The secret to motivating and engaging your back-office staff

In a recent survey[1] of 31 US recruitment companies, in one of the SIA top 20 firms a staggering 60% of back-office staff surveyed said they were actively looking to leave in the next 12 months. In addition, 73% stated they were either ‘unhappy’ or ‘very unhappy’ with the inequitable treatment versus their sales peers.

There has always been a difference in the incentives and rewards offered to front and back office staff. But the divide has been exacerbated in the race to attract top billers. Presidents Clubs, monthly lunch clubs, and top billers trips are regularly on offer to front office staff. Frustrations from back-office staff have been simmering for years, with them feeling like the poor relation in the company. They don’t want to see endless photos on LinkedIn of incentive trips or lunches which they weren’t eligible to attend.

What is important to back-office staff?

Based on the survey results, here are the top 4 things which mattered to back-office staff:

  1. Leadership – that genuinely cares and is skilled to lead effectively.
  2. Adequate resourcing – to deal with rising workloads. Post-furlough layoffs or firms simply choosing not to equip their back-offices with the necessary manpower mean many back-office staff feel overworked, with long hours eating into family time.
  3. Investment in professional training and development – leaders need to support and invest in the skills of their back-office staff. It’s a continuous challenge as back-office disciplines become disrupted through emerging technology, new compliance and changes to financial standards in some territories.
  4. Modernisation of systems and tools –antiquated technology holds people back and creates unnecessary administrative work. Equally slow performance of systems through working from home, along with visible investments to the front-office tech stack to allow recruiters to be more efficient adds to frustrations.
Back office workers require different incentives and rewards to be motivated and engaged

What can you do?

“My staff don’t want more overtime pay. When they are working 12-14 hours a day six days a week, they have no time to go out and enjoy spending it.”

…lamented a Payroll Manager we spoke to!

Any major system change in the back-office can be year-long projects. Your key staff will need to help with things such as change management, design and configuring and testing of the new system. As a result, they won’t be working on their day-to-day tasks.

Yet, there is a low-cost, low-risk opportunity that has been a game-changer for some back-offices over the last two years. That has been the emergence of a new type of technology; Robotic Process Automation. The ability to clone the rules-based, repeatable tasks of back-office staff has been a triumph for many recruiters. It has allowed them to scale and lower the unit costs of their back-office process and has been part of the armoury of some of the fastest growing recruitment companies.

This technology is designed to mimic the activity of your staff and can be deployed in weeks. It can support your AR, AP, timesheet management, compliance, credit control, payroll, credentialling, reporting, marketing, staff on-boarding, and HR functions – to name but a few. US companies who use Liquid Palladium’s RPA for recruitment on average have saved around 65% compared to the cost of staff.

RPA delivers the extra ‘resource’ that back office staff yearn for. It helps to remove the most repetitive, mundane tasks allowing them to focus on the aspects of their role they enjoy the most.

[1] Guidespark HR and Talent Survey Apr 2022

Want to know more?

Contact us today to find out how robotic process automation can help you to motivate and engage your back office recruitment staff.