We empower our employees to perform, to become the very best they can be through personal and professional development. From trainee consultants to management, we provide training and support throughout to help sharpen and develop their skills and to always be one step ahead of the game.
Deverell Smith Academy
The Deverell Smith Training Academy is four weeks long and the end goal is turn all new starters into a Deverell Smith recruiter! Your days are split in 2 – mornings of training followed by afternoons ‘on the job’. The first half of the day will usually involve a combination of classroom-based sessions, group work, e-learning and a demonstration of some of the processes needed to carry out your day to day job function, such as how to generate and qualify great candidates and how to win new clients. The afternoon is then spent practicing what you have learnt or shadowing a member of the team that you will be working with.
The first day is an induction into the company, where you will learn all about our history, our brand, our values, our incentives and the structure of the company.
One of the other key things we explain are the opportunities for progression at Deverell Smith from day one. We run through your job description in detail, but also the job descriptions of the people working above you so you can immediately see where your career can go and what the gaps are to get there. We are very transparent about progression from day one, as we feel it’s important that graduates are very clear about what they need to do to progress and the opportunities available to them.
Once you know what your role is and where you fit into our team, over the rest of the week we start to introduce some of the technical skills you will need – a good example of what you might learn in week one is how to qualify a candidate, i.e. how do you hold that initial phone call with somebody to gather enough information to ascertain if they’re relevant and suitable for roles that you have on? What is their current salary, notice period, reasons for leaving? These will be asked in conjunction with more technical questions for your particular area/desk.
Every morning on the second and third weeks, we have a manager from one of the different teams doing a thirty-minute presentation on their particular desk, which we call a ‘Spotlight’. This helps to provide a very holistic overview of the whole business and highlight where there are opportunities to cross-sell and work with other desks. It also gives insight into the wider property industry and how your particular vertical sits within it.
Trainees are also taught how to use our internal database of 140,000 property professionals so they can ‘power’ search and extract key leads and candidates from it. They then learn how to manage the full recruitment process – this includes how to conduct face-to-face candidate meetings which, at first, would be done under the guidance of a colleague. Our hope is that after two or three of these supervised meetings, they would be able to get more involved and, ultimately, lead the meeting themselves.
They also learn the candidate management process i.e. how to take them from that first phone call, prepare them for an interview, how to pitch a job to them, pitch their CV to a client, all the way through to negotiating an offer. Often in the first two weeks, trainees will arrange several candidate meetings and our top performers will have already secured their candidates interviews with clients!
This takes trainees to the next level, showing them candidate generation techniques including how to write a job advert, how to use LinkedIn effectively and how to headhunt candidates. By the end of the third week, they should have their so-called ‘recruitment toolbox’, and be armed with all the tools they need to find relevant candidates.
At the end of week three we then hold a Resourcing Challenge – over a day, trainees are given a vacancy to work on and their task is to find three candidates from all the different sources they have learnt about to put forward for that position. Whoever wins gets a bar tab as their prize, which is a great way to make new friends quickly!
By the end of the four-week period, the focus is on clients. We discuss how to approach and engage with clients, how to explain our terms of business including fees and contracts and how you can start developing your own client base. Trainees are also often putting the previous three weeks learning into practice, perhaps booking candidates in for interviews, and some even making successful placements.
At the end of the forth week trainees must also do a presentation in front of their direct line manager and me. The presentation is their opportunity to showcase what they’ve learnt, describe what their biggest challenges or obstacles were during the Academy, say what their highlights were and explain what they know and understand about the market they will be working in. They also have to set a 100-day plan outlining their KPI’s, their key actions and they want to achieve in those three months. We then have a meeting three months later to see how they did in reaching those targets!
One to one training
Training and development never stops at Deverell Smith, we operate a culture where we encourage people to ask for help if they are struggling and provide bespoke sessions to help people overcome specific issues. We recognise that everyone is different and when it comes to learning and development one to one training can be the most effective method. Team leaders meet with their team individually every week where they identify areas for improvement and organise personal training sessions on social media, advertising jobs, sales techniques and database skills.
We are quick to identify our leaders of tomorrow and offer a structured career progression programme with different routes to satisfy people’s ambitions, be it in team management or running some of our biggest client accounts. Coaching is provided to all levels of management to ensure essential skills and personal qualities that will produce highly effective leaders. Our internal and external trainers equip our management team with skills to lead, motivate and organise their teams to ensure they can develop high performing, dynamic teams and accounts.
Working together rather than against each other makes us stronger and more successful. We organise team building days to share ideas, improve communication and motivation and above all else have fun.