I chose recovery clerks for business development – And they proved to be my best performers

By: Rajiv Tewari

I had joined a large newspapers publishing house and was simply looking for talent with an overview of the complete business cycle. From my past background in diverse businesses, I had understood that the collection stage is the true indicative of the whole organization, particularly, the marketing department’s competency in handling enquiries, quoting the right price, executing it to client’s specification and then raising the bills on time. The recovery clerks, in my view, with some training could have become a great resource for keeping the clients happy at all stages of business interactions. Another reason was a severe budgetary constraint which did not allow me to poach star performers from other organizations.

Most surprised were the Recovery Clerks who thought that at best they would retire as Collection Executives. With some convincing and assurance they agreed to play the ball. With just a couple of weeks training, I launched them in the field. Their enthusiasm and energy was amazing as they saw themselves in a better career growth zone.

To cut a long story short, we jumped to a revenue growth of 42% in the very first year against a revenue growth of -5% in the previous year. The top management was so surprised that they audited the billing figures twice as the performance was simply unbelievable.

The Recovery Clerks got promoted as Business Development Executives and I got a leadership team which led me to success after success for almost a decade. Retaining this talent was not a challenge as they were bonded through RESPECT, the most valuable ingredient for retaining talent besides of course a good salary package.

I learnt some very valuable lessons in the process:

1. While hiring look for the right match with the job requirement, work culture and the financial constraints.

2. Do not hire just on the basis of past performance in another work culture.

3. Respect is the most important factor in retaining talent