My Un-Conference Call at #truManchester!

Tomorrow I set off to sunny (ahem!) Manchester to be part of Bill Boorman‘s next outstanding Recruitment Unconference adventure, as I take my place amongst the track leaders of #truManchester, at the Manchester Conference Centre; but equally thrilled just to be there.

I went to #truLondon in February, as a recruitment veteran, but a social media/modern technology novice – and gained outstanding insight into where the recruitment industry should be going, but isn’t. Others will say that it is getting there. I would still say… slowly, very, very slowly. Much of February was a blur, but I met some good people, and heard some great theory, and the reality of it all is that there were some real case studies, but they were in the US – which is a hell of a big country. I go to #truManchester a little wiser about Social Media and how in can impact recruitment effectiveness, but still bemused by the lack of take-up by the recruitment industry.

If you are a recruiter in and around the Manchester/North West region, and you are conscious of how the communications world is overtaking the recruitment industry, and fast – you should be there. If you can’t be there – get on Twitter and follow the hashtag #truManchester. Social Media is not a fad, nor is it a waste of sales time; Technology is developing, and it is relevant to recruitment; The Candidate landscape is constantly moving, and we need to catch that fast train. These things matter, to good insightful recruitment professionals.

The format is easy. No conference speakers, no big auditoriums, no presentations, no gurus – it’s all about discussions in the form of `tracks` led by some facilitators, but in an open discussion format. No man or woman is more or less an `expert` than any other. Frankly it’s blissfully unstarry and grounded. 

I shall be one of the Track Leaders on the subjects of `The Future of Recruiting` with Jennifer McClure and Mervyn Dinnen, and `Social Media Circus` with Glenn Le Santo and Jennifer McClure again. I shall bring my clown hat especially for the latter track. But I look forward to chewing the fat over some other great subjects on an awesome agenda.

All details of the event can be found at the website:

I’ll be here to review on the `other side`…


Surely you need a Recruiter… right? Not a Sales Person?

Discussions on Linked In seem to get my blog-subject juices going. This week it’s all about what makes a recruiter?

For years I have batted against the theory suggested in this advert I saved from a few months ago…


This agency didn’t appear to want a recruitment professional, they wanted a sales person.

OK, sales is absolutely an attribute in a recruiter, the need to win business and promote the business effectively – but to advertise in your public arena “Experience in Recruitment not necessary as long has you have a Sales Background”…?? What??!! – at least tell them you will TRAIN them in recruitment processes??

What do our clients want? – do they want a telesales person to fulfil the responsibility of promoting and selecting their next potential employee… or do they want a professional recruiter? I know if I was a company in the Guildford area, if I saw this advert I would black-list the agency concerned. (I removed the agency out of fairness)

This is what recruitment has become. An industry full of telesales staff, with little tact and discretion to know what to do with a job when they have acquired one. KPIs such as `sales calls made`, `CVs sent`, and `Jobs taken` are pre-requisites for success; and client development, job-seeker development, placements successfully made – are merely regarded as by-products of those KPIs. Understanding job types, understanding people, recognising transferrable skills, obtaining broad business acumen and commercial awareness – these are tucked firmly in the repertoire of only the finest 5% of recruitment professionals.

This advert is a warning to agencies, and a warning to employers looking to hire an agency. How do we foster a proud industry with great consultative recruiters, when all we do is target call centre telesales staff and throw them into a professional discipline on the back of their ability to make 50 calls a day, because Head Office requires them to?

People cannot tell me I am wrong. The recruitment industry in the UK has less than 30% staff retention. We’ve been getting it wrong for years.

Let’s get a great strategy at recruiting for ourselves before we start trying to tell businesses that we can recruit for them…