Hello Pam here and today I am talking with Jon Eyres of Harvey Thomas who are a recruitment agency providing sales, pre-sales, customer success, support and some technical staff into the leading edge technology market. So, we’re talking, SaaS, PaaS and cloud based companies.
“Yes, that’s about right”, he smiles.
O.K, the focus of this is how technology is changing the way recruitment is carried out. I want us to stick to how the recruitment process you employ is being changed by the technological advancements that are happening, is that good?
“Yes, of course, where do you want to start?”.
Harvey Thomas recruit into a very specific area of the wider market don’t you?
“Absolutely, we are looking for something quite specific. We don’t supply into the major players like Sales Force or Oracle for example. We tend to focus on tech start ups that are either VC backed or pre-IPO. We work for clients across EMEA but obviiously with a strong U.K leaning”.
Why not “go after” the big boys, surely they would offer multiple placements?
“Yes, of course they would, but there is two reasons why we decided, as a strategy, that would not be the market we served”, he says.
Why We Left The Big Boys Alone
“Firstly, yes there is a huge number of vacancies, but the rates they offer to recruiters are low. Secondly, there are a lot of agencies playing in that field all chasing the same candidates, from the same sources, and it’s a foot race to see who gets there first. In essence it’s a lot of work for little reward and it is just not a quality recruitment service that these companies want or indeed get. It’s not consultative, merely process driven”.
So, you’re saying the role of the recruitment agency has been de-skilled, dumbed down if you like?
“Yes, I genuinely believe that, the skill of being a true recruitment consultant is degraded in the mass markets. There is no selling, everyone advertises on the same job boards and it comes down to the efficiency of an “agencies” systems and people. Now I am not saying we allow ourselves to be ineeficient, far from it, but we like to employ proper recruitment skills and techniques”.
What are those techniques?
True Consultative Recruitment
“There are a number of different aspects I think”, he takes a sip of costa coffee.
“Firstly, we, for the most part, steer clear of the job boards. We have very deep contacts within the market place and most of our business comes from that contact list. We are very fastidious in making sure we know where people are and what they are doing”.
“We maintain contact with our base all the time. We know intimately how start ups are going, where likely stress points are and how that is potentially going to effect the human resource market”.
“And, because we are trusted in the market and are always in contact with people, they trust us with their careers. There are some people where we are in a situation that we actually “manage” their careers. They will perhaps do a “packet” of work and then look to us to find the next project or role”.
“In my opinion, this is a far superior way to manage and run a true recruitment consultancy”.
So, what markets are hot right now? I’ll let you get your sales pitch in 🙂
“Software pre-sales recruitment is very busy at the moment as is account manager recruiter. But in all honesty, we are busy across the board as new apps and systems are developed using SaaS, PaaS and Clud technologies. And, the reason for that is that the use of these technologies offer such cost and management advantages to customers. I can only see software engineering recruitment increasing into the forseeable future”.
Thank you so much for your time Jon and for such an iopen and insightful chat. I very much appreciate it.