Why I Love Recruiting

Why I love Recruiting

Recruiting is so often misunderstood and misinterpreted and is incredibly hard to do well. Friends, family and past co-workers have often asked me; Why do you still do it?

Well thanks to a spur on by RecruitingBlogs I have finally put it down in words, Why I Love Recruiting. Its important to share what’s to love about our job with all the negativity around, so I hope this inspires some people and demonstrates to others why it can be a great profession to be in and stick at…

Two words: ‘PEOPLE’ and ‘BUSINESS’.

PEOPLE: There is nothing that fascinates me more, never has been, never will be. My job, especially as I’m also a business leader, is 100% about people. My clients are people, my talent are people, my employees are people and my services and solutions are all people focussed.

People are intriguing, frustrating, passionate, annoying, fun, boring, clever, dumb, irrational, rational, strong, weak, single minded, pliable, emotional, passive, dominant, detailed, sloppy, fearful, fearless, intuitive, blind (not in seeing sense), knowledgeable, well read, narrow minded, interesting, aggressive, friendly, desperate, cynical, angry, happy, caring, selfish…and the list goes on.

I am responsible and accountable for making sure that within this mix I introduce the right people to each other, keep them interested as they ‘date’, manage all the delicacies of their individualisms and the process they go through and then make sure they are happy thereafter. Now to do that well is a challenge. It’s varied. It’s a journey and it has its ups and downs, highs and lows. No other job I can think of would deal with people in such a concentrated way.

BUSINESS: Other than People, here is nothing that interests me more than Business. I get to see and listen to businesses and the people that make them every day. I get to learn about what works, what doesn’t, what’s new, what’s old, issues, solutions and everything in between. I get to see them grow and develop and become all they can become. I’m privy to insights and inside thoughts from the grad to the CEO.

I am responsible for listening so I truly understand them and the people in them. I then get to introduce people into them and watch them all grow and benefit from this introduction.

Both the above can be thankless, painful, political and difficult tasks but it is satisfying in ways I cannot begin to describe (you really have to live it to understand) when it all works.

I love recruitment because I love people and their differences, and businesses and their challenges.

I love recruitment because it pays me to be involved with people in one of the most important aspects of their lives, their careers and their businesses. I get paid to do what I love. Corny, maybe, conveniently truthful – absolutely!

Do what you love. When you love your work, you become the best worker in the world.
Uri Geller


Going ROWE: The Final Step!

This is the final part of the ROWE interview I did, on our final session of the ROWE migration. I explained what happened in Culture Clinic and what it feels like to goROWE!

So, the big day arrived and there was quite a buzz about the office! It was clear from the chatter stemming around the excitement for the Culture Clinic session and knowing we were about to fully goROWE!

After reflecting on the Sludge session, the 3 impediments (judgment, beliefs, and time), and the 13 ROWE Guideposts, it was good to hear that there was no Back Sludging (that nasty talk behind each other’s back). However, we realized all the Sludging was internalized. The team contributed willingly to share their Sludge-Fessions and the atmosphere was one of relief knowing “we are all in this together.”

“I really realised in the migration meetings what a huge change this was going to be. I got some flutters of excitement about how life was going to change, and I also noticed colleagues feeling the same thing – working through those sessions really drummed in that this wasn’t just a flexible working policy, but a concept and perception change to the way we view work”. –  Principal Consultant

We are going through a particularly busy time at the moment in Singapore and as Asia leads the world out of this recession, we are at the forefront of helping that happen for businesses from a Technology, Media, and Communications Talent perspective. Fundamentally, we are growing which means looking at potential new office solutions in Singapore, opening an office in Hong Kong for clients in North Asia and China, finding the best Consultants to join us across the board and, of course, implementing ROWE and looking at solutions such as WorkSimple. These were just a few of the projects on top of running sales & operations for SEA in the here and now! So with ROWE in mind, I applied myself to arranging my days and evenings around getting the RESULTS I needed whilst still keeping an exercise routine (which was important as I had just come back from a long illness), seeing my wife, and enjoying life (huh, shock horror hey!). As it turned out, this often meant working the first part of the day from home and then going into the office to focus on activity in the city.

As an example, I am happy to share my own Sludge-Fessions. My Sludging came from the pit of my stomach. I am sadly my own worst Sludger. The team was great and as they shared Sludge-Fessions, sharing mine greatly helped me. The work I got done at home in the morning was tenfold – as it was done without distraction. However, the guilt was there every day. Despite being frantically and effectively busy at home, I began to feel nauseous as the time in the morning moved on – I had to get into work! What were people thinking? What if a client didn’t reach out to me on my mobile? What if they couldn’t see me on Skype? Guilt and fear drove me to pack up and move into the office at a time when it broke my flow. This may seem silly to you reading this, but I guarantee you, if you were brought up with a strict ideology around punctuality and then worked in a strictly timed office environment all your life, no matter how progressive and liberal you might think you are, the internal feelings you have when you go ROWE will completely surprise you!

After a short break, we moved onto the 2 games – “The Feud” and “Do Something Scary”. Both were really instrumental in the mind shift. For The Feud, we split into two teams – girls vs. boys. The girls kicked butt! Although in a fantastically cheesy way, I can say everyone won. Once we had gone through the Scary cards and wrapped up, everyone felt nervous but ready.

“We’ve always been told that the business is our business and with ROWE, it actually feels that way now. It’s amazing what happens when we take away ‘GOING TO WORK’ and switch it to ‘DOING WORK’ instead.”  – Senior Consultant

The old way of working 9-5, five days a week in a cubicle were officially behind us. There were still elements of fear, worry, anxiety etc held by all in varying degrees about what would happen and how we would cope, but that’s always the case with something new. That is the lizard brain (to borrow from Seth Godin) – fear of the unknown – and our lizard brains are quieted – we ship! We ROWE!!! 

Why Candidates Take up New Jobs

This is a subject of discussion that holds benefits for both sides of the hiring fence, attraction and retention. It is fundamentally important for us to have a deep understanding of what will attract people into a company as it also tells us what will retain people. Whilst obviously not exclusive to digital, as experts in this field and as it exists as a rare talent base, it was a focus of our research.

We recently conducted a 3 month survey to all our contacts that addresses this very question. Interestingly the results were as follows:

  • More senior/challenging role – 47%
  • Better working environment – 35%
  • Better salary – 12%
  • Chance to work for a better know company – 6%

These results are refreshing and should hopefully give faith to managers and employees alike that the focus must always be on the role, development and environment. It also backs up our previous article that counter offers are not productive. Throwing money at the solution is a band-aid and benefits neither party in the long term. Also, even in countries where money is currently more desirable, it is not eternally sustainable – at some point cost margins will outgrow the rate of desired profit margin.

The biggest motivation to move, with nearly half all respondents’ vote, was the opportunity for a more senior role, with candidates also citing other similar reasons such as “opportunity to make a bigger contribution” and “opportunity for growth in expertise”. This poses two challenges for employers. Firstly it raises the problem of how to retain employees, so they don’t feel the need to move elsewhere to develop their careers; and secondly how to attract talent to new openings within the company.

In this regard, to retain talented staff, as an employer you need to think about regularly promoting internally, and providing opportunities for training and development. This is especially important in the current market, where economic recovery and the start of the new year has meant an increase of movement in the job market, as candidates start re-evaluating their current situation.

Similarly if you are an employer looking to attract talent, you need to think about creating challenging roles with opportunity for development. To attract good candidates, candidates will need to see your vacancy as a step up from where they are at right now. If candidates already tick all the boxes for your role, and don’t get a chance to gain new skills and responsibilities, they may start looking to move on again very quickly.  Perhaps try taking a candidate with only 80% of the hard skills/experiences you are ideally looking for, so that the role will challenge them.  This is definitely not a recommendation to take on under-capabable new hires, but if they have the core soft skills and attributes needed, offering candidates a chance to rise to a challenge can reap huge benefits in engagement and retention, demonstrating to candidates from the very start that you are thinking about how they can progress their career with you. This is particularly helpful when dealing with a scarce talent pool such as digital

The second biggest motivation to make a career move was a better working environment. It is interesting to note that the above two reasons make up over 80% of the vote! A better salary or the chance to work for a well known company appears to motivate candidates less than the lure of a better working environment, at any company, whether they are well known or not. Especially where wage differentials may be small, greater flexibility at work and extra benefits are excellent ways for employers to position themselves above their competitors in attracting and retaining the right candidates. Considering the high costs of recruiting, hiring and training a newly hired candidate, providing a superior working environment not only allows companies to have consistency in their workforce but removes the added cultural and financial strains of regular turnover. In fact, replacing one experienced employee who earns $60,000 a year can cost a company twice that amount in replacement costs.

Engagement is the hot topic for this year but I caution any ‘casual’ approach to this field as employees see through it.

One way in which we offer a better working environment to employees is by operating a ROWE – Results Only Work Environment. To find out more about ROWE or any ideas and concepts in this article please feel free to Robert Fanshawe (Group MD) for a confidential discussion