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RECRUITER IMPRINT Practical, real-world insights that enable Recruiters and Employers to make a mark on their sector, as the providers and employers of choice.

REPUTATION MANAGEMENT: Are recruiters doing enough to defend agency fees and executive pay?

Also in this issue: KNOW YOUR COLOURS: Why recruiters need to build their own employer brand (or risk losing the war for recruitment talent) RECRUITMENT MARKETING: Why a change in thinking is required MAKING AN ENTRANCE: Three recruitment start ups on building their brand and getting their name 'out there'

EVENTS - PR for Recruiters seminar series I BOOKS - Best reads to help you get ahead


Asia Biz Increase in number of established businesses in SEA

The Perfect Mix The method of choosing the right people for the workplace.

Issue No. 5 | June 2017

IT'S A CROWDED MARKETPLACE 12,000 new recruitment businesses have registered with Companies House since 2014. Is your recruitment agency brand strong enough to stay a step ahead?


There's more to PR and Marketing than press releases and adverts... public relations internal communications corporate communications social media management thought leadership content case studies white papers and reports blog content website copywriting events seminars conferences surveys video branding and re-branding media training web development marketing literature newsletters publishing (you're reading one of our magazines right now!)







RECRUITER IMPRINT WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? We’re passionate about what we do and whom we do it for. And we love sharing our knowledge and experience of building and promoting recruitment brands. That’s is why we produce this magazine. Recruiter imPRint is the only publication of its kind that is dedicated to providing recruiters with insights to better promote their agency or search firm. Published by ClearlyPR, the recruitment marketing and employer branding agency for the UK, we’re great believers in collaboration. So if you’re looking for new ideas to create more effective ways for communicating what your agency is all about, we hope Recruiter imPRint will prove to be an invaluable resource for you.

EDITOR'S NOTE By Paul MacKenzie-Cummins,

The June/July edition of Recruiter imPRint was only our second run of the magazine and we were delighted at how well received it was by the market. The feedback was excellent and even the odd one or two negative comments were warmly received – of course our first reaction was to mutter “Eejits” under our breaths.

CONTACT US Published by ClearlyPR Limited CONTACT London: 49 Greek Street, London W1D 4EG 0203 856 8000 Cardiff: 2nd Floor, Unit 5 Stangate House, Stanwell Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan CF64 2AA 0292 070 6680 Web: 2016 ClearlyPR

But upon reflection what was said actually helped and sparked some great ideas for various articles that you will see included in this, our Third Edition. The September issue is bigger than its two predecessors. There are more articles and insights, and there are more superb contributors from within the recruitment industry itself, including the straight talking yet equally captivating and hugely inspiring Greg Savage. We’re thrilled to welcome Greg’s contribution to this edition. Recruiter imPRint is all about you – the recruiters, the recruitment business leaders and recruitment entrepreneurs. Each article is aimed at helping you to better position your agency as a go-to provider in your space and that’s why we are always welcoming of any ideas you have for future articles. Hey, if you want to contribute an article of your own then great! So take a look at what we have to offer you this month and I hope there are a few nuggets in here that you can take away and use to make a difference in your agency. Enjoy!












REPUTATION MANAGEMENT: ARE RECRUITERS DOING ENOUGH TO DEFEND AGENCY FEES AND EXECUTIVE PAY? Like it or not, recruiters get a bad rap. Sometimes it is justifiable; after all, who hasn’t heard of a recruiter who has done something so outlandish that it makes your toes curl? But the negativity extends to two

other notable areas – both of which are defendable (as I will argue here), yet both see recruiters fumble their lines when they attempt to defend the reasons why the two states of affair exist. We’re talking why recruiters charge what they do in fees, and how they can justify executive pay – something that many

by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins Editor

“Whether someone gets paid £100k or £1 million is down to one simple equation: Is the business financially in a better or worse position with that person in place?”

perceive to be wildly out of control. So let’s start with the latter: executive pay. The last 12 months has seen a wave of high profile corporate executives make the headlines over their remuneration. Shareholders at the likes of WPP, Sky and BP have been up in arms in a collective expression of investor fury and ‘buyers remorse’ over how much Messrs Sorrell, Darroch and Dudley were being paid, whether through salary or performance related bonuses. And over the last few months, the BBC has faced growing pressure from a group of MPs calling for the broadcaster to publish the names of all high-earning employees.

In this case, the issue seems more to be a political witch hunt from a group of MPs with little to gain other than ruffling a few feathers and feeding the tabloids with a few juicy tidbits, and less about defending levels of pay from a disgruntled board of shareholders…which of course, being a publically-funded body, the BBC does not have. So how can recruiters stave off criticism over how much senior executives are compensated? To me, the answer is simple: Whether someone gets paid £100k or £1 million is down to one simple equation: Is the business financially in a better or worse position with that person in place? If they can be seen to significantly impact the bottom line, then their salary by comparison becomes irrelevant. Take the case of Thomas Cook. The travel operator was on the verge of bankruptcy until the company appointed a new CEO, Harriet Green. Within 24 months of taking on what was probably her greatest career challenge to date, Green had brought the company back from the edge to return a profit. Such was her impact on the business that when she announced her decision to leave in 2014, the share value of Thomas Cook dropped by £400 million overnight. And how much was she paid? £3 million – a mere 133-times less than her perceived worth. Alexandre de Juniac is another great example. When the CEO of Air France-KLM announced his plans this April to leave the business, the share price of one of Europe’s largest airlines dropped by 8.6% – €2.4bn. So when we consider figures like this, the argument against top executives being paid the big bucks becomes a difficult one to argue, but an easy one to sell. When it comes to justifying the fees that agency’s charge for each successful placement made, the same explanation applies. There is no doubt that if a search

firm was used to place Green with Thomas Cook or de Juniac with Air France-KLM, their 30-50% placement fees represented a significant return on those employers’ recruitment investment. And that’s the key here – showing the ROI of the work that recruiters actually do.

copies of the press coverage…you get the point. What may seem a simple sheet of paper is actually a project in itself – it can take as little as four or five hours to complete, or as much as a full working day, or sometimes more.

I recently interviewed a recruitment firm, and one of the greatest challenges they said the industry faces is the way it communicates with clients the methodologies used to help them find the right candidate for the right role. Strip back the hyperbole, they said, and instead focus on selling the features of what you do and the benefits the clients receive in return.

Whether an executive or a recruiter is paid too much or too little is irrelevant and the entire debate over this misses the point entirely of why they get paid what they do.

We have the same issue in public relations, where many people question the fees that are charged in our field. Some clients still think that a press release should take no time at all to complete; after all, how long does it take to write a single page of A4 and send it off to a few journalists, right? Err, wrong. First, we have to research the story, get quotes from the senior management team, check the facts, make sure the story has relevance to what is trending in the media right now, draft the press release, make whatever changes the client wants, compile a list of suitable publications to send it to, find the email addresses and phone numbers of those journalists we want to send it to, send it, follow it up, supply whatever additional information a journalist needs, obtain

It’s simply down to ROI – if the executive delivers the results the business needs and the recruiter has been the key facilitator in procuring that executive talent in the first place, the amount that either party is paid becomes a misnomer. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the cost of a mis-hire can range from £12,000 (yes that is the minimum estimate they state) to £28,000 or more. The question then becomes one of Can we really afford to offset that loss? rather than Can we justify paying a 15% commission on a £30,000 salary? Well, if they do the maths, that 15% is just £4,500 – I know what I would rather pay. RI

“Strip back the hyperbole and instead focus on selling the features of what you do and the benefits the clients receive in return.”

GREG SAVAGE You must be a better version of yourself to thrive as a recruiter in 2016. But how? Well, start with these seven crucial action points.

Read Greg's blog: Follow him on Twitter: @greg_savage

1. Reincarnate yourself as a born-again ‘digital native’ Kill off all your fears, reservations and wimpish paradigms about being too old to learn new technologies. Go the other way. Enrol in courses. Make it your business to be part of the ‘digi-rati’. Find a ‘reverse mentor’, a ‘young-un’ in the office who can show you the digital ropes. Sign up to social. You need to do this. Now.

conscious decision every time you are about to type an email. “What outcome am I looking for here and what is the best way to achieve that outcome”. If an email will get the result, fine. But maybe the phone is the medium that will give you the best chance of encouraging a reluctant candidate to go to an interview that you know she will love once she gets there. Or indeed, a text might spark a response from that great temp you need to start with your best client tomorrow. And you know what? Maybe a coffee meeting is the best forum for a nuanced conversation with your $200,000 candidate considering a counter-offer.

2. Use your ‘neck-top’ more than your laptop

3. Build your personal digital brand

In fact, commit to making a

Let me be direct. Stop effing

around on this. Learn how to use LinkedIn to build your brand. And Twitter. And blogging. You need to be seen as different. A thought-leader in your space. If that’s too grandiose for you to stomach, at least be a recruiter with something helpful and insightful to say! We have to market ourselves differently ladies and gentlemen - mindless cold calls aren’t going to do it anymore. ‘Social’ is not a ‘fad’, or a ‘task’, or a ‘project’. You have to embed social in your everyday recruitment activities. You need to become a ‘talent magnet’, and your brand will be the way to do it. 4. Reinvent yourself as a ‘skills hunter’ You can’t recruit someone unless you find them first. The best candidates will not come to you. You need to identify them. The skills required here include research, online search, lead generation, legal hacking and data-analytics. This is all about being proactive, aggressive and smart about identifying hard-to-find candidates. It involves digital sourcing, phone sourcing and active social sourcing, where you use social sites as a database of candidates that you target and hunt down. 5. Hone your seduction skills Finding someone online is just the beginning, and frankly that is the easy part. Recruiting is about engaging with that person in a sophisticated way. We can’t just spam them with Inmails — the tactic de jour for so many lazy recruiters. That is old school and increasingly ineffective. Engagement is now a seduction, a romance.

"‘Social’ is not a ‘fad’, or a ‘task’, or a ‘project’. You have to embed social in your everyday recruitment activities."

It must be tailored to each target recruit, and requires the ability to create interest, to craft a message that will get a response, to qualify prospects and crucially the ability to phone-source and all the nuances that this much underestimated skill-set involves. 6. Fix your candidate interaction The future of recruitment is about candidates. Skills shortages will take care of that. Traditional sourcing channels will become less effective. Referrals, recommendations and repeats will be a major source of unique candidates for you, but only if you understand ‘moments of truth’ in the candidate experience. Start with this very simple candidate care charter. 95% of you won’t be able to stick to it. 7. Commit to a year, indeed a career, of continuous learning Sure, many of the skills you learned early in your recruitment career, will always remain valid. But new skills, technologies, channels are emerging all the time. You have to stay on the edge. Constantly beta-testing, and

"Stop effing around...You need to be seen as different. A thought-leader in your space."

refreshing your skill-set. You own your career. No one else is going to have sleepless nights about your career. You are never ‘done’ as a recruiter. There are always new and better ways. Seek them out.

Seven simple, but critical steps towards becoming the modern recruiter you need to be. RI

WHY TAKING TIME OUT OF THE BUSINESS WILL MAKE YOU MORE CREATIVE IN IT Britain is synonymous with having a long working-hours culture, but research shows that this is not only having a detrimental impact on our ability to create sound business ideas that can make our organisation’s more competitive it is making us unproductive too. A recent study carried out by the Institute of Directors and Land Rover, in conjunction with the renowned occupational psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper, found that almost half (48%) of all business leaders are at their most creative when they are at home or on the move (18%). Just 3% said they were most creative while at the office. Of the 900 UK, US and China business leaders who took part in the study, 64% of respondents stated that ‘Being comfortable’ was the most important condition for creative thought, followed by

‘Having time to think’ (61%) and ‘Not feeling stressed’ (41%). However, when asked ‘While on the move, what work do you actually do most of?’, 40% of business leaders put ‘creative thinking’ top but ‘catching up on emails’ ranked a close second at 39%. Professor Cooper said: “The trend is for bosses to almost feel they need to justify their large salaries by being available 24/7, when the justification should be the value they add to their business.” Indeed, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published the results of a report that looked at the number of hours worked against the productivity

18 of nations. They found that the fewer the number of hours worked, the more productive a nation or organisation – becomes. Of the G7 nations, the UK is ranked…you guessed it…seventh. In contrast, the nation that has the lowest number of hours during the working week (35 hours) is also the strongest both economically and in terms of productivity – that country being Germany. “Companies don’t think about creative space,” says Professor Cooper. But “they need it to unwind…to de-stress, to think and to be creative.” Executives, he says, are spending too much of their time firefighting and replying to emails rather than focusing on the next great idea. We see this all too often. Many of the clients we speak to have wanted to do PR for some time. But because their focus was increasingly being spent working in rather than on their business, PR was put on the back-burner until they could afford some ‘thinking time.’ Trouble is that as your business grows so does the pressure to maintain that resolute focus. It isn’t until you raise your head above the parapet and see what your competition is doing with their PR before the need to take action becomes less of a nice-to-have and more of a RI

“The trend is for bosses to almost feel they need to justify their large salaries by being available 24/7, when the justification should be the value they add to their business.”

Know your colours Recruiters need to work on their own employer brand and what it represents, to ensure they remain competitive (or else lose their own war for agency talent). by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins | Editor

Business Review stated that businesses with an out dated or unclear employer brand “miss out on opportunities to attract the next generation of talent”, and often have to offer potential new employees an extra 10% on their salary to ensure they secure the talent they really want.

The recent publication of figures obtained from Companies House stated that almost 3,000 new recruitment businesses were established in the first six months of 2016. This, along with the 9,100 agencies registered between 2013-2015, means that the total number of new entrants to the market over the last two-anda-half years stands at over 12,000, with recruiters now needing to work harder than ever to position themselves as the employer-of-choice as well as the agency-of-choice. The recruitment sector has never been so strong. With the latest REC Jobs Outlook reporting that almost 9 out of 10 [87%] of UK employers plan to increase their permanent headcount over the next three months, both the short-term and long term prospects for the sector look healthy. However, the surge in new players starting up means that recruiters are not only vying with each other when it comes to clients and candidates, they are also competing in the battle to attract the best consultants too. Having a strong employer brand in their own right is critical to their agency’s long-term success. Research published by Harvard

It is simple: if you’re not an attractive proposition, you won’t attract the talent you need to realise your agency’s business objectives. Ironically, resolving a poor employer brand is a more cost-effective solution issue than pouring money into the hiring process. There are four key reasons why some recruitment agencies have a poorer employer brand than others: 1. Complacency: Too many agencies continue to trade on former glories when they were once leaders in their space, but have since lost their lead and have been overtaken in recent times. As such, their employer brand is looking dated and to a degree, lazy. 2. ‘Now’ mentality: The focus is on delivering immediate returns in the form of sales with little consideration for how the agency is really perceived outside the confines of its four walls. 3. Little sign of a staff development plan in place: Top talent is not nurtured, so those who could be developed as future leaders of the business are seen as little more than commodities rather than assets. Retention levels are low and the top talent leave to join other agencies that offer genuine career progression opportunities. 4. Terrible promoters: Recruiters


are by and large terrible at promoting themselves in the right way. They think that populating their Twitter feeds and LinkedIn posts with jobs is how to reach out to their target market in the most effective way. Showing off how many assignments are being worked is akin to a politician boasting about how many new voters they have gained – no one really cares. If you struggle to recruit for your agency, you first need to understand why that is. In doing so, you will then be able to develop a compelling employee value proposition that will help you attract the right talent for the right roles and retain the top talent you already have. Recruiters no longer have the luxury to cherry-pick the candidates they want. We’re in a ‘sellers’ market now, one where it is the candidate who holds the trump card rather than the buyers (the employers). We have to think of recruitment agency branding like a fashion brand - the design should be appealing but the actual fit should be surprisingly better. As a recruitment marketing and employer branding agency we have seen a steady rise over the last two years in the number of recruitment businesses taking a hard look at themselves to ask, ‘Does our brand really represent us as a business, does it enable us to compete in our market and attract the best candidates to work for us?’ Well, does it? RI

"We have to think of recruitment agency branding like a fashion brand - the design should be appealing but the actual fit should be surprisingly better." This article also appeared in The Global Recruiter, Recruitment International, Recruitment Agency Now, and OnRec (August 2016)


Short of printing a copy and adding it to your clippings file that lies in the reception area for visitors to read, why not look to get some more mileage from it?

create two or three separate posts – the destination of the link will remain the same but the reason why people got there in the first place will be different each time.

Here are six key ways to ensure that your media coverage works that little bit harder for you.

Also, if the subject matter is not too time sensitive, there is no reason why you cannot re-post it in the days and weeks following publication date. We still post an article that our managing director featured on The Guardian’s website, because the subject matter (crisis management) is constantly in the public domain with interest levels consistently high.

1. Post on social media – frequently: Posting a link to your coverage across each of your social media platforms is an obvious way to boost awareness, but if all you are doing is simply copying the article title into the post itself then you are limiting the number of times you can promote this new content. Take two or three key points from the article itself and use these to

2. Include links in your email signature: How often do you send emails to your customers, prospects or suppliers – quite often we expect, yes? Include a link to your

most recent media coverage in your email signature so they can see that you are a business which not only has its finger on the pulse of what is happening in your industry, but you are also respected by the media representing that industry too. 3. Add it to your company newsletter: If you are a large enough company to have an internal staff newsletter, then include the latest media coverage in the next issue. Internal communications are critical to ensuring that staff remain motivated and better engaged with the organisation. Keep them updated on what the business is doing and share all the coverage you get – it is incredible how excited employees get when they know their employer is making the news…providing it is for all the right reasons of course! 4. Add it to your corporate newsletter too: Don’t exclude your other key stakeholders – those outside of the business, such as customers, prospects, suppliers and investors.

As a PR firm, one of the most powerful ways that we win new clients is that we don’t just provide examples of PR coverage that we secure for our clients, but also the coverage we generate for ourselves too. We practice what we preach and clients like that, just like your clients will be interested in seeing you in the media they read too. Moreover, it provides them with confidence that they are dealing with the right company who really is at the forefront of their sector. 5. Target industry events: Every industry will be served by a number of expos and conferences, where the great and the good of that sector congregate to hear, listen and learn all about the latest key developments within their industry. No doubt you will already be familiar with many of them, but have you considered speaking at these events. Perhaps you have tried to secure a speaker opportunity but not had much luck? This is where you can leverage

"Whilst you cannot approach a competitor publication, you can re-purpose that content and tailor it to the media in question."

your media coverage. Event organisers want the best people in that industry to speak at their events; after all, it is the credibility of the speakers that gets the people through the doors! Get in touch with the organisers, set out your stall and share examples of the media where you have appeared. This boosts your credibility in their eyes and gives them greater confidence that you could be a great speaker to have on board. 6. Target similar publications: Whilst you cannot approach a competitor publication to the one in which you have appeared and offer the same articles or quotes, you can re-purpose that content and tailor it to the media in question. For example, we worked with a client on a specific story that got coverage in The Telegraph. We then took the same story but modified it for a different audience – the Daily Mail in this instance – and pitched that publication separately. The story was essentially the same but because we understood that the Daily Mail would be more interested in a certain aspect of the main story that was different to what The Telegraph’s readers would be more drawn to, we went in on that angle. It worked; it’s simply a case of understanding your audiences and ensuring you ‘speak’ to them in the right way! RI


START UPS: YOUR TIME IS NOW Working for a well-known and established agency can open many doors, but when successful billers opt to go it alone they no longer have a ‘name’ to fall back on. Instead, they need to work a little harder to ‘sell’ themselves by building trust, establishing new working relationships and raise their profile under their new identity. To do this and do it well recruiters need to remember why they started out in the first place and why they believe their approach to recruitment is different to their competitors. That means understanding your USPs and more important, know how to use them to win you more new business. The good news is that many recruiters are terrible at promoting themselves – lack of time, lack of understanding of how social media or blogs work, or a lack of ability to

write (and write well). But whether you like it or not you need to get on board with promoting your business. After all, you are working in an industry that is seeing more and more new agencies opening their doors every month employment levels are rising, billings are at their highest in 10 years, and agency owners are investing in building their businesses like never before. Indeed, according to figures published recently and obtained under a freedom of information request, 4,000 new agencies were registered in 2014. In 2015, 5,100 more were registered as new businesses and 3,000 were registered in the first six months of 2016; that's around 12,000 new recruitment businesses entering the market in less than three years. Of course, not all of those registered

will have gone on to become operational, but the majority will have done so. Over the next few pages you will read the stories of three recruitment business owners who have set up within the last two years. They share with us the challenges they have faced and the most effective ways they have found to promote their new agency brand and get their name 'out there'. We hope they inspire some ideas for you and your business, regardless of what stage you are at. PAUL MACKENZIE-CUMMINS




Find out more about Bowen Eldridge Follow them on Twitter: @boweneldridgeuk

The idea for the business was conceived some two years before we actually started it. We had worked together for over seven years for a well-known recruitment agency, so we ‘got’ the way in which each other works. However, it was important to get the timing of the new business launch just right. 2. WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO START WHEN YOU DID? We launched the business in April but we had to consider where we were in our personal lives as much as taking into account each of our individual brands too. The business name is taken from each of our

surnames and it was important to ensure we had built up our own reputations first and that our names were ‘known’ within the market. 3. WHAT MARKETS DO YOU SERVE? Based in Cardiff, we manage Accountancy, HR, Marketing and Administration roles for clients within the South Wales region only. This is deliberate as we do not want to over-extend ourselves by attempting to service clients further afield – we want to be quickly and easily accessible for our clients and candidates. It’s about being visible, not just a voice on the phone. Not only that, we have worked within this market for considerable time – we are familiar with it

“Know your market better than anyone else, know what you are best at and if there are any gaps in your knowledge – find the answers and plug them.”


least 8-10 relevant posts each day – anything less narrows the opportunities to be seen online. LinkedIn is another great tool for us, again it’s about posting content that is relevant to the people we want to be doing business with.

South Wales has a number of strong, independent recruitment agencies – most of who will say they are different. The reality is that if everyone claimed to be different, we would all be the same by default.

We take a very direct approach too, with targeted mailshots and emarketing campaigns proving to be excellent at getting in front of the right people at the right time.

We don’t say we have a clear USP, we simply focus on what we know and we remain true to that.


In fact, we have turned down business on account of it falling outside of the specialist fields in which we operate – this enhances our credibility in the eyes of clients. It also makes clients identify with us more easily as a go-to specialist that can reduce their time to hire because we have access to the talent pools they really want to engage.

Because we had planned so far in advance of setting up the business, we were able to successfully negate some of the obstacles that many new businesses face. That is not to suggest that things have been easy; rather, there haven’t been any unexpected surprises that have come our way for which we were unprepared and being selfsupporting without the need for financial assistance has been key.

5. HOW TO YOU GET YOUR NAME 'OUT THERE'? We have never considered recruitment to be a 'sales' job. Yes there is an undeniable commercial element to it, but it hasto be consultative. After all, if we pressure a candidate into accepting a role that may not be right for them, it is our reputation at risk – the candidate is left looking for a new role and the client distrusts our ability to do the best by them. Clients like the personal touch we provide but we do need to raise awareness of our brand too. Twitter has proven to work well, both in terms of getting the name known and driving online engagement too. We aim to do at

FINALLY, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER START UP RECRUITERS? 1. Know your market better than anyone else, know what you are best at and if there are any gaps in your knowledge – find the answers and plug them. 2. Have a support network – being a sole trader can be a lonely existence but having someone to bounce ideas off and receive support from is invaluable. 3. Leave your current employer in the right way – give your boss the respect you would like if you were in their shoes and tell them your plans before the rumour mill takes hold. RI




Find out more about Lucid Recruitment: Follow them on Twitter: @lucidsalesjobs

I have always worked in sales and for as long as I can remember I always wanted to run my own business. It was during the last three years before starting Lucid Recruitment that I realised there was a gap in the Welsh market for a recruitment firm specialising exclusively in Sales and Marketing. So, in April 2015, I took the proverbial plunge and opened up a recruitment business to do just that. 2. WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO START WHEN YOU DID? Whilst in my previous role, I could see that a lot of the consultants were not quite as

comfortable (or confident) working on sales roles as much as they were on other disciplines they managed. Having spent my entire career performing a range of very different sales roles, from direct sales and telesales to managing sales teams and latterly recruitment, I perhaps understood the requirements of each role better than most simply because I had worked, or at least managed, such roles myself when I worked on the client side. 3. WHAT MARKETS DO YOU SERVE? We are the only specialist Sales and Marketing recruiter within the region, yet despite our location we cover roles

“It’s about understanding the demographic we are working with and communicating with that audience in the right way.”

throughout the UK; it’s what we are able to do for clients that is most important, not our location. It’s about trust - clients know we will do our best by them because of our approach to business and the specialist expertise we provide. 4. HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF FROM YOUR COMPETITION? Recruitment should not be viewed as a sales role and we are not what many people may perceive to be ‘sales people’. HR managers receive dozens of phone calls daily from recruiters all claiming to be the best and to have the ‘perfect’ candidate, but it’s nonsense. Recruitment is a simple concept and everyone does the same as each other, in terms of the actual process. But it is the way we do it that differs. We invest the right amount of time in our candidate search, rather than send off a dozen or so CVs to a client within hours of us speaking with them. Plus, there is the added value we bring - our previous experience and our knowledge means we understand what each role entails. In fact, because of this, we now help other recruitment firms to recruit sales consultants for themselves! Recruitment is about consultancy, understanding what that client really needs and only engaging them when you are able to offer something that could add real value – we’re building relationships. It’s about people, not KPIs or numbers. 5. HOW TO YOU GET YOUR NAME 'OUT THERE'? The first thing we did was to think about how we wanted to be perceived in the market. Despite being specialists in our

field, that is no guarantee that we will be the automatic choice for clients for their sales and marketing roles. It was important to have a strong brand that stands out visually. We are updating the website by adding a blog, which we see as a great way to better engage with candidates and clients. Elisabeth [Rilatt], who recently joined us as Recruitment Director, has substantial experience in running a successful blog, and we want to adopt her natural, conversation-style and personal approach to our own blog – it’s a better reflection of Lucid’s ‘personality’ than the corporate tone that many firms use...that’s not quite us. 6. HOW ELSE DO YOU PROMOTE YOURSELF? In addition to our website, we are very active on social media, particularly Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram as well as email marketing. It’s about understanding the demographic we are working with and communicating with that audience in the right way. And of course making sure we get our branding visible in the places where our clients and candidates are spending their time online. 7. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGES YOU HAVE HAD TO OVERCOME? It was learning all the various tasks that are essential to running a successful business that fall outside the remit of what being a recruiter is. I had to learn how to do social media and do it well, and how to market a new business when you don’t have the power of a well-known name behind you. I have become an accounts assistant, credit controller, debt collector and everything else in between. RI



Find out more about Zest Recruitment & Consultancy: Follow them on Twitter: @ZestRC



The idea for the business was a long time in the making, with the seeds sewn a year or so previously when we were both working at the same legal practice in Cardiff. We have both practised law for around 20 years as Solicitors and we were each responsible for recruiting staff to join our respective teams.

As legal practitioners working for some of the country's most well-known and established law firms, we regularly engaged external recruitment agency’s to help us. However, our experience of working with agencies was not as we had hoped – frustrated by and large by the lack of knowledge and real understanding of the nuances and challenges facing law firms like the last one we were working together at.

It was this experience on the client side of engaging with recruiters that made us realise that there was a gap in the market for a consultancy specialising exclusively in legal positions. And in February 2016 we formally established Zest Recruitment & Consultancy.

That company had grown from two to almost 500 people within 10 years. But although their rate of growth is undeniably impressive, the rate of expansion within many law firms across the country

“The type of recruitment business that we wanted didn’t exist, so we created it ourselves.”

continues to grow apace. In fact, according to The Law Society, the legal sector has grown by 8% in 12 months. This brings with it a number of key challenges - the procurement of great legal talent to fill the roles that are needed being the most critical. Most of these roles - two-thirds to be precise – are in solicitor’s firms. But many law firms are under increasing pressure to battle the dual challenges of securing the right talent that they need in the here and now, while retaining that which they already have. This is where we can make a real difference. 3. WHAT MARKETS DO YOU SERVE? From our bases in Bath and Cardiff, we work with law firms across the South West, Wales and increasingly throughout the North West. We cover all legal disciplines with a particular focus on Litigation, Negligence, Personal Injury, Employment, Commercial Property and Conveyancing. 4. HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF FROM YOUR COMPETITION? Zest Recruitment & Consultancy is the very first Legal recruitment agency in Wales and the South West that is run by fully qualified legal practitioners. The type of recruitment business that we wanted to engage didn’t exist, so we created it ourselves. Because we have come from within the legal sector itself, we have a clear advantage over all other recruitment providers operating in the same space. Our understanding is based on a practical experience - we understand the industry intrinsically from ground

level to the boardroom, which no other agency can claim. 5. HOW TO YOU GET YOUR NAME 'OUT THERE'? Being a specialist recruiter is one thing, but unless we get our name known and recognised, that accounts for nothing. Having been former legal practitioners for almost 40 years between us we have a formidable network of contacts that we are able to tap into, but we’re also very proactive on the promotional side too. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn combine well to help us raise our online brand awareness and get ourselves on the radar for some of the law firms we would love to partner with. We also undertake other PR-related activity, both on a regional and national level. For instance, we recently featured in two of the law industry’s most recognised and influential media outlets, as well as appearing in a host of business and local press too. Simply put, the more opportunities we have to be seen, the more recognisable we become and that in itself brings with it an endorsement that we are a recruitment partner of choice. 6. WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE BUSINESS IN THREE YEARS? We have ambitious growth plans for the business but our ambition does not come at a cost to the quality of service we provide. The business is fast-making a name for itself because of this focus on quality, and we are growing steadily, at the right pace and in the right way and providing we continue like this we will realise our long-term goals sooner. RI


Things quite literally have never been this good for

not to become self-employed!

recruiters. With employment at its highest levels since any one of us can recall, it is hardly surprising that the

Once you have made the leap to swim the seas to what

number of consultants taking the leap to escape the

many perceive to be their own career nirvana as a new

confines of their existing agency to start up on their own

recruitment business owner, the challenge you will face is

is also at an all-time high.

how to compete with those agencies operating in the same market space as you.

This is great for the health of the recruitment industry too - quite literally.

No matter the sector, location or how niche your area of specialty there will always be others doing the same as

Indeed, research undertaken by the think-tank Bright Blue


found that more than three-quarters (80%) of self-employed people in the UK are ‘overwhelmingly

They will be bigger than your new start up agency, they

satisfied’ with their work, compared to 74% of their

are already established and recognised within the sector,

‘employed’ counterparts.

and they hold a commanding share of the market that they have no intention of relinquishing.

This, according to research from the University of California, which involved 250,000 subjects, leads to

It all comes down to what you offer and how you are

higher incomes, higher levels of productivity and quality

different and better than what is already out there.

of work which, by default, doesn’t just make for happier workers - it makes for better off workers too.

Here are some of the most effective and proven ways that recruitment start-ups can raise their profile quickly as an

Given the evidence above, it is hard to find a reason

agency of choice.




Most senior people who you will be dealing with use LinkedIn, so make sure you are seen as being at the forefront of your sector, both in terms of your industry knowledge and your understanding of HR issues themselves.

Put together a short case study of a key assignment you have worked. Outline the challenge and the approach you took and then quantify the result in terms of deliverables such as time saved, reduced hiring costs, etc.

Follow the main accounts of the companies on your ‘hot’ list. ReTweet those posts that have the greatest relevance, such as a new product launch or contract win.

Participate in and start group discussions that are newsworthy and shine light on a topical matter.

Clients want to know “what’s in it for me?” and by showing what you have done for others, they can get a better insight into what you can do for them.

Take advantage of LinkedIn’s self-publishing tool, imaginatively entitled ‘Publisher’. This blogging platform enables you to upload a blog post that is then seen across your network. If one of your key contacts ‘like’ or ‘share’ it, it will be seen across their network too; thereby, maximising your audience reach which in turn raises your profile online. You can also post your blog across each relevant LinkedIn group – groups where your target clients and candidates may also be hanging out.

Find out if their MD or HRD is on Twitter and if so follow them too. This puts you on their radar when the next round of vacancies come. Follow the press that covers your industry sector.

However, be careful with how you position yourself. Calling yourself a “leading provider” is all well and good but as a start up it’s not something you can claim just yet.

Post stories that your target market may find interesting and useful. This positions you as having your finger on the pulse of what is topical in your sector.

Focus on what you are great at – maybe you have a different approach to search, perhaps you provide on-going support once an assignee has assumed their new role?

Aim to schedule at least six posts per day – anything less and your opportunities to be seen on Twitter are drastically reduced.

Most agency’s are guilty of describing themselves as a ‘leading’ provider, by not doing so you actually stand out!

This helps to raise your ‘discoverability’ levels not just on Twitter but on Google too, as the search engine now features your most recent Tweet in its search results.


If you truly know your onions, write about it. As well as LinkedIn Publisher, write a weekly blog on your own website. Blogs that have the maximum effect in terms of attracting readers and raising your profile are those that offer a solution to a problem – the How-tos that we are all familiar with. Writing a blog is one thing, but if what you are saying is simply echoing what is already being said elsewhere it won’t stand out. By offering a unique perspective on a topical story you can raise your profile as someone who truly ‘gets’ the sector. RI

DOING IT FOR YOURSELF THE 10 SKILLS YOU NEED TO DO PR FOR YOUR RECRUITMENT FIRM Success in the often chaotic world of public relations requires far more than a solid educational background. Communications professionals are required to be more dynamic, adaptable and flexible than ever before. Academia can certainly help, but without the following set of 10 essential skills, getting by as a modern PR professional would most likely prove implausible at best.

AWARENESS OF THE EVER CHANGING MEDIA LANDSCAPE The media landscape is changing at an extraordinary pace and keeping up with what’s new and relevant is a full-time job in its own right. For the PR professional, maintaining a constant watch over social media and various other channels is a must.

A NATURAL TEAM PLAYER Given the fact that every element of the marketing mix must be integrated these days, PR professionals are required to work closely and constantly with other media and marketing teams. Collaboration is the only way to get by in modern PR.


SUPERIOR WRITING SKILLS As the job in general will inherently involve the production of a great deal of written copy, it simply makes sense to practice and enhance your writing skills. Being a great writer means knowing exactly how to present matters in the most appropriate and effective tone, voice, context and so on. It can be borderline impossible to achieve success without genuinely outstanding writing skills.

FLAWLESS LEVELHEADEDNESS As a PR professional, you often never know what the next day or even the next hour will bring. Nevertheless, if it is something of importance to get the job done, you have to handle it professionally. Which in turn calls for supreme levelheadedness.

PERSONAL ORGANISATION SKILLS More often than not, PR professionals will to a certain extent be given free rein by the brand or business hiring them. Rather than being told what to do and how to do it, those who work in PR are instead required to organise, balance and manage their own workloads, duties and activities. As such, it is of critical importance that they possess flawless personal organisation



Explosive competition means you need to think outside the box and consider abstract concepts. Standing out from the crowd and building a positive brand image in a contemporary context requires creativity on a whole new level.

It is often necessary for PR professionals to work unsociable hours, not to mention rather extensive hours that may continue over weekends, evenings, bank holidays and so on. It is impossible to predict exactly when the services of the PR professional may be needed, meaning they must be available and on standby at all times.

TENACITY AND PERSONALITY PR people have to tread a fine line separating tenacity and aggression. Perseverance with story placements and getting the job done is critical but, so too is remaining personable and likable, in order to attract and retain the right friends in the right places.

CONFIDENT NETWORKING SKILLS It’s true - who you know in the world of PR can be just as valuable as what you know. Networking is a huge part of the job that requires complete and total confidence: Shrinking violets need not apply.

ACCOUNTABLE AND HONEST Last but not least, every PR professional on the face of the earth makes mistakes from time to time – the difference being whether or not they are willing to accept it and learn from it, and also how one reacts in times of pressure or uncetainty. Accountability and honesty go hand in hand - acknowledging mistakes allows for growth and development, whereas denial and dishonesty lead to stagnation. RI


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MEASURING SUCCESS: HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR PR IS WORKING? It is often said that measuring how effective your PR is proving to be, is tricky. Not so. Providing you are clear from the start about what you want to get out of your PR - why you are doing it in the first place - then measuring the outcome is, well, pretty easy. The 'Periodic Table of PR Measurement' will give you some idea of the tangibles that can be measured. If you are still not sure what you want from your PR, take a look at our article, "When Will I Be Famous?', on the next page.

Periodic Table of PR Measurement (2016 Copyright ClearlyPR)

WHEN WILL I BE FAMOUS? You may think you want PR or Marketing, but do you know why? by PAUL MACKENZIE-CUMMINS EDITOR

It’s something that most PRs will experience: you’re at a business event and talking to various people in the room and the question of What do you do? is an inevitability – usually within the first thirty seconds of meeting someone. Of course, I respond with I work in PR, but what surprises me is the number of people who reply with We used to do PR, but we didn’t really get much out of it. I think I know why that is. Many business owners or marketers responsible for their company’s internal and external communications strategy don’t really know why they need PR. So before you set aside your PR budget for the year ahead, there are two critical things you must do first to help you address the why you need PR question: 1. Be clear about what you are measuring Choosing the appropriate tools and metrics for measurement is a critical element to achieving

success with any public relations activity. It is important to understand that measurement is determined by three key elements: Input – what you want to do Output – what you actually do Outcome – what impact 1 + 2 have 2. Set your objectives Manage your expectations (and those of your PR agency) by being very clear about what you hope to get out of your PR activity. PR is about communication – two-way communication. You need to ensure that whatever strategy you put in place is in alignment with the overarching aims of your organisation. For instance: - Are you looking to raise brand awareness? - Are you seeking to position yourself as a thought-leader? - Are you aiming to enhance your reputation? - Are you seeking to raise perception of your organisation as a leading player in your field? - Do you wish to increase customer retention and

increase sales via referrals? - Are you looking to increase customer engagement and satisfaction? Once you have a handle on your expectations, you then need to set about formally encapsulating them in a single objective statement. Here are a few examples of objective statements we developed for some of our non-recruitment clients to give you an idea of how businesses outside the industry position themselves: - ‘To raise awareness of a pioneering embryo-imaging technique and increase the number of childless couples opting to trial this new procedure by 25-30% over the next 12 months‘ - ‘To position the company as a leading advocate in raising ethical standards across the entire online gambling industry and to successfully lobby the Government to pass the proposed ‘Fair Bet’ legislation‘ - ‘To position our organisation as an employer of choice for graduates and increase applications to our graduate scheme by 30% in the next 12 months’ - ‘To grow our customer base in China by 10%, Eastern Europe by 30% and the Middle East by 45% within 12 months‘ - ‘To increase the number of overseas delegates attending our annual conference by 35%‘ - ‘To encourage more UK households to join our energy saving scheme, with the aim of increasing homeowner take-up by 50% in the next 12 months’ 3. Define your audience With your expectations set, objectives identified, and your objective statement agreed you then need to consider who you need to talk to: - Who do you want to communicate with? Which stakeholders are most important to you in terms of being instrumental or influential in helping you reach your goals? - What budget do you have available? Will this be sufficient to address your goals? If not, you need to prioritorise your goals.

- What will success look like? What will your stakeholders want to get out of this public relations campaign?

The old adage of failing to plan is planning to fail is so true: PR is only successful if you know what you want from it and plan for it accordingly. Be clear about your objectives, communicate them to your stakeholders, and apply the right tools and techniques to measure the success of your PR. RI

Write for us? If you would like to feature in the next edition of RECRUITER IMPRINT and share your recruitment marketing insights, get in touch Email:



If the recession taught us anything, it is that an organisation’s HR and PR functions are inextricably linked. Brought together by crisis, theirs is a marriage which serves as a sobering reminder for organisations to give parity to communicating what is happening within the organisation as well as what is going on ‘out there’.

Yet although the contribution of its people to the overall performance of the organisation has never being clearer than it is now, there remains a significant number of organisations remiss of an effective internal communications strategy.

with leveraging human capital throughout the organisation, with many businesses now having a HR Director on their Boards – something that was previously the exception to the rule rather than the norm.

Perception of HR and PR has always been mixed. For years, HR departments (or ‘Personnel’ as they were often referred to) were seen as an administrative function with responsibility for little more than administering payroll and employee benefit schemes, and sometimes organising the annual company outing.

PR for its part had long been caught in the shadow of Marketing. With marketing budgets slashed during the recession, savvy organisations quickly realised that they needed to plan for the long term, whilst recognising the need to maintain their share of voice and presence - and more importantly, to retain their top talent over the short term until the storm subsided. This sparked a union with HR.

But faced with the unenviable dual challenge of streamlining operations without compromising on quality of delivery, characterised by a prolonged period of cost cutting and forced redundancies, HR’s value within the organisation has increased immeasurably over the last 5 years. Today, HR is viewed as strategic partner tasked

Both HR and PR have had to work harder than any other department such as Finance or Marketing to demonstrate their contribution to the organisation and their impact on its bottom line, and both have emerged from the global downturn in better shape than what they

“Companies which are highly effective at internal communicati on are 1.7 times as likely to outperform their peers. ”

were previously. Although internal communications are nothing new, the events over the last few years have conspired to show that those organisations that focus on improving employee engagement are the ones who gain the lead on their competition. These organisations are increasingly benefiting from having a workforce that is committed and prepared to go above and beyond the basic requirements of their current role. This by default, results in improvements in the organisation’s efficiencies and effectiveness and of course, its profitability. Indeed, according to Towers Watson, effective communication and financial performance are strongly related. It claims that companies who are highly effective at internal communication are 1.7 times as likely to outperform their peers. So there should be no reason not to implement an internal communication strategy within your organisation. What impact can internal communication have on business? If your objective is to maximise your organisation’s equity by attracting, motivating and retaining the best talent, you need an internal communications strategy. Attracting external candidates and positioning your organisation as an employer of choice is one thing keeping hold of your best people is another. Internal communications will enable you to re-engage your internal employees who are critical to continued business success. By distinguishing your business

from your competition, conveying your values and playing to your strengths you can ensure that your organisation stays ahead of the game and becomes an employer of choice. Benefits of having an internal communications plan 1. Employees are more engaged and feel part of the decision-making process. 2. Employees can identify with the organisation’s values and goals which in turn will make them feel they are ‘making a difference’. 3. Employees who are engaged are proven to increase their efforts and efficiencies, which positively impacts on the organisation’s bottom line. 4. Employees will feel a loyalty to an organisation and are more likely to remain with their employer for the longer term, which keeps staff turnover and recruitment costs to a minimum. 5. Inherent silo mentalities are broken down and effective inter-departmental working relationships are fostered, which creates an environment of shared responsibility and shared purpose – all of which will result in the sharing of best practice and improved business performance. 6. Workplace conflict caused by ambiguity is reduced through clear messaging and communication of ideas. 7. Employees are empowered to discuss, share and contribute ideas that can have both a direct and indirect impact on how the organisation performs through the development of a supportive and knowledge-sharing corporate culture. 8. All employees can articulate the

organisation’s mission, vision, values and goals and ensure that these key principles underpin all that they do in the work environment. 9. Employees are motivated by the ‘bigger picture’ – they can see where the organisation is heading and they understand the role that they and their teams play in enabling it to reach its targets. 10. Senior teams are better placed to review, assess and measure the success of their internal communications strategy to date and benchmark it against improved business performance.

Without an effective internal communications strategy, organisations risk losing talent to their competitors, devaluing their employee value proposition, increasing the prevalence of a silo mentality persisting within the organisation which reduces cohesion, and they will have a workforce that is relatively misinformed and ignorant of where the organisation is going and their role within it. All of this will result in a breakdown of communication and a toxic corporate culture struggling to find its way. RI


by AIMEE CARMICHAEL, Group Communications Lead at Morgan McKinley and Director at Carmichael Communications Digital recruitment represents both a blessing and a curse

like to work - a recent piece of work by one of our clients

for the modern recruiter. Gaining access to an endless

Morgan McKinley explores how the world of work is

pool of talent on a global basis may have never been

changing. On a global basis, self-employment has

easier – snaring the cream of the crop is a different story

experienced enormous acceleration over recent years,


putting even greater pressure on recruiters. 68% of new jobs created in Britain since 2008 were self-employed,

It’s commonly (and quite wrongly) assumed that if the

around 30% of the entire labour force of Australia is made

offer you have on the table is decent enough, it’s fair to

up of freelancers and more than 9.5 million US workers

expect the most outstanding candidates to do much of

are also self-employed.

the work on your behalf. It’s a trend that’s only set to continue, making it more However, as competition for genuinely world-class

important for recruiters to effectively stand out and be

professionals grows at record-pace, it’s becoming

heard. When it comes to standing out from the

increasingly difficult to adopt a passive approach to

competition and getting your voice heard, there’s no

recruitment and expect premium talent to flock to your

better way of getting the job done than with effective



You want them, but so does everyone else – making your

Role Reversal

business their first choice representing an important

A curious yet increasingly powerful approach to hiring,


recruitment marketing in many ways represents something of a complete role reversal. In conventional

There is also a radical shift happening in how individuals

recruitment drives, pretty much any and all ‘selling’

“It’s not enough to expect bog-standard job descriptions and what not to sell themselves.”

involved happens on the part of the candidate. They want the job, they want you to want them and so they go about a process of selling themselves to win the client over. By contrast, recruitment marketing flips things 180 – it is the recruiters or organisations themselves who go about strategically and effectively marketing what they have to offer, in order to attract the best possible professionals to work for those companies. In a world where top talent is often in very short supply, it’s less an alternative

approach and more a fundamental change in thinking. Pushing Your Product The key lies in altering perspectives in order to view your business as a product and your prospects as potential customers. This is of course already done to a significant extent when companies go fishing for new recruits with attractive pay packets, bonuses, privileges and perks, but it runs much deeper than promising material gain alone. It’s all about getting into the heads of those your brand and business could benefit from, in order to work out what it is that appeals to them most about prospective employers…and then offering it to them. You have to assume that the top talent out there will have multiple offers thrown their way, so it’s not enough to expect your bog-standard job descriptions and what-not to sell themselves. More commonly this term could be referred to as an ‘Employer Brand’ or ‘EVP’ (Employer Value Proposition). I was recently impressed at LinkedIn’s 2015 Social Recruitin’ conference when Lou Adler (@LouA), CEO of The Adler Group presented his afternoon keynote on Recruiting from the Top of the Funnel. Lou told his captive audience that we must start attracting at the top of the funnel – those top 5-10% of professionals who are so good at their roles that they are never really job seeking. It’s crazy to think that most recruitment businesses and even internal teams are probably spending thousands of pounds on job boards/PPC

or SEO – all of which ONLY target active job seekers. High performers are not sold on salary alone, they always see the bigger picture and how a role fits in with their personal strategic career plan and the best recruiters or internal talent acquisition professionals need to appreciate and apply this to their hiring strategies. One of Lou Adler’s points that really struck me was his approach to re-writing job descriptions to attract top talent. What makes a good job description? According to Lou it’s a person description - what type of person are they, what do they need to do to be successful in that role. Define expectations of success in that job description and outline what the person needs to do to be successful – not just listing responsibilities. Lou’s Key Points, and questions to consider: • Are some recruitment businesses overspending on job boards when the TOP talent is always passive? If you want to consistently deliver top talent look outside of search and job boards • SEO /Boolean search = good to use BUT only targets those looking • Use better Job Descriptions to attract top talent • Look for achiever patterns on CV to spot high performers • High performers are never ‘looking’ for roles If You Don’t, They Will According to an article recently published by The Undercover Recruiter, almost half of all businesses either already have hired or plan to hire recruitment marketing professionals in 2016. In addition, a whopping 86% have fully acknowledged the importance of approaching recruitment more like marketing. This basically tells you one thing – if you yourself don’t alter your thinking when it comes to snaring the best talent, your rivals most certainly will. Consider the findings and facts in the infographic opposite. The picture it basically adds up to is one that maps out the end of days for passive and semi-passive recruitment processes. That is, at least when it comes to attracting the kind of quality talent your business needs. An investment in recruitment marketing may be a weighty one, but it’s a small price to pay for the priceless talent your rivals would give their high teeth for. RI



PR FOR RECRUITERS ONE DAY WORKSHOP - LONDON Tuesday 25th October 2016 Practical insights into how to build your recruitment agency brand, better engage with your target market, and increase your sales pipeline. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

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