Last Friday I wanted to get away from my laptop for a while, so I printed off some CVs and started calling candidates.
I had some lovely conversations and ended the day buzzing, knowing that I’d made a positive impact to my candidates’ days, as they had to mine. How lucky I am to be able to feel that way after a long time in the job.
It’s always fascinating to speak to people. One of the qualities you need for a successful career in recruitment is a fascination for how people have shaped their careers (whether through design or accident), their ambitions and the different ways they think about work.
Each individual has a different and unique attitude to work, and a slightly different relationship with their job. Some people are totally career-driven, while others want something they can enjoy but put away at the end of the day. Moreover, most people’s attitude towards their work changes in line with other factors and events in their life, which is just one reason why it’s so rewarding and useful to stay in touch with candidates.
It’s never the same story twice, and I can’t get enough of it. For me, hearing all these different stories and ideas and the differing qualities people can bring to their jobs is something I never tire of.
My conversations with candidates that Friday made me think about the importance of conversation in the recruitment industry - which is why I set up my own brand in the first place.
January and February are hard months. Many people are feeling the pinch of Christmas and the short daylight hours and cold can take it out of you. It can be difficult to find the energy to push on in your career or find a new job. But the right conversation at the right time could change all of that. Despite the rise (and value) of social media and automation in recruitment and job-hunting, one of the best and most valuable tools you have at your disposal is the telephone.
In many ways, 1-1 Recruitment was founded because we understand the value of a good conversation in the recruitment process. That’s as true for jobseekers as it is for recruitment professionals. I’ve written before about how business owners create a brand because they have a particular set of values and they want to create a certain kind of company.
I founded 1-1 Recruitment to provide a better service to job seekers than I had seen in many companies in the past. I wanted to provide a supportive service in which job seekers felt looked after, cared for and listened to.
Conversations yield rewards
On a related note I was recently listening to Nick Grimshaw trying to run a competition on Radio 1 in which listeners had to be ready to answer the phone at eight o’clock in the morning, having already contacted the show to say they wanted to play. Even amongst these proactive participants, Grimmy wasn’t having much luck getting people to answer the phone. Changing social habits, long commutes and long working days mean that despite the universality of mobile phones, it’s not always easy to have a conversation with people. But it’s so rewarding – whether what comes out of it is a radio show competition prize or a fantastic new job.
Talking about the brand…
Last year, we talked a lot within our business. We talked about our brand and what it means to us, and above all what it should mean for our customers (candidates and clients). We discussed whether we were doing our best to ensure we deliver our brand values in the way we do our business every day. Brand is not some lofty idea – it’s about how you deliver a service, day in day out, on the ground.
It’s about how you answer the phone, the impression you leave somebody with at the end of a call, and whether they look forward to working with you or not. As a business owner I believe in the value of talking about the brand, because it’s when they discuss it that the team really starts to engage with it. Many of the best companies I can think of are very proactive about their brand and take every opportunity to think about what it means.
As I write this I’m planning another brand workshop for the 1-1 Recruitment team. And after our branding meeting, we’re going to go out and have some fun, because that’s also important!
It might not seem a very lofty ambition to continue to ensure our brand is really lived across the business this year, but I don’t think there’s a better one for a service business to have.
1-1 Recruitment is a people business, and we know from vast collective experience that it’s good to talk about your ambitions and career challenges with someone who understands, can listen and, if you want it, provide sage advice.
I’m proud of the team we have here, so if you want to discuss your career ambitions with us, please do pick up the phone. We’re fascinated by our candidates’ individual stories and we love to help. We’re only a phone call away. Try us.
Basingstoke 01256 336 100
Winchester 01962 865 152