Future-proof Your Business for Growth


As end of year approaches, here is a scenario you might be familiar with: Your CEO sets the revenue goals for the business and tasks you with attaining that growth goal. No need to panic, right?

How will that revenue goal be achieved? By adding headcount? Increasing efficiency of current team? or some combination of the two? The challenge of growth planning is not unique but few navigate it successfully. InsightSquared has partnered with hundreds of Bullhorn’s best customers, and I’ve found that the best of the best leverage their data in Bullhorn to establish a guideline for future forward visibility.

Let’s explore an example: Assume that you’re tasked with an increase in revenue for the upcoming year utilizing the current team and keeping headcount flat. As a result, you need to find ways to get more utility (or output) from your team. How do they spend their time? What performance activities will lead to a lift in results? Which clients or job orders should they prioritize?

The Answers Are in Your Data

The answers are in your Bullhorn data if you know how to harness it. Using historical information we can determine the number of placements required to get there. Specifically, you can assess your average placement value so you know how many placements you’d need to hit the plan. But how far back should you look? In my experience it depends on what has happened in your business. If there has been a significant change in your process, verticals, niche market, etc in the past 2 years, a longer look back won’t necessarily yield helpful data points as say a nine month look would. Conversely, if you’ve been fortunate enough to have a consistent go-to-market strategy more historical data would be really insightful. There’s no set standard here, it must be tailored to your business and a minimum 6 month range is recommended.

Using Data to Create Conversions


Once we understand the number of placements required to hit the growth target, it’s a further matter of determining the your typical conversion rates through the placement funnel—specifically the volume of interviews, submissions, and job orders that are required to get a placement. An exponential increase in job orders created won’t guarantee a direct correlation to more placements won. One must consider conversion rates along each stage of the process and the capacity of the existing team. Are there areas in your process where you can affect conversion rates? Examining ratios from one stage of your process to another can help to identify those points where opportunities drop off. Similarly, chasing larger deals won’t necessarily lead to success, especially if you typically fail to land those larger value placements. Not all jobs are created equal.

Using Data to Ramp New Hires


Now that we’ve mapped out the required placements, and the process that follows in order to land them, you can ensure that the reps are doing the right activities against the right jobs. But do you have have enough headcount to execute? If not, you’ll need to plan to hire, but that comes with its own challenges.

Hiring more reps doesn’t always mean they will be producing at full capacity day 1 (we wouldn’t expect a new hire to perform at the same level as a seasoned veteran). So how do you know if a rep is performing at his/her best while ramping? Simple – use the benchmarks of your top performers when they were ramping to set expectations for your new hire goals. That provides you with more than a great blueprint for ramp, it provides social proof. You’re establishing goals and expectations based on what their peers have done, while raising the level of play by modeling your top performers.

Leaders can only expect so much out of a team. Coaching plans, goals, and quotas have to be realistic, attainable, and based on credible numbers not just gut instinct. By establishing goals for your team based on the past performance of their peers, you ensure just that. By aligning the company’s goals to those of the individual contributors, you can secure success for all.

About Insight Squared

InsightSquared is a staffing analytics solution that delivers flexible, pre-built reports on every major staffing and recruiting metric. Unlike spreadsheets, InsightSquared’s visual, maintenance-free reports and dashboards update automatically with your Bullhorn data, can be shown on the big screen to drive competition, and are easily customized to your team’s specific needs.

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