International Jet Set Lifestyle... or something like that?

The 2008 Sancerre in my hand is nicely chilled (you see,  even in recruitment we can be cultured?) and the pasta that accompanied it was very good and as I look up I can see the undulating hills of Hertfordshire.  To the untrained eye this sounds ideal.  The reality is I am on the 20:40 from Euston heading back to what will be dark and slightly gloomy Manchester. 

Jet setting...well almost... It does involve travel and I did fly down on Tuesday.

I am not going to bore you with too much of the detail this week on what has again been a tough week.  Not as tough as the last few weeks, finally getting to think I can stop being hands on and get on with the ‘strategy’ part that I have promised my client.

Since I wrote my last blog saying that traditional recruitment was dead and that traditional recruiters were a dying breed I have had some feedback.  I say feedback, what I really mean is a series of short, slightly aggressive emails, more activity on LinkedIn than I am used to and a couple of slightly strange tweets.  On a positive note it means someone out there cares.  On a slightly more negative note, whilst they care they need to learn how to spell and tone down the attitude.

Based on this wide and varied feedback I can see that I have hit a nerve.  Not necessarily a good nerve but a nerve none the less which means I need to find out why.

In the main the negative response was from dinosaur recruiters who believe that what has happened in the industry for the last 10 years will be the same for the next.  Well as I said in the email. It won’t be.  You might not like the social media ‘hippies’ (their words not mine) but it is here to stay.  Why would the recruitment industry avoid any form of post recession change when other industries have had to dust themselves down and rethink how they do things.  The more positive feedback just in summary said ‘bring it on’.

The industry is changing, slowly and those of us that want to see recruitment, resourcing, talent acquisition etc. recognised as the tricky task that it is need to move quickly whilst we still have a chance.  You see I believe that collaboration is the only way forward, that pooling of ideas to bring about a step change in capability, quality and the way the industry is perceived by fee paying clients.  It is all about the value add.  I shall use a true story. 

I met an agency today that I have known for a long time.  As a candidate I have always been unimpressed, as a client I am not sure yet.  The danger is my baggage from previous experiences does not allow me to look at organisations with my usual pragmatism.  Back to the point.  Our review was as expected in some ways, not in others.  The bit I expected and got was a ‘we can work with you’ approach that is a given in these tough times.  The bit I wasn’t expecting was that despite their traditional business model, their traditional approach and traditional results there was a true sign that they had been listening.  I described the way the business was going and they suggested they could help.  Not is a traditional way but with some thought, some element of a service driven proposition that I could sell internally.  It’s early days but it gave me hope.  Maybe, just maybe I have been too hard on organisations, believing that I and a select band of people in the organisation are the only people who know the true way forward dismissing the ability for traditional organisations to change.

I will let you know how it progresses.  But if nothing else on this end of a long week Thursday night, do one thing tomorrow that adds true value to your relationship with your client.  Don’t try and change the world but think about one little thing you could talk to them about that is not about transactional based bums on seats but client driven value.

As ever, email me on or call me on +44161.955.3647 I am always happy to talk to clients, recruiters and name callers alike.

about martin dangerfield

2010 is going to be another tough year, I believe we are out of the worst of it but it is by no means a done deal yet.  If you want my help with your recruitment strategy, from inception to delivery, help in the creation of a 3 year business vision or practical on-site recruitment support then contact me, Martin Dangerfield on 0161.955.3647 or email

As well as being a Regional Director for the IRP, Martin is Director of the innovative search business mckinley|resource, a freelance people consultant specialising in talent attraction, assessment and recruitment and a provider of business coaching for high growth entrepreneurial organisations.

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