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Faster, Better, Stronger with Toby Babb

Faster, Better, Stronger with Toby Babb

Written by James Osborne

Last edited May 3, 2023

Faster, Better, Stronger with Toby Babb

Door 12 of our #TRN Advent Calendar. We welcome Toby Babb of Harrington Starr asking the question will we see a seismic change to the recruitment industry in 2018?Will we see a seismic change to the recruitment industry in 2018? Will recruiters be disrupted by bots and tech? Is there still space to grow in recruitment?

There is a storm cloud looming over the sector in the form of an increased lean to in-house teams, a significant growth in digital and tech solutions and a challenging political and macro-economic climate. My belief is that, despite all of this, the recruitment industry is set to thrive in 2018 … but not everyone will win.

2018 will be a year where we need to be faster, better and stronger in order to thrive. Man must work with machine to find faster solutions for our customers. Recruiters will have to be better, providing a deeper level of understanding. Finally, we will need stronger relationships adding significantly more value.

Starting with FASTER, the world has shifted to mean that we expect, as consumers, instant gratification. Slicker design, quicker access to information, less waiting. All of these are essential in the new digital era. People need results and they need them fast. This is a huge opportunity for technology and a large reason why the industry comes under threat. That said, it also poses an extraordinary opportunity for recruiters to innovate and run with the machines. The “old school” who don’t like the admin of a CRM will suffer. Those embracing the opportunities that AI, Data, Digital, Video, Social and the like will be giving themselves a tremendous advantage. This will allow quicker sourcing, better service, more tailored searches and cut interview processes, time to hire, as well as delivering a whole medley of other efficiencies for the savvy recruiter and their customers.Technology alone, however, is not the answer to success in 2018 and beyond. Whilst it will be important to be faster in the race, we must, as an industry be BETTER. Better in our use of technology certainly, but absolutely better in our execution of the true term “consultant” in the recruitment process. My belief is that those who will thrive in the new era of recruitment will be those who provide genuine value. More information, more insight and a better and more professional quality to the work being done. Those at the centre of their communities will thrive. Those who walk in their customer’s shoes adding genuine value to their clients and candidates. Those who ask more and better questions with a true desire to understand the needs and pain points of their customers. Be that through content, social media, video or the plethora of other means available, the market is crying out for experts. We provide a truly exceptional product as an industry. A company is great because of its people and our job is to ensure our customers receive that excellence in service delivery. Adding value, providing brilliant basics with magic touches, driving best practice and having truly memorable and valuable conversations with our clients will be a must. The spray and pray merchants may suffer. Those who can genuinely consult on the market and help add real quality to teams and careers alike look set to thrive.

The final part of this troika is STRONGER. Recruitment is a game of relationships and whilst technology will provide algorithms to help make better choices, it is the ability to truly match based off detailed understanding and deep relationships with candidate and client alike that will provide the true differentiator. With Brexit putting additional premiums on rare to find skill sets (particularly in the area of technology for example) there will be an increasing skills gap and talent shortage. Those able to truly understand the client based off the strength of their relationship and also share similar strength of candidate partnership, will be able to add true value in the year ahead. We will see recruiters thrive who can consult, manage expectations and help companies shape their EVP really move forward as suppliers of choice.

I have spent the best part of twenty years now being fascinated by the recruitment industry. It is a cyclical beast which has moulded and adapted to a series of innovations and economic turns. From the late 90’s to today, despite a huge number of innovations and developments from the job board to LinkedIn, the one constant that has remained has been that relationships lie at the heart of the industry.

2018 will see a number of trends. We will see more technology, particularly around social media, AI and video. We will see continued ramping up of in house teams and RPO models. Finally, we will see companies adapt. We will see the industry improve. We will see recruiters thrive who can provide faster and more effective solutions. We will see the better consultants add true value to their customers and this will only drive the industry forward again. What will be the biggest innovation of 2018 in recruitment? A return to the fundamental skills that have for so long been at the kernel of the industry – relationships and understanding … with a side order of content and social thrown in for good measure!



Toby Babb is the CEO and Founder of Global Recruitment Leader Harrington Starr. Harrington Starr offer permanent, retained, interim, and contract solutions to over 400 of the leading companies in the world and many thousands of the globes most talented industry professionals. Covering Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, Prop Trading Houses, Exchanges, MTFs, Market Makers, Brokerages, Trading Companies, Vendors and Consultancies, the company is ideally suited to connect world class talent with world class opportunity.

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