Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Why ‘Exclusivity’ Saves You Time AND Money

As an experienced Search Consultant, nothing loses my interest quicker than being told that a vacancy has gone out to several different recruitment companies.

When asked why the recruiting company felt the need to send out the job spec to a myriad of potential suppliers, the common answer is that they wanted a choice of candidates and to ensure that they were getting the very best person in the marketplace.

The result was far from this.  

What they actually received was an initial flurry of activity followed by a stream of unsuitable CV’s.

After investing a huge amount of time sifting through CV’s and rejecting most of them, it’s not surprising that they were left wondering how recruitment companies can justify charging a fee for this!

In my opinion, recruitment at any level works best when it works in partnership, with both recruiting company and recruitment company, accepting responsibility for ensuring a successful conclusion to the search.  This is even more important at executive level.

The success of a search assignment starts long before a suitable candidate is sourced.

  It begins with investing the necessary time upfront to ensure that you are selecting the best recruitment company and approach to ensure success. Taking the time to carefully select the consultant you are to work with on your recruitment is the first step towards ensuring success.

Working with a Search Consultant on an exclusive arrangement is key to reducing the amount of time you invest in the process. It also reduces the risk of a failed search or of hiring the wrong candidate – other outcomes that will take up more of your precious time - and ultimately cost you more money.

Long-term, the benefits of working closely in partnership with your search consultant are magnified.  They will know you, your company, the culture, the history and your future vision. They can offer additional value through advising on current employment trends, compensation packages, competitor insights, etc. 

With global competition for top talent on the rise, there has never been a better time to start building your relationship with a Search Consultant.

Head of Executive Search

To find out more about how working on an exclusive basis with Exclusive can save your time AND money, contact Clare on 01661 867 730 or clare@exclusiveltd.co.uk

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Being World Class

I was lucky enough to attend the fascinating ‘Be World Class’ conference last week in which outstanding individuals from various disciplines, including the worlds of sport, gastronomy and business spoke about how they had reached the levels they have today.  The event focused on the key attributes that made these people ‘world class’ and whilst some of the themes were those that you would expect (dedication, time, a genuine passion for what they did), some were actually external factors that had pushed them on to excellence (right place at the right time, life changing event etc..)

Putting this into a business, or more specifically recruitment context this got me thinking what role organisations could play in developing a world class environment in which their employees could reach their own full potential.  I think that this is the key here – I would never claim, nor hope to be truly ‘world class’ in comparison to some of the people that I heard speak at the conference but certainly would one day hope to be.  In maximising your own potential and delivering the best that you can, all of the time, then you can at least share some of the attributes that these outstanding performers list as being key in taking them to where they are.

So, what can employers do to harness that potential and how can they use their recruitment process to be the first point of advertising themselves as a ‘world class’ organisation?  Firstly, I think that in the same way that the individuals I was mentioning stressed that they achieved what they did by dedicating time to the process, I think that in giving time to each piece of recruitment, an organisation can really set themselves apart from the field.

I’m thinking of one specific example of an organisation that I am dealing with at present, who have not only taken the time to engage with me as their recruiter but dedicated time to putting a real plan in place for the piece of recruitment that they are carrying out, including putting together a highly detailed job description and profiles of key individuals in the business, all to be presented to candidates at the outset of the process and really bringing the business to life and ‘selling’ it as a world class place to work.

Likewise, organisations with a highly engaged workforce that act as champions for the business in all manner of subtle ways, really give off the feel of world class places to work.  I recently placed an individual in a business and when it came down to her making a decision between the offer given by them and another, more financially lucrative offer from a different organisation, she chose the former in a heartbeat.  The reason?  Everyone that she had come into contact with throughout the recruitment process had come alive when they talked about the place that they worked and their own role within it.  The evident pride shown by the employees persuaded that candidate that she would be walking into a world class environment and swung the balance for her.

Not all of us will reach the Olympics, climb Everest or run 66 ultra-marathons in 66 days (I know!) but each of us can do our own little bit to be part of something world class and when you think of it like that, that’s something pretty special!

Gareth Harrison CIPD
Managing Consultant

To join us at Thursday's Be World Class Conference and for an Exclusive Ltd discount code, click Here

If you would like to speak to a member of our own World Class team, click Here

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Great Leaders: Leading from the front...

This is a blog Simon Hartley wrote for Exclusive Thinking some months ago. We have chosen to re-publish this in the light of the upcoming Be World Class Conferences, on October the 18th and 25th.

recruitment consultants

Great leaders lead from the front. Having worked in professional and Olympic sports, I have been fortunate to have seen several World Class leaders at work. Whether in sport or business, great leaders seem to have a magical combination of passion, energy, drive, focus and determination. Obviously, those are not the only qualities required to be a great leader, but I would argue that they are vital components and are often the elements that set the truly inspirational leaders from the rest.

The question is; how do we foster these elements? Do they happen by chance? Are leaders born with those qualities or are they nurtured? Can we build these essential components and develop them? If so, can we also develop them in others?

In my experience, these components can all be developed. I don’t think they are manufactured. I am not sure that you could send someone on a course to learn passion, drive, energy, focus or determination. However, they can be developed. In fact, I believe we cultivate them, just like we do when growing plants. Often we need to create the right conditions for them to flourish. Plants need the stimulation of heat, light, water and nutrients for them to grow. I believe that it is a similar process with these components. We need to provide the stimulation and create the conditions.

Passion, energy, drive, focus and determination are under-pinned by three key elements. These three essential elements are the same elements that we require to perform at our peak. The trio work in combination. It is very difficult to have one of them unless we have the other two, because they depend on each other. You can’t grow plants with light but not water. You need to have all of the vital ingredients working together.

So, what are the three crucial elements? It’s not rocket science. Our three amigos are Confidence, Focus and Motivation. Simply put, our passion comes from our motivation and our belief. In order to have motivation, we need a compelling reason to engage in something. That reason has to be incredibly important to us. Many leaders are following their dreams. It is their dream that gives them the compelling reason. When we have the compelling reason and we know how important it is, we start to take on the ‘nothing will get in our way’ mindset. However, the reason alone is not always enough. If we are to throw ourselves into it, we also need belief. For example, we need to believe in ourselves, our team, our strategy and in what we’re doing. Therefore, we have to have confidence & belief to give us the passion, energy, drive and determination. We need rock solid confidence in order to keep going when things look gloomy. There are always bumps in the road. Sometimes we go for long periods without results before we become successful. If we don’t have unwavering confidence, we’re likely to give up.

Even with the power of confidence and motivation, we will not be successful without focus. Having energy is great, but it’s only useful if we direct it. Without direction we become enthusiastic fools. Great leaders have a very simple and clear focus. This simple, clear focus directs them and also helps them provide a simple, clear focus to their teams. Focus is the foundation, upon which we are able to grow confidence and motivation. When we have a simple, clear job, we are likely to be able to do it well. If we can do the job really well, we become confident. When we are confident, we enjoy doing that job and we want to do it again. Therefore we develop motivation. Motivation is often comes from confidence, and confidence from focus.

Personally, I don’t think great leadership should be left to chance. I believe it should be cultivated, grown and nurtured. There are great leaders all around us, just waiting for the right conditions to thrive.

Simon Hartley - Executive Coach

Out with the old, in with the new?

I recently had an interesting experience with a service provider that I have been a loyal customer to for the past 7 years. Over these 7 years I have taken out a number of products with them and been every sense of the “perfect” customer – reliable, loyal and lucrative. So why is it then that when I wanted to take out a new product with said service provider, which was being offered to new customers at a discounted rate, I was told that I would not get that rate but have to pay double, all for the same service.

This example of “rewarding” customer loyalty left a very sour taste in my mouth. In my mind, your current customers are your best asset. These customers provide you with repeat business, strong references, and become an advocate for you in the marketplace which is an extremely valuable tool for any growing business.

We have all experienced at some time, a business that is so busy chasing after new customers they neglect to service the customers they already have. New customers are imperative to growth of course, but even more important is retaining your existing customers who will provide the foundation for sustained growth.
A client, who recently enlisted me to assist in recruiting a senior member of staff, explained the reason he wanted to recruit a permanent member to the team rather than a contractor “to ensure the skills & experience were retained on a long term basis”.

This synergy applies to the customers that Exclusive deal with, we see our current customer base as our “permanent” members as these are the clients that know our skills & experience and trust us to deliver results on any assignment they enlist us on – thus we want to retain them on a long-term basis.  Our “contractors” are new customers who we have to establish a trust with in order to work in partnership with them and ultimately turn them into long-term clients.

When approaching new customers, it is so important for any organisation to ensure they have the resources to consistently deliver to all of their clients, and to ensure every client gets the same service.
At Exclusive we are selective with the clients we work with. We ensure that we only work with customers that we can deliver results to and create a long-lasting partnership. This ensures all of our customers, whether new or existing, get the same high levels of service and allows us to consistently deliver outstanding results.

Laura Weaving
Divisional Lead - Oil & Gas, Energy & Marine

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Be World Class Conference 2012

Following the success of last year’s event, Exclusive Ltd are proud to be the headline sponsor of this year’s Be World Class Conference organised by sports psychologist and performance coach, Simon Hartley.

Being hailed as the must attend event for businesses in the North East and Yorkshire, all speakers promise to give an insight into what makes them World Class, which is something we at Exclusive Ltd aspire to be.

Being a small business, we know what it takes to separate yourself from the rest and to stand out during turbulent economic times. This is where the work of Simon and his speakers comes into play,  giving you the confidence and inspiration to Be World Class.

Simon has pulled together some truly motivational speakers, ranging from a Michelin Starred Chef to a record breaking ultra distance Athlete, all of whom know the dedication and enthusiasm it takes to become the best in their field.

 Each speaker will take their time to advise and inspire you on the different elements it takes to make yourself and your business extraordinary and above the rest, ranging from guidance on mental toughness, attention to detail and on world class preparation.

The idea behind the conferences came to Simon following his work as a sports pyschologist:

“Working with world class athletes and sports teams for many years led me to ask ‘What is it that makes some people exceptional? What differentiates them from the ones who almost made it?’ As a sport psychologist, I want to get underneath the skin. I want to understand how world class performers think, how they make their decisions, how they respond to challenges and set-backs”.

 During the conference, we will share both their inspiration and a host of amazing insights.

“We’re going to put you in the shoes of our world class speakers. We’ll present you with a real life challenge that our speakers have encountered and ask what you would do in that situation”.

The days also include a Q & A session, which is something not to be missed, giving you the opportunity to interact with the speakers and start adopting the traits that will build you to Be World Class.

The conferences are held over two days, in Newcastle on 18th October at the Centre for Life, and in Leeds on 25th October at the Royal Armouries.

At Exclusive Ltd, we are offering a special discount on tickets to the events, which can be found on our website at BE WORLD CLASS  

Siobhan Baranian

Proud to be Different

recruitment Newcastle When I created Exclusive, I wanted to be different to the rest of the Recruitment and Consultancy market. A focus on values, personality and flexibility rather than KPI’s and Hotlists was at the core of what I planned, after my experience working for a Global Blue Chip Consultancy.

In 2007, Exclusive was born and since then, my team have gone from strength to strength. Within a year we had expanded, in 2009 we opened our Yorkshire office and in 2010, due to a demand in the market, we expanded our Recruitment Services to cover more professional areas.

In the last year alone, we have been awarded ‘Highly Commended’ at the Culture for Success Awards and expanded our Recruitment division to answer the needs of a skills short Aberdeen Engineering market.

You may have seen in our e-Marketing and Social Media that Exclusive have been announced as Headline Sponsors for the Be World Class Conferences and I feel this stands as a testament to what I wanted from the start; to be a class above the rest and to be unique in the market.

The Be World Class Conferences are the must attend business events for organisations throughout the North East and Yorkshire who aspire to Be World Class and rise above their competition. Presented by a range of amazing individuals, you can learn the secrets to making you and your businesses extraordinary. (You can find a list of the speakers on the Be World Class Conference website).

The Be World Class Coaching from Simon Hartley recognises the very best in Business and Sport and I am delighted that we have been picked as the leaders of his mission. Standing alongside major players in Education and Law, marks Exclusive not as a simple ‘Recruitment and HR Consultancy’, but as something more.

Exclusive have a special discount for tickets at the upcoming Be World Class Conferences, and I do hope that you can spare a day to come and listen to the truly world class speakers, including a Michelin Starred Chef and a record breaking athlete.

Kind Regards as always,

Mark Ions
Managing Director

To find out more about the event, visit our website.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A Look Into Our World

It’s estimated that 80% of people go to work to do a job that they’re indifferent about. Around half of those actually hate the work that they do. In contrast, I love my job. With almost 17 years’ of recruitment and career development experience under my belt, I’d say that it’s a pretty good job I do! Even so, it’s not the easiest career I could have chosen. Alongside the definite highs, Recruitment brings with it many unique challenges. I hope to share some of these with you in this short blog.
  • Recruitment is the only job in the world where the product has a mind of its own
    Look at it this way. You sell widgets. You go out and get the order, you agree a price, you produce the widgets, deliver them and get paid. At no point does the widget jump up and say ‘Sorry – I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to go to that company’. This may sound strange, but this is what happens to recruiters every day. We do a great job of taking a job order, sourcing suitable candidates, delivering a shortlist, managing the process, getting the offer negotiated and agreed and, out of the blue, the candidate changes their mind and rejects the offer. Often, we have spent weeks, possibly months, working on this assignment and, during one short phone call (or generally email these days), it’s all over. 
  • The client changes their mind
    The majority of recruiters work contingently. That means that we only get paid on results, i.e. when a candidate accepts an offered position. As well as the above situation, many recruiters often face the frustration of clients changing their minds about recruiting for a position. Sometimes this will be part way through the recruitment process, for example when a suitable shortlist is presented. Often, it can be at the very final stages, when budgets are suddenly cut, an internal candidate is sourced (there wasn’t anyone suitable internally two weeks ago!) or a piece of work lost. Again, let’s go back to the widget manufacturer. I come to you and order 10,000 widgets. You buy in the stock, bring in extra temporary labour to fulfil the order, manufacture the widgets, box them up and get them ready to ship. Job done. You call to advise when the shipment will be delivered and I tell you ‘Sorry – I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want the widgets now’. Of course, this would never happen in your industry. It happens in the Recruitment industry every day.
  • Recruitment lacks the respect of many other industries
    Over the last 17 years’ I’ve been fortunate to work with some brilliant, talented, professional, intelligent, well-qualified individuals. I have a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Law, several coaching and business mentoring qualifications and continually strive to learn, grow and master my trade as a Recruiter. My colleagues at Exclusive are similarly well-qualified and talented recruitment professionals. Why then, do people sometimes throw scorn on our profession? I agree that there are some less professional Recruiters out there in the marketplace. However, should we not be judged on individual performance and ethics, rather than making sweeping statements likening us to used car sales people? This may come as a shock to some people reading this blog – we really do want to do a great job, give you a premium service, help you recruit the best talent in the marketplace, or get the best job in the marketplace. All we ask is that you – client or candidate – work with us, as professionals, to allow this to happen. 
You’re probably wondering now, given the above, why I even do this job, let alone love it! To me, recruitment is the best career I could have ever chosen. I love people. Moreover, I love helping people find solutions to their most pressing problems - whether that’s recruiting exceptional people for a client, or working with a candidate to help them find an exciting and challenging new position. I love forging new relationships, learning about different businesses and seeing people and companies grow and prosper through some of the strategic appointments I’ve been involved in over the years.

I feel really fortunate when I get up every morning, wondering what today will bring (no two days are ever the same in recruitment) to know that I’m in the 20% that really love their job.
Clare Fenwick