The Culture in the Recruitment Industry is Broken – 6 Tips to Fix It

[heading]The recruitment industry undoubtedly has a reputational problem.[/heading]

For instance, if you Google the phrase, ‘Recruiters are’, these are the highest-ranking suggestions (as of October 2018):

[image_with_animation image_url=”10490″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”]

Although these results must be taken with a pinch of salt, there’s certainly something to be said about the reputation recruiters have. Whilst many businesses believe that their company culture offers something unique and exciting, this is quite often not the case.

Ultimately, the culture of your company should feed into everything that you’re trying to achieve and therefore, it is vital for the reputation of the industry.

At The Recruitment Network, we’ve been running weekly Twitter polls (#TheRecPoll), asking for opinions on the latest industry topics.

Recently we asked why recruiters think they have a bad reputation and found that 52% voted ‘not giving feedback’ is to blame.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

With this as one of the main causes of recruiters’ bad reputation, it raises the question of whether recruitment companies’ cultures are fit for purpose.

The term ‘company culture’ is frequently misinterpreted as being the items you provide for your staff or the office space you have.

You’ll most likely have seen Google appear if you researched company culture, with its quirky office spaces and commitment to learning becoming synonymous with the term.

However, culture needs to run deeper than this. Whilst a comfortable office environment is certainly important, culture needs to begin with a values-led approach.




Check out our top tips below for how to fix your culture:



1). Conduct a discussion with your employees about the values they want

If you’ve already got some values, you’ll need to assess how effective these are. Can your employees name them? Do they know what they need to be doing to show these values? Are they a part of your hiring process? If the answer is no to any of these questions, then your values aren’t as effective as they could be.

If you haven’t made any, then you’ll need to create some and involve your staff in the process.

The best way to do this is by having discussions and creating values that come from the people who work for the business. For instance, this can come from a meeting or an anonymous survey, but ultimately, you should have between 5 and 10 strong values that should be demonstrated by your staff in their day to day work.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

2). Be honest about the business & its direction

Another way to improve your culture is to make the connection between the work that your staff do and the wider goals of the business clear. By keeping your staff up to date with the goals of the business, you can make them feel that their work is more meaningful and important.

You can easily do this by integrating updates into your meetings with the whole team, or on an individual basis. Alternatively, you can display these goals within the office and update them frequently.

If your team are doing well and are helping to advance the business towards its wider goals, make it known!

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

3). Integrate values into everything you do

Once your values have been decided, outline the behaviours that show these in your employees’ everyday work and use examples when explaining them to your staff. If you’ve included your staff (which you should do) in this discussion, then they will be able to tell you what this behaviour looks like.

If something isn’t working well, you can then use the values to challenge it. These values should also be adopted by management and used to hold them accountable also. If all of your employees are on board, it becomes much easier to challenge and reward the work that your staff are


Below is a visual example which shows one of our values and its associated behaviours:


[image_with_animation image_url=”10492″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%” el_class=”valueImage”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

4). Reward people for showing these values

Consider whether there are small ways you can reward your employees. For instance, is there a way you can create an anonymous system where your staff can congratulate someone who has demonstrated one of the values?

Do you have a scheme where you congratulate your employees for their work and how involved are they with your values?

Even a small monetary investment in a monthly incentive can generate a lot of engagement and is a worthwhile consideration.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

5). Shout about them

Once you have these values decided and you’re actively involved in promoting and encouraging them, make sure you’re shouting about them.

Take this opportunity to showcase on social media and in your job adverts the values that your company has. Show how your company uses these as part of working life and if you have successes based on these – shout about them on your social media as well as in your office.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

6). Make it a part of your hiring process

If you’ve got a clearly defined culture, then you need to integrate it into your hiring process. Finding the right cultural fit for your business is just as important as finding someone who is skilled enough to do the job.

Some skills can be taught, but a cultural fit is something you need to find in the person.

One way to successfully do this is to outline your values and expectations on your job adverts and include your employees as part of the interviewing process. The chances are that candidates will also be looking at your website and social profiles, so ensure that they’re visible here too.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

Want to find out more about The Recruitment Network?


[fc id=’33’ align=’center’][/fc]

Leaders Feel Isolated Too. 8 Tips for Tackling Loneliness at the Top

Whether you run your recruitment agency by yourself or you have several employees, a feeling of isolation can quickly take over. With research from TotalJobs (2018) finding that three in five employees feel lonely at work, it’s certainly a common issue.

As responsibility increases in the workplace, so too can the feeling of isolation, as more business-critical decisions depend upon your time and you find yourself working away from your team more frequently.

In addition to this feeling of loneliness, it becomes easier to find yourself isolated from the wider recruitment industry itself. As your time becomes more precious and you’re concerned with the internal day to day management of your business, you might not be aware of the feeling of isolation immediately.

Loneliness in the workplace can lead to employees either quitting their jobs or taking many more days off. As a result, ‘surviving in silence’ can have an overwhelmingly negative impact on your business.

This problem becomes exacerbated if you are leading a business independently, or you run a small recruitment agency, where you’re far more likely to find yourself more separated from the industry.

If you’re feeling isolated and attempting to grow your business without industry guidance, it can become even more problematic. Without peer to peer advice or a mentor, it’s difficult to know that the decisions you’re taking are right for your business.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

1. Attend Events or Host your Own:

An easy way to improve your connection to the industry and combat the feeling of isolation is to attend industry events. Whilst a lot of these can be costly as well as time-consuming, try to find events which are fairly local to you or consider joining webinars that are relevant to your business.

Also, the more events that you attend, the better your industry knowledge will be and the more you can contribute to online discussions. It’s important that you don’t attend events for the sake of it. To get the most out of them, make notes, make new connections and share your experiences on social media.

If you’re struggling to find a relevant event near you, consider whether you could host something yourself. Whether this is a local meeting for like-minded professionals or a roundtable event on a specific subject, it’s a good way to develop your connections and business opportunities.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

2. Stay Up to Date with the Latest Industry News:

Another way to improve how connected you are to the recruitment industry is by following the latest industry news. Once you’re more involved with this, you’ll be able to discuss these issues more widely on your social media platforms as well as get some blog topic ideas. Some good resources for this include:

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

3. Post in Industry Forums:

If you’re looking for some tangible industry advice, it’s worth posting in an industry forum. Whilst LinkedIn can be a good way to connect to people, posting on an international forum can help you to receive more varied advice, as LinkedIn largely depends upon your existing network. However, the more effort that you put into networking on social media, the more likely you’ll be able to ask questions and receive feedback.

TRN World features an industry forum where recruitment leaders can receive advice as well as network with peers:


[image_with_animation image_url=”10469″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

4. Utilise Social Media:

Staying connected to the industry is much easier if you interact with peers online. One way of doing this is to focus on your LinkedIn/Twitter profile and follow industry-leaders, comment, and share interesting articles & information. If you’re not comfortable with writing a blog, it’s easy to share someone else’s and offer your thoughts on it. The more you engage with your industry peers, the better connected you will be. However, make sure that you get the right balance for this, as too much time on this can be distracting you from your original objective.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

5. Join a Network:

By joining an industry network, you can instantly gain access to like-minded peers. Not only will this help to solve your feeling of isolation in your business, but it also provides unrivalled opportunities for you to seek quality business advice. As a result, you’re far more likely to grow and develop meaningful connections if you belong to a network. Ranging from events to online support, a network can be a great way to receive expert advice and build meaningful industry connections.


[image_with_animation image_url=”10458″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%” img_link=”https://therecruitmentnetworkclub.com/the-club/why-join/”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

6. Find a Mentor:

If you’ve joined a network such as TRN, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find an industry mentor who can help you with your biggest business challenges. From getting advice from peers to receiving tangible business advice from experts in running recruitment businesses, a mentor is one way you can easily improve how isolated you feel within your business.

If you’re a female business leader and would like a mentor, have a look at the TRN Mentoring programme which aims to promote females in the recruitment industry (plus, you don’t have to be a member of the club to join).


[image_with_animation image_url=”9971″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%” img_link=”https://therecruitmentnetworkclub.com/women-in-recruitment-mentoring-programme/”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

7. Take Time Out of the Office:

If you run a recruitment agency that has at least a few employees, then it’s a good idea to suggest taking time out of the office. Find out from your staff what type of events they would like to do outside of work and schedule one in for a suitable time. Whilst this doesn’t have to cost much money, it should always come from your team. This can help you to take some time away from your work as well as give an opportunity for your team to build friendships outside of the office.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

8. Change your Business Development Meetings 

If you’re used to conducting business development meetings online, over the phone or in your office, try switching this and conducting them somewhere outside of an office environment. This is a great way for you to build an even stronger relationship with clients as well as giving you some time away from your usual surroundings.

Providing that you conduct these at a reasonable time and don’t spend too much time travelling between the meeting and your office, conducting your business meeting outside of the office can be really effective.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”100″]

How to Ensure Good Mental Health for your Employees

With most of us spending an average of over 90,000 hours at work in our lifetime it is no wonder that a poor work environment can affect our mental health. Work-related mental ill-health is estimated to be costing businesses up to £26 billion every year, so we need to make sure we take care of our employees’ mental health.

Recent research from charity Mind found that 42% of the people surveyed admitted that they had considered resigning and 14% had actually resigned due to workplace stress. These staggering statistics show that there is clearly more than needs to be done in many workplaces around the country, but it isn’t because employers don’t care. In the same survey 56% of employers said that they would like to do more to improve staff well being but don’t feel they have the right training or guidance.

So here are a few areas you can get started on:

1. Promote Wellbeing

Open & Honest Conversations

Ensuring that you have open and honest conversations with your employees is fundamental to empowering them to speak up if they have a problem.

Listen & Act

It’s no good having these open and honest conversations if nothing comes from them. If an employee has raised an issue they need to be listened to, otherwise they will be very reluctant to come forward again.

Work-Life Balance

This term is thrown around a lot, but a good work life balance is essential for your employees to be on top form. If they feel trapped by the workplace and feel they don’t get the time they need to spend with their family or have the downtime they need, they will start to resent the workplace, and this can cause mental health to deteriorate.

2. Tackle the Causes

Take Stock

Knowing the state of their mental health will highlight any areas that need improving and will allow you to act early, rather than wait for the issue to grow.

Training for Managers

There are many training courses that are available around the country. Charity, Mind, offer a variety of training courses from e-learning to courses held at your own office. Plus, remember that it is the managers in your business who spend the most time with their teams and will be the first to spot the signs should a problem arise.

Keep Triggers under Control

There are many triggers that you can keep an eye on that are often the main culprits of causing mental health problems in the workplace. These are:

  • Long hours, no breaks
  • Unrealistic deadlines or expectations
  • Overly pressurised working environment
  • Poor internal communication
  • Lone working
  • Poor physical working environment
  • Difficult interpersonal relationships
  • Poor managerial support
  • Inability to use annual leave

Time for the Open Conversations

It is all too easy to get busy and neglect the one to one time that some employees need. They may not want to bother their manager out of the blue but given the opportunity, on a one to one basis, they may feel more able and comfortable to come forward with their feelings and any issues they may have.

3. Supporting Employees with Mental Health Problems

Keep in Touch

Even if someone is absent from work due to their mental health make sure you keep in touch with them, not in a ‘keeping tabs’ way but in a caring ‘hope they’re ok’ kind of way.

They Know Best

Focus on the person and not the problem. Talk to them and ask how you can help. They are an expert on their own mental health and are best placed to know what it is that will help. Equally, if they cannot pinpoint the issue straight away, it may help them to talk through their feelings with someone to try to make it clearer.

Outside of Work

Remember that work isn’t the be all and end all. Your employees have a life outside of work and it may be something in their personal life which is causing their mental health to suffer. They may not feel comfortable to tell work colleagues or a manager but providing the support network in case they do want to talk could be just what they need to help them through a difficult time.


People can recover from mental health problems. Just because they have had a problem in the past doesn’t mean they will always struggle with their mental health. Having said that, everyone is different, and people can go on to manage their mental health issues alongside a successful career.

From boosting productivity, efficiency and innovation to reducing sickness, presenteeism and staff turnover, the benefits of mentally healthy staff are endless. Supporting and taking care of your employees’ mental health is definitely something that should be on the radar of any recruitment business owner. We have covered a few ways which you, as the business leader, can help and encourage a work culture and environment that promotes good mental health, but if you require any further guidance or advice please visit the sources below:

Mental Health Foundation
Health and Safety Executive

6 Ways to Improve your Lowest Performers Based on How Google Operates

Low Performance Problems:

Poor performers exist in almost every business and can cause problems within your team unless dealt with. However, dealing with these can be difficult because isolating the lowest performers and targeting them isn’t the best option and can make them feel much worse within your team. When this is combined with not understanding the reasons for their poor performance, as a business, you will never truly solve the problem.

If you haven’t tracked or monitored your employees by performance before, you should identify your top 15%, middle 70%, and lowest 15%. By looking at everyone who works in your business, you’ll be seeing the bigger picture and can address whether people at the top have slipped to the middle; it’s not just your lowest performers who you should be focused on.

Business Problems:

  • A decrease in team morale/office attitude
  • A negative impact on your business’s profits
  • An increased work burden on other members of staff
  • Wasted money on initial training/new training as a result if they leave
  • Potentially losing your more efficient staff members

Reasons for low performers: 

There are four main reasons why a low performer might be struggling in their current job. These are:

Situational –

The circumstances of the person have caused them to be underperforming and they might not necessarily be a bad worker. You’d need to find this out from them; improving your communication channels is one option of doing this.

Quick tips to improve the situational problem:

  • Create an open-door policy and let your workers know you are always available to talk to
  • Try and arrange some form of incentives for the team
  • Encourage outside of work communication and events are happening or enable the possibility. This can be as simple as arranging a team evening.
  • Where you can, provide the opportunity for team collaboration
  • Have one to one meetings with each member of staff every month, but try not to make these too formal

Lack of Skill

– The person is not skilled enough to do their job properly. You’ll first need to measure their performance and then understand whether this is a lack of skill or a situational problem. To do this, you should look at the measures which you track and compare them to someone in a similar position as well as against your highest performers. When doing this, it’s important to look at the bigger picture – has this person always been a low performer, or is it a phase? Compare this to your other data; has everyone been underperforming this month?

How to improve the lack of skill problem:

  • Increase training but don’t limit it to just the lowest performers. Even your highest performers could probably benefit from training. This will also prevent you from isolating the lowest performer
  • Evaluate whether it is the right role for them. Talk to them in a one to one meeting and ask them what they want from you and tailor the training to their needs.
  • It is cheaper to train them than to hire a new person, providing they are a good fit for the company and want to learn.
  • If your company has enough employees, you could offer a mentoring programme for everyone and let them sign up if they want to.
  • Create an opt-in training session or discuss whether they would like one to one training as part of your meeting
  • Once you have agreed on the best process, set measurable goals and targets. Combine this with regular feedback sessions and monitor their progress.

Lack of aptitude for the role –

The person doesn’t have the natural ability to perform the role. If this is the case, then you’ll need to understand their reasons for being in the job. A lack of aptitude cannot be solved by increasing training and development and is different from a lack of skills. For example, you might have realised they are not a natural salesperson and might be more successful in another area or department.

Tips for solving the lack of aptitude problem:

  • Talk to the person and see what their career goals are & whether they would rather work in another area/department if you can do this
  • Consider whether you could get them to focus on their other strengths within the job – is there a different way they can play to their strengths?
  • Use an aptitude test before hiring someone new in the future

Lack of motivation / Poor attitude –

The person is fed up with the work and puts in little effort.

To solve this issue, you’ll need to evaluate management as well as the person; poor management can easily cause a lack of motivation and a bad attitude.

Some tips on how to deal with the poor attitude problem:

  • You need to find the reason for their negative attitude. In your regular one to one meeting with the person, you’ll be more likely to get a truthful response.
  • To get the bigger picture, you’ll need to evaluate all of your employees’ satisfaction which you can do through an employee engagement survey. Does more than one person have this attitude towards their work? If so, then it is probably something to do with the way your company operates.
  • Create some incentives for the individual and the team.
  • If their bad attitude is still there, you might need to ask whether they are in the right job. Have they been in the same role for a long time? Do they have the opportunity for training or career progression?

6 Lessons from Ex-people Director at Google, Laszlo Bock:

With Google receiving over 2 million applications per year, it’s safe to say that they’ve achieved an incredibly high standard for their employees. In his book ‘Work Rules!’, Laszlo Bock, the ex-People Director of Google, explains how the lowest performers ‘represent the biggest opportunity to improve performance in your company’.

Google is known for its creation of innovative office spaces and frequently ranks as a top employer, drawing in masses of applicants every year due to its global reputation alone.

Google office space

Here are six things you can start to do to boost your lowest performers based on some of his experiences at Google:


  1. Feedback. Set realistic targets and get into the habit of giving regular positive and constructive feedback on a one to one basis. Make sure you have employee engagement surveys as well as anonymous feedback on your own management skills. If your company has more than one manager, compare data between them and check which teams are performing well – does this link to the different styles in how they are managed? Once you have this, you can start to implement small changes that can improve your workplace.
  2. Take it as an opportunity for them to learn and not to be scrutinized. Laszlo Bock sees the lowest performers as the best opportunities because it’s normally cheaper to train them to be good rather than go through the rehiring process. Whilst some will require a change in attitude or situation to improve, a lot simply need a boost in confidence, training and/or management style. Whilst it is an opportunity for them to improve, it’s also an opportunity for you to improve.
  3. Create a plan. To improve, you’ll need to make a personal improvement plan for the employee. This can be for the next 30, 60 or 90 days depending on their needs and should have targets which are achievable and measurable (SMART). As part of this, find out what the employee wants from you and put together a training plan which targets this. However, don’t only target your lowest performers; it’s probably something all of your staff could benefit from. Make sure the employee is aware of everything that you want from them and be clear on what they want from you.
  4. Improve yourself too. When Laszlo Bock reviewed all of his managers, he decided to get feedback on himself too. This showed that he ranked worse than a lot of his managers for his own communication and he decided to improve at the same time as the others. By setting targets, changing his communication channels and getting regular feedback, he saw his approval rating dramatically increase. What he realized was that a manager’s attitude was incredibly important to the morale of the team and the performance of their employees. Unless you regularly receive feedback and evaluate your management style, you’ll never know how much of an impact you’re having on your staff.
  5. Improve your communication channels. This is a simple way to improve your lowest performers. Look at the way you communicate with your staff members. Is it the most effective method? Have you got a system where you can regularly receive feedback, and do you regularly talk with your staff as a team and on an individual basis? If you don’t do this, you’ll need to improve your communication channels. This can be as simple as having a monthly one to one meeting where you track their personal work targets but try not to make it too formal. Have an open-door policy and acknowledge your members of staff every morning.
  6. Don’t undervalue and reward the wrong people. Another thing Laszlo Bock found companies are guilty of is undervaluing the best people and rewarding those who deserve it the least. Whilst it can be easy to reward the best performers based on their targets, you need to consider the people who contribute to the company in other ways. There’s bound to be people who do a lot of work which isn’t measured on targets or perhaps they contribute a lot to the team & company culture or dedicate a lot of extra time. It’s important to recognize their work and have incentives, training, progression and financial rewards for everyone, not just the people who hit targets.

We recently featured his book ‘Work Rules!’ in our 8 Books Every Recruiter Should Read blog post.

If you’re interested in hearing more, he gave an extended talk at Google about the lessons from his book:

8 Books Every Recruitment Leader Should Read

Talk like TED – Carmine Gallo

3.91 out of 5 on Goodreads
What’s it about?
Based on the analysis of hundreds of hours of TED talks, Carmine Gallo explores what you need to do to sell your ideas persuasively. Designed to help conquer a fear of public speaking/presenting, Gallo uses TED talks as an example of how to present your ideas to a team of people.
Gallo gives a step by step method to make it possible for anyone to deliver a presentation that is engaging. Whilst the book is not endorsed by TED, it’s a bestseller because of its practical advice to help you overcome a fear of presenting.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

4.07 out of 5 on Goodreads
What’s it about?
Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, becoming a classic self-help book for both professional and personal problems. Centered around the 7 Habit Philosophy, Covey teaches the reader to master their own independence as well as the interdependence on a team. Listed as one of the most influential business books of all time, Covey’s book is a great place to start for both business leaders and new recruiters just starting in the industry.

The 4 Hour Work week – Timothy Ferriss

3.86 out of 5 on Goodreads
What’s it about?
Timothy Ferriss explains how to be the new type of rich where there is no need to wait until you’re old. This book is the blueprint for anyone looking to change their work life balance for the better and applies to both new workers and business leaders. If you want to learn how to reduce your stressful and large amount of work hours, but still keep or improve your money, then this book is for you!

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

4.16 out of 5 on Goodreads
What’s it about?
Although it was released in 1936, this book has been massively successful because of its message, selling over 15 million copies. Carnegie’s book is filled with advice for how you can move up the ladder of success in both your personal and professional life. Carnegie has 6 ways to make people like you, 12 ways to win people and 9 ways to change people without creating resentment. The skills in this book are valuable lessons for anyone who deals with a lot of people on a regular basis. Whilst it’s always ending up on lists such as this, it still has a good message and is worth a read.

Good to Great – Jim Collins

4.06 out of 5 on Goodreads
What’s it about?
This book is more suited for managers and business leaders or those aspiring to be one soon. Jim Collins focuses on the businesses which have successfully managed to become great. Based on five years of research before writing Good to Great, Collins finds ten companies which support his suggestions. In this book he uncovers the underlying variables that enable any type of organization to make the leap from Good to Great.

Who: The A Method for Hiring – Geoff Smart

3.95 out of 5 on Goodreads
What’s it about?
This is a great book for both recruiters and recruitment business leaders which aims to tackle the problem of bad hiring. Geoff Smart and Randy Street provide a simple, practical, and effective solution which you can use in your business. Although it’s based on American companies, its message is applicable to you and your business as it attempts to solve the reason why only 50% of managers make a successful hiring choice. Based on more than 1,300 hours of interviews with 20 billionaires and 300 CEOs, ‘Who’ presents the method you can use to conquer this startling problem and improve your success rate.

The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses – Eric Ries

4.05 out of 5 on Goodreads
What’s it about?
Although it’s more focused on the process of starting up a new company, The Lean Startup is useful if you’re looking for a new approach to starting a business, or you’ve recently created one. Looking at why most startups fail, but also how companies are built, and new products are launched, Eric Ries shows you how to create a ‘lean’ company that is able to move and adapt quickly. This is a good read if you’re an aspiring business leader looking for advice on how to manage a company in a difficult and fast-paced environment.

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead – Lazslo Bock

4.17 out of 5 on Goodreads
What’s it about?
Why do 2 million people apply for a job at Google every year?
Written by the former Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Lazslo Bock gives a unique insight into the highly successful company and how you can benefit from how it operates. This book is useful is you’re a business leader or an employee as it has lessons on how to build a company that is a great place to work as well as reawakening the joy of working where you do. This is particularly useful for anyone in recruitment as it has lots of lessons both your company and the companies you work with can benefit from, and why so many people desperately want to work for Google.

Are you an Imposter in the Workplace?

Imposter Syndrome was first described back in the late 70s by Pauline Clance & Suzanne Imes and was originally researched as something which affected professional females. However, more recent research has found it to affect both males and females, with some studies finding women more susceptible to it in certain industries such as IT.

Moreover, it has shown that it currently seems to be significantly affecting Millennials in the workplace with one third suffering from it.

What is it?

It can quite easily be summed up as a condition where an individual is unable to acknowledge any form of praise and instead, constantly feels anxiety surrounding their sense of belonging in the workplace. People with Imposter Syndrome normally struggle to accept any form of praise or acknowledgement that they are doing a good job, instead putting it down to luck or chance.

This is often felt by intelligent and successful people, with figures such as Melinda Gates experiencing it and speaking publicly about this issue which appears more prominently for women in the technology industry.
Imposter Syndrome and its effects frequently appear in a cyclical form, perpetuating further feelings of being an imposter.

It will often follow these steps:

  1. A task is given to the worker
  2. They feel anxious with this work and over-prepare
  3. The task is completed and there is initial relief
  4. They deny their contribution and separate it from the completion of the job (often attributing it to others around them or luck)
  5. A new achievement related task is given to them and the cycle begins again

Why are Millennials feeling it more than most?

Millennials are part of a different job market and overall experience than others were used to ten or twenty years ago. With the gig economy, Millennials experience far less stable job opportunities and therefore, a lot more pressure to succeed financially. Moreover, recent research has found that millennials frequently change jobs, with a Deloitte survey revealing that 43% of Millennials plan on leaving their job within two years of joining.

Whilst many assume this is for financial reasons, the survey reported that more than anything else, Millennials were searching for a cultural fit. With Millennials feeling Imposter Syndrome more than other groups in the workplace, it’s clear why that search for a cultural belonging is more important than ever.
Imposter Syndrome can therefore hit them harder than most, giving them more opportunities to not feel adequate in their job as they adapt to more changes as well as less stable opportunities.

Furthermore, in a world which is more focused with image and social media, undoubtedly, the pressure placed on the younger generations is larger than ever before. This is certainly feeding into the Imposter Syndrome cycle.

Are you or your candidates experiencing Imposter Syndrome?

If your candidates are experiencing Imposter Syndrome, or perhaps you are, what are the signs to look out for?
Although it is not a defined condition, it is something which is consistently researched and felt by people in the workplace and therefore does have signs to look out for, such as:

  • The person feeling like a fraud with a fear of being “discovered”
  • Attributing success to luck or other circumstances
  • Belief that anyone can do their job and the skills aren’t unique to them
  • Claiming that the help they had was the reason for success
  • The use of minimising language such as: ‘Might’, ‘Kind of…’, ‘I was just…’, ‘I feel like I could…’

Whilst there are those not skilled or experienced enough for their jobs, Imposter Syndrome is very different. The people who experience this are quite frequently skilled enough for their work but are overwhelmed by this feeling of inadequacy. They frequently are able to complete a task given to them, but despite praise, feel it is not down to their individual contribution.

What can you do to counter it?

If you or your candidates are experiencing Imposter Syndrome, there are a few things which can help.

Firstly, it’s a good idea to become a mentor and engage in online discussions, as you’ll be surprised at how much you know – this should provide a boost of confidence.

It’s also a good idea to try and move any questions you have away from yourself and instead, ask about the knowledge/ideas behind it. Rather than questions whether you are suitable for the job, ask questions about the task itself and the knowledge behind it, as it’s okay to ask questions.

Track your accomplishments and keep note of significant things you have been able to do, as this will most likely surprise you when you look back at it.

Fake it ‘til you make it. Whilst this doesn’t mean fake your skills and entry to gain a job, it does mean that you should fake a separate confidence for tasks that you do. Confidently take them on and ask plenty of questions about it. When you pull it off, it should confirm to you that you are capable.

Recognise that those around you are not you. It’s okay to feel like an imposter, but those around you are most likely not able to do the task you have and that’s why it was given to you.

Adapting your strategy

As a result, Imposter Syndrome will certainly have had an impact on your recruitment efforts at some point. With a lot of Millennials feeling Imposter Syndrome as well as looking to change jobs more frequently, navigating this feeling is more important than ever. Firstly, appealing to a cultural fit appears to be the main priority for Millennial job seekers and is something you can quickly add more of to your strategy. Another easy thing to add to your strategy is to place emphasis on the past achievements/qualifications of the candidates as many who experience Imposter Syndrome have a sense that they are not suitable based on their own achievements.

Check Out this TED Talk on Imposter Syndrome:

A significant example of someone highly successful feeling like an Imposter is Mike Cannon-Brookes. In 2017 he gave a TED Talk on experiencing this, despite him running the highly successful software company Atlassian and his net worth being in the region of five billion dollars.

Check it out below:

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….!

Employee Engagement in Recruitment

I have always been a big fan of the fable that sometimes get used to explain employee engagement:

A Pig and a Chicken are walking down the road.
The Chicken says: “Hey Pig, I was thinking we should open a restaurant!”
Pig replies: “Hm, maybe, what would we call it?”
The Chicken responds: “How about ‘ham-n-eggs’?”
The Pig thinks for a moment and says: “No thanks. I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved.”

In such a competitive playing field as the recruitment industry is, employers need to not only understand the core elements behind what drives employee engagement across their businesses but also ensure they have a very clearly defined plan in place to deliver on those elements otherwise they end up with lots of employees that are just involved and not fully committed to the business’ success – two very different things.

Employee engagement in the recruitment sector links together two very simple but important questions: how likely is it that your consultants and employees will continue to turn up to work and when they do come to work, how committed will they be to do to do more than they asked in order to overachieve against their strategic objectives?

One thing we do know, whilst money is always going to be a core motivator for many people in recruitment, it only plays a small part of creating real engagement and recruitment leaders need to delve deeper into this if they want to spend less time trying to outcompete their competitors in salary wars.

Engagement can typically be broken down into three critical drivers:


  • With colleagues – do your people have a best friend at work and do they enjoy working with the people in their teams, or is there someone in your business that is having a negative impact on the team culture?
  • With leadership – are your leadership team inspiring, engaging, effective and consistent in how they deal with people in the business?
  • With Purpose – do your consultants feel aligned to the company vision and Purpose motive and inspired to on that journey with you?


  • Well defined roles and outputs – do your employees (front and back office) know exactly what is expected of them, not only from a KPI / activity perspective but more importantly from a client, candidate and business output perspective?
  • Clear strategic direction and purpose – do each of your employees have a clearly defined personal roadmap of where there career is going and does the management team know what this looks like?
  • Measurements of success – do your employees know exactly how they are tracking continuously against the company expectations?


  • To themselves – are they developing, learning, evolving personally?
  • To their peers – are they supporting other people across the business and making a positive difference to their peers and the wider team?
  • To their employer – are they clearly adding measurable value to the business and enabling the company to achieve its strategic vision and purpose?

In essence, if employees feel connected to the business and the people within that business, are clear about what they need to do and where they are going and feel they are making a valuable contribution to themselves, their peers and the business then you will find real engagement.

Virtually Present?

Today’s blog article has been written by Perry Timms, Founder and Chief Energy Officer at People and Transformational HR. Armed with 30+ years experience in people, learning, technology, organisational change and transformation, Perry’s mission is to connect people and bring about a design revolution for a better future of work. In October 2017 he wrote his first book, Transformational HR, which was published by Kogan Page. He is determined to change the world of work; one conversation at a time.

I’m drawn to working virtually – I really get a kick out of being nomadic and not fixed in one place. But then that’s easy for me as I’m a free-spirited consultant. Yet when I was a salaried employee, I also liked to be in a variety of settings to do my work – so I was very much virtually present. I expected virtual working to be the norm by now, but it remains stubbornly elusive to many and a way of working for a few. Is this likely to continue? Are we over-playing the likelihood that we’ll not have to be present in a physical sense for much of the work we’ll be doing in the coming 5-10 years?

The questions asked of me to write this blog post are:

  • How do you make virtual employees work effectively and profitably?
  • What are the opportunities and pitfalls of building a virtual team – is it a dream or reality?

I’ll begin with the assertion that where we work is increasingly subject to fewer and fewer restrictions, and more and more variety.

So this is a good thing surely?

No more commuting, no more missed family time due to getting home late and more tranquility (in either a home-based work set up or some pleasant social space like a coffee shop or a co-working office).

Provided, of course, it involves (mostly) a computing device to email, video call, social network thread and shared drive kind of working. It’s clearly different if you’re in manufacturing, the service industry, retail, health and social care, flying a plane etc. If that’s the case, virtual working may be a little more tricky to do on a regular basis. Until the robots; but that’s a whole different story.

What we’re hearing about, is pioneering organisations like Buffer with an entirely distributed workforce, of no fixed abode and entirely virtual working. Couple this with the value of coworking spaces like WeWork and it appears that “no fixed abode” is becoming more normalised. Indeed, successful companies like Automattic (who build the WordPress site) have made this way of working work over a number of years now so it’s sustainable.

Then of course, there’s the “gig” economy. Which is mostly virtual working where the algorithm is the scheduler, their connecting means and the feedback generator – virtualising the manager role. Often working alone, this is virtual working in its newest form – platform jobs.

This appears to be the way we’re all headed then surely? Not so fast. There’s more to this than simply plugging in elsewhere.

What about those gatherings where people come together for a good reason? Like a team meeting, a project board, a scrum standup, or an innovation jam? What about the feeling by leaders that if you’re not visible, how can you can be scrutinised, supervised or managed?

In such situations, virtual working needs some careful engineering and design, else we’ll create a whole new range of issues.

I don’t think you can make anyone do virtual working well by decree – you can declare it and remove the physical space, but are people getting it right? That takes some effort and recalibration of how you work, learn, lead and support each other.

My tips on how to do this are:

  1. Invite people to consider how they could work more remotely and virtually and whether they’d like to experience more of this.
  2. Have them look at their workflow now and imagine it in a more virtual situation and then share and compare with their colleagues.
  3. Encourage some experiments after people have worked out some baseline data about how efficient they are now to compare to a period of sustained virtual working.
  4. Create an open discussion on the things to pay attention to in the advent of more virtual working and that these are regularly discussed either in person or on some connected technology platforms like Yammer, Slack, Workplace (Facebook at Work) etc.
  5. Make any decision to virtualise a collective one so that people understand what it means to them and they can help shape how you do this.
  6. Test potential new hires/candidates for roles in your company on this “virtual” question – would they be more or less encouraged to apply to work with you if you’re a part or entirely virtual workplace?
  7. Keep virtual working as a thing you all talk about as a team – what’s working well and what needs more attention.
  8. Ensure physical coming together can happen. How you optimise the time you’re physically together is down to teams working this out and not just relying on the quarterly “strategic update” sessions.
  9. Use socialised technologies to create the feel of togetherness even if you’re not physically able to be together.

Virtual working is often touted as being more effective and efficient. In my experience that’s the case, and there’s some evidence I’ve come across (for example, American Express did a study of their working 4 years ago). I speak to a lot of people who have the chance to work from home or remotely (even occasionally) reporting feeling more balanced in how they spend their energy. There’s no one absolute study. For most people, it feels that way and the energy they would have spent travelling to work, they can put into working or balanced into family life.

I’ve worked with, and advised companies on, remote and virtual working. I’ve become so much of a fan that I shudder when organisations who can work this way shy away from it because of paranoid, distrusting leadership or colleagues. To me, if you CAN work virtually but it’s prevented by management decree, that’s not a good organisation to work for.

Of course, there are pitfalls as well as opportunities with virtual working and virtual teams. People can feel isolated. You can miss out on being allocated some choice work because you’re not visible. Others can forget to include you in key decisions because you’re not sat around the same table. Moreover, this is without any risks of using home-based devices to connect to corporate networks such as distractions and temptations.

So, it occurs to me that it’s not the technology that’s stopping this from happening more. The main barriers as I see them are:

  • Trust – a lack of it (and not just limited to manager/employee distrust – colleague distrust perhaps even more so)
  • Attitude – people don’t believe they can or should work remotely or virtually
  • Habits – either your habits, other people’s habits or even the organisation’s habits (culture, rituals, processes)

These are the pitfalls that if you don’t pay attention to, they could cause your virtual team working to stutter and fail to live up to need or expectation.

So, to achieve those productivity gains, there’s a need to still be connected to each other – and that can clearly be done through messaging on apps and social networks, video calling, live streaming, and more. One further way to bring people together (maybe sooner than we think), is virtual reality worlds. We may virtually turn up at meetings in a space where our avatar represents us and allows us to interact with each other virtually.

With all this said, a more virtual world and a more virtual life may sound a little farfetched or even a sad way to be. Yet the distances between us and our people can be closed nicely through use of connecting technology; wasted time commuting can be put to good use with working, learning and being more creative and we can SURELY do with a little less hassle in our days to keep our minds clear and healthy.


Is virtual working and being part of a virtual team something we should all plan for and get used to?


I think so, and small-scale experiments to inform a more virtual way of working with our co-workers will help us get better at this.

For we may not see our colleagues every day, but we need to maintain the feeling that we’re all in it together. Virtual working may become a virtual reality before we know how to truly make it work.

My advice is to practice and make virtual a virtue.

Perry Timms – June 2018

Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental illness is something that often goes unrecognised or unnoticed and is sometimes a bit of a taboo subject, with surveys suggesting that over 67% of employees feel they cannot talk about it. It’s something that we can all relate to, whether it’s a diagnosed mental condition or in times of pressure and stress at work.

Stress is a major cause of long term absence from work in manual and non-manual jobs. It is thought that Mental illness accounts for 70 million working days being lost each year, costing UK businesses around £70-100 billion.

It is something that affects both men and women in the workplace and outside of it, but there is still a split between genders. Commonly men find it hard to talk about issues they face and in particular their mental health, for fear of being seen as weak or being stigmatised.

Mental illness is something that can affect all of us so it’s vital that we can all spot the signs and know what to do should we see those signs.

Common Sign to Look out for

It’s likely that the area you will notice first is in a change of behaviour or if someone is acting out of character. Maybe they’re arriving late or not taking lunch breaks, this could be a sign that they’re struggling. Being more extroverted or more introverted than normal and not joining in with office banter.

If someone is struggling with their mental health, they may seem irritable or sensitive to criticism. They may show an uncharacteristic loss of confidence and possibly seem to lose their normal sense of humour.

More mistakes that usual or having problems making decisions can be signs too. Maybe a sudden drop in performance or lack of concentration can also indicate that someone is struggling.

Constant colds or being particularly tired at work are both physical ways that someone may appear to be struggling. Another sensitive subject, but rapid weight loss or gain is sometimes a sign, in the same way that frequently looking like they’ve made no effort with their appearance.

On a business level, keep an eye on absence levels and staff turnover. These things could indicate a wider problem across multiple employees. Be aware of a general drop of motivation or employees working longer than normal hours.

So, now you know what to look out for, how can you work to intervene, protect and prevent problems with mental health?


Internal Support

Provide internal support by providing accessible guidance on how to manage stress. Understand that stress usually stems from an imbalance in meeting expectations and the persons beliefs in their ability to meet those expectations. Provide support to help your employees become more resilient and able to positively adapt to change.

Create a peer to peer support system, where employees can talk to each other about problems and issues they may be facing, as they may be more comfortable with this. Equally, creating informal, regular drop in sessions with either HR or an outside person or company will make it as easy as possible for employees to talk to someone if they need to.
Working Practices

Allowing flexible working can really help your employees cope in a time of high pressure or stress. Home is a much more relaxing environment to be in if someone is struggling, where they can get stuck into work, without facing the office which could aggravate feelings or their illness.


Make sure that your employees know what support is available. If they do not know the support is there, they’re not able to use it. Either using an internal intranet system or having details on your employee handbook can help communicate the support that is available to your employees.

Make sure you find opportunities to remind people about this too. All too often employees will flick through their handbook and then not think to look there until a problem has escalated.

Outside help

An Employee Assistance Programme can provide support for employees in difficult times, whether that is in work or outside of it too. Offering a range of things from counselling right through to legal advice; it could provide more specific support than you as their employer can, but also, a great resource for you as an employer.


Benefits Packages

Consider offering things like an Income Protection, which would give your employees peace of mind. An income protection would provide replacement income if someone was ill and unable to work for over 6 months.

Return to Work Plan

Develop a tailored return to work plan for someone that has had time off due to mental illness. This way they can be eased in and have a phased return, to try to prevent any more issues.


Hold regular return to work interviews and catch ups to assess how they’re coping when they do return to work too. Ensuring that you continue to check in with them as time goes on will help to pin point issues quickly should they return.



Creating and implementing a mental health policy will reassure your employees that you care. Create and promote a culture of openness and awareness, which will encourage people to talk about mental health.
Encouraging a good work life balance for your employees can help to prevent stress. Making time for non-work activities and meeting with friends and family can help reduce stress levels.


Staff newsletters, posters in communal areas and other internal communications are all great ways to raise awareness. Introduce discussions regularly in meetings, then you can use the opportunity to check in with your employees and gauge their stress levels too.

Regular employee surveys such as our Employee Engagement survey can help to highlight problems, gauge wellbeing and get feedback from your employees, in a way that can be anonymous too, which may encourage people to speak up when they wouldn’t otherwise.

Working Practices

Regular breaks away from desks, out of the office, even if it is only for 10 minutes can help refresh a tired mind. Introduce a power down hour and take some time away from emails as it is often expected for someone to be at the end of an email at all hours, which can lead to problems with mental health.

Reviewing job specifications regularly too will help to make sure that they’re realistic and you’re not expecting too much from your employees.

It is also good practice to make sure you celebrate success with your employees. All too often we focus on the negative aspects, rather than positives. Even small wins, which may not mean much to you, but may mean a lot to your employee should be celebrated.


Finally, don’t forget to train your managers. They are on the ground and are the people who are likely to know their team and spot any changes of behaviour in order to help. Plus, if your employees know that the managers in the company are clued up about mental health they are more likely to talk to them if they feel they are struggling.

Final things to remember

Today- Look for the signs and think about the gaps in support that may need filling.

Tomorrow- Schedule in those meetings with managers to provide training and discuss how to handle issues should they arise.

Next week- compile insights to better inform decisions in the future and identify policies that could help in your business.

  • Good mental health is vital to business performance. Well cared for, happy employees will be more engaged, motivated and more loyal.
  • Line managers need ongoing support and training to handle issues as and when they arise. Managers are the people who are there day to day and are going to notice those first signs.
  • An effective mental health strategy considers intervention, prevention and protection.
  • Employee benefits are a good, tangible way to provide support to your staff who may be struggling.

Role Models and Mentors

Role models can come in all shapes and sizes. They could be individuals with a high profile, a high flyer in business, a celebrity and they could also be a friend or a family member. Either way it comes down to what that person is like, their values and usually their achievements that attracts people to consider them to be a role model.

Even if you don’t have a particular role model as such you will more than likely know the qualities that you would admire in one. Deciding this is very personal and everyone is different in what they would look for or aspire to be like.

Corporate Role Models

Many of us look up to well-known entrepreneurs, either who we see in the news today or from history, the kind of people that rose from nothing to make billions. Some popular role models who are or have been in the public eye as a result of their business achievements are:

Richard Branson- Virgin “If your dreams don’t scare you they are too small”

Henry Ford- Ford Motor Company “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Andrew Carnegie- Carnegie Steel “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”

Warren Buffett- Berkshire Hathaway “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”

Karren Brady- Baroness Brady of Knightsbridge CBE (also from BBC TV show The Apprentice) “You can’t determine where you start in life, but you can determine where you end up”

Role Models Closer to Home

Sometimes people look closer to home, or work when looking for a career role model. Having someone to look up to in the form of your manager or even higher up the hierarchal ladder can be exactly what someone is looking for. Seeing them in action means that you can get to know them better than you ever could a celebrity status role model.

Qualities you may look for in a career role model:

• How they treat other people

• Values that they stick to- e.g- never settle, always look to improve things

• Remembering names and back stories

• Business achievements- e.g- growing a business

• Determination

• Loyalty

• Passion for what they do

Mentors within business

The transition from role model to mentor seems a logical one. Someone who is role model material, who people look up to and aspire to follow in their footsteps, would make the perfect mentor. The ability to help those individuals looking for support, who are up and coming or who are still early in their careers, is a great opportunity for mentors to give something back.


Following our Women in Recruitment roundtable back in December 2017 we identified there was a lack of female role models and mentors within the recruitment industry. This is a broad statement and does depend on sectors that the companies recruit in.

There does tend to be however more women in sectors like Education and Fashion, whereas sectors like IT, Construction and Engineering are desperately lacking in female talent, through all levels. There are schemes in place to try to bring more women into these industries, but not as many to build women up. We want to change this for the recruitment industry.

We will soon be launching a mentoring programme for women in recruitment to match them with a mentor to encourage them and better equip them to progress up through the hierarchal ladder at work. We hope that as these women develop in their careers they will inspire the next generation of women coming into recruitment, so keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks, we’d love for you to be involved.

Download The Recruitment Network Intro Pack

Find out more about The Recruitment Network and all we can offer you. Our free intro pack has all the information about the amazing value TRN offers, plus some fantastic content to help you improve your recruitment business.

Do’s and Don’ts of Employer Branding

Building your employer brand is about the relationship that you build with your past, current and potential employees. Whether you work on it or not, people will form their own opinions based on what they can see or experience of your company, so building a positive brand and relationship is key. It can help you to attract new talent to the business, while also boosting current employee engagement, so positive for everyone involved.

Here we have a few important do’s and don’ts when it comes to employer branding.


Do tell your story
Tell everyone about YOU and YOUR company. Being relatable and personable will make the business seem like a nicer place to work and will spark interest. By allowing people to really get to know you, your company and your current employees will build a true picture around what it is really like to work there and hopefully attract the right kind of people to your company.

Do understand your current employer brand
You will already have an employer brand, whether you have specifically worked on it or not so, a good place to start is by understanding what is already there. As we said earlier, employer brand is the relationship you have with your current, past and potential employees, it’s as simple as that. Don’t over complicate it more than this and try to understand your starting point. Speak to current and past employees and listen to their views to gauge where you’re already at, hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what has already been built.

Do align your employer brand with your business goals and vision
Your current employees may be satisfied but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re driving the business forward. Make sure you review your employer brand as your business develops and there are always things to improve on. Try to think of some new ways you can develop your employer brand as your business grows and changes, while keeping your business vision at the centre.

Do use social media to your advantage
Social media is a great place to spread the word and promote your business and to really create an employer brand for your company. It’s a great way to get your message across in a friendly, more personable way rather than through more formal methods. Just don’t forget the visuals! Make sure you get those all-important snaps of the company social events. Consider the ‘day in the life’ type attitude to showcase what working at your company is really like.

Do be honest
Honesty is the best policy and that’s not just when it comes to employer branding. Make sure you’re the picture you portray of your company is the real deal. If not, you’re not only wasting your time but also your potential new employees when they start working for you and leave within a few months. Be truthful and transparent when it comes to painting a picture of what it is really like to work for your company.

Do be consistent
One or two posts occasionally on your company’s Instagram account is not going to cut it when it comes to smashing your employer brand. You need to be consistent and persistent. Building your employer brand takes time and patience so stick with it and be consistent.

Download The Recruitment Network Intro Pack

Find out more about The Recruitment Network and all we can offer you. Our free intro pack has all the information about the amazing value TRN offers, plus some fantastic content to help you improve your recruitment business.


Don’t blend in with the crowd
Shouting about the same things as the next company will not do you any favours. Think about being different to other companies and what you can offer that others cannot. What have you got that they don’t? Why would someone want to work for you, rather than a different company? Really put some thought into this and your current employees may well benefit as well as boosting your chances of attracting new talent.

Don’t mention your commission structure
You shouldn’t have to bribe people with money to get them to want to work for you. Good pay and remuneration is a must, as people need rewarding for their hard work, but the right kind of structure can also help build your business in the way you want by rewarding the right behaviours, which we talk in more depth about in our blog on commission structures in recruitment. There will always be someone with a bigger and better structure so don’t join this fight, focus on your employer brand to set your company apart from the rest.

Don’t confuse your employer brand with company brand
What your employees or potential employees are after is usually completely different to what your customers or clients are after. The reasons customers or clients buy from you is not necessarily the same reasons your employees want to come and work for you.

Don’t assume you know what your employees are thinking
Make sure you’re asking your employees for feedback on what you can do to improve. One thing is for sure, you shouldn’t assume you know what your employees are thinking. Just because staff turnover is low, this doesn’t always mean that the employer/employee relationship is healthy. Do turn this into a positive though and listen to your current employees. They will be the best ambassadors for your company if you get this right.

Don’t underestimate the impact of your employer brand
As we’ve mentioned before, employees and potential employees will form an opinion of your business whether you work on your employer brand or not, so it definitely should be paid some attention. Improving your employer brand has been shown to improve employee engagement which in turn can have a positive impact on your company’s financial performance and the external customer satisfaction.

One last thing…

The key thing to remember over all of that is that you continue to ask yourself one important question – ‘Why would someone want to work for me or our company?’
If you keep this in mind, while sticking to the do’s and don’ts you’ll be well on your way to employer branding success, keeping your current employees happy and engaged while attracting new talent who will fit right in and you don’t even have to buy that pricey pool table!

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.