According to the BBC, approximately 750,000 people lined the streets of Liverpool to welcome Liverpool FC bring home the European Cup in early June 2019. While the dust has settled on this achievement, what can and should be reflected on is the management style of Jurgen Klopp; the architect of Liverpool’s victory in Madrid.
What makes him a standout manager and what can recruitment managers learn from him?
1. Clear And Defined Philosophy
Klopp’s vision was clear right from the outset. He demanded a certain level of fitness and drive from his players in order to execute the tactics of his philosophy. By making your agency’s vision clear, it provides direction, motivation and an expectation from your employees for what you want to achieve and what you expect of them.
2. Deep Knowledge Of The Game
Whether you’re a football manager or working in recruitment, you must be passionate about what you’re doing, be a “student of the game” and have an appetite to continue to learn. This not only develops your style of management, it also is a great motivator for the team around you. An environment that encourages a wider understanding of recruitment and your specialist sectors will also endear your agency to prospective candidates and clients and could even set you apart from your competitors.
3. Infectious Enthusiasm
Klopp is famous for his like-ability even amongst his fiercest competitors and sceptics. This comes down to his charm and enthusiasm, both on and off the pitch. There are always times of hardship in every job role, perhaps you’ve lost your best recruiter, but as a manager and leader, you must be able to stay positive and permeate that enthusiasm throughout your team. As they say, one bad apple ruins the bunch and you must be able to keep the “bunch” in as healthy state as possible.
4. Focus On Employee Development
Throughout his time at Liverpool FC, Klopp’s focus on developing both young and older players, to demand the very best of them when they are called upon, is undeniable. You only have to look at the likes of James Milner, Trent Alexander Arnold and Divock Origi as evidence of this.
In the same way, a recruitment manager must be able to identify talented recruiters and employees, establish what areas are their strengths, provide the right training and support to turn them into an exceptional team. Each employee will have different goals, motivation triggers and will flourish from different levels of support. It is your responsibility to assess your employees individually and manage their development effectively.
5. Fantastic Man Or People Management
Jurgen Klopp is a master of man management – the ability to get the most of each individual in his team. This comes down to knowing how the individuals in your team will respond to you as a manager. There’s a time to shout, a time to sympathise, a time to encourage and a time to demand more. Each of these are different man (or employee) management tactics that you need to have in your arsenal. It is finding the balance between these tactics and choosing the moment to deploy each tactic that will enable you to get the most out of your team.
6. Clear And Simple Brief
In an interview with Western Union, Jurgen Klopp explained that “simplicity” is one of his greatest strengths,
“I have a lot more information than I give to the players. Not because I want to keep it, but because they have to play a football game and you have to play with freedom.”
The message from Klopp here is that, as a manager, you will have much more information than your team, whether that is financial concerns, board concerns or strategic questions that you haven’t found an answer to. However, to get the most out of your team, you must cherry pick only the information that will motivate them instead of overwhelming them. Too much information and your team may feel demotivated.
7. His Hugs
Lastly, Jurgen Klopp is famous for his hugs. While it may not be appropriate to imitate Klopp in this way due to professionalism in the workplace, the sentiment remains the same. Positive encouragement and making your employees feel valued, even when perhaps they have made mistakes, is key to successful management.