As an aging recruiter who has been working in recruitment for #too many years (is that how you use # ?) I have to say that incentives were never my thing.

A weekend in Blackpool, err… thanks, but no thanks! An evening of ‘Who done it?’…. I don’t like dressing up. A trip on the ‘London Eye’ with an extra team building/hugging session – I can’t stand heights and, as everyone that works with me knows, I don’t do hugging! These were my initial and very sceptical reactions to what I perceived the Directors at eNL meant when they said they ‘believed in incentivising staff’! In my view these ‘jollies’ are often dreamt up to bolster the list of USPs and feel-good factors and to secure that all important recruiter candidate.

Recruitment is (and always will be) a commission based industry and surely that is incentive enough? With a well-structured and transparent bonus system already in place that was certainly one of the key elements that attracted me – the incentives were surely just a nice little extra.

However over the last year, I have to admit, I have become a convert!

So, what does incentivising look like at eNL?  Speaking personally, it’s about the ways in which the Directors communicate to me the feeling that I am valued, that I am an essential part of its operation and, hopefully, its success. Seeing members of the management team being positive and committed in both their attitudes, actions and words goes a long way to pushing oneself that little harder, but having that extra something that is tangible and real just reinforces the message.

When I first joined there were a plethora (good recruitment term!) of incentives from; an all expenses paid trip on the Orient Express if we hit our yearly target; to a placement lottery (you make a random number placement and you get a £50 voucher - love this one); to an extra days holiday if you hit your yearly target.

Impressive? … well yes.. having worked in a number of different establishments (and some of them great on incentives) these were pretty good, but the story didn’t end there and this, I think, is what makes eNL stand apart is their consistent desire to offer new incentives. Recruitment has its highs but many lows and I think the art of the incentive is to make it attractive/achievable and as the definition aptly states “a thing that motivates or encourages someone to do something” and I believe that the incentives we have in place do exactly that. Everyone needs to buy into the concept and this is the beauty of the new incentives that have now been put in place ..’The Great Escape’…hit your KPI’s and get to leave early on a Friday afternoon (that pint/gin/prosecco is calling!) ..’Smash your Personal Best’ and a voucher of your choice for £75 (amazing shoes/handbags) and ‘The Perfect Match’….improve your candidate to job matching skills you get a posh…..very posh (Michelin Star) lunch.

I have to take my hat off to the ideas, the incentives that really do mean something, that do what they say on the tin …and in the words of one of my esteemed colleagues incentives in recruitment businesses are “usually focused on experienced team members/top performers”....”you get them once a year and they are hard to achieve”…but ours are based on “weekly or monthly results and are achievable and inclusive – quick wins for more modest prizes that encourage that extra surge of motivation  to help turn your week or month around” (thanks Mel so eloquently put!)

So, as a unmitigated convert, I now recognise that those incentives I dismissed a year ago are something that help me get out of bed when the day before has been tragic…..that make me dress up for business development day (we get extra points !) and what makes eNL what it is.

However, a trip to Paris does also sound good…just a suggestion for 2019!!