Hello Jim here,
It’s been a while since I posted so I thought I’d better add some musings. And, as it happens, it’s quite opportune as I was transported back to another world that time (well I) had almost forgotten this week.
Thinking Back To Recruitment
I was chatting to some old recruitment friends of mine and was introduced to a Guy called Jon Eyers who is MD and owner of a boutique agency out of Milton Keynes in the U.K called Harvey Thomas.
Now, it’s fair to say I’m a tad long in the tooth these days but even I hadn’t realised it was some 15 years since I turned my back on the recruitment business. You see, I’d got really frustrated at the way the market was going. I was supplying very specialist IT programmers to the Investment Banks. It was a huge market and I was a niche player.
The big recruitment companies came in, swept up all the HR departments with a Recruitment Process Outsource model and then refused to deal with the niche players. If they did margins were down to the bone and, for the niche player, they broke the business model. I was no longer even allowed to speak to line managers I had five year relationships with.
So, in frustration I walked away.
To be fair I’d done my time – 25 years in the business, so it was time for a change anyway.
However, meeting Jon was a breathe of fresh air. Here’s a Guy who does recruitment the way I used to do it, and he is loving it.
So, I had to find the secret of how he was still using techniques I thought had long gone and using them very successfully.
“It’s all about the market”, he smiles, “but you knew that”, he laughs this time.
Yes, well I suppose I did, and it makes me admit to myself that I was the reason I walked away. I’d had enough and I used the changed market conditions as an excuse to do something I knew I had to do anyway.
“The market has polarised, in my opinion”, says Jon, “it is the situation you mention whereby the RPO model has sewn up a lot of major corporations. So, if you are supplying into those large companies, you simply have to play by their rules”.
“Is it good for these companies? I doubt it, simply because they are not getting full market access. The candidates they can access are limited by supply going through one bottleneck. Yes, they probably save money on their recruitment, but, do they hire the best talent? Probably not”.
“And, to boot the job of a “recruiter” supplying into such models has been devalued to not much more than a glorified admin clerk”.
Change In Job Function
I have to agree with Jon here. It’s become a mix and match admin job. The skill of the recruitment consultant has been eroded away as they don’t now need to sell or work hard for the vacancies, or indeed understand necessarily what they are recruiting for. The job has been “dumbed down”.
I was intrigued as to how Jon is bucking the trend.
“As I said, Jim, it’s all about the market”, he takes a sip of tea and smiles over the rim of the cup.
It’s a fair cop, I reply.
“We supply a very distinct niche, a niche that cannot do without our services but that cannot plug in to the RPO model. It’s a very nice place to be”.
I know Jon is now going to crow about his market, here he goes!
The Market Allows The Model
“You see, we supply into Pre-IPO and Venture funded Cloud Software start ups. It’s an incredible and vibrant market. All you need to do is look at the number of new product launches and apps you now have on your mobile devices”.
“All of these products and apps need developing, so we supply the software engineers, project managers, customer success staff etc in the software vendor market”.
“As cloud technology comes of age we are seeing massive demand for saas software engineers, pre-sales recruitment and software sales recruitment as well. The market is going crazy, but some of these start ups are tenuous. We need to manage both the clients and the resourse to keep that market as near balance as we can”.
“We manage the careers of our candidates, and the resource of the projects of our clients. And, you only have to look at the Sales Force business model to know that, if you bring the right Cloud based offering to market, you are going to make a killing”.
This is recruitment in the traditional sense. Managing and understanding client issues and projects. Their needs and their points of pain…and then being able to provide a true recruitment solution. It;s great to see traditional recruitment skills being exercised and a company thriving by doing just that. I take my hat off to you Jon.
You can find Harvey Thomas by clickling this link.