Recruitment Agency Accelerated Growth Programme Launched for 2020!

PRESS RELEASE

Recruitment Agency Accelerated Growth Programme Launched for 2020!

 

Selling Success are delighted to announce the launch of their Recruitment Agency Growth Programme for 2020.

The three-month course, written by some of the UK’s leading recruitment experts has been designed to transform your professional life and maximise your profits.

For two days per month throughout February, March and April, the course will focus on the key elements for rapid recruitment growth by reviewing attendees’ own businesses, supported by ongoing coaching from course leaders.

The proven health-check diagnostics in the programme will identify:

      • Inhibitors to growth
      • Quick wins to increase profits
      • Optimal business operating models
      • Areas of under performance
      • Ways to raise productivity
      • Immediate ways to increase profitability

The course will take place near M3/M4 intersection, near London, easily reachable by public transport and the motorway network.

Lisa Redmore-Elliot, Operations Director at Nu Staff Recruitment who has worked extensively with Ian previously: “Ian assisted us in doubling our turnover in 24 months. What’s more important, he has helped us maintain our percentage gross margin and net profits.

“With stronger foundations, experienced employees and senior management team coupled with Ian Knowlson’s support, I am confident it will enable further growth with new staff for 2020.”

Course Leader Ian Knowlson looks forward to delivering this opportunity for recruitment business owners: “With so many evolving technologies, coupled with the high demand for skilled staff; there is an imminent need for recruitment. professionals with high skills to match the needs of today’s UK businesses.

“Competition in the talent market is fierce and only those who up-skill their staff to be excellent recruiters will achieve their high-growth potential.

“This programme is designed to produce a cohort of these highly-skilled professionals who will align their learning outcomes with the growth plans of their business.

“We look forward to welcoming recruitment professionals to the programme and seeing the growth they will undoubtedly achieve.”

For more information on this Accelerated Growth Programme, visit: https://course.sellingsuccess.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

Ian Knowlson Speaks at NPA Worldwide Conference in Cyprus

Ian Knowlson Speaks at NPA Worldwide Conference in Cyprus

 

This week Ian Knowlson is speaking at the NPA Worldwide Conference in Larnaca Cyprus.

NPAworldwide has been connecting independent global recruiting firms to facilitate split placements. NPAworldwide is the oldest recruiting network of its kind, with an international membership of recruiting firms located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas.

Ian will be presenting on speaking about – What will the world of employment and recruitment look like in 2020-2030? What changes are likely and unlikely? Will artificial intelligence and Bots replace everyone and everything? Will recruiters still have a job and if so what will that job look like?

Ian Knowlson will consider the plethora of industry reports and commentaries on the future of work and employment from such esteemed and notable personalities and organisations as Simon Sinek, Elon Musk, PWC, McKinseys, the REC and BIOR. He will discuss and help you draw conclusions on the future of employment 2020-2030.

 

With Ian you will start to make sense of the timeline ahead and how the landscape of employment/recruitment will change. You will start to understand which sectors are predicted to grow and which are forecast to decline. How this will impact both niche recruiters and large-scale global recruiters and the consequences that this will have for those of us planning to be working in the sector during this period.

So the delegates will be invited to join Ian and take a time machine into your future to see if it is one that fills you with dread and fear or wonder, awe and excitement.

Six Revolutions that changed Recruitment. What is next?

 

“Those who are unaware of history are destined to repeat it.”

When I started in the IT recruitment industry back in the early 1980’s, for a company called Myriad Appointments, it was a very different world. Before you could get a ‘job-on’ you had to sell the concept of using an agency to clients rather than them doing it for themselves.

All communication was via the phone or post. Finding and sourcing good candidates was key and running client branded advertising was the best way to attract them. This was how I made my money, selling multiple campaigns to Clerical Medical, British Aerospace, GEC, Plessey, Imperial Tobacco and many more. Happy days!

Over a coffee the other week I was asked by some young delegates on the course I was running ‘What have been the biggest changes in recruitment’. After a 30-minute discussion it occurred that this perspective might be useful to others.

So in chronological order:

OldFaxMachineMid 1980s – The Facsimile Machine: Machines to transmit messages had been around in the form of ‘telex’ and ‘telegram’ machines for years but the ability to photocopy a candidates CV or resume and send it to a client rather than sending it ‘snail mail’, changed how we in the industry sold our candidates and contractors.

It created urgency, and the ability to close clients with more immediacy. It changed how we canvassed, arranged interviews and confirmed interviews. It also changed how IT contractors were placed too.

Naturally as sales people we saw the advantages of a fax machine immediately and tried to convince our MD it would change our business forever and we’d sell more candidates. We did initially but like all good process changes our competitors caught up quickly.

Old MobileEnd 1980s-91 Mobile Phones – Again these had been around for years and I received my first mobile back in 1989 when I began establishing a new office in the North of England. It was a second hand one with the phone the size of a brick and a battery pack the size of four tins of baked beans. For others the big revolution came in the early 1990s with (2G) technology.

It gave us as consultants better access to candidates and clients especially during the day so interviews could be arranged during office hours rather than in the evenings or via cryptic calls to their work numbers.

We also could be contacted away from the office rather than using telephone boxes. Once again it increased speed of communication and theoretically made us more efficient. Like the fax machine the competitive advantage disappeared.

220px-IBM_PC_51501990 Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) – These came in around the end of the 1980s but really in earnest in the early 90s. IBMs Talent was one I used. They didn’t really change how we canvassed clients but enabled us to find and source candidates much quicker. We could do ‘key word’ searches on CVs and find people faster. ‘Buzzword’ Matching entered our jargon. Candidates and recruitment consultants alike filled their CVs with ‘Buzzwords’.

Candidates sadly learnt the hard way that ‘Not Interested in jobs in Bristol’ on a CV or covering letter resulted in hundreds of calls about ‘jobs in Bristol’.

Clients discovered through their own experience that just because an interviewees had ‘COBOL, CICS and DB2’ on their CV 15 times didn’t make them good at the role.

Sadly recruitment consultants buzzword matching and just sending anyone, became a common place. Prior to this as agents we could do this but we had to read the CV in the first place and work harder to find people so they tended to submit only the best. Measuring KPIs started to come in aggressively to counter act this.

These tools enabled uneducated agencies to ‘blitz’ their clients like a second world war AK-AK Gun with any CV that looked remotely like the spec.

Once again over time as everyone acquired these systems the advantage you had sourcing candidates disappeared though interestingly enough I still see companies with better ATS systems than others retaining that advantage.

emai mark1993 Electronic Mail – Again like the Fax machine before it this was seen as a way of revolutionizing the industry. The appearance of the CVs the client received was better. We could log and trace what we’d sent. Theoretically they weren’t lost. We could also prove we sent our CV before the other agencies and therefore claim the fee in disputes. All great stuff and once again we promised our directors we’d generate more fees when we had one and as early adopters we did but only whilst the advantage lasted.

When email was connected to an agencies ATS system the indiscriminate emailing of CVs became a reality on a scale clients could not imagine. SPAM arrived in the client’s inbox in bucket loads. Quantity replaced quality as some clients desperate to find certain skills rewarded these indiscriminate agents with fees. So they continued to do it despite the protests of the majority of customers.

0_271_406_http---offlinehbpl.hbpl.co.uk-news-OWN-BB088D66-C6A1-C3F8-555F043B4670CA791994 Deregulation and Contracting Out Act – Prior to this date there were barriers to entry into the recruitment industry. You had to demonstrate you were a fit and proper person, apply and be granted a licence, which took some days if not weeks. You were inspected by HMI regularly and there were supposedly rigorous controls. The Conservative Government abolished licences and except for the occasional court cases recruitment agencies were relatively unregulated.

Some may say this was not a good thing but it massively improved our economies ability to recycle unemployed workers.

My three to fours working in mainland Europe at the turn of the millennium taught me that and to this day the relatively deregulated UK Recruitment Industry is one of the primary reasons why our percentage unemployment levels are much lower than our European neighbours. Naturally Social Security Benefit levels provide the ‘stick’ to encourage people to accept work that is offered but that’s another debate.

with no barriers to entry agencies could set themselves up quickly. With our ATS’s we could identify candidates and with email secure an up to date CV and send it to a client rapidly. Mobile phones meant candidates and clients were accessible quicker. These were the boom years and recruitment became a major industry. Agencies sprung up everywhere and for every niche imaginable.

UnknownLate 1990’s Websites and 1999 Job boards – Tim Berners-Lee’s Internet Revolution of the 90s created the need for businesses to have their own presence on the web, ‘websites’ were born. It was seen as the future and the ‘Dotcom Boom’ came along bringing with it all sorts of businesses.

The answer to every recruiter’s prayers was ‘the job board’, Monster, Stepstone and Jobserve, all arrived and quickly captured the imagination of candidates and agents alike and took hold. Recruitment in the off-line press started to decline.

In 2000 a VNU Computing sales director told me Job Boards were not here to stay and they had no intention of entering the market. (I think his Dad rejected the Beatles as an average bunch of boys from Liverpool!)

Now all lazy recruitment agents had to do was find a job, post it on Jobserve, go home, come back in the morning and with the minimal of CV sifts, email the resulting response to their clients! More SPAM.

Until the recession of 2008 the average recruitment consultant lost the ability to ‘sell’ a complaint most recruitment directors I meet lament.

Whilst none of us wish to return to the ‘old days’ it did demand certain basic intercommunication skills be learnt in order for consultants to succeed.

Each of these changes has affected the industry we are all apart of. All revolutionised what we do and how we do it and few would dispute their impact.

In all cases the early adopters gained a competitive advantage and in some cases have gone on to be hugely successful, whilst those that were slow to adapt in most cases no longer exist. There is a lesson in there.

So what next?

For me there is another revolution happening today which is changing the face of recruitment forever.

what is social recruiting12013 Social Recruiting: Social Media is transforming the way we interact in our society today and with job board traffic in the main declining, most major off-line titles struggling, ‘Social Sourcing’ (the sourcing of candidates via social media) is going to be the key as we enter the impending Talent War. (For more info read this blog: Can You win the Global Talent War)

This is not the crude broadcast of your jobs continuously as though it was a revolving job board but the sharing of useful and engaging content that encourages prospective candidates to contact and engage with your business. Whilst this should be easy for the niche suppliers, I currently see no niche agency doing it successfully but would be delighted to be corrected.

Costa Coffee does it successfully with their clients and even steals from the competition. One of my contacts recently visited Starbucks in Liverpool on his way to work to buy his team teas and coffees and on discovering they had run out of tea tweeted it. Within 30 seconds of his tweet Costa Coffee responded that if he visited their store in Liverpool One they’d give him a tea for free. He did and guess where he now goes every morning for his beverages! Interestingly last I heard Starbuck never even responded to his tweet!

Many other leading brands do this too; Virgin; Pepsi, Network Rail just to name a few.

Do you think tomorrow we could see Adecco, for example, responding to an irate candidate’s tweet after attending an interview organised by another agency, for which they were badly matched. May be but I think not?

In the five sectors I highlighted recently in my blog (Top five recruitment sectors to be in for next 5-10 years) where the candidate is soon to be king, it will happen soon. Think about it a Subsea Engineer in oil and gas or a frustrated Nurse in healthcare tweeting their frustration would be very impressed if a competitor agent responded with another job almost immediately.

Let me know if you do it, I promise to write a follow up blog but only if you are happy for me to.

As I mentioned in my other blog Recruitment Agency MDs – Will you Adapt or Fail? Millennials (Generation-Y) totally live and communicate it this social media world. So if you wish to attract them in the future you need to learn to ‘social-source’.

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 16.09.37The other dimension of ‘social-sourcing’, which again most business have not woken up to, is that most of this activity takes place on mobile platforms. At Recruitment Expo this year Mike Taylor of Web-Based-Recruitment.com gave some interesting facts:

  • 75% of all mobile traffic is to Facebook
  • Amongst Millennials Twitter is overtaking Facebook as the preferred medium of communication
  • 8 out of 10 phones now sold in the UK are smartphones so it should be no surprise to Recruiters that so many job seekers are now expecting to be able to search and apply for a job using a mobile device.
  • According to Google, 1 in 5 of all job searches are carried out on a mobile device (source: 2012 Mobile Recruitment Conference)
  • Some of the leading UK job boards are now seeing 30% of their traffic come from a mobile device

The Mobile Recruiting Outlook Report issued by Simply Hired in January 2013 showed that:

  • 70% of job seekers had used mobile technology to look for a job.
  • 86% of job seekers would use mobile technology if there was an easy way to apply for a job.

However, the recent iMomentous Fortune 500 Mobile Readiness Report, showed that:

  • Only 33% of companies had a mobile careers section
  • Only 3% had a mobile apply function

Mikes own research showed that 94% of the FTSE 100 companies had a mobile enabled careers section on their website.

Mike has some more interesting facts which are worth checking out on his website.

So the recruitment industry has been through revolutions many times over the past thirty years. Each time it has changed and every time those that were too slow to adopt the new models disappeared.

By 2020 I predict that our industry will have transformed again and almost certainly several of the household industry names we know will either be no more or greatly reduced in size. ‘Social-Sourcing’ is going to be critical to businesses success yet so many don’t even have a Social media Strategy

It may seem incredible today but back in 1998 there were many agencies claiming they did not need a website. Only last year Morrison’s Supermarket saw its Christmas sales decline because they had no on-line shopping site.

As George Santayana says:

“Those who are unaware of history are destined to repeat it.”

My question is ‘Are you?’

Recruitment Agency MDs – Will you Adapt or Fail?

 

 

 

Was anyone apart from the board of directors of HMV or Blockbuster surprised when their businesses went into liquidation? I know I wasn’t and most people I have spoken too weren’t either.

After all technology changed the way their customers could purchase their products and both HMV and Blockbuster were slow to adapt their business models. When you can buy your music and video choices on-line why would we go to a shop unless they added value.

The same is true in the World of Recruitment. With technology increasingly making the sourcing of mainstream talent and resource easier, employers will not use agencies in the future unless they can supply their ‘product’ with an added value. Only where acute skill-shortages exists may agencies still have a role but only if they can source the best talent.

 

The burning question is with their existing business models will they be able to?

 

7788113_sIn my recent blog Third World War begins now I discussed how the scale of the ‘War on Talent’ is about to accelerate dramatically. I questioned whether recruitment agencies would be allies of corporate businesses or mercenaries but the choice agencies face is far starker than that.

 

What is at stake is their very survival.

 

The traditional recruitment agency’s business model has been set up around attracting candidates; contractors and temporary workers who predominantly come from the ‘baby-boomer’ (born pre 1964) and ‘generation-X’ (b1965-1981) age groups. Only now are they starting to engage the ‘Millennial Generation’ (also known as Gen-Y born after 1982 and started work since the millennium).

 

A lot has been written about this generation and if you have not read it you need to quick.

 

Millennials have very different expectations and attitudes to work and so they will increasingly make different demands in the way they engage with agencies and employers. In a future world with acute skill shortages, highly educated young talent will progressively become harder to find.  Sourcing these millennial candidates is therefore a must if any recruitment agency is to thrive.

 

In my Third World War Begins now blog many of you will remember that in the next two years ‘Millennials’ are set to become the dominant generation in the work place. This is going to come as a shock for many ‘Baby-boomers’ who as a generation, have dominated the workplace for over thirty years.

 

It’s a timely reminder in the week that she passed away that Margaret Thatcher’s reign _66808649_66808648coincided with the ‘baby-boomers arrival as the dominant generation in the UK workplace. It was a period of huge change in the UK and US both within work and society.

 

New management practices came in and the old large monolithic business hierarchy’s dismantled. The Baby-boomers readily embraced IT into mainstream corporate life which saw swathes of administrative and clerical functions computerised and abolished. They embraced the free market economy and entrepreneurial spirit, which the US & UK governments were so keen to unleash at that time.  Whether one was a product of the other is debateable but the ‘Young and upwardly mobile’ Yuppies certainly exploited the opportunity that in the UK, the Thatcher government created.

 

Similarly todays ‘Millennials’ are poised to have a major impact on the post 2015 world.

 

So what are the key areas that make ‘Millennials’ different?

 

Meaningful Engagement – Most research indicates that the millennial generation are unwilling to perform dry boring work. Kevin Sheridan, the Senior VP of Avatar HR Solutions (an organization that specializes in employee engagement and talent management.) recently told SHRM On-line.

 

“In a gargantuan difference between Baby Boomers and Gen Y, the latter set their career as one element within their life, not the single element that makes their life. Gen Y wants their job to provide personal fulfillment and support a positive work/life balance.”

 

Clearly the work they do has to have a value and meaning. As recruiters we will find it increasingly difficult to find young people to undertake boring, repetitive and tedious roles and certainly not doing over 45 hour shifts. Recruiters might need to think differently how they sell the jobs they are seeking to fill. Millennials will increasingly demand more job information before attending interviews.

 

Fearless and Intolerant – One of the main qualities that sets Millennials out from the rest of us is their fearlessness and intolerance.  If there is something they don’t like they will not suffer in silence. They will not bite the bullet, or get their head down and get on with it.

 

No, they will challenge it and if  unsuccessful they will simply walk.

 

Increasingly the skilled and educated ones will know that they can get another a job. As greater numbers of this generation have travelled the world they already know first-hand that there are many countries where they can get work, Australia, China, Brazil, Russia the Middle East to name just a few.  Employers and agencies seeking to control Millennials with the fear of unemployment will simply find it ineffective.

 

calijody-interior

Flexibility – Millennials demand working environments, which are flexible. They will not work rigid 9-5 days. They will demand the flexibility to complete their tasks when and where it suits them. Employer’s business models will therefore need to reflect this desire including recruitment agencies own models.

 

Already a great many global companies who are aware of this are migrating to operating models where employees are evaluated on performance rather than presence. The ROWE (Results only Work Environments) is one of these such environments. Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson are the Founders of CultureRx and creators of the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) and their site is worth a read. This model will not work for every industry and there will be a need for some people to work core hours but entire workforces working rigidly will be a thing of the past.

 

Dynamic Environments – Stayed and monotone working environments will not appeal to Millennials they demand change. They also have low attention spans and will rapidly move on if the work isn’t stimulating and challenging. They are not afraid of tough challenges and will strive for ambitious goals. So recruiters when taking briefs you need to check how stimulating the work is otherwise your refund clauses could be used a lot more frequently that you might like. Money is not their primary motivator in making career choices.

 

Recognition and Management – Millennials crave feedback, instant reaction and gratification. They will not wait for annual appraisals they have been brought up on social technology and are accustomed to getting frequent responses. They will not suffer pretentious and insincere fools as managers. ‘Authentic and honest’ superiors whose knowledge they can respect is what they seek. 1970s and 80s autocratic leadership founded on hierarchy and status will not work. If your clients operate this way prepare to find them very difficult to recruit for.

 

Diverse, Fun loving Team Players – Millennials like most of us are fun loving at heart and for them work is not supposed to be an austere place. They will expect to work in multi-cultural and multi-disciplined teams with other workers who have knowledge they can respect and learn from. When attracting candidates your techniques and approaches need to reflect this.

BYOD

Technology Sensitive – If your clients are luddites and do not embrace new technology then Millennials will shun them. Filling jobs where employers shy away from investing in the latest and most efficient technology will see the Millennials leave. BYOD ‘Bring your own Device’ employers are expected to become the norm. Agencies that employ old methods of applicant attraction, which do not embrace the latest technology, will also see themselves lose out too.

 

To this end Social Media is therefore the most effective way to engage them.

 

This is the battleground recruitment agencies are already losing. The Millennials, who seeking ‘meaningful engagement’ are connecting with employers who are already ahead of the curve. Astute and forward thinking corporate HR departments are aware of these demographic and social changes and are reshaping their businesses to accommodate them. They are also learning to leverage their corporate brands to recruit and attract the best talent using In-house/Direct Sourcing team.

 

Like Network Rail, who at the CIPD conference in Manchester this year, outlined how they had used Facebook very successfully to hire virtually their entire 2013 apprentices, businesses are creating and cultivating their own talent pools not by tweeting incessantly that they have vacancies but by placing meaningful and highly relevant and interesting Unknowncontent into a Facebook Group.

 

A move to in-house recruitment at Network Rail has saved the company 85 per cent in hiring expenditure, the CIPD’s annual conference in Manchester has heard.


The reduction in recruitment agency fees has seen costs per hire drop from an average of £3,500 to £500 in five years, said Adrian Thomas, head of resourcing at the rail maintenance firm. The company – which employs 35,000 people – externally hires or internally promotes around 10,000 people a year.


Now, 73 per cent of external recruitment is done through direct resourcing, with only 7 per cent fielded out to agencies, delegates were told.


The majority of candidates were now generated through a revamped careers website, explained Thomas. Other initiatives included a specially designed Facebook forum for the Network Rail apprenticeships scheme, which generated 6,000 applications for the 200 places on offer, he added.


 

Other companies are similarly using YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn to post relevant and domain specific videos, articles, case studies and industry news for their target audiences to feast on. Only once their core following is established do they start to post jobs news into it. Like good farmers they spend hours preparing the soil before planting the seeds.

 

This is nothing that niche agencies in IT, Oil and Gas, Engineering, Biotech or Nursing couldn’t do but they choose not to. It requires patience and investment without immediate returns. Sadly for the agencies however by the time the industry accept the returns are there it may be too late. Agencies will have lost the high ground and the commercial advantages that go with it.

So MD’s will your businesses also go the way of HMV and Blockbuster or do you have the courage to start to change now. As Network Rail demonstrates there are models out there that work.

Globally the number of people under the age of 30 now exceeds 50% of the world’s population.  Somewhere between 2014 and 2015 the Millennials will become the dominant generation in the workplace. The time to change is upon you.

The War for Millennial Talent has begun. The only question is do you have the courage and wisdom to triumph?