What do you stand for..?
“So come on, let’s cut the crap. What do you stand for Martin? What’s stopping you just going for it?”
Apart from smiling, I had no idea what to say. For once Mr Gobby had nothing to say. No quick comeback no Don Draper-esque line that shuts up a challenger and makes me feel smug. I move fast normally, a bit agile with my thoughts and yet here I was caught in the headlights, caught out by a man I hardly knew:
“The way I see it… Everyone I speak to speaks highly about you, you know stuff and yes you are a pain in the arse to manage and you speak your mind a little too often, but that is part of your charm. When companies get you to deliver the right kind of work that matches your attitude and approach it's a great experience, but right or wrong whilst you have lost that corporate suit veneer you once had, you have also lost that thing you once had that said fuck them. You show the scars of that experience and it’s holding you back.
I’m no psychologist but whatever that crap was you once put up with is over and you need to move on. You are in danger of being the nearly man...”
So there it was.
Lunch should be breezy. But Ken had a point.
That was over a year ago and yet it has taken me this long to write anything about that conversation even though I genuinely think about it every day.
The question still remains, What do I stand for?
Sure I can write about what I do, what I think, how I have done this or that, delivered good work. People hire me because they know they will get something done and since that meeting with Ken I’ve helped a number of organisations to find good people, develop their hiring strategy and manage some things they couldn’t do themselves. Don’t get me wrong I want more of this, much much more of this and at a higher level but to make that happen I think I need to commit to something, honour that promise I made to myself to be a something, be a someone, to be that go-to person in recruitment who has an opinion, a solution or at the very least can bring the people together that can help.
I chose recruitment, it didn’t choose me. For all of our Industry’s ‘I fell into it’ commentary, I didn’t fall into it. I was fed up with my Corporate IT sales career and wanted to do something more creative, rewarding and people based. I ran at recruitment full on, into a series of roles and opportunities that have challenged and been mundane in equal measure.
But now what?
I have twenty years of work left in me and the next twenty are going to bring more change than the last. In my world technology and automation is coming quick and fast. There is a new tech platform every week each taking the recruitment industry by storm or not. Organisations are chasing candidate experience, EVP and obsessed with Millennial hiring, which is great and everything but still feels like there is more to life than these latest snake oil sales opportunities.
Some of this tech will replace you and me.
Some of it already has.
So what has all this naval gazing achieved and what now? As I see it, we all need a support network, however big or small we think we are. We cannot do this on our own. I cannot do this on my own. So to help me stand for something I am going to ask something of you first. Join me. Join me at DANGERFIELD to form a Global organisation that collaborates, in which everyone knows everyone else, we get to a deeper understanding of what we are good at, ego-free acceptance that someone else in the tribe is better at something than us.... Better than me. This thing we create will be a combination of employment for some, interim work for others and a global network for all.
Maybe this is what I have always stood for and maybe it is enough, maybe it isn't. But I see my thing, my reason for being as the ability to bring people together that are better than meat recruitment, better at talent, better at all things people, for us to create something substantial, something of note on a global basis. If DANGERFIELD is to grow, If I am going to grow, we need to build a new organisation. Together.
From the 2nd January 2018 I will be asking you to join DANGERFIELD Global, no matter what your location. Look out for the email, Linkedin post or tweet. If you want to talk before that, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org... I look forward to hearing from you.
DANGERFIELD will never be Accenture, but we can deliver Accenture like projects in terms of scale and global reach. We can create new ways to recruit putting humanity into a.i. developing large-scale hiring plans anywhere in the world, delivered with confidence, passion and pride.
Martin Dangerfield has a background in executive search and selection, headhunting and senior level recruitment combined with people and business management experiences. The focus has always been on the IT services, technology and management consultancy sectors on a permanent and interim basis where he has developed a personal portfolio that covers areas such as EVP, social recruitment and the successful creation of talent pools as well the management and leadership of corporate talent acquisition teams.
Currently working across Europe with high growth, high tech organisations to develop effective blended onshore/offshore recruitment models, covering full commercial engagement, transition and ongoing delivery management.
Martin is an avid blogger, writer, public speaker and traveller of trains across the UK and available for work on a global basis.