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​When is the right time for a recruitment agency to invest in an in-house L&D team?

This is a topic that is by no means a one size fits all approach, and a lot of the factors at play may vary business to business. However, after speaking with hundreds of recruitment businesses to understand when, why and how they decided to invest in L&D, here’s an initial steer that may help answer the question of, when is the right time for you to invest in an in-house L&D team?

One early factor to consider is the growth imperative your business has. Agencies are no strangers to fast growth, whether that be expanding existing client bases, entering new markets or diversifying your service offering. Growth often demands more than just hiring into your sales teams, and also requires you to up-skill your current employees, develop the leadership abilities of those from the top down and to ensure that you have the right technology in place to tackle new challenges.

Signs that it might be time to invest:

1.     Increased employee turnover

If you are starting to suffer from an increased level of employee turnover, especially within those high-performing recruiters, this can be a sure sign that they are lacking something in their current company. Those in fast paced roles with fast progression routes usually crave constant development to support this growth.

While external trainers can fill some of this void, an in-house L&D professional or team can dedicate time to developing those top performers to help them achieve their potential and enable your business to become more profitable and enjoyable to work at.

2.     The appearance of skills gaps

As time passes and client needs become more niche, you may find your teams beginning to lose some of their initial training knowledge and lacking the necessary skills to meet the demands. Investing in L&D is a sure way to enable you to deliver targeted programmes that will enable you to bridge skills gaps efficiently and effectively.

3.     Key ratios not being met

KPIs and Ratios are a highly debated topic within recruitment, but however you approach them, they are a necessary part of being able to track what ‘good looks like’ within your business and how to track back to the inputs roughly needed to reach success.

If you’re finding that consultants are consistently missing the mark when it comes to hitting ratios and KPIs, this is something that an in-house L&D leader can help with. They are experts at finding the root cause of issues, laying out a clear plan towards success, setting achievable targets and enabling change to take place.

4.     Maintaining an edge over competitors

Differentiating from competitors in the agency space can be tough, but L&D can help with keeping your teams up to date with the newest offerings and enabling them to be ahead of the game in front of clients. Being that stand out recruiter, while being able to do all the basics right every time, will allow for better client retention and higher chance of winning pitches against the competition.

5.     Embracing new technology

Time is of the essence in recruitment, with it becoming more present in recent years that the rise of new AI led tech tools is enabling recruiters to faster complete those menial admin tasks and focus further time on those so called ‘money-making activities’ that revolve around contact time with clients and candidates to provide you with constant market insight.

Making the Move to in-house:

Transitioning to an in-house L&D might seem like a large shift when first taking the step, but it doesn’t need to be. It can start with having internal learning champions or partnering briefly with external experts to enable a seamless transition.

Investing in your teams growth isn’t all about meeting the demands of the market today, but about being proactive and preparing for the challenges and opportunities that you business may face tomorrow, next week, next quarter or in the coming years.

An in-house L&D team isn’t a luxury reserved for large companies, it’s a strategic move that can drive success, innovation and longevity for your agency in an ever-changing landscape. After all, nurturing those you have already decided to hire seems a much wiser investment than hiring a whole new cohort of people and hoping some make it work.

If you’re thinking that some of these issues ring home and you want to consider what an in-house L&D professional could look like for you, reach out to me by completing the form below, so that we can further discuss where your business is currently up to, what your goals look like and what L&D could do for you.