Running a national, multi-sector recruiting agency is hard work. But that doesn’t mean the environment has to be reactionary, stressful, and impersonal.
In fact, it’s possible to run an agency at that scale in a way that values people, puts their development and growth at the forefront, and provides exceptional service to candidates and clients at the same time.
But don’t take our word for it. Just look at Spark Talent.
Founded in 2013, Spark Talent is a GR Certified agency (4.75-star average rating) that focuses on growing people within their organization. As a result, internal talent acquisition, core values, and creating great experiences are key to their day-to-day operations.
Recently, our founder Adam Conrad spoke with Aaron Opalewski, Spark Talent’s founder & CEO, to discuss their roadmap for success, and the role Great Recruiters has played in helping them along the way.
Who is Spark Talent?
Before founding Spark Talent, Aaron Opalewski had worked in recruiting for close to five years, but both his previous firms had a niche focus: Michigan’s industrial sector. While the experience at both firms was great, Aaron was ready to step out and start a more expansive national agency.
This sparked an idea in Aaron’s mind: what if there was a recruiting agency that focused on growing people, helping them take on more responsibility and claim ownership of their careers.
With that vision, Spark Talent was born.
A perfect example of how Spark Talent works was when Aaron went to hire his first recruiter. Now, a decade later, that recruiter is now Spark Talent’s VP of Sales. “That’s what we do. That’s our purpose,” said Aaron. “Now, the vision just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
How did Spark Talent leverage Great Recruiters to their success?
As Spark Talent continues to grow as an organization, they rely on Great Recruiters to provide insight into their team performance, candidate experience, and brand reputation.
By automatically capturing real-time reviews, the Spark team can instantly see how candidates and clients are responding to their efforts. Positive reviews give them a powerful morale booster. Negative reviews give insight into areas that need to be fixed. Either way, Spark Talent benefits from Great Recruiters insights.
See their reviews for yourself by visiting their Great Recruiters page.
Here are some of the ways these insights have benefited their organization.
Peace of mind
For most traditional recruiting managers, the only time they hear about a problem is when it’s become so big they can’t ignore it. This creates a stressful, reactionary environment, where managers are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Spark Talent doesn’t deal with this problem. By proactively capturing reviews at the most meaningful moments, Aaron and his leadership team can see issues as they happen, and fix them before they become major problems.
“As much as I don’t love seeing those negative reviews, I’m so grateful we have a tool to expose these issues,” said Aaron. “We can’t fix a problem if we don’t know about it.”
Spark Talent is an agency founded on the principle of growth: both at the individual level, and all the way up to the organization. Great Recruiters has enabled them to achieve massive growth in a number of ways:
- Providing insight into team performance, identifying opportunities for professional growth
- Boosting team morale, motivating everyone do to their best work
- Fostering a positive environment where transparency and accountability are valued
- Building their brand by automating public review capture
All of these factors have contributed to Spark Talent’s impressive growth. But it’s the culture and their core values that enable them to take advantage of what Great Recruiters has to offer. Aaron has built a great team. We’re lucky to get to help them show it.
Building a legacy
Although recruiting is their business model, Spark Talent is about much more than just making placements. Their mission is to be a place where people grow, develop, and thrive.
By equipping them with the tools to help them build those exceptional experiences, Great Recruiters is able to not just deliver an ROI, but work to establish a lasting legacy.
Spark Talent’s top tips for success
The first step to leveraging reviews is to capture them, and that’s not somethin
Based on our conversation with Aaron and his story of working with Great Recruiters, here are some tips that your agency can learn to achieve similar success.
1. Teach core values
Spark Talent did not achieve their current success by simply “winging it.” There are certain principles at the core of what they do that guide their day-to-day engagements and decisions.
Some of these core values include:
- Culture of accountability
- Team development
- Listening to and understanding each individual client or candidate’s needs
- Face-to-face interactions and human engagements
However, core values do little good unless you teach them to your team. Incorporating them into every aspect of your business—both formally and informally—is the first step toward achieving success.
2. Recognize individual and team successes
Once you’ve clearly defined your core values, you need to reinforce them. As Aaron said, “If you want someone to repeat a behavior, give them recognition when they do it well and scream it to the rooftops.”
This is an example of how Great Recruiters helps Spark Talent. By automating review capture, their leadership can see the positive feedback in real time, and quickly and easily share it among the team—and with their marketing audiences.
3. Fix bad experiences in real time
On the other side of the coin, real-time reviews enable you to identify when issues come up, so you can address them quickly. This demonstrates that you’re proactive in responding to candidate and client complaints, that you put your money where your mouth is.
“We’re definitely not perfect,” said Aaron. “This gives us the ability to come back to a team member and say, ‘We’re supportive of you, but here are some things that could help you avoid this mistake in the future.’”
Although these conversations are often unpleasant at first, high quality recruiters will respect the fact that you’re investing in them, that you actually care enough to help them grow.
4. Manage performance & experience at scale
A positive candidate and client experience is what sets the great agencies apart from the mediocre. However, as an agency grows and becomes more successful, it becomes more difficult to manage the quality of these experiences.
This is where technology and automations come in. By letting technology take care of the menial, monotonous tasks in the background, you can focus your efforts where you’re needed most—coaching your team and serving your clients.
Spark Talent is a fantastic agency that will continue to do great things in the future. But they’re also indicative of a larger trend in the recruiting industry: that those agencies who invest in relationships, human connections, and developing people will thrive.
Those who stubbornly stick to “the old way” will die off.If you’re ready to take control of your reputation, gain insight into your team performance, and build your own legacy, set up a time to talk to our team about Great Recruiters.