This month, the BlueSky PR team headed to the Recruitment Agency Expo 2020 in Olympia London, the UK’s number one event for recruitment leaders. Both days were packed with insightful talks back-to-back on all things ranging from IR35 to leadership skills. Here’s a quick run-down of what happened on the day.
Recruitment Agency Expo 2020 - The Number One Event for Rec Leaders
This year, the Recruitment Agency Expo welcomed over 3,000 recruitment professionals, 100+ leading industry suppliers and over 70 speakers. In total, there was an impressive 54 seminars across four theatres. While there was a lot to take in, every presentation offered new perspectives, information and plenty of food for thought.
Your People Are Key to Your Growth Strategy
Ann Swain kicked the event off with her presentation ‘Your People Are Key to Your Growth Strategy.’ Ann, founder and CEO of The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), is an industry stalwart – with over 30 years’ experience in the sector.
The talk advised business owners on how to leverage their most important asset, their people. Ann urged decision makers to ensure that their staff had energy, quality, and made impact – and gave a number of actionable workforce strategies to help recruiters get the most out of their consultants.
Reputation, Reputation, and Reputation
Following Ann was our very own Head of Practice, Vickie Collinge. Vickie’s talk ‘Reputation, Reputation, and Reputation’ told firms how an effective PR strategy can turn help them go from being recruiters who puts ‘bums on seats’ to trusted advisers to clients and candidates.
Vickie went into detail on the value of thought leadership content, how it can set recruitment firms apart in a crowded market, and what content works for the media (hint: it isn’t writing about your office refurb).
Recruitment Growth Mastermind
On day two of Recruitment Agency Expo 2020, Senior Lecturer at Newcastle Business School, Peter Pease gave a great presentation on recruitment growth mastermind. He shared his latest research about the drivers that make the difference between success and failure in recruitment. As the industry is growing at a rapid pace, with the value of the sector now hitting £38 billion, knowing how you can develop and improve is crucial to remain competitive.
Peter’s research revealed many interesting points. For example, that founders with mentors are more successful than those who go it alone, pessimism has a direct impact on outcome and a firm’s longevity, and that self-belief isn’t as important as many would believe in order to be successful.
Last year, more than 8000 new recruitment businesses were created in the UK. However, the vast majority will cease trading within three to five years. To ensure that your firm is not a part of this statistic, it’s important that you consider all the drivers that impact success.
Dare to Be Different
Wendy McDougall, Chief ‘fish’ at Fire Fish Software gave a very energetic presentation on daring to be different and standing out from the crowd. She kicked things off by entering on a space hopper -which certainly was daring and different!
While it’s no secret that the recruitment industry is extremely competitive, with many firms facing the same challenges and sourcing from the same talent pool, Wendy’s main message was that differentiation is the key to long term success in the field. Nowadays, everyone looks the same, everyone sounds the same and everyone is talking about the same topics. But, by taking an alternative approach, and going against the norm, firms can truly stand out and offer more creative solutions to their clients.
How to Create a Great Sales Culture
Sales and management consultant at Pit-Stop Consulting, Bryn Thompson, spoke about creating a great sales culture. Ironically, he highlighted that while recruiters are great recruiters, they’re not always the best at hiring for their own team. One of the common mistakes that companies make while increasing headcount is relying on the interview process too heavily and on skills and experience. Instead, firms should look at attitude and mindset as people who are positive in these areas have the ability to continually learn and develop.
Bryn also highlighted the importance of hiring based on cultural fit and having a strong onboarding process. Perceptions of the early days of being with a company often carve an individual’s route with the business, and the more positive their start was, the more likely they will stay with the firm.
These are just a few highlights from the Recruitment Agency Expo 2020, but of course there were many more. I highly recommend that everyone working or interested in the recruitment sector makes the effort to attend next year.