Use a Second Pair of Eyes & Find 18% More Profitability

“Sitting in your business, but not hitting your P&L, is an additional 18% bottom line profitability – you are just not currently realising it.”

This was my statement to a recruitment business the other week, having taken them through a number of assessments and completed a TRN analysis of their company.  A great business by all accounts, growing, making profit, solid team, great leadership and getting a lot of things right – they were just missing fundamental something that was sitting in front of their noses, they just hadn’t seen. An external pair of eyes was all they needed to see it.

Equip Your Middle Management Team to Become True Leaders

The Recruitment Trailblazers programme takes them on a journey to build them up into an individual that has both the confidence and ability to understand what is expected, knows what is involved and takes responsibility for improving personal and team performance.

This is not untypical from a lot of recruitment businesses that we talk to, in fact from a lot of businesses full stop (including ours!).

We spend a lot of time inside the four walls of our offices, running the machine and getting caught up in the day to day operations, that before we know it a month has passed, Q1 moves on into Q2 and we have moved forward in some capacity but the question I always ask myself, my business and the organisations we work with at The Recruitment Network, is did we move forward in line with our potential?

In other words, could we have done more? Had mistakes been made?

Having spent some time with the Times columnist and acclaimed author, Matthew Syed at one of our recent TRN events, I have come to realise that making mistakes is ok and interrogating where those mistakes have happened (and why) is often the best way to create better outcomes and performance moving forward.

Looking statistically at the evidence, that recruitment company that had missed over £400k in profitability, the answer for them in this instance lay in their conversion ratios, once a candidate had been sourced.  They had done all the hard work, found candidates for their open jobs, qualified them and presented them to their clients in their shortlists.

Sticking to the “3 x 3” minimum standard we set for them of always sending 3 CVs to any, qualified jobs (reference to cube19’s statistics on improving conversions), they had overachieved their targets around getting candidates out for 1st Interview, but this is where the slippage started to come into play.

At a top level, in summary, their conversion ratios from 1st Interview to 2nd Interview was sitting at around 18%.  From 2nd Interview to Offer, they were converting about 45% and then from Offer to Placement around 80%.

This just didn’t feel right.

A lot of work and investment of time and resource had been put into generating the interviews (possibly the most important KPI in recruitment), but the conversion from 1st interviews to 2nd interviews were too low and if we could improve that by just a further 10%, then it would equate to an additional £400k in fees, following the same conversion ratios from 2nd interview, to offer to placements as they already had, based on their current average deal size.

The campaign we are now running with them, that the whole business is focused on, is centred around “1st Interview Conversions”, identifying anything and everything that impacts the conversion from 1st interview to 2nd, from the (better) qualification of the job, to the duration of the process (and therefore drop-outs on the way) to (better) candidate preparation and so on.  There are about 7 or 8 key drivers of this conversion ratio that we will analyse and improve as part of this campaign to trigger that £400k improvement and will we make a significant dent on next quarters outputs.

The question to ask your business, is what one focused campaign could you run over the next 90 days, that everyone is paying attention to, that will have the most impact on your bottom line yield for the next quarter.

We are doing a lot of this at the moment for TRN members, as we look to help recruitment business leaders squeeze more profitability and efficiency out of their business and will be sharing some more examples of how to do this in further posts and in the Knowledge Library on TRN World.

Get a taste of the full Recruitment Network member experience in an afternoon.

Guest experts, like-minded peers, and insights to help you build a plan of action to make 2019 your best year yet.

Tax Yourself & Invest in Your Business

It’s a personal habit of mine to spend some quality and regular time listening to podcasts and webinars, picking up new ideas and refreshing old thinking.  I am a big fan of personal development and believe you can never stop learning.

Every now and then, you hear little nuggets that just stick in the back of your mind and prevent you from sleeping – I often find myself in the middle of the night leaning over to the side of my bed, grabbing my notebook and pen, and jotting a nugget or two down (it is what I refer to as “positive parking”!) so I can a.) get back to sleep again and b.) remember the nugget in the morning.

I certainly suggest doing some positive parking of your thoughts whenever you can…

Equip Your Middle Management Team to Become True Leaders

The Recruitment Trailblazers programme takes them on a journey to build them up into an individual that has both the confidence and ability to understand what is expected, knows what is involved and takes responsibility for improving personal and team performance.

Last night, I was googling some ideas around content marketing and stumbled across Gary Vaynerchuk (the Belarusian / American entrepreneur and digital marketing guru) whom I have listened to in the past but have never really pursued in earnest until now.

Before I knew it, I was on trundling along on Gary Vee’s bus into a never-ending world of videos covering every stop from building value in your marketing proposition, to building value in your personal wealth – he clearly has a lot to say about a lot of things and to be honest, a lot of it made a huge amount of sense.

The intrigue around the stop entitled to “Key To Financial Freedom” was just too strong, and so I just had to drop in to see what this was all about (I’m convinced that hard work, passion and dedication are the keys, but let’s see what I have been missing out on all these years)!

I was soon parachuted into a lively, 10 minute conversation / interview / love-in between Vaynerchuck and another thought leader that to be very honest, until now, I have never really followed or paid huge attention to (again, I think this may now change), Tony Robbins the renowned American author and life coach.

They were midway discussing investments in bear markets and their thoughts and ideas around that.  To be fair, whilst not what I was originally after, it was an interesting 10 minutes and with their candid and very unique styles, was entertaining enough to definitely make it a worthwhile use of my time and get the creative juices flowing.

However, Tony Robbins dropped in one of those nuggets which really got me thinking, not so much about investments, but about business and more importantly around how we free up time to focus on what really matters in business.

They were discussing the challenges low-income employees and business owners have around being able to afford and allocate cash into investments and in particular bear markets.  When they are just earning the minimum amount to survive, how could they possibly give us some of their much-needed earnings and invest them, especially when markets are on the decline?

Tony (is it appropriate to be on first name terms with him at such an early stage to our relationship?) used a phrase “tax yourself” which really struck a chord.

He suggested that if the Government suddenly stuck a brand new tax on you or your business, you would spend a while shouting and screaming about it, complain to a whole bunch of people, and then ultimately have to just get on and manage… and often we do just that.  We manage and we manage fine.

With that in mind, Tony (new best friend) suggests that if you want to create financial freedom and invest, then you should basically tax yourself each month in the same way and reallocate that money into the markets.

I’m sure the Government would never do that to us, but if we move away from the financials and replace the monetary tax with “time”, then conceptually it is exactly the same.

If someone, in essence, taxed you 10% of your time (sounds like many a meeting I have sat through over my years) you may well shout, scream, complain but you would still keep moving forward and you would still get on with what needed to be done.

The habit would change and you would manage.

Now imagine that 10% time tax wasn’t taken away from you, but instead given back to you to now invest in the one thing that would have the biggest ROI in your business.  What would you do with that time?

For some, this may be obvious and not even a nugget and I am sure they will let me know!).  But I can’t help feeling that we all have 10% time/focus in our days that we could, from now on, tax ourselves on and reallocate to something more worthwhile.  I have already worked on mine since and the taxation has started to kick in.

… and, hey, you never know, this must just be that key to financial freedom they were on about!

Get a taste of the full Recruitment Network member experience in an afternoon.

Guest experts, like-minded peers, and insights to help you build a plan of action to make 2019 your best year yet.

Sonovate Join The Recruitment Network as a Gold Partner

Sonovate join The Recruitment Network as a Gold Partner.


The Recruitment Network are pleased to announce that Sonovate have joined as a Gold Partner. Sonovate provides finance and support to recruitment businesses who place contractors. Currently, over 2,200 businesses use Sonovate every day to unlock cash flow and continue to grow and since inception, Sonovate has funded over £750m invoices at 96-99% advance rate to recruitment businesses and consultancies in the UK.

We are excited to have Sonovate on board as a partner, bringing their wealth of experience and products to members to help them grow and develop. At TRN we really value our partnerships and are excited for the growing relationship between Sonovate and The Recruitment Network.

James Osborne, Chairman of The Recruitment Network


Sonovate was built to take away the barriers that prevent recruitment businesses scaling. Their whole approach is designed to save you time, get admin out of the way and focus on the work that grows your business.

Sonovate utilises one easy-to-use platform to give you access to everything you need to fund contractors: contracts, invoices, timesheets and payments.

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It’s really impressive to watch James and his team add value to their members’ businesses. We look forward to supporting TRN on their journey.

Co-CEO of Sonovate, Richard Prime

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At The Recruitment Network, we are looking forward to a growing partnership with Sonovate and are excited for what the future may hold. If you’re interested in what they can offer, you can contact them using the details below: 

Contact Sonovate:


Website: Sonovate


Telephone020 7112 4949


Follow Sonovate on social media:





Business Development Tips for New Recruiters

As a recruitment owner, hiring new consultants is always going to be a risk, but providing you’ve got a strong process, there are methods new consultants can utilise to ensure they’re off to the best start.

Whether you’re hiring an experienced recruiter or looking to find somebody new to the industry (180 or 360), there are some methods which apply across the board to ensure you see a return quickly.

After you have completed your onboarding process with your new starters, which depending on how in-depth you make it can include some of these steps, you can use the following process to establish a new desk which can quickly reap rewards.

Equip Your Middle Management Team to Become True Leaders

The Recruitment Trailblazers programme takes them on a journey to build them up into an individual that has both the confidence and ability to understand what is expected, knows what is involved and takes responsibility for improving personal and team performance.

Familiarise Yourself With The CRM, Industry & Contacts

Set some time aside to go through the existing CRM and make a list of everyone that is relevant to your industry/role, whether that’s candidates or clients. Make a note of the last time they were spoken to, who dealt with them and research their current situation through their social media profiles.

Once you have this, combine it with any other relevant contacts that you have made yourself, providing that you are not breaking any restrictions/contractual obligations you had if you came from a previous job in recruitment. It’s also worthwhile making not of relevant events coming up, industry podcasts and sources of news that your target market is aware of.

Spend some time connecting with people on social media who are in the target industry as this will not only grow your online network but also mean LinkedIn will be more likely to recommend connections which are relevant. This step relies on you having an optimised LinkedIn profile – read some tips on how to do this here.

Structure Your Time to Make it More Effective

Before your first business development call, make sure that you’re structuring your time effectively. Whilst some cold calls might be successful, ultimately, you’re aiming to build a rapport/relationship with your target audience to increase your chances of success before the call.

Therefore, it is good practice to let them know that you are going to call, and if they cannot take the call at that moment, make sure that you get some form of commitment and send them a calendar invite for a time that suits them better. Ideally, they should have interacted with you in some form or know of you by the time you get to call them.

It’s important to consider the type of language that you’re going to use whilst talking on the phone. Sales trainer Phil M. Jones has some good advice about how you can use language to your advantage and improve your chances of receiving more referrals and growing your business opportunities.

Provide Value-Adds and Do Your Research

In order to increase your chance of success, make sure you are staying up to date with the latest from the industry you’re working in. Think about what candidates/clients would be interested in and follow relevant hashtags and news channels on social media. These are great conversation starters and show that you’re involved in the industry and make it much more likely that the person will take your call.

You should simultaneously be using your social media profiles to build up a personal brand, as that can add value to potential candidates/clients. We’ve written a series of blogs on this topic which you can read more about here.

Before you make a call, try and know a few things about the person or their business, depending on the purpose of your call. For example:

  • Have they recently hit a milestone?
  • When was the company formed?
  • What are the person’s interests?
  • Have they hired anyone recently?

Most Importantly, Stay Authentic

Whilst doing your research, familiarising yourself with the CRM/contacts and building a personal brand are absolutely crucial, being authentic is one of the best pieces of advice for new recruiters.

Although your first phone call is undoubtedly going to be nerve-wracking, it’s good practice and the more you make them, the more comfortable and natural it will feel. As a result, the more authentic you are, the better you will come across and the more personable you will be.

At The Recruitment Network, members get free access to our online platform, TRN World. With multiple online training courses and a wealth of materials including documents, guides, templates and tools, TRN World is perfect for recruitment business owners and their consultants to train and develop.

Get a taste of the full Recruitment Network member experience in an afternoon.

Guest experts, like-minded peers, and insights to help you build a plan of action to make 2019 your best year yet.

The Recruitment Network Launches Help Desks

The Recruitment Network Launches Expert Help Desks!

We’re excited to announce that we now have 3 partner Help Desks covering legal, international compliance and accountancy. The help desks are available for all members of The Recruitment Network as part of the ever-expanding benefits of TRN membership.

Find more about the Help Desks below:

Cognitive Law

Cognitive Law offer a range bespoke of legal services, both private and commercial. With specialist knowledge from having worked with clients in the recruitment industry, Cognitive Law are best placed to help you with any legal needs you may have.

They offer bespoke legal advice in a range of areas including (but not limited to):

– Employment issues

– Self-Employment/Contractor issues including IR35

– Data Protection

– Introduction/Transfer/Backdoor Hire Fees

– Credit Management, Credit Control, & Debt Recovery

– Regulatory compliance and the Conduct Regulations


-Simple queries in relation to Client, RPO, MSA, PSL and Umbrella Contracts

-Company Structure

-Invoice Finance


TRN Members are entitled to free consultations.

This help desk is available from 09:00am – 18:00pm, Monday – Friday.

6CATS International

6CATS International are a leading global brand and supplier of contractor management solutions to the world’s leading recruitment agencies. 6CATS offers legal & compliant solutions in more than seventy countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as further afield.

They offer bespoke international compliance advice in a range of areas including (but not limited to):

– Compliance questions regarding placing contractors in countries outside the UK

– The most appropriate and legal solutions for placing international contractors

– Impartial advice on the compliance of particular solutions outside the UK

TRN Members are entitled to free consultations.

This help desk is available from 09:00am – 17:00pm, Monday – Friday.


Raffingers are expert accountants with a wide range of experience working with the recruitment sector.  Their team of experts deliver valuable advice, not only on compliance, but on business planning strategies, ensuring you remain tax efficient, are structured efficiently and have a clear strategy to achieve your goals.

They offer bespoke accountancy advice in a range of areas, including (but not limited to):

-Tax Advice and Planning

-Business Growth and Business Planning (incl. exit strategy planning)

-Employee Incentives – HR, EMIs

-Reporting and Forecasting

-Obtaining Funding – banks, investors etc…

-Cloud Accounting, Bookkeeping and Payroll

This help desk is available from 09:00am – 17:30pm, Monday – Friday.

If you’re a TRN member and would like to take advantage of the help desks, head over to the members’ portal where you can get in contact:

Get a taste of the full Recruitment Network member experience in an afternoon.

Guest experts, like-minded peers, and insights to help you build a plan of action to make 2019 your best year yet.

The Recruitment Network Launches in Singapore

The Recruitment Network Launches in Singapore


The Recruitment Network is set to launch in Singapore led by regional chairman, Richard Farmer. Based on the successful model of the UK club, The Recruitment Network is expanding globally, with aims to provide thousands of recruitment organisations with the same opportunities to network, expand and grow which have benefited so many recruitment businesses in the UK.

By following the same structures and processes which make the UK club so successful, we’re excited to have Richard Farmer on board with his extensive knowledge of the industry and experience of global markets.

Richard has been responsible for building and leading multiple high performing recruitment businesses and teams, with the key focus of hiring and developing individuals, enabling them to grow their careers.

Richard has 18 years of experience as a recruitment leader, developing & leading teams within global multinationals as well as specialist boutique recruitment businesses across multiple locations, including the UK, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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As the founder and managing partner of Connector Talent Solutions, Richard’s passion is improving every individual’s mastery of their craft and making high performance a habit.

Richard is an experienced trainer, coach, facilitator and entrepreneur whose passion is the recruitment industry and its people.

Want to Get Involved With TRN in Singapore?

Website: The Recruitment Network

Contact: support@therecruitmentnetwork.com

Phone: +44 (0)844 272 8990

4 Tips To Get More From Your Existing Clients

[heading]Are you utilising your existing client base enough?[/heading]

In this blog, we will look at 4 tactics to help you get more out of your existing client base.

Firstly, you should be aware of the number of deals you need in order to meet your sales target on a month by month basis. You can easily work this out by looking at your overall target for the year, calculating the value of your average deal and finding the number that you should be hitting every month.

Take a look at the clip below, where the co-founder of The Recruitment Network, James Osborne, explains why you should be committed to getting the ideal number of customers. By utilising your existing relationships, you’ll be able to focus less of your time trying to win new clients, increasing your efficiency & productivity.

In our recent Twitter Poll, we asked how much time you dedicate to winning new clients. Interestingly, 67% of respondents said that it is a priority, however, whilst you can always be looking for new clients, the question is, should you be?

Whilst you certainly shouldn’t be putting all of your eggs in one basket, it’s important to consider ways to get more out of your existing clients. By winning more business from them, you’re building on an already established reputation and you’ll find it easier to start a conversation about any upcoming roles.

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4 Tips To Get More From Your Existing Clients




1). Ask for an introduction to different departments


In this step, you should be looking to build on your existing relationships and talking to your contact within the client company. Start by discussing the possibility of potentially talking to other departments within the companies and focus on your prior work if you’ve previously found them a great candidate. This might encourage them to let you know of any upcoming vacancies they might have. If you did a good enough job the first time, you should find that this becomes much easier and they’ll be far more likely to consider you for other departments.

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2). Find out which areas of the business they are struggling to recruit for


In this step, you should be looking to build on your existing relationships and talking to your contact within the client company. Start by discussing the possibility of potentially talking to other departments within the companies and focus on your prior work if you’ve previously found them a great candidate. This might encourage them to let you know of any upcoming vacancies they might have. If you did a good enough job the first time, you should find that this becomes much easier and they’ll be far more likely to consider you for other departments.

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3). Host regular account reviews & maintain communication


Even after you’ve successfully placed a candidate within a client’s business, it is a good idea to schedule regular account reviews to check on the points above, but to also actively get feedback and an understanding of your services.

The companies which obsess about feedback from clients are the ones that will stand out from the competition and are on a journey to continuously improve. This feedback also becomes a vital tool for when you pitch to other clients and should be something you can either work on, or shout about.

Many people will not willingly give feedback unless you ask them for it, the simple act of merely asking helps open up the right dialogue to understand your services and the value you offer.

If you are successful in maintaining this open dialogue, you’ll be far more likely to be considered to recruit for them again.

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4). Maintain a value-adding relationship with your placed candidates

Finally, try to maintain a relationship with the candidates you have placed. Take the conversation further than a placement gift, as the person might be instrumental in building out a team of their own, or understanding the hiring dynamics/culture of the business.

By taking the time to check on how your placed candidate is doing, you’ll receive feedback on your own service as well as an insight into the company. Ask if there is anything they need or any information you could provide them with. This will be really useful for understanding the culture of the company from an inside perspective and can inform any future placements you make.

Hopefully, when the conversation comes up to hire a new member of staff, you might be considered due to the positive impact you had the last time.

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The Autumn Huddle 2018 Roundup

‘A ship in harbour is safe, but that’s not what ships were built for’

On Wednesday 17 October, we welcomed members of The Recruitment Network to our Autumn Huddle, hosted at Gibson Hall in Bishopsgate, London.

As one of our quarterly Huddles, this event focused on leadership and employee engagement and featured sailing as the backdrop to the event. We designed this event to inspire members to sail through upcoming adversity such as the economic uncertainty which Brexit brings.

Brendan Hall – Trust Learning Lessons and Creating Ownership

After a quick introduction from TRN Co-Founder, James Osborne, we began our Autumn Huddle with our first speaker, Brendan Hall.

In 2009, Brendan skippered a racing yacht in the ultimate long-distance challenge which was a 35,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe where amateur crews race in identical yachts.

Although he was the youngest and least experienced skipper, he managed to win, by creating an engaged and empowered crew with a compelling vision, strong values, and an even stronger mindset.

Brendan spoke about his trust learning lessons & creating ownership in a team, stressing the importance that this was a race of ten teams, and not of ten boats.  In order to succeed, Brendan knew that he had to transform his crew and change their attitudes because they lacked training in how to sail. Brendan quickly learnt that whoever could manage to change the best would be the most successful and became set on instilling trust, credibility, reliability and intimacy.

Discussing his three wins for trust, Brendan emphasised to members the importance of creating a culture where people take ownership and aren’t afraid to admit and grow from mistakes.

 ‘We can hope it gets better next time… or we can see it as an opportunity to grow’.

Brendan’s three key areas that are essential when building a management team were:

1). Trust

2). Growth Mindset

3). Ownership


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Natalie Adams – Riding the Wave

After a short break, we introduced Natalie Adams to the stage, who is Head of Talent & Organisational Development at Holiday Extras. Consistently ranked for 12 years as one of the top 100 companies to work for, Holiday Extras manages to attract extraordinary talent despite its location.

Natalie gave members a walkthrough of the Holiday Extras story and how their value-led approach to everything they do helps to inspire and engage their staff.

With over 4 million bookings in 2017/18 and offices in the UK and Germany, the Holiday Extras group has managed to maintain its values and create an engaged workforce which consists of over 900 employees.

After hearing how to integrate values and create an engaging culture, members were challenged to discuss their own methods and ways they can improve their own companies.


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Graham Palfrey-Smith Interviews Finlay James’s John Gaughan

TRN board member Graham Palfrey-Smith took to the stage next, interviewing Finlay James’s John Gaughan, who with the help of The Recruitment Network has seen extraordinary growth. John shared his vision for Finlay James and how they found their purpose. After 2 years of change and reflection on his business, Finlay James grew their profits and employees, now with two branches; one in London and one in San Francisco.

One of the most significant changes John spoke about was the introduction of Project Freedom. This idea started for him before he got into recruitment as he realized most people were concentrating on what they would do when they got home. Project Freedom was John’s answer to increasing engagement and ownership within Finlay James and has been an incredibly successful scheme which allows his employees to decide their working hours and set targets.


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Mark Essex – Calm Seas or Stormy Waters

After lunch and in keeping with the theme of sailing through adversity, we introduced Mark Essex to the stage. Mark is an expert advisor on the potential impact of Brexit and presented to members how they could navigate the calm seas or stormy waters that Brexit could bring.

Mark predicted that the UK would leave the European Union and has since spent his time closely monitoring the potential economic impact on businesses. Starting with dispelling the six myths that surround Brexit, Mark then hosted a live Q and A session with members. Interesting questions from members included, ‘how will Brexit affect immigration policies and work permits?’ and ‘Is there a possibility of the deadline being extended, or even a second referendum vote?’.

After members had asked their most important questions, they were set an interactive challenge where they had to collaborate and come up with ways to prepare in their businesses for the different potential Brexit outcomes.


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Nigel Risner – How to Create Impact & Communicate like a ZooKeeper

To bring a close to the day and leave a lasting impact, we invited Nigel Risner to the stage. Nigel offered a different speaker experience and opened by questioning whether members could expect their staff to be “in the room” when they struggle to be at times.

‘Feedback is not the breakfast of champions – feedforward is’

Nigel provoked discussion by questioning the difference between the managers and leaders in the room, suggesting that you need to be a leader if you’re working with people and a manager if you have to manage processes/products as well.

After this, Nigel challenged the members’ communication skills and asked them to decide which of the four animal personality types they were; Lion, Dolphin, Elephant or Monkey.  Nigel demonstrated different ways of communicating with the four types and gave advice on how to be a zookeeper – a leader who can talk and lead the different types of employees in their business.


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Want to get involved?

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TRN Partner Access launches new recruitment CRM

  • With consultants losing 25% of time on unproductive tasks, Access improves productivity and performance for agencies
  • Now offering a new redesigned, browser-based version of Access RDB, which provides more functionality than any other recruitment system available today
  • With an emphasis on connected working, the new platform will be available on Access Workspace – which will enable integrations to Access’s full suite of recruitment and business products
  • The launch is further evidence of Access’ strategy to bring together best of breed products and offer the most comprehensive solution in the market – enabling automation of business process from candidate attraction to cash collection for recruitment agencies of all sizes

London – 2nd October, 2018

Access Group has fast become a major player in the recruitment software market as it launches a new redesign version of its flagship CRM, Access RDB, a system that aims to address the productivity challenge, improve efficiency, facilitate collaborative working environments and give recruitment consultants time back to focus on clients, candidates and business growth. With over 500 consultants identifying updating CRM systems as a major drain on resources*, as well as a wasted two hours per week on abortive client calls, not to mention meeting substandard candidates, the sector is clearly in need of more advanced software.

Access’ latest release provides a far superior level of functionality that any other recruitment system will be hard pressed to beat. With personalised dashboards and an intuitive interface, the redesigned Access RDB will allow users to integrate other products for greater time-saving – all of which will be able to be accessed via one platform. With the addition of smart analytics capabilities bringing together data from across the business, the new product is set to outstrip all other recruitment software available on the market today.

Launching the product at this year’s Recruitment Agency Expo in Birmingham’s NEC on 3rd and 4th October, delegates will be able to see the new CRM platform in action which will come with Access Workspace, the company’s latest proposition in connected working which underpins Access’ candidate to cash offering.

Whilst Access RDB is powerful enough alone, it is Access Workspace that does the work to bring together all departments across a recruitment business, from sales, finance, HR, IT and compliance – taking efficiency and productivity to another level. With all Access products linked to one platform, accessed via a single sign-on, each system will work richly together to monitor performance and share information – giving recruiters the freedom to focus on candidates and clients.

With a record breaking year of growth, the addition of new senior managers to lead the division and the phenomenal success of its screening product, Access Group has made it clear that it is committed to help a market that is desperately looking for technology innovation and will continue to make investments in order to do so.

*Recruitment-international.co.uk: Recruitment industry wastes more than a quarter of the working week on inefficient practices www.recruitment-international.co.uk/blog/2017/09/recruitment-industry-wastes-more-than-a-quarter-of-the-working-week-on-inefficient-practices

About Access Recruitment

Access helps the UK’s top agencies to simplify the everyday running of their recruitment business to fuel efficiency and productivity, control costs and enable growth.

By bringing together best of breed products onto one platform we take care of everything from sourcing, screening and attracting the right candidates, paying workers, contractors and candidates right through to billing clients and managing cash collection.  This connected and collaborative way of working brings together every department within your recruitment business – giving you the freedom to focus on clients and candidates.

Find out more about how Access Group supports UK recruiters 

About Access

Access is a leading provider of business software to the UK mid-market.  Access is one of the fastest growing UK software businesses by delivering greater efficiency and productivity, giving customers the freedom to do more.  A single unified platform underpinned by powerful next-generation technology, connects suites of finance and HR software integrated with industry specific, mission-critical products.

The unique appeal of Access lies in the combination of the technology and how customers are supported.   Access software transforms the way organisations work and enables colleagues to work together more effectively, connecting the right people with the right data.  Powerful, self-service apps satisfy individual demands for flexibility, whilst boosting productivity.

The powerful service and support model, from solution selection through to ongoing use of Access systems, ensures customers who are often light on IT expertise, are highly supported and derive value quickly and in the longer term.

Employing over 1,500 staff and supporting over 14,000 customers across many UK commercial and not for profit sectors, Access is a registered software provider on the UK Government G Cloud 10 scheme, and is ISO accredited for information security and quality with ISO27001:2013 and ISO9001

TRN World Goes Live!

TRN World has now launched globally. Business leaders and their consultants can network with peers, develop their skills and expand their knowledge. Find out more below:

What is TRN World?

TRN World is an online platform launched by The Recruitment Network, designed to be the inclusive space for recruitment professionals to develop and network on a global level. Created with the vision of accelerating development and networking opportunities across the globe, TRN World is regularly updated with new content to ensure that it offers the best value for users. 

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Engage in the Latest Discussions with Recruitment Leaders Across the Globe

The Forum is at the heart of TRN World’s inclusive community. Whether you’re searching for some advice from your peers or reading past conversations for inspiration, the Forum is the place to go. By participating regularly, you can earn Kudos points, achieve ranks and demonstrate your commitment to sharing knowledge amongst your peers.

Over 120 Hours of Video Content for you to Explore

TRN World features a diverse selection of video content, ranging from expert speakers to bespoke training content. With hundreds of hours’ worth of video and lots more being constantly added, the most relevant and up to date videos are there to provide the best advice to take your business to the next level.

Bespoke Training Content to Transform your Team

TRN World has bespoke training content from recruitment experts to help you expand your existing skills and knowledge. In addition to the video content, each course includes a quiz where you can check your understanding, with some featuring accompanying documents and templates to help you on a practical level.

With either an Enterprise Membership or a Recruitment Network Club Membership, you are able to track the progress of your consultants and monitor their training & development.

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Invite your Consultants to TRN World and Accelerate their Growth

TRN World features two membership levels. If you purchase an Enterprise membership, you are permitted to add three of your consultants to join you on TRN World, where you can monitor their training and development through your dashboard. Should you require additional consultant passes, you have the option to purchase as many as you need, allowing them to join your existing consultants on TRN World.

As a member of The Recruitment Network Club, TRN World access and the ability to invite your consultants to the platform is included as part of your membership.

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The Very Best Recruitment Events from Around the World

The Events Calendar features a variety of the best events from around the world, ranging from training to awards ceremonies. The Calendar is regularly updated with the latest events to ensure you always feel connected to the industry.

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How Much Does TRN World Cost?

Enterprise membership to TRN World costs £95 per month and permits a member to invite three of their consultants to join them on the platform. Consultants are then given individual logins to TRN World where they can access the bespoke training courses and knowledge library.

Once your consultants begin to use TRN World, as the lead member you can track their activity and course results through your private dashboard.

Should you require further consultant passes for TRN World, you can purchase these for an additional £9 per month, per consultant.

TRN World membership is included for members of The Recruitment Network Club.

The Future of Recruitment: Chatbots

Chatbots have sprung onto the market very recently but many companies have been quick to develop fast automated systems that make the lives of many professionals quicker and simpler. The recruitment industry has not been left out of this technological boom with Chatbots appearing to be part of the future of recruitment. Chatbots can work on many different platforms, such as:

  • SMS (Text Messaging)
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Messaging Apps like WhatsApp, Slack, Skype etc.
  • Recruitment-specific Software such as an ATS

Chatbots work on a version of artificial intelligence, some are simple and binary, some work from advanced machine learning. Don’t panic though, this isn’t to say that you’ll be replaced in the next five years. We strongly believe this tech has its place in the world, but ultimately recruitment is a human-led industry and the need to deal with a real person at some point in the cycle is not going anywhere. Chatbots are designed to take over the repetitive tasks and leave the recruiter with the qualified candidates.

An effective chatbot is here to make your life easier and speed up your hiring process, like stripping out bad candidates or fact-finding to help report building. Chatbots are the dream assistant for the busy recruiter, taking on all the heavy-lifting and boring jobs and doing them in an efficient manner, in bulk!

Let’s take Mya for Example


Mya is a fascinating piece of tech designed solely for the recruitment industry. This advanced chatbot will talk and engage with candidates and applicants through a simple messaging app. It’s able to record data and will also answer questions posed by the candidates. A recruiter using this chatbot will be able to qualify a large number of candidates without doing any extra work.

Something that can handle the pre-screening process in a large quantity is obviously creating a lot of a buzz and ushers in a new way of working for savvy recruiters that want to increase their productivity!

The online community packed full of recruitment content, tools, training videos, guides so you can outperform the competition

Enjoy 7 free days to explore our platform. Learn, develop and grow with TRN World.

How can Chatbots Help the Recruitment Industry?

They improve the candidate experience

Providing a great experience to your candidates is absolutely vital and is one of the biggest trends we’re seeing adopted by recruitment agencies. When you want to stand out from the noise, one of the most effective ways is to offer an experience better than your competition.

The most obvious quick win with great experience is to eliminate the ‘Downtime’ between a candidate submitting a CV and the recruiter getting back to them. With some roles, the volume of candidates can be huge and it can be a taxing task to individually message every candidate.

Chatbots can make this process almost instantaneous for the candidates, pushing them along the hiring cycle quicker, making both the candidate and client happy. A quick turnaround when finding a job, and a high volume of qualified candidates to interview is a positive result for both parties.

Build report and fact find your candidates

The ease of use with Chatbots through the intuitive messaging app interface makes responding and talking to the bot easy for the customer. Chatbots are smart enough to ask choice questions and record specific details that make for a better conversation where the candidate eventually meets the recruiter and/or the clients. 

Replace your FAQ

Some basic Chatbots that you can set-up yourself can offer a great platform to create an easy to use FAQ section, for roles and your business.

Setting up meetings and calls 

Chatbots are very clever and can take out the hefty amount of admin you have setting up calls and meetings. This gives you time to prepare for a meaningful human interaction with the candidates.

Qualify Candidates effectively  

Chatbots can ask a variety of questions about a candidate’s skills, qualifications and experience. This helps to qualify and rank a whole group of candidates against the criteria from the employer, meaning the recruiter has access to the most qualified people for a brief.

Some of the Popular Industry Chatbots (Courtesy of Hung Lee)

Job Pal

Jobpal is able to integrate with the major chat apps such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Slack. If a question is too difficult for Jobpal, it’ll be passed on to a Recruiter, making sure the most likely and time-consuming questions are answered.


  • Answer FAQs 24/7
  • Qualify candidates
  • Schedule interviews
  • ATS/HTM Integration
  • Onboarding


Ari has three main features, Textrecruit, JobChat, and TextHR. These allow team management options as well as live chat options, however, it also attempts to allow greater control of some HR functions.


  • TextRecruit – Message multiple candidates at once
  • Onboarding
  • Collaborate with others on projects
  • 3 Features – TextRecruit, JobChat & TextHR. Encourages application from text

Robo Recruiter

Roborecruiter has two main components which aim to refresh your current database as well as help in qualifying new candidates.


  • PALS – This reaches out to your database of contacts and aims to get up-to-date information on candidates and their availability.
  • JOBVET – This aims to qualify candidates by asking questions about their suitability for the role.

My Ally

My Ally focuses on email AI rather than live chat integration, with a focus on three key aspects.


  • Co-ordination of interviews
  • Automated interview feedback collection
  • Pipeline management and candidate prioritization


RecruitmentBot has similar features to Jobpal and can integrate with the major messaging apps.


  • Job Search – Allows candidates to find jobs that suit them
  • Candidates can apply and upload their CV
  • Candidate Screening
  • Marketing
  • Events


Debra is similar to the other chatbot AI’s, but it also offers psychometric testing of candidates.


  • Candidate applications
  • Candidate Screening
  • Psychometric testing – Recommended personality traits for each job & customize personality traits for each job


Mya tries to utilize natural language understanding and processing to communicate with candidates, Mya claims to reduce the time spent dealing with candidates by 75%.


  • Candidate sourcing
  • Candidate Screening
  • FAQ answering 24/7
  • Scheduling and job updates/feedback


Xor is a chat bot which aims to qualify and schedule the hiring of new employees, similar to Jobpal and Mya. Xor claims to learn from hires and ensure there is a cultural fit.


  • Qualifying candidates
  • Scheduling of interviews
  • Calendar integration
  • Learn from past hires and aim to find a cultural fit


VCV is a chatbot which aims to dramatically reduce your hiring process by qualifying candidates as well as interviewing them.


  • Chats with candidates to qualify them
  • Screens CVs
  • Uses voice recognition to interview over the phone
  • Can record video responses to interview questions
  • Uses analytics of hires to predict who would fit


A prediction of chatbots come 2020, they just can’t screen anymore candidates…

Tips Before you Invest in a Chatbot:

  1. Only choose one which integrates with your current systems. If you invest in a Chatbot which doesn’t work with the way you operate, it’ll create more work for you. To avoid this, you should choose one which integrates with your calendar/candidate management system as this will save you time on admin tasks. Chatbots in recruitment are very effective at screening candidates and arranging interviews/appointments.
  2. Be conscious of the fact that a lot of Chatbots learn from conversations and therefore, you might not see perfect results from the beginning.
  3. Whilst you don’t have to programme the Chatbot, you will need to set up the questions you want it to ask. If it can’t qualify your candidates for you, then you need to consider whether it’ll be useful in your business.
  4. Some questions won’t be answerable by your chosen bot, so whilst you will have 24/7 responses to frequently asked questions, be aware that for a lot of them, some human interaction will be needed.

Get a taste of the full Recruitment Network member experience in an afternoon.

Guest experts, like-minded peers, and insights to help you build a plan of action to make 2019 your best year yet.

Why do I Tri so Hard…?

What is it that drives some people to push themselves beyond their pre-supposed limits and others stay firmly rooted in their comfort zones?

Why, in business, do some people coast and enjoy mediocrity whilst others stress, strive and struggle to always go one step further?

Why did I spend a big chunk of my Sunday, a day usually retained for rest and recovery after a big week at work, taking my mind, body and spirit to a place that

I’m not entirely sure they were designed to go?

This is a question I asked myself at 2pm yesterday whilst sitting peacefully in my car on my way home feeling like I had just been run over by a locomotive with nothing to show for my endeavours than a finishers’ t-shirt, a shiny medal and a body ready for the scrapheap!

I’m no athlete by any stretch of the imagination. I’m no better nor any more special than anyone else, but I had just managed to complete something I thought was pretty special – a full Ironman 70.3 in somewhat challenging conditions (imagine cycling and running into a hairdryer for 5.5 hours to give you some sense).

If you’re not sure what an Ironman 70.3 is, then the quick definition is something which is ever so slightly ridiculous! A triathlon encompassing a 1.9km swim, then out on to a bike for a 90km ride all finishing up with a half marathon – all back to back with no time to even go to the toilet in between each section, let alone prepare yourself mentally and physically for the next part.

It is a fairly absurd thing to do when you think about it, but yet something I am now pretty addicted to. I feel like I am in my prime and can handle it, but there is not getting away from the fact that a part of that sentiment is a vain attempt to warn off the looming mid-life period of my being on this planet (the whole one-piece lycra mankini I was wearing clearly proves that!).

There is no doubt that with the conditions we endured yesterday, this was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. I’ve raced before, in longer events, but yesterday was a challenge.

In some parts the pain was excruciating, and I had countless and very convincing internal conversations with myself as to why I should give up… but I never stopped. I just kept going, as thousands do each year when they embark on Marathons, long distance walks and Rides to Paris.

But why?

Of course, the feeling you get when you successfully complete a race, parcelled in all the congratulations and hugs you receive for friends, family and other racers is something that you will always cherish and sends a very warm glow through every part of your body. But when you’re out alone in the water, riding on the road or pacing through the seemingly endless run, with just your thoughts, something is going on…

Being a business leader, you can often spend a lot of time alone, trying to keep yourself and your staff motivated even when the conditions become a little challenging. Trying to overcome any bit of adversity even when you sometimes feel like giving up. Trying to push the business to the next level in the face of competitive pressures from every angle.

Some of course do give up and move on to something else. That is only natural and nothing to be ashamed of. We are all humans after all.
But many business leaders, whatever is thrown at them, push on through. They dig deep inside of themselves to find whatever it is they need to move forward. That one thing to make them go again… because they are after something.

Something more important than a cash reward, a finishers’ t-shirt or a shiny medal. Something far more positive than just trying to beat everyone else. Something far more meaningful than kudos on social media or a public stroking of their ego.

They want to achieve a purpose that makes a difference… a very real and measurable difference.

Sure, we all like the kudos and the trophies (that’s why I put a picture of me up on this post with my medal!), but they are in the majority superficial. That is not what we think about when we run, bike or swim when our bodies say enough!
That is not what we think about when we reflect with pride on our businesses and what we do for our customers and colleagues.

Since my first son passed away a number of years ago, something that really stops you in your tracks and makes you look at things in a very different perspective, I made the commitment to myself and to my son TJ, that I would embrace the mind (now slightly exhausted!), the body (now slightly broken!) and the attitude (now slightly wired!) I have been given whilst on this planet and use it to make a very real and significant difference.

Yesterday, I had a purpose and I was making a difference, so I didn’t stop.

Today, in my business, I have a purpose and am making a difference, so I will not stop.

As a business leader, however you are feeling, however challenged you might be, however tired and exhausted you are, stop and reflect on why you do what you do and go searching for that purpose because that is what will keep you going and get you to the finishing line.

Go again, and make a difference….!