Recruitment: Creating A Leading Learning Culture That Lasts

Author: Spencer Ogden
Date posted13/Jul/2017
Author: Spencer Ogden

The greatest asset of a company is its people. The skills of employees represent one of the most important elements of a company and it’s clear when companies invest in improving the knowledge and skills of its people, the investment is returned in the form of more productive and effective employees. 


Over the past decade, training investment has become paramount in retaining a low staff turnover and inspiring employees to improve performance. Training has evolved to become a critical management tool that has allowed leaders, managers, consultants and trainees to achieve growth and career progression. 

Learning and development (L&D) is a process and function that is deeply embedded within a company’s culture. A company that can swiftly identify and facilitate learning opportunities that are proactive and reactive to change, play a key role for achieving individual and growth as a collective business. Additionally, organisations must recognise that different employees will have dissimilar needs and these needs will change over the time as these workers continue in their careers. 



Power of Feedback 

These days, recruitment consultants who have at least two years experience are in hot demand. Generally speaking, these consultants tend to favour employers that value them, who listen to their opinions and offer support. 


It’s always a good idea to tap into the creativity of qualified talent. Why not take advantage of their ideas? These people have the potential to offer invaluable feedback when it comes to formulating and communicating new strategic directions, as well as communicating with and motivating employees to increase dedication to business objectives.



“Tapping into fresh ideas from new talent is critical for business development. We value new suggestions and feedback for staff who have just joined our business, and is one of the many reasons why we hire experienced talent” says Nicola Oates, Global Talent and Development Director at Spencer Ogden.


Advanced learning programmes offered to new employees with experience, no longer follow a one-solution-fits-all strategy. Today, recruitment companies follow a series of processes that place greater emphasis on the rate in which employers educate new talent. At Spencer Ogden, new recruits are shown how successful consultants work at their company. Knowledgeable facilitators work closely with new talent during the introduction phase to correctly assess what the individual requires when they join, to ensure the company is helping develop new skills and avoiding old ground.


“We decided to utilise our successful trainee academy model as a framework, where we took all of the high value content and super-sized the programme to on-board experienced consultants,” adds Oates. 



Unlocking Talent Potential  

In an age where technology is constantly evolving and driving significant change across the workplace landscape, it is vital that the skills of its workforce follow suit. This is particularly relevant across the recruitment sector, where economic, political factors are regularly effecting market outcomes. Upskill training is a productive solution that boosts employee confidence to overcome these numerous challenges. This form of learning is a continuous process that results in employees feeling more empowered to fulfil the increasing demands of clients and candidates. Upskill coaching allows talent to stay ahead of the curve by improving mind-sets through various consultant enhancement programmes. 

Masterclass programmes act as a catalyst for unlocking the talent potential of a company’s existing workforce. These courses are designed to give top talent the opportunity to develop skills outside standard people management framework and acquire new ways of thinking. At a leading recruitment firm such as Spencer Ogden, masterclass courses are at the heart of its global L&D strategy. Such examples include, ‘High Impact Presenting’, ‘Personal Branding’ and ‘Adopting the Mindset of a Big Biller’. 



Combining Forces 

Innovative masterclass courses aim to enhance the skills of our highest performers; by giving them a balance of L&D led initiatives combined with external personal development.

The key here is to effectively intertwine multiple learning approachesthat will engage the right solution to help employees overcome individual and business challenges. To complement these internal training sessions, consultants at Spencer Ogden are invited to attend expert led sessions such as Ted Talks and Business Forums, where specialist business speakers run interactive training modules using an alternative approach to develop new skills. Utilising external learning is all about pushing the boundaries and driving essential “out of the box” thinking and training. 

World-renowned “Black Box Thinking” offer employees a unique perspective on how success should be viewed. The course presents common traits that have been demonstrated by some of the greatest corporate successes in history and how organisations and individuals have reacted to failure and adapted as a result. This approach to thinking explores how employees can introduce little changes to achieve substantial improvements that eventually result in marginal gains. After attending the course, a number of Spencer Ogden team leaders were able to adapt this systemic approach to discover small, often unnoticeable weaknesses evident in personal routines and following these up with performance enhancing solutions. Some examples include, starting work earlier to prepare for the day, and allocating time to productive business development by turning off email systems for set hours during the day. 



Nurturing Alternative Career Paths 

Across the recruitment industry, there are occasions where high performing consultants do not wish to take on route the of management. For this reason, it’s important to have a framework in place that reassures these employees of the training opportunities that will help improve their current role. At Spencer Ogden, there are numerous global consultants who have chosen this path, which led the internal L&D team to design a set of modules that would cultivate a variety of skills. Such examples include, career mapping, strategic business development, along with financial advice.  

The most critical take-away from this training is that consultant development is prioritised alongside managers. In effect, employees feel respected and further inclined to develop their deep expertise and stay longer with the business.


Mastering Emotional Intelligence 

All successful organisations and businesses need effective leaders. Proficient leaders need to overcome complex challenges with pace and urgency, whilst prioritising the needs of others in their pursuit of success. Leaders can realistically achieve this by developing their emotional intelligence and adapting their leadership style to the needs of the business and its employees. 

360 reviews are a developmental tool that allows company leaders the chance to receive tangible feedback. These tailored appraisals allow colleagues to review candidates by rating their observable workplace behaviours by answering a range of questions that cover leadership competencies and capabilities which include but are not restricted to interpersonal skills, motivation and efficiency. 

 “360 reviews act as a fantastic tool for a leadership team, as they increase individual self-awareness by closing the gap between how you think you are performing and perceived, compared to how you are perceived by peers and other stakeholders. These candidates receive accurate information that can be used to discover the priority behaviours that can be strengthened and blind spots that require an action plan and further development, to support the Leaders to be the most effective version of themselves possible” says Caroline Lansbury, UK Faculty Consultant at LeaderShape Global. 

The desired effect of these reviews is to influence the culture within an organisation where leaders can pioneer change and influence the company to gravitate towards a high performing, transparent and trustworthy culture. 

“Typical outcomes of the 360 process is to see an enhanced employee engagement survey and increase in overall business performance. Through positive cultural change, you would also expect to see an improvement of bottom line performance and attrition,” adds Lansbury. 



The Solution

The fundamental challenge of corporate training is a company’s ability to employ an adaptive mentality, where programmes are regularly updated with new content, allowing facilitators to remain focused by ensuring employees are in line with company changes. In this instance, the key is to create a feedback loop where facilitators correctly understand what learning methods are working and what isn’t. 


Empowering those responsible for the learning framework and overall design will always be an intelligent investment. Establishing strong links within a recruitment company and its learning division is a crucial process that enables the business to staying on top of what educational content each employee requires. Weekly talks with company leaders and clients to understand the challenges that require immediate solutions is always a good starting point. Ultimately, remaining responsive to the needs of employees effectively allows L&D to offer educational solutions with the purpose of achieving the goals of the individual and wider company.