Recruitment Strategy for Growth


Howard Greenwood: Hello, welcome to a Jump Webinar or a Jump Advisory Panel discussion on Recruitment Strategy and Growth. Jump Advisory is a consultancy business which helps recruitment agencies grow and scale. We have an excess of about 150 years of recruitment of management and the growing large multinationals and small SME recruitment agencies.

Howard Greenwood: And we believe the recruitment industry changes life. And our purpose is to empower the world's recruitment leaders, to succeed beyond their ambition and to reflect the best of the industry that changes lives. So then we've got a panel of some really leading recruiters and some industry experts. So let me introduce you to the panel today.

Howard Greenwood: We've got Neil Carberry, who's the CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. That is a leading membership organization in the UK for recruitment and staffing firms and individuals in the UK. So welcome Neil. We've got Catherine King previously served as an international country manager in North America and Europe for Addecco since 2001.

Howard Greenwood: She's worked for people like Adeeco, most recently Kellys, and now runs her own executive search form Detroit. Welcome Catherine. We've got Jim Roach for the last 18 years. He's been working on great ARV solutions down in Bristol. We specialize in the construction engineering and manufacturing market. Jim's new award-winning leading manager with the REC business leader of the year, 2021 award.

Howard Greenwood: We've got Hillary Roberts, the CEO and founder of HRC Recruitment, a leading recruitment business in Scotland for the last 27 years. She's one of the chairman's awards for outstanding contribution to recruitment in Scotland. She's an expert in people's strategy and practicing. 

Howard Greenwood: We've also got Paul Jacobs, a well-known high profile, figuring recruitment. He's had over 44 years in the recruitment industry. So when you see Paul on screen, that's what 44 years looks like. He's the example of an office. Angel's a board member of Adecco UK and Ireland. It was achieved as a talent executive for Hudson in the UK, Ireland in the middle east. And he's a co-founder of Jump.

Howard Greenwood: We had Heather Salway who's an ex group HR Director for engagement. Who's a large multinational recruitment agency in the UK. She's an expert in people's strategy, practice, recruitment, leadership, leading development, ER, and employment law. And now the director, Jim, and myself as a chair today, I've just heard these people together, which is gonna be quite interesting.

Howard Greenwood: Co-founder of Jump. Ex Director of Computer People, Adecco IT evolution and Robert Half. I now help small recruitment agencies grow and scale and succeed on that planning. So between us, I think I counted up, we had over 102 hundred and 20 years of recruitment management experience on this panel. So to an extreme extent there is a panel.

Howard Greenwood: So I'm really looking forward to hearing some of the answers to the sort of questions that we've got for them. So let's kick off first and foremost, as we kick off the new year, almost entering our third year of COVID. How has this changed your strategy planning for 2022? And what questions are you asking yourself now that you didn't ask yourself three years ago?

Howard Greenwood: And where do you see the challenges over the next three years? So I will start with Neil. Neil. 

Neil Carberry: Well, thanks, Howard. Thanks for the invite to be here at the World, Staffing Summit today, and great to see everybody. If we think about 2022, I think there's a cult in business that we've got to get on top of it.

Neil Carberry: And that cult is norm reversion. As in, we're going through an app, a kind of abnormal period. And when the abnormal period is over, we'll go back to something like what we've done before. Maybe we're just a little bit more digital in there. And I think as recruiters, if we're looking at the market we're dealing with and what clients want from us, I think the changes that are happening are much more fundamental than that.

Neil Carberry: And, you know, if I have one message for any business, not just a recruitment business right now about planning for 2022 is that the bulk of the changes that have been driven by the last two years have not yet happened. We're getting, we get, we're getting inflation flowing through the economy this year. There's a lot of clients having to change their business model and different options becoming onto the onto the market for recruiters and what we do in terms of digital, how we handle our staff, what our offer is, how we reshape our offer.

Neil Carberry: Fundamentally my one bit of advice. That's probably different from where we were a year ago or certainly two years ago. I think we're much closer to the blank sheet of paper and how our services will evolve than we have been before. So if people talk about getting back to normal, say, no, we're not going back to normal.

Neil Carberry: We need to find what the new normal is. And in doing that, we need to be bold about the value of the services we deliver as recruiters. Now, you're not going to get pushed around by jobs or job boards. We're not going to get pushed around by the clients. We need to tell clients that the world has changed, and we've got to believe in ourselves, so not to norm reversion and lots of pride in what we do and start with those two things in your business, planning go, Howard. That's my start for 10 .

Howard Greenwood: Great staff, but certainly I'll thank you very much for that, Catherine. I think you want to come in on that as well. Catherine King. 

Catherine King: Yes. Thanks very much. Thank you for inviting me, Howard. It's wonderful to be here with all of all of you. So I spent many years in recruitment, as you said, I did a few years following recruitment in the security industry.

Catherine King: So in the security industry, there is a very good practice to include emergency management plans and every business plan for every company. And I learned from that, and I think there's a bit of that needs to go into business planning in our industry, regardless of company size, you have to be prepared for the unexpected and certainly the pandemic and the global effects of

Howard Greenwood: Catherine?

Catherine King: Yes. Can you hear me 

Howard Greenwood: I think we have just lost the last couple of seconds of that, Catherine. So if you don't mind, repeat the last couple of seconds, that'd be a little bit. 

Catherine King: My apologies. My apologies. It's very spotty here. I was just saying that it's very important to include an element of emergency management.

Howard Greenwood: I think that when we listened to that, it was Catherine, you know, implementing emergency funding. And I think obviously Catherine broadband is provided and these, the emergency plans at the moment, because they're not being able to hear from a Catholic king at the moment, but Catherine will come in and out and we'll come back to Catherine on that sort of thing.

Howard Greenwood: But what we're saying then is 

Catherine King: I might try another computer. Go ahead. 

Howard Greenwood: Okay. Brilliant. I appreciate it. So what you're saying there, what Catherine was saying is that a lot of the things that are waiting to happen, haven't happened yet. And obviously what we should be thinking about is not living for today.

Howard Greenwood: We should be thinking about the future and planning for the future and not just the most recruiters live for the jobs that they have today to deliver them tomorrow. They need to be thinking about how they can get across in the future. So we start to bring that across that, you know, if you had to list the most important priorities to embrace and focus upon in 2022 for business leaders, what would they be?

Howard Greenwood: And just purpose still matters. Hillary Robert says to bring Hillary wants. You've lost your view on that. 

Hilary Roberts: Howard thanks very much. And hi, everybody is really great to be here. I guess my first view is retaining great people is one of the fundamental big issues of 2022. The piece of business at the moment is so frantic that you can't have a fast company and have slow people.

Hilary Roberts: So keeping your great people is vital. You know, there's no question the pandemic has taken its tall. People are reflecting and what's important to them in their work and more fundamentally in their lives. They're looking for flexibility and I think purpose really matters actually. And it's fatal to consider that purpose is not just about simply what somebody does for a living.

Hilary Roberts: It's much, much more than that. You know, people at the woman are leaving their jobs and considering leaving their jobs and Jobs. So I think leaders need to be considering how they can create a culture that people want to be you know, a part of. They need to take time to understand what their people are really looking for out of their lives and their job's.

Hilary Roberts: And they need to also invest in their people managers and give them the support, the skills, the time, the space to understand what their teams and the people are looking for. And they need to react really quickly and adapt accordingly. I think also, you know, another issue that I think is really important is still that issue of health and wellbeing.

Hilary Roberts: You know, we've talked a lot about it in the last two years, but actually as a result of burnout, the result of pandemic burnout is a huge issue now. And there's a UGov poll that said the woman is seeing a third of the workforce is considering leaving their roles because of mental health issues.

Hilary Roberts: So I think we need to build resilience in our teams going forward. I also think that ensuring it ties into what Neil was talking about. We need to ensure that our workforce is skilled for the future. It's really clear that what works today, wouldn't work for the future. You know, IT and Tech developments are currently on steroids that the moment, and there's the feeling that AI in the world of executive search will be like the invention of the chapter as it was for farmers node.

Hilary Roberts: And these, you know, the job will be the same, but we will do it will be really different. So I think take or fundamentally change almost every job that we do. And I think as business leaders in the recruitment industry, we really need to understand what skills people will need. And we need to think about how we adapt our businesses accordingly.

Howard Greenwood: Interesting view on that. Heather, I think you wanted to come in on that one as well and have a sort of a comment on that. 

Heather Salway: Yeah, I do. I agree with Hillary with a lot of the things that you're saying, and I think purpose is more important now than it's ever been. I think one of the things, and I mentioned all our masterclass earlier today, is recruitment.

Heather Salway: Sometimes we can have a tendency to be distracted by shiny glittery things over there. And at the moment we have this opportunity in this market, around the world the likes of which many of us have never seen before. And it's very easy to get distracted by that. And so we really need a laser-like focus, I think, to understand what our purpose is and what our goals are, and to not allow ourselves to get distracted.

Heather Salway: Tim cook, who worked at the engagement had a great quote, which is we should not confuse the opportunity with the ability to execute on that opportunity. And sometimes I think we do, we forget that and I think that's a really important priority for us and the other one. I, again, Hillary, I agree with you on this change and equipping people in our organizations to handle change.

Heather Salway: The pace of change has, it's always been pretty fast in my 20 years in recruitment, but it's increasing. And as Neil says, we're never going back to the way things were before. And we have to prepare our staff to deal with that constant change. How do we equip them with the tools to be able to do that and the skills to be able to do that and take the team with them on that journey of change and which links to the third one, really, which is about creating a culture of inclusion.

Heather Salway: If we can create a culture where everybody is included, which links to a million other advantages about diversity and equity and all of those things, but creating a cultural inclusion really enables us to. People in our organizations to be able to innovate, to confidently, talk to us about change and adapt and adaptation.

Heather Salway: So for me, inclusion is the other big priority for many different facets. 

Howard Greenwood: That's what you saw. You're both saying that you can't really, as a recruitment leader afford to be a Luddite. When you start looking at your strategy.

Heather Salway: Nicely encapsulated.

Howard Greenwood: It has to have purpose and we're not talking revolution Hilary.

Howard Greenwood: What we're talking about is the evolution of our systems and our people, and that sort of changes what's happening. And that's including the inclusion of people across all the board to make sure we have the right workforce. That is a balanced workforce that we can do. Back out to our clients. We have a question from Leo, which is Wilkes or push towards the annual combats Leone and answer that question.

Howard Greenwood: So I will push that towards the end. So I still made notes of it. So I have got it. That wants to look, I'll move on to those. We'll talk about that across the globe. The recruitment market is really booming and we all know it's a candidate shy market and requirement rich, and everyone's sort of struggling to find candidates.

Howard Greenwood: How has this sort of changed recruitment leaders focus and should an agent be client led or candidate led? And if that is the case, then is this the death of 360 recruitment? As we know it, Catherine, you've changed rooms now. So do you want us to sort of come back to, and try to answer that question with the 

Catherine King: yes.

Catherine King: Thank you for your patients for those of us across the pond here. I think it's interesting that candidates are shy in our world and I'm in the world of executive recruitment, the two designations are hardly separate from the candidates that our clients often become our candidates and vice versa.

Catherine King: So it just depends on the level or the spectrum of the industry that you would have it in the recruitment world. So if the if you're in the, in a world where the the candidate is sought after, and is indeed a job seeker, that's a very different type of engagement than the type of engagement where you are seeking out people who are already employed, happy in their roles and essentially luring them away to go to another better opportunity.

Catherine King: Cause that's really the world that I'm in and the recruitment market. And so that, that particular spec area of the recruitment market is always candidates shy. So we're always on the hunt, if you will, for good talent. 

Howard Greenwood: So PJ you've always got something Paul Jacobs. I could, you know, cause you, you are a real advocate of what's happening, the change in the marketplace, talking about your views on that question.

Paul Jacobs: Well, Very long time. Now I've been an advocate of changing the standard 360 degree recruitment model, you know, as you mentioned earlier, how to be in the industry for a very long time now. And I've been around since horse-drawn carriages and gas lamps, as I think you constantly joke. And the truth is that when I started back in the seventies our market was very candidate led.

Paul Jacobs: I wasn't taught to fill jobs. I was taught to place great candidates in great jobs. That was very much the way we worked. And it's amusing to think now that in the seventies I was taught to sit with a candidate next to me in my office and try and arrange three interviews for them before they left the building.

Paul Jacobs: And I mean, in those days we were placing lumps of 25- 30 candidates a month in jobs. I mean, if only we could have those days back again, the interesting thing about that point. When I look forward, when I look at where we are today, it's the market significantly different from then? And I think the answer is it's not, you know, we are very much now focused on the candidate being the king or the queen.

Paul Jacobs: We have to make sure that when we find great talent, we market that talent into our particular sectors. And I've really long held the view that we ought to look at revising our 360 degree recruitment model. A lot of my clients all now, very much looking at how they split out and divide the role of the 360 degree recruiter.

Paul Jacobs: Should we be bringing in candidate managers? We've definitely got resources in our industry sector, of course, but consultants, perhaps just looking at getting interviews arranged for candidates, but also having BD and account management people. And as a speck really specified candidate managers, people holding the hands of candidates through the interview process getting them through the resignation process, onboarding them into their new roles and so forth.

Paul Jacobs: It's very hard. And it always has been to find candidate a, to find individuals that can do all of those things to a higher degree of proficiency. So I think it's that Ford model T situation that we sometimes make reference to you. Don't ask people to build an entire car. You look at getting various people with various different talents to contribute towards the process.

Paul Jacobs: And it is about stepping back and looking at the experience that we want people to have when they work with our businesses. How do we improve that experience for both our clients and Candidates? 

Howard Greenwood: So what you're saying, the power of you, what you're saying is that, you know, placing candidates into jobs of focusing on the candidate rather than the client is now primary in our marketplace.

Howard Greenwood: And I've said this for quite a long time, but yeah, we all think that the client pays us the money. Yes they do. But the catalyst is a good accountant and that's the only reason why you get paid the money because you've got a candidate. And so if we start to go backwards and start to think where the actual money starts in the process, it all starts with a candidate.

Howard Greenwood: And therefore we're saying that the individual strength of a recruiter, if you're good at opening doors and get them opening doors, if they're good at finding candidates, get them finding candidates, absolutely gauge their strengths. Cause they're that engaged. And then retains them longer in what they're doing.

Paul Jacobs: And also I think for our businesses a lot easier when you narrow down the skill sets, it opens up opportunities for talent. 

Howard Greenwood: So what we're saying is about retention. And I'll come back to that Catherine. It could all be about retention. And we start to think that in 2021, the great resignation was being thrown at everybody reported worldwide.

Howard Greenwood: Therefore in 2022, are we seeing this? So what are the EVP employee value proposition features that leaders need to introduce into their business to create an envelope culture that will attract and retain talent. Now, Jim, you've been doing that quite a lot just recently, or grow, expanding your business hugely. What are you doing to recruit, train and attract talent? 

Jim Roach: Well, thank you. Thank you, Howard. Good to be here. That's absolutely key for us at the moment, cause we're trying to attract six more people in the next four or five months. So, we'll never succeed unless we're seen as a great place to work.

Jim Roach: The key things I see in terms of the employee value proposition are now getting hybrid working, right. So that is getting it right as a business model, as opposed to, as a reaction to COVID. We've had a lot of people working from home and turning the homes into offices. So we are trying to work to turn our office into more of a homely environment as we're creating a lounge area.

Jim Roach: Which will help collaboration and communications in small groups. So that'll be great. It's been mentioned before, but wellbeing has to be at the heart of the business, not just a policy, it's gotta be real stuff, not just a gym membership but a lot more than that. So we have recently implemented an individual wellbeing fund for every employee so that they can spend a chunk of money on the five ways to wellbeing, which covers connecting, being active, taking notice, learning, and giving.

Jim Roach: So it can cover a wide range of stuff. It could be guitar lessons, it was Paul and very much enjoys taking your granny out for lunch or buying someone a drink. All sorts. 

Jim Roach: So thank you. But it has to relate to what the individuals want. We used to just do gym membership, but not everyone wants a gym membership.

Jim Roach: They might want to do something completely different, enter a 10 K or something. So we're trying to cater for all of that. We're also about to roll out medical cover as the NHS is under pressure. Now it's going to be in the press for some years. So we've got medical cover coming in, which also includes a counseling service, which I think is pretty key too.

Jim Roach: We don't have the skills in-house to do that. The next thing will be getting the social calendar moving again. Our team works very collaboratively anyway, and we've really missed the face to face stuff with everyone together. So getting that rolling with inclusive events that everyone can do, cause we're all going to go rock climbing next week.

Jim Roach: It's not everyone concerned, me included. And lastly, get the message out there. There's no point doing all these great things or having a policy for everything. If your staff don't know about it. And if you're not telling the world about it, 

Howard Greenwood: Well, I look at that and Neil you obviously, you're the REC, you see lots of recruitment agencies.

Howard Greenwood: What are you seeing that's happening on that side? 

Neil Carberry: It's interesting. I think in a market like this, we're trying to hold onto good people and attract more good people. There's a short-term response, which is to pull one of the leavers you have, which is pay and almost yank the arm off that lever.

Neil Carberry: And you, one of the things I've done at the REC in the last few days is put forward the work we're doing on benchmarking salaries around the industry in the UK. But because it's the biggest thing we can do for members is give them a sense of where things are. And to be honest, I'm going to put pressure.

Neil Carberry: We set when we do it that says don't get carried away because we don't know what the market looks like in six months time. And if you're playing the game of ramping up on pay, just to try and attract people, well, one, we kind of know that Pay isn't the great motivator and two, you're putting up your business costs to a level where if things are, if we have a rockier landing, rather than the smooth landing from the current really strong market, we've got in most jurisdictions at the moment, you're creating problems for yourself, much more focused.

Neil Carberry: I think Jim's put his finger right on it in terms of what other things are we doing? To engage people. How do people work with us? And one of the big delineators for me is you think about EVP. It's not just about what you give people. It's about how the job is done. So it's about how your managers are working.

Neil Carberry: It's about things like we talked about 360, 180 earlier on what are the KPIs you're measuring your people on and are driving the behaviors you really want are really aligned with the purpose that you have when you talk about it. Making sure you're avoiding gimmicks. So thinking properly about wellbeing and Jim identified the kind of five parts of wellbeing earlier, right?

Neil Carberry: That it is not about bean bags and free food. It's about much more fundamental things. So it has to be how you do what you do now, what you do as a benefit for staff, with what you make. And if you get that right in your EVP, then that is going to prepare you for the long term and really important point.

Neil Carberry: It is commercial, right? Clients are looking to us as people who know how to do this stuff. Yeah. If we've got to hold our heads high, as I said earlier, we got to know about how to DVP and the industry because we're advising clients on it. So getting it right for ourselves is kind of the first step.

Howard Greenwood: I think what we're talking about is that retention is the new recruitment strategy. The more you were telling your people the better. So, someone said that treating yourself as a title is a really great way of looking at your staff. So the benefits you bring about treating them. And what Jim's talking about is I remember in the pandemic, I couldn't work out.

Howard Greenwood: I was working from home. We're living at work. I couldn't work out what it was, but what Jim is trying to do is create the environment where people feel comfortable at home and at work, which is there. What you're saying there is that pay. Isn't the great motivator as it used to be. It's all the other little things.

Howard Greenwood: And the biggest thing is how you are treated by your management team, et cetera, et cetera, how they make you feel in the business. But I always think that how you make you feel is really important or that you make you feel more important or do you make your people feel less important and the more or less important you're made to feel.

Howard Greenwood: The more, you're likely to disappear through the accident door, which is what we don't want at all from that. So do you think that companies should align executive rewards with corporate purposes for recruitment companies? So should agencies be bonusing staff on value service and corporate goals? Not just the fee generated, obviously from an HR perspective, you've been asked lots of questions about paying commissions, et cetera.

Howard Greenwood: What's your thoughts on that? 

Heather Salway: There's a really simple answer to that question, Howard. And since Paul's coming off to me and I'm to give you a short answer, I'll give you a short

Heather Salway: The reality is that you have to have people bonused or, and then you need to measure things that are important to the business that you're trying to create. So you absolutely have to link it to your values and your purpose. Now it's not an easy thing to do at all. Because bonuses have to be measurable and finding ways of linking measurables to values and purpose is really very difficult, but yeah, absolutely.

Heather Salway: You have to work at doing it and just bottom line income is not enough, you know, that, especially when we're talking about executive reward, not quite the same when you're talking about recruiters, although, you know, there is an element in there, but for executive reward, it's absolutely about living our values and our purpose.

Heather Salway: And it's about other measures, like our ability to retain staff, like our ability to develop staff, like our ability to create an inclusive workplace and all of those things absolutely should be part of executive roles. So, yes. 

Howard Greenwood: Are you saying that before Paul jumps and you're saying that one of the big key drivers you'd get for executives.

Howard Greenwood: It's retention of staff. Yeah, absolutely. 

Heather Salway: Yeah, absolutely. 

Paul Jacobs: Okay. Well, I mean, heck could I disagree with Heather? I'd be frightened too. I mean, I agree with everything you just said, honestly, because if I don't she'll punch me when I say I would honestly I absolutely agree with everything Heather ever said.

Paul Jacobs: I mean, bonus plans, in my opinion, should absolutely reflect the EVP of a business who pulls a value proposition, the values and behaviors of a business are key and to purely reward. Executives on revenue and profit achievement alone. I think in this day and age sending out the wrong signal both internally and externally is particularly important.

Paul Jacobs: So if a business is truly committed, I'll give you some examples to DE&I, for example, or providing world-class customer service or coaching and retention of colleagues, which has said sustainability, charity fundraising, any of, all of those points that these values at associated targets with those values should be embedded into remuneration packages.

Paul Jacobs: And I would argue not only for the executives, but cascaded throughout the business now true EVP should mean that working in a business reflects the brand image exhibited externally to the customers and potential employees. There shouldn't be any differences between the experience of working for a business within a business and the glossy brochure.

Paul Jacobs: And presented at the interview, it should be the same experience. So we know that to use that to use that expression bonus plans dictate behavior. We know that especially in our industry, but if businesses wished to be identified as responsible entities and our clients now look at us for that particular perspective, then the reward system must reflect the values that are expanded to shareholders or stakeholders and clients externally.

Paul Jacobs: Otherwise it's a fake persona that if you are purporting to have a particular persona and it isn't that it's fake people will quickly expose it for that. A brand image brand value is absolutely crucial. Now people now want to work with organizations, work in organizations and work with organizations that are not only focused on providing outstanding service, but are embracing the issues that we discuss on a daily basis.

Paul Jacobs: From a global perspective, it's not just about finding great candidates anymore. Your business has to reflect the values that society holds dear. 

Howard Greenwood: So what we're saying then all the way through is that our brand value that we project out to our candidates and to our clients, needs to be absolutely embedded with our consultants and our staff all the way through.

Howard Greenwood: And what they're saying is linking pay reward to the values is really important and we must live our values. Because that will start to help retention of what you said that EVP must match reality. What we can't afford is what you said. There is a fake persona of looking how good we are, or they even have blended with something completely different to, you know, I've seen that in recruitment for a long time, so things do change, but you're absolutely right.

Howard Greenwood: We need to start to think of how. The perception from the outside world of our business, what that looks like, and then how we reflect it back out to everybody, including our staff. So we think post COVID, one of the things that will help our business on those things is technology. So what technologies should recruit recruitment leaders, be budgeting to purchase.

Howard Greenwood: And integrate into that business that provides colleagues with immensely valuable time to exercise, the more innate human skills to develop consulting relationships with clients and candidates. So the question is what have we started to implement that significantly impacted the business performance?

Howard Greenwood: And I know Hillary you've been going through a big technical change at the moment. What things have you started to introduce to your company that will help aid consultants bring time back to them? Okay. 

Hilary Roberts: For anybody who knows me well, you'll know that when it comes to my understanding of tech I'm not naturally in my comfort zone.

Hilary Roberts: So, bear with me as we go here. However when the pandemic hit, I realized that what we needed to do was we needed to use resources much more efficiently and deliver the best service possible to our customers, both externally and internally. So, we have probably spent more money in lost and more resources in the last two years.

Hilary Roberts: And then we've done the last Tane and taken stuff. So we, I guess what I would like to do is start bouncing what we've done rather than where we go forward. I can give a wee bit of insight into that, but what we've done is we obviously went through the same set of Dale Smith, set up everybody to work remotely.

Hilary Roberts: And you know, with the adoption of the soft console, with the adoption of, you know, Zebra Bluetooth headsets and what this has given us, as it's given our team, the ability to work absolutely anywhere. It doesn't matter whether they're working from home or whether they're working in the office. Actually it could be working in Italy and it wouldn't make any difference to us.

Hilary Roberts: So that's been a big win for us. But the biggest wins probably have been the adoption of video interviewing techniques and technology. So we've now got our dedicated and secure online interview platform. And that's actually worked really well for our candidates and our clients.

Hilary Roberts: That's a real added value. We also brought on a completely new CRM system, which has specifically targeting our temp business actually. And that has, we worked out, it's probably a load. Each consultant is working on a temp desk, approximately an additional eight hours of time spent on candidates and clients where normally they would have been, you know, sitting, having to do non-technical work that wasn't actually adding any service.

Hilary Roberts: So also that CRM has got It offers our clients and candidates access to our online portal. So overall a very much better client service offering. We've also introduced a fantastic business management system, which has connected our back office with our front office. And to be honest, we used to spend a whole lot of time running around double-check checking and double-checking information, making sure it was right.

Hilary Roberts: No, we've got real time information that when anybody looks at it is accurate and that has saved us a huge amount of time. Finally, at the moment, one of the things we're working on is we're working with Firefish to create a system which acts as an applicant tracking system. And that will really allow us to not only work on creating great candidates.

Hilary Roberts: But it will also allow us to really market to our candidates and our clients in a very targeted and systematic way. And I think that will save us an awful lot of time and provide our clients and candidates with a much better service where they're actually getting content coming out to them that is providing really added value.

Hilary Roberts: So, you know, looking forward, one of the things I want us to be looking at is recruitment chatbots. Cause I believe that will save a huge amount of time for kind of online, you know, offer a view efficiency around how we deal with candidates, firstly, in, in quantities. But I guess the overriding thing for me is, you know, as take products and services are changing so rapidly, what I think everybody needs to be doing is just keeping an open mind, looking at everything that's coming out as a way in, so we can jump on the next thing that is going to save time and be flexible and adaptable as we go.

Howard Greenwood: So before I get Jim into that question, because he has been doing the same thing, I've got one question, half of what you've implemented starts to massively increase your bottom line profit of you start to see the impact that the time that you've given back to your consultants from doing that. 

Hilary Roberts: And certainly with the introduction of our new CRM system.

Hilary Roberts: Absolutely. That has been a game changer for us in that particular business area. And the use of video interviewing has absolutely made a difference. It's allowed us to win significantly good quality and volume bits of business. 

Howard Greenwood: And what I'd just like to remind you. And I can give you a little color here or in a presenting in Glasgow about four years ago, and saying as a digital revolution is coming on, that it's going to be video technology.

Howard Greenwood: And I think you were in the audience of that day video technology you're rubbing off

Howard Greenwood: I don't know. 

Jim Roach: A couple of key things to answer that agree with everything Hilary said . But don't just buy tech cause that won't make you any money. We invested in video tech two years ago which was a lifesaver at the time, but the only reason it actually worked was that we really thought about how we would implement it into our process.

Jim Roach: And we had to change our processes a lot. We'd really had to make sure we were going to get buy-in from our clients, which meant we had to get buy-in from our staff. So whatever you're going to buy and spend money on, you need to get the buy-in from all of the people. First, we've got a major client at the moment.

Jim Roach: We do a lot of business and we thought we might lose them because they agreed to a single source supplier elsewhere, a huge agency. And we thought, well, Greg, we've got video tech. We're going to keep selling that. We talked to our provider about it. And it turns out that the huge agency that we're competing against also has the same technology that just never told the plant to have it.

Jim Roach: They have it. And they've been booted out. We're doing most of their work now, so getting the buy-in is absolutely critical. The other thing, which was warned to me by a senior systems architect at one of the major banks, weirdly, I've got some old friends is that whenever you invest in now, make sure it is future-proof.

Jim Roach: So you may find things that have got the add on you wanted, but is it upgradeable for the future or are you going to be stuck with an okay system forever? You want it to be able to grow within whatever system you're getting? 

Howard Greenwood: So what we're saying then is really when we start to look at that technology is about investing now for the future.

Howard Greenwood: About what you're saying, Jim is also about investing properly. It's not just buying the new shiny bit of tech. It's how you train your people, how you change your processes to implement that. What you're saying here, if you have the right CRM, and I always think of CRM is you buy a CRM. Like you buy clothes, you buy the right CRM that fits your style of business, and then you develop it from there.

Howard Greenwood: So you're getting that. And what you're talking about is the front and back office connection, which creates real time opportunity, but prevents human error, but also creates real time data. And that's really important for us to grow the business and move the business forward. So if we move forward, if we have to list the three most important priorities, all leadership skills to embrace and focus upon in 2022 to, for business leaders, what would they be now?

Howard Greenwood: Neil, again, you have your, from outside that sort of recruitment market, but you're inside the recruitment market. What do you think those leaders' leadership skills should be? 

Neil Carberry: So, if you think about what leadership is, it's not really a job, it's a set of behaviors and it's a set of behaviors designed around helping other people be their best in an environment that you help them to interpret.

Neil Carberry: So I suppose three things were on my mind. I'm a great Simon Sineck fan. And recently inside the REC, we've been changing our performance management system, and I've been using an assignment Sinek video, which if you've never watched Gordon and find it on YouTube, it's called most leaders. Don't know what game they're in.

Neil Carberry: And he identifies empathy and perspective as two of the great leadership skills of this era. Empathy, we've talked a lot about in terms of aligning with purpose and dealing with people as human beings. It's a human industry. After all, perspective is really important to me. And it's about.

Neil Carberry: Short-term versus long-term. I spoke about this a little earlier on. It's very easy. If you're talking about purpose, if you're talking about tech buy, if you're talking about inclusion and diversity to get the response. Yeah. Yeah. But we've got to make numbers this month and what's really important to perspective is you want to be making numbers, not just this month, but next month.

Neil Carberry: And next month in a year's time and two years time, because that's your trajectory. And as a leader, you've got to give yourself permission to have that perspective, and it will change how you manage your week and what you think is important to step in on. And it is a tough balance because you've got to perform not as well, but I think that confidence is important that confidence in the quality of what your firm is trying to do and using that to give yourself permission.

Neil Carberry: To both have perspective and be empathetic with people starting points because everyone has been through a storm for the last couple of years. We've got young people coming into the labor force who have no idea. They haven't had the socialization process that we all had. When we started out, we got 600,000 all older workers who just left the labor force and probably not coming back to do what they did before, but might do something for something there's a whole suite of different choices to be made.

Neil Carberry: So confidence, empathy perspective. 

Howard Greenwood: Okay. I'll say great. I'm Neil, I like that. I like set behaviors. So capitalize on that at the end, Heather, again, coming in from a HR perspective, you know, leadership skills. Isn't just about the sales side, is it? 

Heather Salway: No, absolutely not. And I agree completely with what Neil says.

Heather Salway: I'm a fan of Simon as well. And when I was doing some research for a recent leadership program, I was running a recruitment business. I came across a guy who. Peter Anderton and Peter Anderton have his kind of leadership thing written about is that there are two rules that every leader has, and they really resonated with me.

Heather Salway: And so I've used them recently in training. And so what he says is that all number one is that's where leadership begins and it's not about you. So leadership is about the people who work for you. And he uses a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that says a good leader, inspires people to have confidence in the leader.

Heather Salway: A great leader, inspires confidence, the people to have confidence in themselves. So I love that rule. Number one, it's not about you. And then he's rule number two to quickly move into two or three. Is there it is. It's all about. And which is a really nice, kind of nice way of talking about this. Because as a leader, you've got to look at yourself and you've got to look at your behaviors and your thinking and your values and how they feed into your leadership, because it's only you that can change to get a different response from the people around you.

Heather Salway: And I just loved that two rules piece. So that's two of them. And then the third one as you'd expect, sorry to be predictable, but it's inclusion it absolute is all about inclusion. And I won't go into any more, cause I know we're desperately short of time to get through the rest of our questions.

Heather Salway: So, that's my three. 

Howard Greenwood: So what you're saying there as a group then is it's the set of behaviors. But what we're actually creating there, Neil and Heather is we're creating the right habits of a leader. And if we create the right habits and those things reoccur again, it's not just doing a behavior on one thing and then putting it in a box and say, I've done it.

Howard Greenwood: It's actually creating the right habits. And obviously that's the, you know, the permission to have a perspective of not just today, but that new need that three year plan. And you need to be confident about going into the future, driving the future. And if you like that, it's not about you, but it is about you.

Howard Greenwood: And I like the fact that you've got two rules, but you got a third one to it. That's always good for counting. But it's all about that inclusion. And I think what you're saying is that as a leader, it is about you and what you replicate as your values. All what people will replicate to you, but not only that, then they'll replicate that out to your canvas, answer your clients, et cetera.

Howard Greenwood: So that value proposition then becomes really important how we move that forward. So when we think about that, do we think stakeholders, clients, candidates, and consultants have changed their expectations of what makes a good leader in the recruitment company in the last few years, but do you think this affects the buying decision to engage with our agency from clients, Catherine?

Catherine King: The answer to that question is yes. I think that the expectations to Heather's point about being quick have changed and in a way, and yet have stayed the same. When you think about leadership during times of crisis, which is what we have been dealing with for the past three years. You need a leader that is empathetic, but that also has a spine of steel.

Catherine King: Because that's what I was alluding to earlier about having an emergency management plan when entire industries evaporate because of a global pandemic and business simply disappears. Your worst thing to do is to not have a plan to deal with it and to show a lack of resolve to your people.

Catherine King: So having a spine of steel being ready to face whatever comes into the business world from the standpoint of the unpredictable is very important. And it does speak to one point that I believe either Hillary or Heather mentioned, and that was about inclusion. So, and I mentioned this briefly on that I hopefully won't go on too long, cause this is one of my passion points and that is that there's been a great deal of discussion about DE&I.

Catherine King: I'm just now morphing into the ESG conversation, which is the rise of the green economy. I think it's very important for leaders to be authentic in this regard and not jump on a fad when it comes to DE&I, so seeking to understand the nuances of diversity is very important. How it relates to the green economy is very real in terms of the social aspect, but it cannot be fatish.

Catherine King: It must be authentic. So I would leave. I would leave you with not the spine of steel and authenticity are the two things that are necessary and a good leader. 

Howard Greenwood: So Hillary, you've been obviously leading your company for an awful long time. Now I have to say not to be disrespected, but you have been out there at the forefront and leading from the front.

Howard Greenwood: So tell me how you make it, yeah. From a leadership point of view, your stakeholders, your clients you'd come to us and you've consulted. What are they expecting from you and what are you delivering back to them? 

Hilary Roberts: Okay. I mean, I think I agree with what Catherine said. I think first of all, things have changed quite considerably and actually picking up a Neil's point when he said, you know, you get pulled into focusing on the numbers, and that's actually really important as a leader that you take time to think about the other issues that are really important in the wider global community.

Hilary Roberts: You know, I think what people are looking for now in their business leaders and from a business like hers, is they're looking for a business that really cares. It cares about that. That's very visibly caring about their own people that actually really wants to make a positive impact in. There is local land and indeed their wider business community that has a strong set of values.

Hilary Roberts: And that has a really impactful purpose. You know, we've spent a lot of time over the last two years talking about our purposes and we've spent a whole load of time and actually redefining what our values are. Cause I think that is really important. People want to see that you've got a strong set of values and you've got an organization that really works within those values.

Hilary Roberts: And I think what Catherine's talking about in terms of being authentic is, is fundamental. You know, we're leaders, we need to be thinking about sustainability. We need to be thinking about our commitment ton DE&I and that can't just be words on a wall. It needs to be authentic the word Catherine, the use of which completely agrees with that.

Hilary Roberts: And it also needs to be really visible. So, you know, I'm completely on the same path that we are trying as a business, we have spent a lot of time and energy on this and it, and it requires focus. And it's easy to get distracted by the day-to-day stuff. It's really important, I think has been forward.

Howard Greenwood: So I think that's what we've talked about before. A lot of our webinars, which is all about the urgency of recruitment, fill jobs, but the strategy to build. And what you're talking about is that visible authenticity, that, and that means having a spine of steel to stay focused to that authenticity.

Howard Greenwood: And that includes, you know, not jumping on a fund. And I completely agree that Cathrine had been to lots of DE&I webinars as well. And people do jump on a firm by actually living what you actually say and what you mean and delivering that. So. How should leaders encourage create space to enable them to spend two thirds of that time looking outside of the business rather than two thirds of the time, looking immersed in dealing with the minutiae of the business, i.e The sales side.

Howard Greenwood: So Jim, you want to sort of jump into that reasonably quickly. 

Jim Roach: That's simple, really. But it is impossible to focus on only the things that you can do. So being the face of the business with your clients and being the leader in that business for your people everything else, really, if it can be done by somebody else, as well as if not better than you get someone else to do.

Jim Roach: I've gone to extreme measures in my business. I've just hidden from my wife. There's operations. 

Howard Greenwood: There's one question that's going to keep you in check. 

Paul Jacobs: Yeah, 

Jim Roach: but effectively it leads, it leaves me to become the sales director and the people leader to develop the people. Like no one else is in a position to do the level that I'm at in my little business.

Jim Roach: So that's it for me. And then anyone else can get other people to do it bearing in mind you're recruiting stuff at. 

Howard Greenwood: So Cathrine from big global organizations here now obviously grows small organizations as well. 

Paul Jacobs: I like the word boutique.

Howard Greenwood: Talk to me about that and talk to me about how you spend two thirds of two thirds of yours. Big organizations is very different because you're not dealing with the to day selling. So you can spend two-thirds of your time looking outside, but when it's in the business and you're really involved in it, how have you have, 

Catherine King: You know, certainly just a brief call out to a deco.

Catherine King: One of the funnest times I ever had in my entire career was in the UK. Adecco absolutely loved it. And Paul was a colleague of mine there as well. We had a wonderful time. But the struggles of time management at a CEO level for multi-billion dollar global organizations are equally challenging if not more so for a smaller organization.

Catherine King: So there's a word that I cannot recall. Just struggle to think of a word when someone's asking you to do something. And you're S you're just struggling. The word is No. The word no is learning how to say no. And then the final point there is that one of my favorite leaders, historically as a CEO, is Jack Wells from General Electric.

Catherine King: And he had a famous time management scheme of looking at his direct reports, diaries every day. And if they had more meetings that were internal versus external, he would call them out. So I've tried to live by that practice myself. I am looking at my diary and making sure I have a color coding system and grain is external.

Catherine King: So my diary should be colored with more external meetings than internal. So that's just the way the word no is very important. 

Howard Greenwood: So I think what we're saying is that I think we're good with running that up. Is that what Jim's talking about is that delegation to people who have got better strengths than you.

Howard Greenwood: And we said this morning on a different sort of thing today on the widget at 12 o'clock that you leaders have a certain strength, they also have huge weaknesses as well. So employed people that can actually fill that gap that have better strengths than you. And therefore you get a stronger thing.

Howard Greenwood: What you're saying, Catherine is one thing that I use all the time. If you're gonna say yes to something, you need to say no to something else. So what are you saying? No, to continually say yes to everything. And it just, you know, the pressure mounts and you cannot can't deliver. So it is about saying no.

Howard Greenwood: And I do love that Jack Well's comment about two-thirty time spent outside looking at external companies and what they're doing rather than looking internally. So. As a leader, it's important that we are fit to lead. And also the pressure of the last 18 months has taken a toll on many leaders, a joke we've seen a huge swing in mentoring and leaders for managers.

Howard Greenwood: We've seen lots of people come to us and asking us for advice because they're now finding out that they need help to do that. So do you think readers should engage with trusted advisors or mentors to help them support that business? And if so, why? So a quick answer, Mr. Jacobs would be.

Paul Jacobs: Okay. Well, of course, yes. I mean, as you know, I mean, we are, I am a professional business coach and mentor and I believe it's critically important. So identify a mentor who you trust with your deepest thoughts and concerns, and that's to enable you to offload to somebody who can provide wise counsel well-traveled and our knowledge and expertise.

Paul Jacobs: So why would you wish to walk into situations and challenges unprepared? Because the experience is new to you. It doesn't make any sense in the old adage. You don't know what you don't know, and an experienced mentor supports and guides you to make well considered and research decisions. But most importantly will assist you to anticipate future developments and make proactive plans to ensure that catastrophic mistakes are avoided.

Paul Jacobs: And importantly, that the business has steered safely through uncharted waters. We've had a few of those recently. So for me, it's an essential need. But it's another point here that mentees need to be open to learning. I have to be sort of humble with their approach, have a good attitude to embrace change, because it's absolutely pointless to engage a mentor and then ignore the advice that they provide.

Paul Jacobs: If you're entrenched in your own existing attitudes and behaviors. It doesn't always mean the mentor's always correct, but I think that the collaborative outcome of working with somebody you trust is most likely to give you a better position rather than as a leader, taking a position in isolation. So I believe leaders need a trusted advisor as it's really not appropriate to discuss sensitive information and personal concerns with peer groups or colleagues.

Paul Jacobs: We also, as you guys know, we also provide mentoring to what we term rising stars. So succession planning, looking throughout the business at other people that work in an organization to give them the kind of support they need, because it's vital to the system. Good mental health and unquestionably beneficial for a balanced, ambitious business.

Paul Jacobs: One last point I'll make here is that in the fortune 500 companies that were recently asked about mentoring, 71% said that they had a mentoring program as 75% of executives credit mentors for their success. So I think unquestionably, yes, mentoring is an essential ingredient for forward thinking businesses, 

Howard Greenwood: Lets flip the annex, and then let's go to Hillary because obviously you're using a mentor who talks about the impact that's had on your business.

Hilary Roberts: Oh, I have to say, I think it's absolutely vital. I think the last two years would have been made much, much more difficult. Had I not had a go-to person or people actually that I could pick the phone up to, or have a zoom call with him and I'd go, oh, I'm facing a situation. I actually have no idea what to do.

Hilary Roberts: I think the position of a leader is, you know, people talk about it being very lonely. It doesn't matter how good your team are. You. There are certain things you, as Paul said, you can't take to your team that you, if you need somebody that you can go and talk to and bounce ideas off I think, you know, getting somebody that you just is fundamental, I think that's really important getting somebody that you can actually.

Hilary Roberts: You know, get on with, on a really personal basis is also really important. Look for somebody who's got way more experience than you have. No, you know, if you're looking for a mentor, make sure you think about what you're looking for from that mentor. I think that's one of the things I've learned, but there is no question having a mentor has made one huge difference to me.

Howard Greenwood: So what we're saying, Paul is saying absolutely mentors and as a mentor, I completely agree with what you're saying. Hillary, there is experience. It's what you're looking for to help deliver that. Obviously you want someone that you can work with, bounce off, relate to et cetera, and be there when you need it as that hand holding sort of process to a certain degree, because we said leaders don't know everything and it's about, you know, finding that person moving on from there.

Howard Greenwood: So the final two questions that want to be really quick questions. So I'm asking for a one word answer, Mr. Jacobs, that's one word answer. So very quickly, if each of you could give sort of a very precise, you know, what do you think the biggest challenge is going to be to recruitment leaders in the next 12 to 36 months.

Howard Greenwood: So let's just go through it wrapped round the round room. So Neil. 

Neil Carberry: Go get myself off, mute you too by surprise. I think it's the pace of change. So it's confidence to pick the path and get there quickly enough which is gonna take a real thought. 

Howard Greenwood: Pace of change. Okay. Hilary?

Hilary Roberts: I would say retention.

Howard Greenwood: Okay. Catherine?

Catherine King: Global unrest. 

Howard Greenwood: Global unrest. Okay. Yeah. That's high on the lots of people, gender at the moment, Jim? 

Jim Roach: We're failing that it'll be attracting decent people that fit our culture.

Howard Greenwood: Heather?

Heather Salway: Uncertainty. I don't think we know what the next 12 to 18 months awful. It's really about uncertainty. 

Howard Greenwood: Paul?

Paul Jacobs: I would say it's all about providing consultative services to your clients and candidates. It's not just about getting people, jobs or finding great people to get very close to your clients. 

Howard Greenwood: But now I'll add to that.

Howard Greenwood: Just providing consults, associate counsel, your clients is about providing that consultative service to your employees to help them grow and scale as well. I think it's important as a leader that you'd provide that down to your own people. So the last question that we're going to ask and it's, again, you know, an interesting one because I've asked this quite a lot on certain webinars, I get sort of different answers all the time as a business leader yourself, are you feeling optimistic for 2022?

Howard Greenwood: And if so, very quickly. Why? So let's again, go back around the group. So let's start with Neil. 

Neil Carberry: I think yes, on balance. I think it's a high risk high reward kind of year, as you've heard, as we've gone around for me, I don't expect this kind of market to persist through the year. So plan for that to happen that this little day.

Howard Greenwood: Catherine. 

Catherine King: Yes. And it's all about the team that we have in place and our company's earliest success. And this year, and we've met our Q1 goal in month one, so yes. 

Howard Greenwood: Good. Okay. Hilary? 

Hilary Roberts: Like Neil's expression on balance, so I'm just going to pick it back, but if you don't mind, so on balance. Yes. I agree.

Hilary Roberts: I don't think the market will stay the way it is for the next 12 to 24 months. I think there's a window of opportunity, but I've got a great team, and they're all up for it. So yes,

Neil Carberry: Heather?

Heather Salway: Yes yes, for a slightly different reason. I think the last two years has challenged us all massively, but we've all learned that we can do things differently. And so I'm really optimistic that we can take all that new found positivity and adaptability and resilience and take that into the next year. So yes.

Howard Greenwood: So I'll come back to that one. Okay. Yeah. Jim. 

Jim Roach: Yes, we have started off to fly up, but more importantly, we've got far more retained exclusive clients. Now that we know we're going to keep coming back, 

Howard Greenwood: Jacob? 

Paul Jacobs: I am massively optimistic. I think that these current conditions are going to provide enormous opportunities for brave people, brave businesses.

Paul Jacobs: My attitude is go for it. Make it happen. 

Howard Greenwood: So what I say is on these, I'm bringing that, bring that word out again, that Heather liked. And I bring that word out. We can't afford to be a Luddite and live in the past. We've got to start to think about the future. And that means we can't afford to be the typical recruitment agent.

Howard Greenwood: That things day to day, it's all about from the jobs and getting a new job tomorrow. We've got to start to think about and plan for the future and have that long view of where we're going to make sure that we can sort of drive down those goals. So all I can say is. Thank you for the panelists.

Howard Greenwood: If you're honest and your insight on growing and scaling the business, I'm sure the audience have enjoy every minute. So thank you for your time. In fact, the audience time. If you wish to have a copy of sorry, if you wish to have a copy, if you wish to sort of here is that this is a recording of this.

Howard Greenwood: I believe it stays on here for five days. So if you want to see that jump advisory, we offer a free mentoring service for an hour. So if you want to take that up, if you haven't taken it up or ready, feel free to take that up with this sort of just drop a web address into the box. Okay. So you should be able to find those on that website from there.

Howard Greenwood: So you just fill it and work from there, we run free weekly webinars, 11 o'clock, UK time final posts on LinkedIn. They're really interested in that quite interactive, but it's all about what's happening today for you as a leader and how. Once again, I'd like to just thank Neil, Catherine, Jim, Hilary, Paul, and Heather, for your time and your input.

Howard Greenwood: It's been absolutely a fascinating hour. We've been Jump Advisory. We're on our journey to live our purpose and our values, which did create a world of outstanding leaders who shape the future of modern recruitment ladies and gents. Thanks very much. That's it for us. 

Paul Jacobs: Well, everybody, thank you for joining us, everyone.


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Neil Carberry

Paul Jacobs

Howard Greenwood

Hilary Roberts

Jim Roach

Heather Salway

Catherine King




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