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The Resilient Recruiter

Sep 8, 2023

Is implementing KPIs and measuring metrics the same as micromanagement? 

Measuring activities is fundamental to evaluating how effective your strategies are in running your recruitment business. However, there are some recruiters and business owners who are apprehensive about implementing metrics measurements and KPIs. Is that the same for your recruitment business? 

What are the metrics and KPIs that we should measure? How do we implement a KPI and data-driven environment without giving the vibe that team members are being micromanaged? How do you communicate the intent and purpose of your KPIs to your team members? 

In this episode, Greg Savage explained why it is not about micromanaging and discusses metrics that empower talents. On top of this, you will also hear insightful takes on critical trends in AI and technology, and why your mindset is the key in your recruitment career success.


I am delighted to welcome the legendary Greg Savage to give us a reality check and revisit the pillars leading to recruitment success. Greg has four decades of experience owning, managing, and growing staffing businesses across the world. He’s the founder of four highly successful businesses; Recruitment Solutions (took to IPO). Firebrand Talent Search (trade sale), Eloquent Staffing (trade sale), and People2People.


Greg still takes an active interest in founding and growing recruitment businesses, investing in recruitment start-ups in Australia and the UK. He’s a LinkedIn Top Voices and has been inducted into the Recruiter International Hall of Fame.

He’s founder of The Savage Recruitment Academy, and author of the best-selling book, The Savage Truth, and has recently published a new book called Recruit The Savage Way.


Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [03:06] Greg and I delved into the essence of authentic leadership.

  • [05:44] Exploring the four key factors for achieving success in the recruitment field.

  • [11:01] Strategies for overcoming complacency and avoiding contentment with the status quo.

  • [15:00] Greg shared his insights on the importance of continuous learning and how he benefits from nano degrees.

  • [18:40] Greg’s valuable insights into the impact of AI on the recruitment industry.

  • [29:41] Technological innovations that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of recruitment.

  • [32:08] Conversation about activities and key performance indicators (KPIs) and their role in achieving success in recruitment.

  • [39:08] Exploring the best practices for effectively managing KPIs in recruitment.

  • [47:52] Greg shared his perspectives on career development opportunities for recruiters.

  • [57:00] Analysis of the economic landscape in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Mindset, Attitude, and Resilience to Become a Successful Recruiter


I have always valued Greg as a mentor all these years. With over four decades of phenomenal success in the recruitment industry, he is an established authority when it comes to sharing wisdom with aspiring recruiters and business owners. He has recently published a book, Recruit the Savage Way, which offers “practical advice, skills, and attitudes and will give rookies an excellent grounding to thrive in their new career and help veterans brush up and add new competencies.”


We have talked about the first section which is on mindset and attitude. Greg said that one of the big reasons for the high turnover in the staffing and recruitment industry is because of the wrong attitude and mindset towards the industry. He mentioned the fallacy of believing that “recruitment is not rocket science,” because it is a complex, sophisticated job. 


Greg believes that the mindset and attitude factors are something that can be corrected early on. Like skills and competencies, mindset and attitude can also be honed and trained. He emphasized four factors:


  • Believe in your value as a recruiter

  • Believe in the value that you can deliver to your stakeholders

  • Having that true resilience - which he refers to as the bounce-back ability

  • Overcoming the threat of complacency


Greg also shared insightful principles on what true resilience looks like for recruiters. He elaborated on the value of emotions and moving on with positivity. You will also appreciate how he defines complacency in the recruitment field. 


Activities and KPIs are Critical For Recruitment Success

There is a section in Greg’s new book about the reality check on the importance of activities and KPIs to recruitment success. Greg elaborated on the two fundamental things to be successful in the business:


  1. “The first thing is if you don't do enough stuff in this business, you will fail.” 

  2. “You cannot get better at something unless you measure it.”


Greg and I talked about the myth that measuring your metrics and KPIs is synonymous with micromanagement. As Greg said, “There is no sports person or academic or anyone who doesn't measure their outputs and then try to work on improving them. So I mean, the problem with... most KPIs is that they are foisted on people with no consideration to where those people are up to, not explained why they're important.”


Greg shared his advice to recruitment business owners on how to implement KPIs in a healthy working environment.


Insightful Take on Career Development for Recruiters


Greg also discussed a topic that deeply resonated with me: career development for recruiters and recruitment business owners. You will hear his thoughts on the threat of complacency. As he simply puts it, 10 years of experience is just 1 year of recruitment experience repeated 10 times if you are complacent. How do we overcome the trap of complacency and move forward with development?


  • Continuous Learning. Greg is an advocate of continuous learning. He shared how he benefits from taking “nano degrees” to stay up to date with recent trades, such as AI.


  • Owning Your Development. This is how Greg wittily describes it, “There is no one, nobody having sleepless nights about your career. Okay, maybe your mom, but nobody else is having sleepless nights about your career. Even a company that is going to help develop you, you've got to be dreaming if you think they're worried about where you're going to be in 15 years. And nor should they. You've got to worry about your career and you've got to take ownership of your career.”


  • Do Not Only Think of Your Career as a Hierarchical One. Greg shared successful recruiters who have had satisfying careers by focusing on and growing the career of becoming a recruiter by itself. My takeaway from this is that appreciating the sense of progress honing your craft and seeing your results increase is extremely satisfying.


Greg Savage Bio and Contact Info


With a career spanning four decades, Greg is a founder of 4 highly successful businesses, a trusted advisor and respected voice across the global recruitment and professional services industries, and a regular keynote speaker at conferences around the world.


Throughout his fascinating career, Greg has learned countless lessons in leadership, business, and life. One of his greatest achievements is his success as a communicator.  An early adopter of social media for recruiters, Greg’s industry blog, The Savage Truth, is a must-read in the recruitment industry. In November 2018, he was named one of LinkedIn’s ‘Top Voices’.



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