You cannot give great jobs away these days.

VeniceImagine just for a moment if someone had called you 5 years ago and asked if you would be interested in a job with a company called Uber, when it was still merely a vision, a seed of an idea. Imagine if that job had come with some form of equity. What would you have said?

When Apple were hiring their first employees, imagine if everyone Steve Wozniak had approached had sat back and declined, secure in their mundane little lives. Again, if Steve Wozniak or Michael Scott had called you when Apple was still a figment of their imagination, or even when Randy Wiggington was still attempting to rewrite BASIC so it would work on Apple II what would you have done?

Now I’m told by people in the know that Padova is a thriving metropolis of smart, innovative technology talent. I’m even led to believe that those in the know actually think Padova University is in reality much better than Milan. But this simply isn’t what I am finding.

Imagine my disdain at this point in time. I’m am working with a very trusted client of mine, a Chicago based investment firm who have a stellar reputation for identifying, acquiring and growing small companies in the tech space into world leaders in their sector. I have a potentially unique, once in a lifetime opportunity for a Vice President Product Development reporting into the CEO. They have a vision, a dream if you will. They believe they can turn their vision into the world leader in their sector, the global No1 in their field within 5 years. Yet nobody appears to be interested in joining them.

Not only is there equity on the table for the right person, there is the opportunity to essentially hire their own team of product developers, software engineers and architects. They can immediately hire (or ideally bring with them a Scrum Master as their Product Manager. They can go back and grab all the people they have mentored throughout their careers working for large corporate’s and bring them all together in one business, creating their own culture, their own vision can actually become a reality.

What’s more, this is all geared to take place in Venice, Italy. You know the place, great wines, gondola’s, beautiful sunsets and a sense of classical style and James Bond movies. A lifestyle far more relaxed than the one you would experience in Milan. Importantly this company wants to bring much needed jobs and investment to a place that really needs them

So what is wrong with the people in the beautiful region of Veneto? Where are the brave, ambitious, visionary senior Product Development Managers, Software Development Directors who are looking for a unique opportunity in a unique place?

I’ve advertised in English and Italian. I’ve used copywriters to add character and flavour to the copy. I’ve headhunted, social media frenzied the job and the company. Yet the response has been at best apathetic.

So if a visionary dream with immense investment, led by people with a history of achieving great things in a stunning location, great package and equity doesn’t attract people. What on earth would?

You can view the job here in Italian. If you would like a copy in English drop me a line to – If you are a recruiter who can help me and would like to collaborate then give me a call – +44 (0) 7880 231900

LinkedIn Trolls – It’s time for “Pay to Play”

Pay to playFor me one of the key irritants with LinkedIn is that a freeloader, someone who has never contributed anything whatsoever financially or even from a reasonably acceptable content perspective has pretty much the same capabilities as someone who is effectively a Pay to Play customer.

Let me explain, as a LinkedIn member since 2005 and a paid subscriber for over 10 years and also someone who pays to use their job advertising and pay per click facilities I expect (that’s right, expect) to have some kind of additional features not readily available to the average LinkedIn troll. I post multiple times daily, usually about the kind of thing that is extremely pertinent to my industry, retail technology and similar. Occasionally I find myself tempted to adorn myself with the old devils advocate head and post something a little more provocative. I do this to try and engage with people, my connections and associates on a different level. I do this because for example I’m interested in what my old friend in East Timor thinks about what is happening in France or maybe what my cousin in Texas thinks about the whole Trump situation. I do this because I like to share ideas, understand others perspectives and just literally change LinkedIn up a gear from all the crappy advertising content and the banality of reading yet another paid for Richard Branson or James Cann post.

However, within minutes you are besieged by the LinkedIn Police, the self appointed usually non-paying, non-subscribing digital night stick wielding narrow minded, massive ax to grind and nothing better to do Linked Trolls. They just cannot help themselves from butting in. They pay nothing for access but feel they have a right to police everyone and criticise other peoples posts.

A couple of issues with the this:

  1. In the top left of an update post you have a drop down box which enables you to “hide the update” or to “unfollow” the person that posted it. How hard is that?
  2. You could just ignore it and move along.
  3. What may not be important to you may very well be important to someone else, namely the person that posted it. The amount of infantile comments along the lines of “LinkedIn is for business not politics..” is not just amazing, it’s pitiful. If you think business and politics are independent of each other you are without doubt an idiot of the highest order and probably shouldn’t even be on LinkedIn, get back to Facebook. Brexit and the whole Donald Trump scenario have never proved the truth better.
  4. Pay to comment. Yes, that is correct. Why am I supporting the development of this social media platform at great expense so you can come on here and attack my posts, undermine my work for free? Have some dignity and understand that I and all the other active, paid subscribers and advertisers enable you to even have an opinion. Have some respect.
  5. Just get a life and stop bullying people, trying to belittle people and undermine people. Especially if you happen to be a Psychologist.

Now why should someone with a fake profile, an ax to grind, someone who is even 3 connections distant from you be able to disrupt your discussion with their self imposed, self righteous indignation? Why should someone like the infamous recruitment troll Antony Porter (fake profile fake photo) be able to report genuine LinkedIn members posts, be in a position to terrorise genuinely informative discussion with his CAPITAL induced rants and raging?

There have been rather a few posts about religion over the last week or so. They have generally been well received, have been conducted in a sane and rational manner. I say generally. We did have a chap in California threatening people and one in the Middle East trying to justify torture and sexual slavery. But generally as a rule the discussion was very interesting from the perspective of trying to understand others view points, it was even rather good fun in places. Which is precisely what an adult conversation should be like.

I’m going to lay my view on the line here and now. I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in judging someone or making assumptions or decisions based upon anyone’s personal beliefs, sexuality, nationality or anything else that could be perceived as discriminatory or judgmental. I don’t care if you are Gay, Catholic or a follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you will receive the exact same treatment from me regardless. I actually abhor specialism’s which appear to have become the norm. Let’s just get on and move on shall we.

Edit: Just to clarify following some excellent comments. I am wholeheartedly in favour of discussion, debate and a difference of opinion. Otherwise what would be the point of posting anything. However entering a discussion for example about HSBC’s financial performance and stating “All bankers are w***ers and should be in jail…” as I witnessed yesterday isn’t engaging in discussion. It isn’t thoughtful, thought provoking or even remotely interesting. It is simply trolling. If there was even a very token payment to subscribe to LinkedIn it would firstly verify identity and eliminate the fake profile scourge and secondly the trolls may just divert their activity elsewhere. It’s just a suggestion.


PS: Views are my own and are not representative of my company.

Immigration – Misrepresentation – The Brutal Truth

5031bcce-5a5f-4495-9fc9-18e0a8196a9e-originalI know this is a dangerous post. I understand that it will draw criticism and that my sentiment will be misconstrued. But please understand I’m not a professional writer. I’m trying to explain my perspective and sometimes things get lost in translation. Here goes.

I’m getting a little bit hacked off with this immigration discussion. I’m tired of being accused of being xenophobic or even racist without even being given an opportunity to explain. The truth is:

The United Kingdom has always stood up to be counted when other nations have needed our help. The operative word here is ‘HELP’.

In the late 18th and early 19th Century almost 200,000 Russians and Eastern European and similar Jewish people settled in the UK to escape tyranny and similar in their home regions. They brought with them much needed skills across many industries and businesses. It was a win / win / win situation. Many of these people set up their homes in the East End of London. Many of them stood together toe to toe with every other nationality, culture and religion in the East End as part of 100,000+ who turned Oswald Mosely and his fascist blackshirts around and quashed that frightening chapter in British history. An incident know as the Battle of Cable Street. Mosley’s Blackshirt Movement was sponsored by some of Britain’s wealthiest and most respected business owners and aristocrats and supported by the Daily Mail. The Police as is documented sided with Mosley. Many of the politicians of the day especially the Conservatives thought fascism was a good idea. Consider that against some of the people wishing for an EU Superstate today.

The Polish Phenomenon – In most major towns and cities across the UK you will find Polish Clubs or similar Polish Social societies. Barnsley in Yorkshire has 3, Leeds has a whole community. After WWII, the British Government passed the Polish Resettlement Act in 1947. Almost 200,000 Polish Soldiers, Airmen, Miners, Engineers, Steel Workers and similar who didn’t want to be back home in a new communist Russia settled here. Our country won much needed labour and skills desperately needed to rebuild our country and our economy and they received safety, security and a new beginning.

Yet today the ignorant in this country, and there are many, think that Polish people coming to the UK are a new phenomenon. The fact is it isn’t. They are already weaved within our society and rightly so. They were part of our nation long before the EU. In reality Poland shouldn’t have to be part of the EU for us to encourage them to come to the UK, we have a collaborative history far greatr than some contractual agreement.

In 1972 The British Government allowed the migration of almost 30,000 Indian / Asian’s from Uganda where their lives and livelihoods were threatened by the monster Idi Amin. Again this was a massive win for everyone. Many of our most renowned retail and FMCG businesses were created by these people who brought fresh ideas and a willingness to work with them. Like many other emergency migrants lots of them took jobs that the economy required. In hindsight it was Uganda’s loss and our gain, massively. It is believed that our entire corner shop / convenience store sector is built upon their endeavours.

I could mention the thousands who came from Hungary in 1956 to escape persecution and the attentions of the secret police, the thousands who fled fascism from Italy and Spain prior to and during WWII. The thousands who fled from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan. The thousands we welcomed from South Africa, Zimbabwe. The Vietnamese Boat People and on and on and on.

The fact is that this country has a rich heritage of being there to help, admittedly often when it suits us, even at times when the actual tyranny they have been escaping has been a consequence of our own historic failings coming back to haunt. But we have always done our share to assist and offer safety when human life has been threatened, when tyranny has ruled.

In Wales there are Italian families who can trace their roots back over 5 generations. In Spalding in Lincolnshire there are flower growers and other horticultural businesses run by 4th generation Spanish families. Our country is adorned with a litany of fabulous flavours, cultures and experiences which arose from immigration which occurred long before our membership of the EU. My own Doctor is the son of a migrant from Iran when his family along with 8,000 others escaped to the UK following the revolution. London has a thriving Turkish community that has been here long before the EU was ever discussed.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 Londoners has ancestry going back to the mass migration of the French Protestant Hugenots when almost an estimated 50,000 came across the Channel in 1789 and set up home in the UK. Guess what, they were escaping persecution, and they came here without any EU Commission involvement, their legacy lives on across the country today.

All of the above is different from economic migrants who’s lives are not in danger. We need economic migrants, but we need controlled economic migration. Saying to 500 Million people “Well, hey, no jobs in your country, no welfare, no healthcare? Well come to Britain, we’ve got loads” Is wrong. Our economic migration policy should be structured around our countries needs. If we need nurses from the Philippines then get them, if we need scientists from Asia, or engineers from Europe or the USA then get them, open up the migration policy, qualify them and welcome them and their families with open arms. But do we really need thousands of men washing cars in derelict garages, warehouse workers, municipal workers? NO. If we do, then lets open our door and offer those opportunities to unskilled people fleeing tyranny or war. To a country where peoples lives are at risk and offer the opportunity to those that really need it because it is a life or death choice for them.

If we keep swelling our population without control the real issue is that when we really need to step up and help and save lives we simply won’t be able to. We will have to say NO. Imagine how many Syrian refugees we could really take if every square inch of vacant land wasn’t being used as a car wash business with its employees living 10 to a room and many not even registered to work. Fact.

These are the cruel facts, the truth. I believe as a nation we should always be able to open our door and our arms to those truly in need, as we have always done in modern times. But we have limited resources and Ahmad from Romania with his 5 children back home living in the country of his birth, which as a result of EU membership has never been safer is taking a resource that Mohammad from Syria and his family really need. Mohammad who doesn’t have a country any longer, who doesn’t have any education for his children or security for his family. Who doesn’t have any food or clean water.

I’m proud of our modern day history in terms of helping asylum seekers and emergency migration. I think historically our controlled immigration policy prior to the expansion of Europe from 15 member states to 25 was pretty spot on. But if we stay in the EU, we will have to say NO louder and louder and louder. At what cost to human life and suffering.

By remaining in the EU what we are actually doing is opening our door to 500 Million People and counting, who by the very nature of the concept of the EU shouldn’t actually need to migrate. To people who if the EU vision had any element of truth should find themselves in a place politically, economically and socially unlike one they have ever experienced before. But we don’t, ask the Greeks, Italians, Spanish, Portugese and even the French. Imagine being a teenager or a young man in his early 20’s in most of those countries what the EU has done for them? What we are actually doing is closing the door to the rest of the World, regardless of the situation. From a young Doctor in Indonesia who wants to enhance his training to the family in some future war torn country with no discernible future. If that isn’t xenophobic and exclusive then I don’t know what is. If this isn’t Europe ring fencing and protecting and excluding the rest of the world from its elitist borders, what is?

But hey, as long as you can drive down the A1 and get your car washed by hand for £5.00 by some guy employed by his own people living in squalid conditions (I’ve seen some of them) and has to give a proportion of his earnings back to his employer, which is basically the closest thing to slave labour this country has.

PS: Wakefield City Centre now has 17 Hand Car Wash operations. The price has gone from £7.00 to £3.50 in 6 months. How long before we have car wash wars?

PPS: I’m the grandson of an Irish Immigrant who came here to work in the Naval Shipyards. I’ve served in the Coldstream Guards and lost friends fighting for freedom and against tyranny and oppression in Bosnia, Kosovo and the Middle East.

PPS: I’ve lived and worked all over the world and loved every minute of it. Never once has been an EU citizen enabled that or enhanced that experience.


The views expressed above are my own and are not representative of my company or any relationship that company holds with service providers or customers. Free speech is a beautiful thing, embrace it, it won’t be around for ever.

PS: I’m OUT.

Stop telling everyone else what to do..

dont-worry-about-what-im-doing-worry-about-why-youre-worried-about-what-im-doing-quote-1Nobody cares about your pointless little opinion or frustration. Now I know there is a certain irony in my title of course. But seriously LinkedIn is becoming like some Social Media version of some tyrannical interventionist society. Stop it.

This morning alone in the first five minutes of my timeline on LinkedIn I saw the following posted:


  1. Stop calling HR “Business Partner”
  2. Stop using buzzwords
  3. Stop posting puzzles and personal photographs

Job Titles. Do you know what would be nice, really nice? If you all stopped telling other people to stop what they are doing and concentrated on what you should be doing instead. What business is it of yours precisely if I want to use the term HR Business Partner? Absolutely none. If you were the Global Head of the GRAIHRP, Globally Respected and Acknowledged Institute of Human Resource Professionals instead of just a Product / Marketing guy then maybe. But you aren’t. So get off your little soap box, stop frothing at the mouth about what other people are doing and do something else more interesting or important.

Buzzwords. Language changes constantly. What is a buzzword or new term today naturally enters peoples language, vocabulary, it isn’t a conscious thing. How many of us have spent the night with someone in a bar and the next day found ourselves using their euphemism’s, even their less tasteful language and similar. Today’s buzzword or new term is in tomorrows Oxford dictionary and then gradually forgotten that it ever was a buzzword in the first place. If I like the term Talent Acquisition as opposed to recruitment then that is my business. It isn’t your’s to use a means of ridiculing someone. You merely come across as a pompous arsehole.

Puzzles. People who actually post, share and even answer puzzles tell you something very important. They have too much time on their hands and no sense of sensibility because they are proudly announcing that they have too much time on their hands. Steer well clear of them.

Photo’s. Well I have to be honest I have seen some truly amazing architecture, engineering achievements, medical, science and similar photos posted on LinkedIn that have drawn me in. I’ve also seen some really interesting posts such as award winners, promotions, recognition, new office premises. I don’t mind them. I’m not a fan of wedding photo’s and new born baby’s but maybe some peoples connections, colleagues and so forth are. So who am I to tell Sarah not to announce to all her global work colleagues, friends and clients that she has given birth to a beautiful healthy baby. I’m sure they are all delighted to know and it seems like the best place to get that message across to such a wide and varied audience very easily in one simple status update.

Status Updates. I actually like these. I love it when someone has a great experience in a restaurant and lets the world know via LinkedIn and Twitter. I think it’s truly brilliant when I’m travelling down to London for the day and one of my clients or associates posts an update to let everyone know they are on the 9:15 into Kings Cross. Guess why? So I can call them and arrange to meet them. I’m overjoyed when someone posts that they have got a new job, a promotion or won a great piece of business.

Exceptions. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do these things, but consider carefully before you do.

Motivational Images. Please do think before you post. At least check the veracity of the origin of the quote and who said it first. Many of them are made up entirely and you just make yourself look like a dick.

Sick people and prayer calls. We all have sadness, sickness and distress in our lives somewhere. Posting an image of a child with cancer with an appeal for prayers is strangely sinister. I just don’t understand it, I’m an atheist. I find the whole praying thing a little weird anyway, so forgive me. But I do find it distressing to see suffering and it doesn’t lighten my day or improve my productivity.

Puppies. I personally love pictures of puppies, especially puppies with really important famous influential people who have changed the world we live in. Like James Caan, Richard Branson, Jordan Belfort or Greg Savage. But otherwise, leave it out please.

LinkedIn is what it is. It isn’t anyone’s job to be out there policing people and ridiculing people in the process. It’s a free world on LinkedIn, there are no religious police preaching intolerance, there are no harsh government’s restricting movement and thought and actions. Unless it’s hurtful, racist, sexist, offensive then just let people be for heavens sake. Comment, contribute, be sarcastic, be obtuse, be helpful, have an opinion, be nice unless you have no choice to be otherwise (Anthony Porter you massive plonker) but please stop telling people what they should do and how they should do it. It’s none of your business and you don’t have the right.

Neither do I, so I’ll get my coat now…. “TAXI”

The holy grail of recruitment? What do you think?

download (2)

It’s all about the money, not the results.

So this morning on LinkedIn I came across what can only be described as the potential usurper to those denizens of the recruitment industry, The Big Biller Summits. The CEO of Morgan Vantage Rec2Rec, Scott Morgan.

Scott Morgan claims to be able to turn an average perms recruiter into a £1 Million per annum revenue machine. Simply by following his advice and adopting the Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance mantra. I challenged his numbers, I challenged his claims as well. What did Scott do? He blocked me from his discussion. Which is fine, if not a little childish.

Thankfully, I copied his article. Have a read and let me know what you think? One thing that absolutely stands out from all the horseshit however, is that nowhere in his articles does he explain or even advocate exceptional quality of service, due care and diligence, commitment to the process. He doesn’t even advocate working on a retained basis. Scott knows little if anything about the recruitment industry and it’s mechanics. What do you think?


How to turn yourself from an average biller to a £1m biller 

Part 1


In case you are unfamiliar with PPPPPP, it stands for Perfect Planning Prevents P”ss Poor Performance. The author of this paper has billed over £1m three times in a 15 year career in recruitment and there really isn’t that much stopping you doing the same. In fact the only thing stopping you, is you.

For any successful recruiter the key to success starts right here. You have to know exactly what you are doing on a day to day basis. You have to plan your time, candidates, marketing in fine detail otherwise you eventually sit there every day just staring at a screen wondering who to call next or just trying to look busy or hoping someone starts a conversation so that you can waste half an hour.

If this type of life makes you happy then I suggest you stop reading now. If you truly want to be the best then hand in there.

OK, there are many aspects of planning that need to be addressed and we will do that in this part of our series of white papers aimed at getting you on the fast track to stardom.

The main key areas of planning are highlighted below and we will address each in turn.

Daily Planner

Candidate Preparation

Client Preparation


Plan for the Future

Daily Planner

All too often nowadays recruiters fall into the trap of spending the majority of their lives staring at some kind of recruitment database software, why?. Does it magically get you interviews, do it magically get you clients, does it magically get you recognised with clients and candidates as the “go to” recruiter in your industry, will it magically bill you £1m. The answer is always NO.

I found a magic formula that worked for me. I kept a desk planner in a diary which had all the key things I had to do that day. If I couldn’t achieve certain things I manually put it into the next day until it was achieved. The logic is simple but this is very powerful in taking the first steps to being a £1m biller.

My Planner was set out like below and in the next column I had the exact times I had to call people.

Arrange First Interviews

Arrange Second Interviews

Follow First Interviews

Follow Second Interviews

Candidate Marketing

Candidate Briefing

Client Briefing

Decisions Pending

Offers to Follow Through

Now you may be sat there thinking, yeah but my recruitment software does all that for me so why should I bother. The rationale is very simple. Your day should be planned out so that you have NO spare time. What you don’t achieve today falls over to tomorrow and you have to manually write your entire day out at the end of the day. Trust me, you soon clear your planner every day and all your follow up calls are booked in well in advance. Once you start this process your time becomes much more effective and every call has an outcome. Your diary then starts to fill up very quickly so when you arrive in the morning, you are ready to go. If anyone asks you what your pipeline looks like you can instantly respond with BANG, BANG, BANG. Only 5% of recruiters can do that and I want to make you one of those.

I used the “absolute mind set” that I needed to make £300,000 and to do that I needed to bill £1m. In order to bill £1m I worked on the principal that I needed to bill around £480 an hour, around £3,800 a day or just over £19,000 a week. Every call I made had to get me to that goal and more importantly every call I made had to have a reason ( I had to see and smell money in there). Every day I planned to make around 100 calls and at least 80 of those had already been planned. I view things like this, I had to make every single call worth £38 or I just wouldn’t bother.

In the next series we will focus on how to achieve success but for now we need to concentrate on the basics. Doing the basics right is the whole key to a successful recruitment career and a step closer to joining the elite £1m billing club.

Candidate Preparation

All too often recruiters set up interviews with candidates and work on the principal that the candidate will do their research. Getting this right can instantly double your revenue. Once you have arranged the interview with the candidate give them a period of time to research the company and arrange a time to brief them on the opportunity.

We all spend too much time arranging interviews but this is one of the most important areas to focus on and we will deal with this in more depth later in the series. Once you call the candidate to go through the interview preparation this is the time that you need to test commitment, have they done their research, if not why not. Don’t be afraid to pull the interview at this stage or threaten to at least. Reitterate that if you cant be bothered to do the research then is this a waste of my clients time, gauge the response and move forward. This establishes your candidate control and makes sure that they are prepared. Brief them to the ‘enth degree. I used to spend at least 30 minutes to 1 hour briefing committed candidates. The more ammunition you give them the more prepared they will be. Again we will deal with this at length in a full “candidate preparation” series.

Client Preparation

Again this is often overlooked by recruiters but it also paramount that client’s are prepared properly. Recruiters often assume that clients are experts in hiring people, the reality is 90% are not. We will detail this further in the series but a prepared client makes for a great interview. Are they structured or do they just make it up as they go. Clients need to know what they have to do in order to secure the right talent. After all, you are bringing them something THEY need so they need to work with you, not against you.


We all have company KPI’s in place but you need to set your own in order to achieve that magical £1m billing mark. In order to get to £1m you need to break down EXACTLY what you need to do.

So work this in reverse:

£1m = 100 x £10,000 average fees

Current Ratio of offers to placement is 1 in 3 so you need 300 offers.

Roughly 6 offers a week

Your current ratio of final interviews to offers is 1 in 3 again so you need 900 final interviews

Roughly 18 final interviews a week

Your current ratio of first interviews to final interviews is 1 in 5 so again you need 4,500 first interviews

Roughly that’s 90 interviews a week

To generate 90 interview a week you probably need 200 candidates a week

The reason I highlight this is simple, it is impossible to bill £1m a week how you currently operate. Quality over quantity, preparation over scatter gun. If you prepare properly the ratios will look something like this

£1m = 67 x £15,000 average fees

Current Ratio of offers to placement is 1 in 2 so you need 134 offers.

Roughly 2.5 offers a week

Your current ratio of final interviews to offers is 1 in 2 again so you need 268 final interviews

Roughly 5 final interviews a week

Your current ratio of first interviews to final interviews is 1 in 3 so again you need 804 first interviews

Roughly that’s 15 interviews a week

To generate 15 interview a week you probably need 30 candidates a week


Identify your weaknesses and deal with them, identify where you “cut” corners and stop. Know your market, learn your market, go the extra mile for clients, store every little detail about your market as it can pay dividends in the future. You are now coming one step closer to the magical £1m mark.

Now by simply preparing better your KPI ratios come down, your clients and candidates are better prepared and you chance of successful interviews increases dramatically. Quality over Quantity – a committed candidate is far better to work with than a superstar who is dipping their toe in the water, Work Smart and Hard – Get your candidates to list all of their competitors (Top 10, 20, 30 etc) and approach them, get your candidates to identify exactly WHY these companies will be interested in them. Only work with EXCLUSIVE candidates, One exclusive decent candidate is better than 20 non committed or multi agency candidates, your reputation with clients will suffer, you have to work 10 times harder to place one person, WHY??. Remember, to achieve your £1m billings you need to make every one of your 100 phone calls a £38 call and that candidate who has already registered with 8 other agencies is not a £38 call.

In short you need to improve your KPI ratios in order to improve your billings. This series has been developed to kelp you do that and we will look “in depth” at simple measures you can take in order to achieve your goals and take a step closer to being a £1m biller.

Plan for the Future

Typically recruiters thing no further than the end of the week. This is fine if all you want to achieve is say 10 interviews (doesn’t matter about quality or suitability). Planning for the future is key to taking the next step in your career and joining the elite, the £1m billers. Take a few minutes out and look at your market, try to assess the “top 10” companies in your market that people WANT to work for, the companies that excite YOU. Plan your strategy at gaining entry into those companies, keep banging on their door time and again and eventually a door ill open, once you are in you have something truly special, a company that YOU believe in, a company that YOU are proud to sell to your candidates and a company YOU believe to be the very best. Enthusiasm is infectious and this will rub off on your candidates perception of the client as well.

To become an Elite recruiter you have to know your market, what companies have won what contract, who is growing, who has lost a major deal, who is installing the latest version of xxx technology, how the organisations rank in the pay leagues as these are your tools to separate you from the rest. Knowledge is power and eventually if you plan properly, store your knowledge then clients will want to feed off that knowledge.

Published by Morgan Vantage Ltd

Retained R2R

Recruitment Management Consultancy

Recruitment Company RPO

Scott Morgan CEO


Watch out, unhappy candidate about..

Bad Choice

“Watch out, there is an unhappy candidate about…”

A post appeared on LinkedIn yesterday from a very angry company CEO. He was angry at the fact that apparently the very same recruitment firm who had helped him hire for his team was now trying to headhunt the people they had helped to hire. Maybe he had a right to be angry, there are of course two sides to every story, so we will probably never even know.

However the discussion quickly deteriorated into the usual bloodletting that any recruitment discussion on LinkedIn descends into. Carnage ensued that would have made a Viking squirm. But one point that kept being raised was this:

“Why shouldn’t a recruiter contact the candidates they place to see if they are happy or not, what if the candidate isn’t happy, surely the recruiter has a duty to try and place them elsewhere?” Now on the first point, every recruiter should stay in touch with their placed candidates. If the candidate isn’t happy about something, and very often it may be something simple they will probably find it easier to confide in you. You can help resolve it impartially and sensitively if required, it should be part of your job to nurse candidates through the early days of their new job. Your candidates will appreciate it and so should your clients, providing the contact isn’t invasive of course. Popping around to take them to lunch every week probably isn’t appropriate.

On the second point, trying to justify extracting recently placed candidates from their client organisations because the candidate is unhappy, is nonsense. The reality of this is that they are trying to defend the fact that they have actually failed to identify the right candidates in the first place to ensure that their clients hired right the first time every time. In truth in many recruitment organisations back fills, free replacements and similar for hiring mistakes are a common occurrence which are even factored into monthly and quarterly forecasts. Surely this should be a rare event. For many recruiters it isn’t. Which means that the same applies for candidates and clients. A fundamental part of your job is to source candidates who actually want the job, who want to work for that company, in that location and in that environment. That is partly what your client is paying you for, to save them time screening and eliminating the ones who aren’t right, so they can focus their selection on the ones who are.

Is a recruiter ever to blame for a candidate finding themselves in the wrong job, the wrong culture working with the wrong organisation? Apparently not according to some very senior recruitment company owners and directors. Which underlines and boldly emphasises why so many recruiters get it wrong. But does anyone care, the fee is on the board and many recruiters are more than happy to sit back, cross their fingers and hope that the candidate is out of any rebate period before they find another job and leave.

Let’s consider for a moment the many things that many recruiters simply don’t do:

They have often never visited the candidate’s future place of work.

Yes, as bizarre as you may think this is, it is true. Many recruiters have never ever even visited the actual physical business premises of their clients. They have no idea what the location is like in terms of accessibility or appearance. What the general ambiance of the place is, how dark and grimy or how bright and airy the place is. Still why should they. Many will come back and state that someone else has visited it and told them all about it. Not good enough.

A great recruiter will be able to tell a prospective candidate about the quite dingy street they have to walk down that has a plethora of nightclubs and pubs and all the associated debris those establishments leave behind visible on a morning. The awesome Moroccan lunch spot at the end of the street and the gym every raves about around the corner. A great recruiter will know that there is a short cut if you go around the back of the tube station instead of through the shopping center.

They have very often never even met the actual Hiring Manager the role reports into.

You would be forgiven for assuming that all recruiters meet the person they are recruiting for. Wrong, in fact I would even hazard a guess that in the vast majority of cases they haven’t. So they don’t know who they are recruiting for, what makes them tick, what their sense of humour, general demeanour or actual style of communication is. All things you would have thought were essential to identify a good fit and hire the right person.

A great recruiter will know that the person the role reports into is fastidious about punctuality, is ex armed forces and has a low tolerance of sickness. They will be able to tell a prospective candidate that this manager has a reputation for identifying talent and developing people and is quietly considered as the next CEO or similar because of their drive and charisma.

A really good recruiter will be able to tell you current and former team members think of the Line Manager, how inspiration they are and the fact that despite the growl they are really a teddy bear at heart.

They have never met the team, they don’t even know who the team is.

Again, recruiters talk about an organisations culture and ethos. But the really important stuff for a potential new hire is what are the people I am going to work with like? What makes them work well together, are they sociable, are they driven, are they good fun work hard, play hard mentalists?

When I recruit I provide prospective candidates with a biography of the key people they are going to be involved with in their day to day job. I tell them the nuances of these people. I can tell them that Bill is a product guy, he has a short attention span and likes clear facts and figures. I can tell them that Steve is gregarious, the class clown who loves Aston Villa (you would need a sense of humour) but is incredibly passionate and works every hour of the day including Saturday. A candidate needs to know these things.

The list goes on and on. The shameful thing about much of this is that weak recruiters blame their clients. They come out with stuff like:

“I asked if I could visit but they wouldn’t let me.”

“I asked to meet the Manager the role reports into but they were too busy”

“I tried to get some insight into the culture or the organisation but HR said they’d covered this hundreds of times with agencies and we should have all that stuff.”

Grow some please. It’s called objection handling and if you can’t overcome those objections then either find clients you can work with professionally or get the hell out of recruitment and do everyone a favour.

The truth is that in most cases this is weak recruiters, recruiting poorly for companies who really don’t give a shit whether you find them the truly best candidates or not. This is roulette recruitment, it’s about numbers not quality. For the recruiter it’s about getting that fee on the board, nailing that commission target, for their crappy clients it’s about getting someone, anyone’s backside in that seat. Let’s be honest. In this scenario you are all a marriage made in heaven. The recruiter for being willing to work in such a way, the client for wanting this kind of service and the candidate for accepting any of it.


You should actually truly interview your candidates, test your candidates and give them the warts and all perspective of the opportunity. If you do all of this throughout your selection process then you should only ever have candidates with eyes wide open full of bushy tailed eagerness even being submitted for a vacancy.

More importantly you should challenge your candidates. If you have even the slightest reservation about the location of a job, cultural or personality fit, the real hours as opposed to the contracted hours, the remuneration, then challenge them. When you have finished interviewing them and briefing them ask the question “Based upon everything I’ve told you so far, hypothetically is there any reason why you wouldn’t accept this job today?” If there is they will tell you, discuss it resolve it. Never submit a candidate until they give you an emphatic “No Mr Fantastic Recruiter, there is absolutely no reason why I wouldn’t appear naked on prime time TV to get this job today.” Or similar.

A great recruiter understands their client organisation. They have done the DNA analysis to ascertain what fits, who is successful and why. They live and breathe their client’s culture and even participate in it in some way. Placing an unsuitable candidate into that organisation is what keeps recruiters awake at night. For me the idea is the Boogey Man in my closet.


You encourage the churn and burn, expect low standards and you’ll get low standards, pay poor fees and you’ll get what you pay for. Don’t be angry when the same recruiters come back and extract the same poor unhappy candidate and place them somewhere else. Many of them have to do this 2 or 3 times to actually accumulate a fee for their work that makes it all seem worthwhile. If you give your recruiter nothing, they won’t feel like they owe you anything, including loyalty.

Give them time, challenge them, test them, open the door for them and if you like what you see pay them a decent price for a decent job and don’t try and demean their attempts to exceed your expectation. Most recruiters are actually immensely committed and driven and have a genuine desire to move heaven and earth to please you. But you have to give them the opportunity, give them the time and the tools to get to understand you and work with you.


Stand up for yourself. Take some responsibility and look beyond the link the recruiter sends you to an About Us page and the job spec. Start asking questions, keep asking questions. Test your recruiters, ask then what the office décor is like, how many people work on a floor, what the canteen looks like, where is the nearest car park, how much does it cost. How many kids has the line manager got, what are the average hours the team really works, do they like football or ballet… Ask the recruiter what kind of people are successful in this business and what kind are not. If they can’t tell you walk away, find a recruiter who can.

Never ever allow a recruiter to submit your CV for a job if they won’t tell you who the hiring company is. If they say it’s highly confidential than ask to sign a Non-disclosure Agreement between you and the hiring company. If they won’t tell you where your personal details are going, walk away.

The Reality

There will always be exceptions, it doesn’t matter how diligent, professional and tirelessly committed and honest you are as a recruiter. Things happen, candidates lie, clients lie, and organisations can change quickly. But if you do find yourself in what should be a rare situation when you have put the wrong candidate into the wrong job don’t ignore it hoping it will go away and fix itself. Don’t look nervously towards your figures and your commission and tremble. Get a grip of it, understand the situation and move towards damage limitation with a keen focus on making things as right as possible for your client and candidate first and you and your organisation second.


Move along, it’s just another Gurustation…

Who are you looking at?Is it just me or does anybody else find LinkedIn a little creepy these days? I’m not referring to the crappy mobile apps which essentially make LinkedIn entirely useless for pretty much anything you would probably want to do on a social media channel. Nor am I referring to all those ‘Anonymous’ views which, I know many of you become almost apoplectic about. No I’m talking about all those creepy recruiters who just keep popping in and out of your profile. They sneak in, have a quick nosey around, lift the bed linen and check under the bed, open the fridge steal a bit of cold chicken and then sneak back out again, usually kicking the cat and rattling the dustbins as they go.

It’s weird. I know what many of you will be thinking now. I should be flattered that generally as a rule almost 40% of the people who view my profile are recruiters. But I find it unnerving. Firstly I really don’t like the vast majority of the recruitment industry. Don’t misunderstand me, I love what I do and I know some truly remarkable people across every aspect, I’ve worked with many and know quite a few I’d love to work with if the chance arose. Secondly I genuinely don’t give a monkeys hairy arse about what the industry, my peers or anybody else within it is doing, fundamentally because it’s truly bloody dull and far from awe-inspiring. Usually the most exciting event is a collective online masturbation or Gurustation over some self-proclaimed ‘guru’ who spouts nuggets of wisdom that resemble the kind of stuff you would expect to get from a very cheap Fortune Cookie.

So if the last person I would probably ever consider viewing on LinkedIn is a fellow recruiter, why are they all looking at me? The old move along, nothing to see here adage works for me. I want to be viewed by the people I work for, my current and prospective customers and my target audience and chosen networks. Not a bunch of creepy recruiters ferreting through my underwear every day and kicking my cat.