age incentives

New age incentives are what we at Konquest call incentives given to reward good client service. When you reward all your employees (not just your sales consultants) for quality of service, you ensure that every touch point in the client and candidate lifecycle is treated with the importance it deserves. The result? Happier customers and longer relationships.

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an ideal way to measure how both your candidates and client base rates your quality of service. We recommend incorporating an NPS measure for each, including a target to improve your NPS within a yearly team-wide incentive.

Think of NPS as a growth indicator that shows you:

  • How satisfied your clients and candidates are with your products or services

  • How loyal they are to your brand

  • How likely they are to recommend your agency to others

At the same time, you can use your NPS score to predict your customer churn rate and find out which clients need an extra boost to be more loyal. 

NPS surveys are short and straightforward. You can send an NPS survey out (over email, web or text) during any stage of the customer lifecycle, such as:

  • After you secure a candidate for a new role

  • For a client, when a new candidate starts

  • Whenever you want to see how your relationship with a client is going

  • Before a scheduled meeting with a client

An NPS survey features one single question asking the client or candidate how likely they are to recommend your company to someone else. They answer on a scale of 0-10, with zero being ‘very unlikely’ and ten being ‘very likely’.

Depending on how many and the type of answers you receive, your NPS score will be somewhere between -100 and 100. Anything under zero is a bad sign. Between zero and 30 is usually a good score. 30-70 is considered a great score. Anything over 70, and you’re doing very well with super high levels of loyalty.

Follow up the single question with an open-ended question that asks respondents what made them give you that particular score. You could also ask different open-ended questions – such as asking clients what they didn’t like about your company, or how you can improve their customer experience for the future.

Incorporating NPS into your rewards scheme

We recommend recruiters include an NPS score target alongside a financial target in an annual incentive for the entire company.

Here’s how you do it:

First, work out a baseline NPS by surveying your clients and candidates. You can use a survey tool like SurveyMonkey to do this. But, be prepared for this to take several weeks (or months) as you set up and deploy surveys at different points in the customer lifecycle.

Step 2 is to set targets for improvement based on your baseline score. Combine this target with a company-wide financial goal for the year, and continue to measure your NPS.

Finally, deploy your new incentive. Make sure everyone in the company understands the targets, including:

  • How they are measured

  • How it impacts them

  • The rewards they will receive if they meet the targets

Typically, the reward is a team event, trip or holiday. We often see agencies offering a night out in London or a weekend in Ibiza. Don’t be afraid to be creative.

Short-term incentives

Now you’ve got your fundamental incentives, long-term rewards and new age incentives in place, the final piece of the puzzle is a tool you can deploy when you begin to drift off-course. 

If you discover a metric where you’re falling behind, a short-term incentive aligned to that metric can get you back on track. We call it a ‘blitz’ – a short competition (maximum one month) to fix this particular metric (or combination of metrics). You can deploy a blitz with little to no notice. Blitzes are often suited to specific time windows during the working day or week.

The best metrics to blitz are ones that you can quickly track and pinpoint the impact, such as CV sends, jobs and interviews. End-of-funnel metrics that are slower to identify (such as revenue billed) are not as well suited to blitz tactics.

To make your blitz work, you harness your consultants’ competitive instincts. Gamify the blitz by ensuring everyone can see how everyone is doing and track their progress in real-time. Whiteboards are the basic option, but you can also use best-in-class software like OneUp Sales to run your blitz.

Finally, think about the reward. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank. Just make it fun. Even the prospect of an early finish can get your consultants attacking those phones and doing business.

Find out more from Konquest

Commission should always be the centrepiece of your rewards scheme, but it doesn’t have to be the only way you incentivise desired behaviours in your recruitment agency. Get creative and enjoy the results.

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