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Common mistakes as a busy manager working at a Recruitment Agency

15th February 2023

Chloe shares her thoughts and feelings towards management in a Recruitment Agency from her own personal experience.


As a manager you’re constantly trying to spin lots of plates. Not only have you got your day-to-day responsibilities, but you’re often the escalation point for any issues, and you must think about the bigger picture and the future rather than just the day to day. Also, you are the person your team look to you for direction and support. It can be tough!

It’s extremely common for managers, being so busy, to make a few common mistakes that can impact both theirs and their team’s happiness in the workplace. A few that spring to mind (and some related advice from me that I have picked up working as a manager at a Recruitment Agency) are:

Being so busy you don’t show you care

This can lead to the team feeling devalued and not caring about you or their work. Some simple empathy and kind words can go a long way.

Not dedicating time to the team which then leads to miscommunication

clocks indicating time

Make sure you have regular check ins with the team where expectations are set but they also know they can come to you with any questions. Also have 1 to 1 time with team members monthly (minimum) – a chance to assess progress, anything they may need from you, next steps in their development.

Not being inspiring

Often when you are busy you can miss the opportunity to define the “why”. If all they see is you stressed and burnt out, this can have an impact on how they feel and wouldn’t really inspire them to want to achieve. Tell the story and bring them on the journey with you.

Not delegating to your team and appearing stressed

delegation managing in a recruitment agency

Delegation is not only good for you because it means the load is shared, but it also allows your team to learn and develop.


We are people and we all have slightly different ways of doing things but if we get to the same result then does it matter? Working in management in a Recruitment Agency has taught me that no it doesn’t! Take the team on a journey and allow them to have their input – it might even give you a different perspective on how something should be done.

Most of the time it isn’t what you are doing as a manager but more so what you aren’t doing. I’ve spoken to many candidates in the past where their manager’s actions ultimately leads to them wanting to exit the organisation. They may feel undervalued, their values might not align to their manager’s, they are being prevented from progressing, been given false promises, they aren’t being challenged… the list goes on.

A journey I am currently on is that I feel as though I’ve taken too much on and the team can sometimes sense how stressed I am. One of my personal objectives this year is to delegate more but in the right way. A model on delegation that I have recently learnt and I’m trying to put into practice is:

  1. Start with the why – why is this exciting? What part can they play? What is in it for them?
  2. Now go into the detail – what needs to be done and how?
  3. Set some deadlines and next steps
  4. Involve – ask for their input, what are their thoughts?
  5. Check in to see how it is going/ assess progress
  6. Provide feedback at the end of the project

Not only does delegating mean you have more time back, it means you empower your team and you play a part in their development. Win win!

Management Style

If you’re the direct report who is struggling with your manager’s management style, then the advice I would offer you is to create an open forum for communication. A 1 to 1 coffee meet is a good way to do this, and timing can be everything so choose carefully. Let them know why you are struggling or what more you think you can do – try to come forwards with a solution. Being open and honest and communicating honestly rather than bottling it up is important. If you don’t communicate, they might not know.

Final thought. It is quite easy to get so stuck in the thick of things that you lose sight of the bigger picture. As a manager it is your responsibility to make sure everyone feels valued, empowered and listened to. Whether you work for a Recruitment Agency, a retailer, a brand or anywhere else, management is such a big and important part of your role. It’s so crucial to ensure you work on this as a skill as you would other skills.

Good luck!

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