From Rookie to Recruiter in Sydney, Australia

The recruitment industry can be a difficult market to break into and that’s why Progressive Global Energy (GE) has made serious investments over the last 18 months to improve our training programs for new employees. Our new training program assists rookie recruiters in getting up to speed. As a rookie you’ll spend your first few months gaining a deep understanding of how to recruit, while also acquiring a high level of knowledge across a given industry.

The training process: From rookies to recruiters

This past year, Progressive GE has rolled out a new version of our training process: The Rookie Bank. Before we get into what it is, it's useful to get a quick overview of what it was before.

Every so often we would get a group of 5 starters and begin training them over a 6 month period. Our practices were standard. Each new hire needed to complete a list of benchmarks before graduating into their official role. They sat with their respective teams based on the area they were recruiting and didn't interact much with other new starters.

While the training materials were sound, our retention rates weren't. We would lose two to three starters during the training process - over the course of a year, this could equate to losing 30-40% of our trainees.

The new training approach

What changed was our approach to the rookie environment. A lot of our training materials remained the same but we decided to see what would happen if we made the rookies into their own unique team - it made all the difference.

Our Rookie Bank is currently made up of 10 new starters where they train together, learn together, fail together and win together. It is easy as a new starter to feel like you’re the only one who has no idea what you’re doing and this is only heightened by the nature of the recruitment industry. Potential rejection from clients, occasional slip-ups while pitching - these things don't sting as bad when you have a group of people going through the same process of trial and error right by your side.

Putting the rookies into one team enabled them to lean on each other. It provided them with perspective about the process. It eliminated the isolation that led to a high turnover with our starters in the past.

"We became our own team - rookies supporting other rookie's," explained Rookie Bank graduate Rebecca Teague.

"It helped us build friendships within the business, and I think this plays a huge part in how long a person stays at a company. Being surrounded by people that were in the same boat as you meant you felt welcomed and weren't scared to ask questions - ultimately, it helped us integrate much quicker."

At Progressive GE we invest in our people. The management team here is directly involved in training rookies across desks. We take the time to get to know the new hires, figure out how they work and decide what will best suit their needs. Recruitment training is never static, it's an ongoing process between our current leaders and new recruiters.

The backbone of recruitment: Relationships

If there's one thing Ben, who manages the Rookie Bank, has learned in his time managing the Progressive GE rookies it's that everything stems from relationships. They are the foundation of everything we do here. From relationships with our clients and candidates to the relationships we form with our peers - these bonds are what make recruiters successful.

Our Rookie Bank is a reflection of these values. We encourage our new team members to work together. To commiserate in the tough losses and to celebrate the big wins - and this shift has made all the difference.

"The Rookie Bank is one of the best initiatives I've seen for trainees in a new environment," noted alumni Rookie Bank member Courtney Mangos.

"Managers often underestimate how daunting it is to come into a business with no previous experience in the given field, not knowing anyone and essentially starting from scratch. The Rookie Bank became a safe haven for rookies, being able to bond with one another over how intimidating client calls can be for the first time, and laughing about the silly mistakes we made along the way."

These relationships combined with structured training sessions create a team of professional recruiters that aren't just equipped with the skills to do the job but the internal relationships to do the job with confidence.

To learn more about the training we provide to new employees, or Progressive GE's offerings in general, feel free to reach out to Ben Gilroy, business manager of the Progressive GE team in Sydney Australia at [email protected] directly.