TDM Academy – Week Eleven – Nearing the End, But Time for a New Start.

Week 11. We can’t quite believe it ourselves here. The time has flown by! We have made it! All four trainees have passed their probation and are good to go into the big wide world of recruitment. Well, that’s me hanging up my training coat for a couple of weeks until the next round starts.

This weeks’ blog is a round up from me, a pen to paper on the final weeks of the academy and what it means for us going forwards, both as a precedent and a learning curve, before Tom gives his consensus next week.

This week also marks the official start of hiring season again- this is the week that we have our first round of assessment centres for our next academy starting in September. I’ve taken time in the weeks pre-empting the assessment centres to take time with our current academy and find out what they thought was good about the hiring process, and most critically what they thought could be improved on throughout the hiring process. They have served almost as a pilot group for me – so thank you for that!

Most of all, the academy has taught the whole business lessons, so the perfect round up here is to review a few of the key things that we, as a collective, have learnt. So, from the mouths of TDM, what have we learnt?

  • The academy has taught us that even the hardest of tasks that we perceive can be simple. The trainees have absolutely no idea about recruitment or any pre-conceived ideas about what is right or wrong, easy or difficult. We can give them one of the hardest tasks in recruitment, or something that we may shy away from as we’ve had a negative response or outcome previously, whereas they’ll just get on with it – if we applied this process to our days, the possibilities would be endless…
  • Everyone who enters the team succeeds on their own merits and brings their own approach and personalities to the table. When we set out, and likewise in previous academies, we’ve definitely gone for a certain type; switched on, money driven individuals, but this time we really paid attention to their stories. No, we don’t have a room full of your everyday, average recruiter type personalities, but do you know what, this works excellently for us, and is our cutting edge above all other agencies.
  • The academy has reiterated to us how what we do here is so different to other recruitment firms. We generate a lot of our own business and have to go out and find candidates, turning them from passive to actively looking, getting them to do what we want them to do which I think a lot of the trainees have had to come to terms with as a new concept.
  • The whole business recognises and understands the positive impact that the TDM Training Academy has overall. For the first time we have had two trainees win the Employee of the Month award, voted for by the whole business, and the fact that seniors were voting for consultants not based upon their billings or financial contributions, but for the effort and resilience displayed, shows a new era of TDM.
  • If you teach individuals the basics of a job from a completely unbiased approach, they develop their own intrinsic way of approaching things that just works for them. One of the things that each and every single one of us in the business has enjoyed is watching the trainees flourish. They now depend upon the seniors within the business less and less and proactive participants within the business. They are definitely on their way to becoming recruiters in their own right!
  • When we’ve recruited trainees before, we have typically chosen which team they will go into. At the start of this academy we each had our predictions on which team each trainee would go into and guess what… we were all wrong! (Par one change around now). This showed us that spending a week in each team to find out what, when and how they work was the best eye opener the trainees could have, and they really developed connections with their preferred teams and workload quickly. They’ve each settled into their respective teams really fast and looking around the teams now, we can’t imagine Jack without Amy, Serena not in Sales, Rob having not slotted into his team and Megan learning under Faye.
  • Coming on leaps and bounds at work doesn’t just affect work life, it affects your home life too. We all know that if we have a good day at work, we take it home, and likewise a bad day, and flip that around if we’re having a good or bad time at home it’s inevitable that it more often than not gets bought into work as a by-product of your persona and mood. The amazing thing that we’ve found is that when confidence grows in the workplace, it grows at home too. One of our trainees’ confidence has soared at work – parallel to her confidence at home soaring. Her boyfriend noted that her confidence levels are at an all time high and she’s a different woman now and feels way better both in an out of work. Having a job in which you’re respected and making a positive impact and contribution to the wider team really does make a noticeable difference all round.
  • Surprisingly, the trainees, even without any experience, have added immediate value to the wider team with by keeping us on our toes and upping competition amongst the established consultants. Ultimately, this has been a good thing, as activity has increased and productivity gone through the roof. Take Sales and Marketing for instance; having Serena on the team, they have managed to hit their target to finish early nearly every week, plus, billings have upped. She has also made way for one of the team Resourcer’s to be promoted to Consultant, and when a new trainee comes into the team will likely push her up in response.
  • Having a solid structure from the beginning of the academy, as opposed to previous academies has helped the success of the academy more so than anything else. The academy and trainees have a set path and they, alongside the rest of the business, know what they’re doing at all times, and most importantly why they are doing it. Learning the smaller processes early on has helped them build and develop their understanding of the bigger picture later on. From this they know how they can potentially move up to the next scale quicker when they’ve mastered something and understood the context fully of what they are doing and where it is headed. The overall outcome of enjoyment and ownership out of the process is phenomenal and stands out much more than them being given the bare basics and told to get going! We wondered on if having a hand-holding step by step folder that went through each process detail by detail was patronising and would hamper their progress, but actually it formed the backbone of training from day one, and was a handy addition that they could refer back to time and time again, and likewise us for training purposes.
  • And a final one from me – running an academy (for the first time) is an eyeopener. If I had to pick 10 words to describe running the academy I would pick: exhausting, rewarding, rollercoaster, emotional, responsibilities, energy, competition, learning, developing and successful.

Over and out from me, until the next time!