Business Development and Account Penetration: Tried and Tested Tools and Initiatives for Recruitment with Industry Expert Simon Church.

Knock out, tried and tested, actionable initiatives that’ll help your recruitment business thrive in 2020. Each takes the form of a video, graphics, a talk through, and detailed notes so you can implement them immediately and see results. This series is ideal if you’re a recruitment leader looking to develop new skills or as a tool you can use to train up your team of recruitment consultants. 

Churchie’s 20 for 2020 series is included with our TRNWorld package alongside countless hours of additional content in our library, a fully packed toolkit for recruitment professionals, a support network of like-minded leaders, free unlimited training for your consultants and so much more, see all the benefits in our pricing plan list here.

For every placement you make, make four more with Sources and Destinations

It might sound too good to be true, but this approach is focussed on thoroughly qualifying every candidate that you put into the vacancy process. This means understanding all you can about the candidate’s team, leadership, peers and company. Obtain true motives for leaving, and have a clear picture of the complete environment in which each candidate works, as you qualify and prep them for a CV send.

These actions will enhance your reputation as a consultant with candidates, clients and your own team around you. So, reputational gain and performance acceleration, being a recruitment consultant in the true meaning of the word.

Head to TRN World to view the full content and step-by-step guide.

Role Down the Hole – an initiative that’ll take your account management to a whole new level

A client development tool for opening up client relationships, defending what you’ve got and for finding opportunity in existing and future clients. It’s about leveraging your network 

It’s a forensic exercise – the more effort you put into this, the better the results. 

Role Down the Hole will enable you to do the following for your key client businesses:

  • Gather the names of people actively involved in recruiting
  • Create a map of the influencers/authoritarians within the business
  • Easier connect with client contacts who have ‘other’ vacancies or could introduce you to other influencers and line managers
  • Create a plan to hold, penetrate and grow your ‘highest potential’ clients

See the video and step by step guide on TRN World

Understand your Client’s States of Mind

You cannot expect to truly sell successfully to different customers if you don’t understand their current state of mind.

This tool is equally valuable for recruitment company owners, business leaders and recruitment consultants. Understanding the different customer states of mind will in turn help you work effectively with organisations who operate and recruit in different ways.

Once you are working with the client, you can then decide to influence and drive a change of state in the client, to suit your purpose, and theirs. For example, securing an outsource service once you are clearly the leading supplier to the client.

The 5 States we have identified are:

  1. Chaotic
  2. Large PSL
  3. Small PSL
  4. MSP/RPO
  5. Insource/Inhouse

Head over to TRN World to learn more discover how to approach consulting with and recruiting for these different client mindsets. 

Consulting with Clients on the Ways of Working

Customer States was all about how to determine which state a client is in before/while you approach them and how you can handle them as an existing client to get the best out of the relationship.

The next step looks at the importance of customer states to the client and how as a consultant or business leader, you can sit down with the client and talk about the various ways they can operate their procurement/delivery of resources into their business and how you can advise them through that process. 

In this article Churchie outlines the 6 operational states, and how to approach and influence the client in each one.

Head over to TRN World to view the video and content.

Business Planning with The Three Pillars

Planning the growth of a recruitment business isn’t just a matter of hiring more consultants and increasing capacity – you need the three pillars. These pillars have been tried and tested across industries and firm size. 

They’ll give you a chance to step back and look at what you have achieved so far, understand why you have had the results and understand the market place before you just repeat the same again and again. The market changes, so we should adapt.

The Three Pillars are:

  • The SKILLS you have inside the business
  • The DIRECTION OF EFFORT in which you take those skills
  • The AMOUNT OF EFFORT/the capacity to deliver activity and the amount of activity in each/every targeted action

The three pillars is an extremely effective activity to do annually and will determine the performance of the business each year and building on them will help you make changes and build on your strengths to reach next years targets. 

Head over to TRN World to see the video, business planning template and full article.

7 Summits You Need to Watch From Our Expert Line-Up

Something we have always done well is bringing together some of the best minds in and outside of our market. Whether it was at our Huddles, Retreats and now our virtual summits we provide a platform for some of the finest thought leaders to share their insights so you may better grow as a leader in a hundred different aspects. 

The summits are a premium feature of our TRNWorld platform and contain videos and discussions from market-leading entrepreneurs, sports personalities, speakers, celebrities, and more. Covering everything from marketing, sales, sourcing, leadership, growth, and everything in between.

With only 7 days from writing this article left in your full access to TRNWorld we thought it would be a great idea to share some of the top videos for you to tune into before your trial runs out. Insights that could be your lifeline to achieving success in the next few months. 

From the Bounce Summit

1: Global Bounce Back. An international outlook on the recruitment industry.

International insights from our panel of thought leaders, experts and strategic advisors that specialise in a global outlook, to give you an insight into the worldwide state of the industry and how the bounce is looking for different countries.

From the Marketing & Sales Summit.

2: The basics of building your personal brand from home, and drive engagement on your content.

Sean Andersson of Hoxo Media helps you understand how to maximise your personal brand and really utilise it to find clients, candidates, and establish yourself and your business as market leaders from home. A perfect watch for those wanting to step up the online profile post-COVID.

From the Virtual Sourcing Summit

3: Lessons in sourcing a conversation with James Osborne.

Sourcing expert Hung Lee joins James Osborne to discuss how to maximise your sourcing efforts and some of the modern ways of finding the very best talent in your industry. Something that will be very important on an increasingly online candidate pool especially during this time of crisis. 

From the Virtual Leadership Summit

4: A perspective from inside recruitment

TRN’s Gordon Stoddart caught up with 6 leaders of recruitment businesses to understand how the current situation has changed things for them internally and what decisions they have made in the best interests of their companies and their people. He uncovers challenges, solutions, advice and ideas from the coalface of recruitment and discuses how to prepare for the bounce.

From the Solution Selling Summit

5: Influencing the decision makers.

Ruth Saunders uses her 30+ years of experience as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Co, marketer at P&G, advertising planner at Saatchi & Saatchi and market researcher at Mars Inc to help clients develop, get Board buy-in to and implement innovative customer, marketing and brand strategies that deliver tangible business growth.

From TRN’s The Bounce Summit

6: Navigating Through and Beyond Recession.

With the news of us being plummeted into another deep recession following COVID-19. This summit talk from Levy UK NED David Higgings discussing how to effectively navigate your business through a recession is perfectly pertinent.

From the Marketing & Sales Summit.

7: Rulebooks, metrics and measures. What does marketing success look like?

Luke Quilter, Co-founder of award-winning digital agency Sleeping Giant Media and Giant Campus gives a fantastic talk on marketing success in 2020 and beyond, especially when it comes to the metrics and measures. Something that will become very important in our increasingly digital environment, where those who utilize marketing effectively will win. 

14 Articles, Webinars, Tools & More You Need to Read Before September 1st!

With the countdown ticking for free unrivaled access to the whole TRN World platform we thought we would share some of the best articles, tools and value-adding goodies packed inside our huge library of content.

If you missed our previous article we published 10 Powerplays you need to watch to get your recruitment business post COVID-19 ready. Where we share just some of the many powerplay videos perfect for recruitment leaders looking to one-up their knowledge and push their business through Q4 and beyond.

TRNWorld boasts an absolutely huge 2,800+ tools, guides and articles for recruitment professionals to grow every aspect of their business and skillset. And, it’s growing every single day!

So.. We wouldn’t blame you for feeling a little overwhelmed, that’s a lot of value packed into a handy little tool. But, worry not we’re sharing 14 value-packed pieces of content you can grab right now for free to up your game.

1: Workforce Planning

Workforce planning is what organisations do to work out what resources they need where. As talent acquisition partners and as true consultants we should be asking the questions that they should be asking themselves. If they understand workforce planning, they’ll respect you for asking the right questions. If they don’t, they’ll value the fact that you’re asking questions that get them thinking.

Either way, you’ll find out information that’ll help you understand the long, medium and short term resource requirements. This is consultancy, this is business coaching. It involves a series of questions which begin with bigger picture strategic questions and end with shorter term tactical questions.

2: 3 Month Cash Forecast, Cashflow Tool.

During the Covid-19 crisis having an understanding of your cash position is even more important than ever. That’s why this essential tool will help you plan the next 3 critical months of your business.

3: How to Build and Develop a Contract Recruitment Business Webinar

This webinar is perfect for any recruitment business that only does permanent at the moment but wants to start a contract division or a Recruitment Business that has a handful of contractors running but wants to develop a contract separate business model to work alongside the permanent division.

4: The Definitive Guide to Strategy & Business Planning

This definitive guide will provide recruitment business leaders with the confidence, ability and some practical tools to develop a strategy and a robust, thoughtful plan to achieve their ambition.

5: Recruitment Leadership Adjustment Wheel

The Leadership Adjustment Wheel is a visual tool that helps you to understand the areas in which your people may need extra support – it will also give you a basis for which kind of leadership style they may benefit from most in each of these areas.

6: Get Your House in Order: Organisational Effectiveness Audit

The House and our Organisational Effectiveness Audit is a simple yet powerful tool for reviewing to what extent you have organisational effectiveness. This audit tool will help you to identify where you may have gaps and therefore what you may need to prioritise in order to improve your organisational effectiveness.

7: Talent Mapping Tool

This Talent Mapping tool will help you firstly to look inwards at your internal talent and provides shape and structure to what kind of actions you should take to help build your talent as your business grows. And secondarily will help you to map each staff member and their risks of leaving the business. This will help you to visualise where you should focus your attention.

8: Virtual Onboarding for Clients

This guide is absolutely essential during these times. Find out how to effectively onboard new hires whether in your own business or advising your clients for recent placements. This guide provides an unbranded version to allow for easy communication and consultation for clients.

9: The Definitive Guide to Talent Attraction and Employee Engagement

A Comprehensive Guide to help you increase your employee engagement levels and attract the best talent.

10: Productisation Webinar with James Osborne

Designing developing and delivering fit for purpose recruitment solutions for today’s market. A popular webinar from TRN Chairman James Osborne.

11: Strategic Selling A New Dawn in Recruitment

This guide helps you build out a strategic sales plan to fire up the new business development and account penetration machines within your businesses. Looking at unearthing market opportunities, solution selling, maximising the sale, negotiation and more.

12: How to Market and Sell Your Product Suite Webinar

Productising your offering is one of the most vital aspects that needs to be done right for a modern recruitment business looking to survive 2020 and beyond. James Osborne breaks this down into detail with this very popular webinar.

13: Recruitment Recovery Guide

As the world starts to emerge from a near global lockdown, comparisons have been made to recovering from a recession. And whilst there are many similarities, there are plenty of differences too. Not just the speed with which we went into this scenario with little time for planning, but the unequal way the employment market has been affected – with some parts unable to continue to work, and others in peak demand.

14: How & Why Small Recruitment Businesses Should Utilise Marketing

Join Gordon Stoddart and Neil Rudolph from Redknows as they talk all things marketing, from Google for Jobs, LinkedIn & personal branding to why you should aim to create synergy between your sales team and marketing team.

Remember the clock is ticking for our free offer of the full TRN World suite during COVID-19. September 1st is when we will be asking our members to upgrade and help support our growing tool.

12 Reasons why recruitment leaders need to think about what they are doing right now.

There is no doubt that these are very unchartered waters for recruitment leaders and recruiters across the globe and whilst the current situation we are facing creates immense challenges for many of us, it does also generate some unique opportunities to create more productive, more profitable and more sustainable recruitment businesses that are truly fit-for-purpose in tomorrow’s market.

Over the past few months, I have worked with literally hundreds of recruitment leaders, all currently navigating through a global crisis unlike anything anyone has experienced before. No one has a guaranteed, fail-safe, textbook plan to get through this and that is ok.

However, as everyone is trying to figure it all out, there are some clear common themes that I am seeing emerge from the thousands of conversations we have had these past few months that I have pulled together into a simple 12 point plan.

This is not a guarantee of success, of course, but a guide for recruitment leaders (and their employees) that I am convinced will help recruitment organisations in some way both survive and thrive these extraordinary times, and more importantly emerge as fitter, stronger and better businesses on the other side.

To set things up from the outset, you first need to…

Avoid the Sideshows

All that matters right now is survival. You simply have to be around at the end of all this, when the markets bounce back, to be able to fight another day.

This means absolute focus on that, first.

Understand what sits outside your circles of control right now (you can’t control the markets, you can’t control the macro covid19 situation, you can’t even to an extent accurately control revenue coming in to your business) but instead align your thinking to just the things you can control (costs going out of the business, where you invest your time and / resources, low-risk revenue generating opportunities) and those things that that will have the biggest impact on assuring your survival and your ability to thrive on the other side.

One recruitment business we work with have been running some phenomenal marketing campaigns over this time, being very noisy on social media and keeping their brand front of mind. That’s great.

But what they weren’t doing was selling. They were neglecting sales for marketing. They forget their Calls 2 Action. They weren’t driving a pipeline of new business. They hadn’t adapted their sales approach, so their old approach just felt out of place (and rightly so). It felt good, it kept them busy, but with no real results.

We changed their focus. We realigned sales with marketing and redesigned their selling process to ensure every interaction was output focused with clear measurable actions for the customer to follow up and now they are seeing genuine conversions. It just worked.

You can also control how you plan to…

Design your New Normal

There are too many people simply asking the wrong question right now – what will the new normal be after this? This wrong. The question we should all be asking is what do we want our new normal to be after this?

This is an extraordinary opportunity for us all to take the lessons we are currently learning about ourselves, about our businesses, about what we value and proactively construct a future that we want.

Don’t let paralysis set in, waiting / hoping to find out what tomorrow might look like, but go out instead and build the future you want right now.

As the lockdown has started ease ever so slightly, there seems to be a sudden rush back to the old normal, but why? Is that actually what we want?

I heard of a story the other day of a recruitment manager who had spent an entire weekend in his old office getting it ready for the mass return of his employees. Distancing arrows everywhere, signs on the doors, hand sanitisers on the desks, screens up and so on – he had worked tirelessly to get things ready and had done a great job. But when he announced this to the team on a video posted on social media, not a single one of them actually wanted to go back. They felt they were 10x more productive working from home, using commuting time to do more business and just getting more things done.

I am by no means saying that we should get back to normality as soon as possible, our businesses / our economy needs it, but does that normality have be modelled on the normality of before?

This leads nicely into the next point of the plan…

Look Way Back to See Way Forward

These past few months have been unlike not other. You can’t compare what we are going through to a typical downturn in a typical economic cycle. This is not typical.

This is an event-led downturn driven by something that is impacting people’s lives in very deep and personal ways.

From both a health and economics perspective, we can certainly look back and get some pointers from similar historical events that have occurred before but the world evolves at such a fast pace that comparing the current economical cycle with that of the Global Financial crisis of 2008 is just not a like for like comparison.

Politics and global trade relations have evolved in the last 10 years, social demographics have changed, technology has moved on significantly. Imagine all having to work from home using the technology and broadband capacity that we had even just 12 years ago!

What we can learn from history though are trends and more importantly how certain trends will have both quickened as well as aligned because of this, thus creating new markets, new needs, new opportunities for businesses.

  • Have you mapped out the emerging trends in your markets that came out of the last downturn?
  • What do these trends show you about how your market evolves in situations like this?

But now is really not the time to let your thinking get anchored in the past. Instead, we need to look forward 3 to 5 years at what the current trends are telling us about your markets tomorrow and then work your strategies back from that.

This future trend analysis will then help you to start building out how you will…

Create your Own Recovery

Business leaders in recruitment tend to be entrepreneurial, and entrepreneurs by nature tend to be optimistic. I am definitely an optimist, with a very heavy dose of realism, and personally cannot stand pessimism.

Not for once ignoring the terrible plight that many are facing right now, the reality of the matter is that for most people, we will get through this and good times will return. You don’t have to be an optimist to know that.

The bit that really separates the optimists and the pessimists, the part that prevents the realists from moving forward whilst the opportunists are picking up market share, all comes down to timing. When.

When will the recovery come? When will my markets come back? When will we start growing again?

The optimist in me, coupled with some very sensible data / insights from some of the best social economists out there, points towards a “V” shape downturn – the market drops off a cliff, as it has, and then fairly sharply bounces back again. At the time of me writing this, even the UK Govt are swaying towards that prediction.

Remember what we said above, this is an event led downturn – the recovery will be driven less by the traditional number analysis that the economists calculate and more by the social will of the people aching to get back out working, to get out of lockdown, to just get on.

However, what some leaders forget is that businesses do not have to necessarily follow the same trend as the markets. They will be influenced by that, of course, but a business can have its own “V” shaped bounce even if the market itself is on a “U” trajectory.

Look at it this way, the recruitment market will inevitably be smaller after this. There will be winners and losers, and some business simply / sadly won’t make it out the other side. The markets may contract / shrink and take longer to return to pre-covid19 levels (if at all) but with a smaller market, those recruitment companies still strongly trading have a greater market share opportunity with less competition to go up against.

So, move. Move faster than everyone else and decide what type of recovery you’re shooting for by developing your…

Outside In Strategy

You must look beyond the walls of your business to build your future strategy.

It is easy to become too inwards focused at times like these, when in reality (once you are on top of your business survival plan) you need to look at the bigger picture and more importantly at the wider supply chains within your target markets. If you don’t, you might end up walking head on into a load of challenges that will negatively impact your growth plans or indeed a bunch of opportunities that will make them fly.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What exactly is going on right now in your markets?
  • What parts of your target market will be decimated because of this, and similarly, which parts will grow?
  • Which companies are just about getting through this and which companies will be thriving? Why?
  • If those companies are thriving, which of their suppliers will also be doing well?
  • Which areas of the market will capitalise most on the ensuing upturn? Why?
  • If those companies start to do well, which of their suppliers further down the supply chain will also follow suit?

What are those supply chain trends telling you about where you should be focusing your sales and marketing resource, and also what products / services do you need to be developing right now that align to what your customers are going to want to buy (from you)?

We recently created a market map for a retail recruitment business, drawing out the future supply chain in retail and how that has and will be affected by all that is going on, helping them identify a number of brand new, high demand / high margin niche areas to target.

If market share is going to start increasing, we now need to maximise our return by doing some…

Bottom Up Planning

Without doubt, one of the clear trends that is coming out of all this, is the extent that many businesses have actually been running fairly inefficiently in the past.

Now, when our backs have been put against the wall, and we have been forced to literally cut out as much as we can from our businesses (and quickly), we have all managed to do it across most areas. Whilst in some cases quite hard to do emotionally, it has been relatively easy to start spotting areas of inefficiency, unprofitability, and wastage that have slowly creeped into our business over the years, especially when we were in the good times and business was booming.

What this period has made us all do (and we have had the time to do this), is to focus long and hard on cash generation and profit maximisation, perhaps more than we have ever done before. Turnover and GP is irrelevant if it doesn’t drop enough to the bottom line.

  • Where does the real profit in our businesses come from?
  • What drives EBIT and generates cash?
  • Which clients deliver the most contribution to the bottom line?
  • Which products and services that we sell create the most net yield?
  • Who, amongst our consultants, delivers the most ROI?
  • Do we have the right people, in the right jobs, doing the right things that generate profit?
  • What is the one thing we do above all else that really makes us money?

Over the past few weeks, my conversations with recruitment leaders has been firmly fixed on retraining and redeployment of people and re-engineering of business structures to, quite simply, create greater capability to generate greater profit margins.

We have just completely flipped a recruitment business (circa 40 consultants) that utilised a 360⁰ recruiter model to a hybrid 120⁰ / 120⁰ / 120⁰ model redeploying their consultants to be either recruiters, new business or account managers / penetrators – we are reforecasting the second half of the year with greater costs savings per head and increased job flow / conversion ratios accordingly.

This will of course impact everything within your business, from incentives and commissions to hiring plans and importantly culture. That is why a great recruitment leader will always put…

Purpose over Profit

How ridiculous is that! Profit should come before everything right? Wrong.

Profit is created by having products / services that your customers value and want (need) and a team of employees in your business who deliver an amazing user experience to get those products / services out to your customers efficiently. The whole process of profit generation falls down when one of those elements is missing.

Purpose drives the culture, that drives the behaviours, that drive the customer experience.

Deliver an incredible customer experience, backed up with a fantastic product / service and you will create both profit and growth. Focus too much on the profit and you will create a heartless business with limited commitment and a disengaged culture.

These past few months have been an incredible test of a company’s culture and whilst many organisations have stepped up and put their values and purpose at the heart of their strategy during this extraordinary time, many haven’t.

Our employees don’t just have financial concerns right now, they are also fearful for the health and wellbeing, they are being emotionally challenged, they have very real and personal worries, which is why this is so different from a typical economic downturn. The leaders in a recruitment business need to lead with far greater heart and demonstrate genuine empathy more than they have ever done before.

After this, we will all be remembered for what we did and didn’t do, which is why we should now…

Leave the Shutters Up

Never before have we had the most incredible opportunity to get as close to our customers as we have now.

We meet them in their lounges / bedrooms / sheds, our meetings are interrupted by their children and pets running in, we have to look them in the eyes and focus more intently on their words than ever before, we genuinely care about how they are, they genuinely care about us. The barriers between our clients as corporate people and our clients as just people have been removed and the shutters are no longer down. This changes everything about the business of business.

One of those recruitment trends that we have been watching pre-covid19, is the swing away from customer / supplier relationship and more towards true partnerships. Where recruiters are seen as a transformational business partner not as a transactional supplier of services. This has now been accelerated and creates huge opportunities for recruitment businesses to reposition themselves.

Look at what you offer your clients…

  • Is it easy to buy from you easy and use you?
  • Is it hard to get rid of you?
  • Have you an embedded solution that makes you sticky?
  • Do you have a line in your budgets for MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) and a matching strategy to deliver that?

Look at how you work with your clients…

  • Do you deliver a truly celebrity user experience to both clients and candidates?
  • Do they value what you do?
  • Do you get paid according to that value?
  • Is most of your business contingent (arm’s length, low trust relationships)?

Look at the output of your client relationships?

  • What is the typical length of a customer relationship?
  • What percentage of your existing customers’ total annual spend on “talent” do you have?
  • What is their intended spend across all agencies and direct hiring over the next 12 months?
  • How much of your new business is referred to you by existing customers?

If you can set your business up to reposition your offering more towards long-term, embedded partnerships and less towards contingent supply, then you can start to…

Feed the Machine

This is where marketing meets selling, and selling becomes a continuous part of your DNA, not an enforced KPI.

For years marketing has been kept independent from sales. It was about making us look good in print and online, about how much kudos you can get per social media post to feed your ego, about how much (often pointless) noise we can make above the competition. Now more than ever, people are online consuming content, seeking out ideas, watching brands and marketing has never been so important.

Sales on the other hand has always been about the phone, the meetings, the numbers game. It is equally as important as marketing, but when done badly can create huge wastage and inefficiency in a recruitment business (do we still think working towards the 80/20 principle makes sense?!) and negatively impact brand value (external) and consultants’ confidence (internal).

So both are critically important, but not in silo. These are not independent things but instead are two very joined up parts of your ability to create consistent sales pipelines – what we refer to as “the machine”.

All day, every day, the machine needs to be fired up and fed – not when we get time to do it (as per the 360⁰ vs 120⁰ example in Bottom to Top Planning above), but continuously. All day every day.

The machine also needs checking every day for performance improvements (squeezing better conversion ratios at every stage of the sales pipeline) and it requires an automated process to sit behind the human effort to ensure efficiency can be made to improve conversion ratios at each stage of the pipeline process.

Don’t forget to adjust your selling styles to fit the market and…

Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

This is one of the most exciting evolutions of the recruitment sector that will come out of all this, I think.

In some parts of the sector, selling in recruitment has become as bland as it has become superfluously complex, which is why so many struggle to win good quality new business (exclusive, retained, high value, long term contracts) based on deep relationships and trusted partnerships.

  • We miss opportunities because we don’t explore deeply enough into the customers’ real challenges.
  • We try and sell products and services that aren’t applicable because we don’t understand their real needs.
  • We focus too much on short term, quick wins and less about building long term solutions.
  • We still talk about price and not value.
  • We sell the same “product” as everyone else keeping our competition always relevant

These are of course generalisations, but I am sure ring true for many if we honestly look back on what we were all doing pre-covid19.

Selling is not one dimensional, but nor should it be complicated.

It should be consultative, truly consultative, helping customers to understand their future needs, to challenge their perceptions of what is possible and working collaboratively with them to reengineer talent processes tot drive efficiencies and outputs that make a very real and tangible difference.

It should start with a blank page, a bunch of data and a load of questions – where it ends up is anyone’s guess, but it will more often than not end up far deeper and further down the line than traditional selling does. Let the conversation decide, let the problems be discussed, let the solutions flow.

We built one of these just before the lockdown with an SME recruitment business in the marketing space – literally a dual branded blank canvas that the recruiter literally took to the sales pitch and worked through with the HR team. 2.5 hours later the customer had in principal agreed a six figure exclusive contract when before they just had two perm roles to discuss!

It is about building win:win outcomes where both recruiter and customer achieve what they want and not more one than the other, because if you do that, I guarantee you will far more…

Enjoy the Journey

I’ll start this by going to back to the beginning – these are very unchartered waters for recruiters but even more so for recruitment leaders who are meant to know all the answers right now. Give yourself a pat on the back for what you have done and how you have responded so far, and more importantly give yourself a break.

Recruitment leaders have concerns about the economy, about families, about personal health as everyone does, but they also have to keep an eye on how the overall businesses are faring, about how they are faring as leaders, about the team, about just about everything! Emotionally, this is tough and our resilience is being tested.

But it doesn’t have to be.

The start of every new day is a new opportunity to drop in the next building block of our future. Throughout every day we have wins, however small, that we must celebrate with our teams. We also have challenges that ultimately we somehow overcome, that should also be celebrated.

The end of every day is an opportunity to celebrate another step closer to a new and better normality.

As an observer, I find the whole thing fascinating, watching how people are responding to all this, from those who have buried their heads and hope it will all just go away, to those who just want to ensure they…

Don’t Waste a Good Crisis

Winston Churchill said this in the mid-1940s, referring to the emerging US / Russia / UK alliance that would go on to become the United Nations and the opportunities that were coming out of the crisis that was the Second World War. And his words were as right then as they are today.

These are challenging times for sure.

The recruitment industry will change because of this. Recruitment businesses will change because of this. Recruiters themselves will change because of this. But if you want to, for the better.

This is rapid fire evolution.

Be an observer of everything right now – the good, the bad and the ugly, inside and outside of our sector – and look for the opportunities that change creates.

Don’t look at this time as being “difficult” and instead see it as being “different”.

Learn. Adapt. Compete.

  1. Avoid the Sideshows
  2. Design your New Normal
  3. Look Way Back to See Way Forward
  4. Create your Own Recovery
  5. Outside In Strategy
  6. Bottom Up Planning
  7. Purpose over Profit
  8. Leave the Shutters Up
  9. Feed the Machine
  10. Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem
  11. Enjoy the Journey
  12. Don’t Waste a Good Crisis

Women in Recruitment and The Recruitment Network announce new online mentoring programme

Women in Recruitment, the APSCo initiative supported by a range of stakeholders in the recruitment sector, has partnered with The Recruitment Network to offer a free online mentoring programme specifically for members of both networks.

The programme is set against a backdrop of recent research by Women in Recruitment which shows that only 11% of recruitment firms offer dedicated female mentoring schemes and over 80% do not offer enhanced maternity benefits on order to aid retention.

The programme enables female mentees in the recruitment profession to access experienced mentors (male or female), equipping them with the skills, guidance, motivation, emotional support and a role model to help them climb the career ladder or develop their business.

Commenting on the launch, Ann Swain a member of the Executive Committee of Women in Recruitment and CEO of APSco said:

“This new scheme has been launched online initially so that we can facilitate mentoring throughout the COVID 19 crisis – but meetings can also take place face to face once circumstances allow.  The aim of Women in Recruitment has always been to give practical support in attracting, developing and retaining female talent as well as helping to establish the recruitment profession as a ‘beacon of excellence’ for gender equality, so that we are able to disseminate best practice throughout the wider workforce. This mentoring scheme will add real value to that aim and will be particularly beneficial at this time to those women currently on furlough.


Gordon Stoddart, Founding Director of The Recruitment Network said:

“Considering the growing fight for talent in our industry and the increased emphasis on diversity within our businesses, The Recruitment Network is committed to looking at how the recruitment industry currently attracts, retains, and treats their female talent. We want to identify any systemic issues currently in place, offering our members not only valuable insight but also practical initiatives and advice to make improvements which will help them to improve diversity. Partnering with Women in Recruitment to make this happen made absolute sense and we look forward to matching up female mentees with great mentors in the coming weeks.”


Find out more about the initiative by clicking here.

The DIY Method of Implementing Google Job Postings Structured Data in WordPress

The DIY Method of Implementing Google Job Postings Structured Data in WordPress


Google Job Postings was launched back in 2017, adding an alternative source for users of the Google Search Engine to discover job vacancies. Google Jobs makes it convenient for people to discover and sort through a variety of jobs from a range of sources, rather than spending time looking for jobs on each of the third-party job sites; such as Monster, Totaljobs and Reed, which is much more time-consuming.

The vast array of plugins available on WordPress make it easy to implement new features on to your recruitment website, including job posting schema (which is required to appear in the Google job postings). It requires little technical knowledge and can be great way to increase the visibility of your job vacancies.


Here are the steps to implementing Google job postings in WordPress


  • Click “Add Schema Type”

  • For the Schema type, scroll down to “JobPosting”
  • Now, you have to add the schema placement to your designated jobs listing category page.


It should now be set up correctly, however, now whenever you post a new job listing you will most likely have to adapt the associated job posting schema.


  • At the bottom of the job listing, you should see a section called “Schema & Structured Data on this post”, click on “Modify JobPosting Schema Output”

  • Job Posting Schema has a few critical elements that need to be filled out, these include; Title, Description, Employment Type, Base Salary Currency, Base Salary Value and finally Base Salary Unit Text. For more information, read Google’s job posting schema guide

Test with the Structured data tool


If you have a cache plugin, such as W3 Total Cache, make sure to initially refresh the cache.

Next, open Google’s structured data testing tool and input the relevant URL.

If correctly implemented, you will see “Job posting” labelled on the right-hand side.

Make sure there aren’t any “Errors” as this will cause the job posting to not be displayed. “Warnings” however don’t matter too much as these are basically hints to add more information, some of these “Warnings” may not be applicable, such as very specific location data, like postcodes.


And that’s it! Make sure you do this for every individual job vacancy you want to appear in Google Jobs.


This blog post was provided by Few & Far.


For more blogs, tools and templates for your recruitment business visits TRN World.

The Recruitment Network partners with REC to help recruiters prosper.

The Recruitment Network partners with REC to help recruiters prosper. Leading service supplier The Recruitment Network have launched a new business partnership with industry body the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. By working together TRN and the REC aim to improve and expand the level of support and advice available to recruiters across the UK.

The innovative partnership will ensure that REC members benefit from discounts on access to TRN services, including market-leading peer-to-peer networking and business leadership support. Firms working with The Recruitment Network who join up with the REC will benefit from a waived joining fee and access to the legal advice, insurance, training, compliance and business growth support that comes with membership of the UK’s biggest recruitment body.

Neil Carberry, CEO of the REC said:

“Supporting recruiters as they build their business is at the heart of the REC mission. By working with The Recruitment Network, we can deepen the range of advice REC members get and offer more to TRN subscribers too. In 2020 recruiters can still expect the high-quality advice, guidance, training and advocacy they want from the REC – but this partnership enables us to do more for Britain’s world-leading recruitment and staffing industry.”

James Osborne, Chairman of The Recruitment Network (TRN) said:

“This is a fascinating time for recruitment and staffing businesses, and the opportunities for the industry today are unparalleled, in my experience. However, growing any organisation will always come with its challenges, twists and turns to navigate. This partnership with the REC creates a comprehensive and unique service offering that will ensure both REC and TRN members will be able to capitalise on the opportunities that lay ahead”

The REC and TRN have been working together behind the scenes on the partnership for a number of months leading up this launch which includes the introduction of a brand new technology platform, TRNWorld (2.0), which will be made free to all REC members at the end of January and a new REC website later in the spring.

For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 020 7009 2157, 020 7009 2192 or pressoffice@rec.uk.com.

About the REC

The REC is the voice of the recruitment industry, speaking up for great recruiters. We drive standards and empower recruitment businesses to build better futures for their candidates and themselves. We are champions of an industry which is fundamental to the strength of the UK economy.

Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at www.rec.uk.com

About TRN

The Recruitment Network is the ultimate support club for recruitment business leaders – a unique environment where every component of your recruitment business is challenged and benchmarked against industry best practice, where you can enjoy unlimited support from some of the recruitment industry’s most successful thought leaders and where recruitment business leaders work collaboratively to help each other improve performance, increase efficiencies and significantly grow profitability.

To find out more about TRN visit the TRN website

These communication tips can double your recruitment agency client base

In the busy world of recruitment, agencies are often so fixated on the daily complexities of their jobs that they may miss out on the benefits of an effective communications strategy. Here’s just a few of the most effective communications tricks to double your recruitment agency’s client base:

Communications tips to double your client base


Blogs are a fantastic medium for recruitment firms to demonstrate expertise, drive website traffic and generate leads. By consistently publishing quality content, firms can provide more value for leads and customers, which can in turn lead to improved conversions, higher sales, and better customer retention.

If you can publish a mixture of evergreen content – posts that stay relevant all year around – and topical material, you’re more likely keep potential clients and customers engaged.


Alternatively, if you or your consultants aren’t great at writing, have you considered video blogging? When done well, videos can often attract more attention than regular text content.

There are many studies to show that a video on your landing page will increase your sales, while videos on blog posts will improve email opt-in rates. A survey by Usurv found that users are 39% more likely to share and 36% more likely to comment on an online video compared to a text article.


In today’s digitally driven world, social media is a vital component for businesses looking to double their client base, with recruitment agencies no exception. However, a good social media strategy needs a lot more than luck for it to be a success. It takes thought, structure and tactics to produce content that raises awareness, generates meaningful engagement and creates leads.

No matter what you post, it must provide value to candidates and clients. Before you share anything ask yourself ‘why are we sharing this?’ and ‘what is the value for our target audience?’

Press coverage

Press coverage, or earned media, is an unparalleled way for recruitment firms to raise awareness and gain exposure – and something that can set you well on the way to doubling your client base. While the benefits of this probably warrant their own blog post – here are just a few of the advantages of earned media.

Builds awareness – Press coverages allows you to reach out to your wider target audience, opening you up to far more candidates or clients.

Heightens credibility – By producing thought leadership articles for relevant publications, you demonstrate your industry knowledge and build credibility.

Increases trust – Trust in advertising has been declining for a number of years. However, 92% of consumers trust ‘earned’ media, meaning that a continued presence in the press will boost your employer brand.

Boosts your SEO – Winning press coverage on industry-relevant sites that have good domain authority scores helps you rise up Google’s rankings.


Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website on search engine ranking. While many see it as complicated, there are a number of simple ways that SEO can help you attract leads and drive website traffic.

To start rising up the rankings, it’s important to research your keywords. The easiest way to do this is by creating a keyword list using Google’s autocomplete function. Simply Google search the topic or theme of your website or content and you will see a selection of the most frequently used search queries pop up.

You can also boost your site’s rankings by republishing old blog posts. Agencies often have a wealth of useful content that has become out of date, particularly in fast moving sectors. Refreshing and republishing these posts will keep your content fresh and will have a positive impact on your search ranking.

The tip of the iceberg

Ultimately, these are just some of the communications strategies that can help your recruitment agency double its client base. To find out more about how marketing, PR and communications can help your firm, feel free to check out our other blogs on the topic.

This blog was provided by The Recruitment Network Gold Partners Blue Sky PR

BlueSky PR help professional recruitment consultancies and in-house departments engage with and source from the very best pools of talent. Helping RPOs and consultancies build their profile and credibility with senior HR decision makers. And they hold the attention of business leaders on all aspects of the human agenda.

What recruiters need to know about IR35 in the run-up to April 2020

If you are a recruiter that engages with contractors, the upcoming changes to IR35 in the private sector present one of the biggest challenges in recent years. Whilst these changes have been looming for several years, following a trial run in the public sector, recruiters must start readying themselves for the new rules coming into effect in April 2020.

The proposed changes require businesses that engage the services of contractors operating through their own limited company to consider the employment status of that contract. This is done by assessing the contract that is in place, as well as the contractor’s working practices, in order to conclude whether the individual is acting as a “disguised employee” and is therefore deemed inside of IR35.

In order to satisfy HMRC guidelines, “reasonable care” must be taken to ensure that the employment status decision is accurate. Once a decision has been made as to whether the individual is inside or outside of IR35, this outcome then needs to be presented to the worker, and any intermediary supplying the worker, prior to 5th April 2020.

You may be reading this and thinking that all the preparation for the legislation change sits with end hirers and not recruitment agencies. And whilst this is correct that the responsibility will sit with them moving forward, there are still steps you can take to educate yourself and most importantly, the contractors you work with.


  1. Understand the ins and out of IR35 – Educate yourself on IR35. Make sure you understand the legislative changes and the effect this will have on contractors post April 2020. The majority of contractors will have only read about the IR35 Legislation change online or heard about it from other contractors, so being able to support and advise them will put you in good stead and help you gain an advantage over your competitors.
  2. Communication – Most contractors are unsure about the steps they need to take for them to be reassessed. Even though this is down to the end hirer to progress, it is good to communicate this to them and reiterate that it’s ok for them to get in touch with their end hirer and ask for further clarity and updates on how this is going. The sooner they have been assessed, the sooner you as a recruiter can advise them how they can operate going forward.
  3. Supportive process – The effect IR35 will have will be different for each contractor, but the actions they take prior to being assessed will be the same. Make sure your agency scopes an IR35 process, explaining how IR35 is going to affect contracts after April 2020 and how contractors should approach IR35 with their hirer. Ensure this process is rolled out to all other recruiters at your agency so the advice you offer is consistent.
  4. Contractor working options – If captured inside IR35, contractors are going to need to understand the working options available to them if they are no longer able to operate via their limited company. You need to make sure your business can explain the other way for them to work / be paid and provide an overview of the service and how this differs from working through a limited company.
  5. Specialist advice – There is a lot to consider when it comes to IR35, which is why partnering with a specialist can be of benefit. Brookson can support with all aspects of IR35, not only as a specialist contract accountant, who offers multiple working options for contractors, but as an SRA regulated law firm and specialist in IR35. Brookson are able to ensure your agency and contractors understand IR35 and get support both prior and post April 2020.

With the above steps in mind, it is critical that recruiters understand IR35 and how they can continue supporting their flexible workforce.

With only a few months left to prepare, speak to the experts for a FREE IR35 education session.

01925 694 521 | agencies@brookson.co.uk | brooksonone.co.uk/recruiters

What does your Recruitment Consultant look like heading in 2020?

With 2020 only a few weeks away, what are some of the skills that recruiters are going to need to have and improve moving into 2020 and beyond to stay ahead of the curve?


They’re always open to change.

 Recruitment is no longer a stopgap job or a way to make some quick cash. It’s a professional career that consultants are looking at as a long-term venture.  They take their time to upskill, learn and develop themselves, whether this is through learning new industry-specific skills, improving their sales techniques or becoming better sourcerers using new tech platforms and tools. developing their leadership skills. Recruiters in 2020 shouldn’t be one dimensional, and instead, they should look for progression, learning new skills and being able to provide a stand-out service to their clients and candidates.

 They’re keen to create a personal brand.

 Recruiters in 2020 understand how important branding is and how it can distinguish them from the crowd. They’ll be building their presence on social media platforms, engaging at events, speaking, and offering all the value and insights they can to their wider network. They’ll also understand the importance for their clients of employer branding and propositioning and how they can make their client’s companies more appealing, in turn attracting more talent and making growth easier.

 They’re creators (and consumers) of content.

 Recruiters in 2020 have grown up consuming content, whether it be vlogs, blogs, YouTube tutorial, podcasts or any of the other variations of content. This knowledge means they know the importance of providing REAL value to their audience, whether it be potential clients or candidates. They can create their own content in specific mediums, and understand how to repurpose this content for different platforms, audiences and requirements.

 They’re tech-savvy.

 Whilst 2020 recruiters won’t all be developers, they do have a keen interest in tech, whether that be ai and how it can help by automating much of the recruitment process and in turn free up a lot of their time for the more personal sides of recruitment.  They are using tech to become more agile. Similarly, they are learning how to use new social platforms, learning how to use the algorithms to their advantage and get their content out in front of their ideal clients and candidates.

 They understand the importance of good marketing.

 The marketing and recruitment cycles are very similar and this is something 2020 recruiters will understand. Instead of hitting call times and cold calling every business in their specific niche, they’ll make sure they’re creating creative campaigns that actively engage a higher percentage of candidates and clients as well as using social touchpoints, email marketing and social media campaigns to get the right message out to the right people.

 Here at The Recruitment Network, we are working with recruitment business leaders and their people to grow both their skills and confidence to become true 2020 recruiters, fit for purpose in the evolving landscape we work in.

We are here to bring clarity and opportunity to what is a slightly complex and uncertain time for many. 

We are here to enable you to become the best you can be in 2020 and beyond.

Being Positively Courageous.

With this Autumn Huddles theme being positively courageous I thought it would be best to look at some traits that make us courageous, and what sets those who are courageous apart from the rest.

1 – Embrace vulnerability – if you live a fear-based life you’re less likely to have little or no confidence if you feel afraid of others seeing who you are, open up and be more vulnerable.

2 – Admit you have fears – Admitting your fears and identifying what you’re truly afraid of gives you the information you need to overcome them.

3 – Face your fears – Exposing yourself to what you fear is the best way to overcome it, scared of spiders? Go and handle one and see how you feel after.

4 – Think positively – Sure difficult times will come, but it’s best to overcome these by thinking positively.

5 – Reduce your stress – Easier said than done I’m sure, but sometimes you experience fear due to being exhausted, sleep, good food and exercise certainly help reduce stress.

6 – Demonstrate courage – Take time to help people who are in uncomfortable situations, instead of ignoring people in distress, help.

7 – Know failure but press forward – If you fail, learn from it, keep moving forward.

8 – Cope with risk and uncertainty – Conquer fears by learning to deal with life’s uncertainties. If you fear to lose your clients, or employees, figure out what it’ll take to keep them.

9 – Continue to learn – Grow, learn and improve. Take all opportunities to learn new skills. Read books, consume podcasts and videos, the more you know the more you can grow.

10 – Accept your challenges – Stay the course, even the greatest plans can fail, the best option is to have a plan b, c, d and e to make sure you can get through the challenges that can come.

We shouldn’t let fear drive decisions, we shouldn’t let fear have control, the answer is to be positively courageous!

TRN Autumn Huddle 2019

The TRN Autumn Huddle is 2 days away and our full line up has been revealed over on our LinkedIn page.

Here are the four speakers who are going to be presenting to our Members on Thursday. We’re expecting an amazing day, full of stimulating ideas, conversations and business knowledge.

Jeff Grout is a regular contributor to our TRN Trailblazers program and will be talking our TRN Members through Navigating Changing Times. Including the differences between Management & Leadership, effective goal setting, understand your clients’ 6P’s and coaching for performance.

Sophie Devonshire is an experienced business leader, entrepreneur, brand specialist and author who has worked in and with multinational companies, successful start-ups and agencies.

She has personal experience of being a successful entrepreneur, setting up her own award-winning e-commerce business in the middle of the recession which she sold before running a luxury gifts business.

Sophie is now the CEO of The Caffeine Partnership, a unique business consultancy which helps leaders to work with purpose and pace. She is an experienced business leader, entrepreneur and brand specialist. An ‘acceleration addict’ she is constantly curious about how to speed up success. 

She hates wasting time and believes impatience is usually a virtue. She applies the principles of Caffeine (a psychoactive stimulant) to her approach to work and writing; stimulating business.

Penny Mallory is an International Keynote Speaker who draws on her experiences as a homeless teenager who fulfilled her impossible dream of becoming a Champion Rally Driver. Against all the odds, Penny became the first (and remains the only) woman in the world to compete in a World Rally Car, for the Ford Rally Team. 

She is an expert in Mental Performance. Not only has she competed in the World Rally Championship, she has run multiple marathons, climbed the worlds highest summits, and fought in two boxing matches, amongst many other challenges! 

 Penny will be talking about world-class thinking and get our members thinking about how they can adopt a ‘winning mindset’. 

Tom Hadley is the Director of Policy & Campaigns at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) – the professional body for the UK recruitment industry, representing 3,500 corporate members and over 11,500 individual members of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP).

 Specific areas of responsibility include government relations, compliance policy and driving proactive campaigns in areas such as inclusion and social mobility, skills, industrial strategy, the future of jobs and youth employment. An overriding priority for the REC is to ensure that employment issues are at the forefront of Brexit negotiations and that the UK jobs market continues to thrive in a post-EU world.