Guest Blog – Gemma Cuff - The Three R's...

3 rs

I’ve been thinking.  I think it’s because we are just finishing the first quarter of a new year – new years always make me think, and right now I have the 3 R’s on my mind.




Not a normal combination of R’s admittedly, but then I started thinking they have more in common than I first realised. Let me try and explain:

Rugby: I have been keeping an eye out on the England squad selection and team line up for longer than I care to remember, and this 6 Nations, it has once again, been at the forefront of my mind. We also have the Lions tour soon and I keep spotting Mr Henry at the Internationals, selecting his team to take on the Aussies over the summer. He’ll no doubt take his pick from the England v Wales match on 16th March.

If a rugby player (at any level) wants to be picked for their local or indeed international team, not only do they have to be good enough, they need to ensure that people are seeing that talent and are aware that they want to be picked and play for that team. In other words they need to be active. I can’t imagine Chris Robshaw waiting for Stuart Lancaster to approach him and spend the time selling to him and encouraging him to want to play for England.

Relationships: I am perennially single (I hear violins). I am not sure whether I am unlucky or just have bad judgement, but that is a whole other story for an entirely different kind of blog (I may write the saga one day). My sister is in love with a man she met on a dating site, and as much as sibling rivalry (even at 34) makes it difficult to say; I am so happy for her.

If someone really wants to be in a relationship, you have to look for someone surely? The person you want to be with, has to be in a similar situation (ideally) and also actively looking. The plethora of dating websites now is bamboozling, but they wouldn’t exist or be successful if there wasn’t an active market of people looking for love. I know entering into a relationship can take time, I hear that both parties have to put in a lot of effort, make the other person fall for them – it’s almost a sales pitch for eternal love – but both people have to be available and interested.

Can you see where I am going with this?

Recruitment: I am sure that most of the wonderful people reading this blog, like me, have attended numerous seminars, webinars, conferences and think tanks on our chosen specialism. I am sure that we all read white papers, news papers and articles on recruitment too. For the last 2 years, the passive candidate has been talked about as if they are the Holy Grail, cure all, and the answer to all our prayers in recruitment.


Yes, they are great. Please don’t think that I don’t recruit passive talent, I do. However, I don’t think that we should be so dismissive of active candidates. If they are the lesser of the 2 options, why do any of us ever advertise our roles? Passive candidates won’t reply to adverts, because they are not actually looking, so it will probably pass them by. Passive candidates need to be found first of all and then we need to connect with them, nurture them, convince them and wait for them.  Not all of the top talent are happy in their roles, not all of them will be paid as much as they would like and not all of them will want to stay where they are.

Why do we seem to think that top talent won’t take it upon themselves to look for a job and actively go out to the market?

Do any of us consider ourselves to be top talent and great at what we do? I am pretty certain that at one time or another, we have all looked for a job, approached our network, gone directly to a company and even, shock horror, applied for a role online!?!

I know that a post and pray mentality to recruitment doesn’t work and that the world we work in has progressed, but please don’t ignore the active talent we have in the market. Stuart Lancaster didn’t and we are (hopefully) about to win our first 6 Nations Grand Slam since 2003 (at the time of writing this), my sister didn’t either and she and Garth are deliriously happy. Funnily enough, I actively looked for a role last year and just over a year later; I’m still here and going strong... If only I could say the same for my love life, so for the foreseeable, I’ll pin my hopes on Rugby and Recruitment.


Gemma Cuff.   

A Corporate Recruiter for Software company Micro Focus.  Gemma recruits across multiple disciplines, across multiple continents.