How Technology Is Changing Sales Recruitment

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?

Something Specific

“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”.

Hot Markets

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.

Digital Recruitment



Recruiting In The Digital World

Hello Pam here and welcome to the site, so…time to write something on my virgin business site.

One thing that really fires me up is looking at a business and understanding what makes it successful. Today I am looking at South East England based Intelligent People a digital recruitment agency.

The Recruitment Game

eCommerce1Now, recruitment is a tough game, or can be if you don’t know what you are doing. People either take to recruitment or they don’t, it tends to be quite black and white. But it is very rare to find a company that takes training their consutants seriously. IP are the exception that breaks the rule. They have an in depth three month induction program for all new recruits.

How does it work? I talked to Doug Bates, one of the founders.

“Well, the first thing to say”, he smiles, “is that we rarely hire experienced recruiters”.

Why is that?

Real Market Knowledge

“Firstly, we like really good market knowledge so that our consultants really do know what they are talking about when they speak to clients. So, most of our consultants have spent time in digital marketing. They have worked on PPC campaigns, done SEO, understand analytics or have worked on campaign or product management. They must know and understand what a customer wants and why”.

How many agencies actually have that in their consultants?

“Very few”, Doug replies, “some consultants in IT (where IP were before moving in to Digital Marketing) have ex programmers or support people, and the more dedicated consultants make a real effort to understand IT from an overview perspective. And, I wouldn’t say “never” to someone without frontline digital marketing experience, but we find, if we get the right personal characteristics, that is the right fit for us”.

In Depth Training

So you are training marketers in sales and interpersonal skills to get the best from your consultants, is that right?

“Essentially, yes, we have been going twelve years now and we find that is the way that works for us. What clients seem to like is the consultants can talk to them on doug_batestheir level. Because they truly understand what the job roles are, we find it much easier to get clients to open up and just talk, because the consulktant and the client are just on the same page”.

“In sales terms we call it “pacing” with the client. In other words, you are talking to them in their domain, in their world. That world is digital marketing or one subset of the market, like growth hacker jobs, chief marketing officer vacancies or indeed product management jobs. Whatecver it might be if our consultants truly understand that “world”, it puts us at an immediate advantage over recruiters at other agencies that don’t have that initimate knowledge”.

So you training course lasts up to three months for recruits new to marketing recruitment, is that right?

The Right Process

“Yes, very much so. For someone who is new to sales and customer interaction, there are certain traits and skills we need to teach people. We have a very set process we like our consutants to adopt when interacting with clients. Of course there are situations where something different needs to happen. However, essentially, each hire goes through a set process from initial client contact, through requirement capture, candidate search and interview arrangement to finally managing offer and start of work”.

And it’s working for you?

“We’re still here twevle years later”, he smiles.

It’s certainly refreshing to hear a success story where a business has really thought about how and why they work in the way they do. Doug is an impressive individual who very much has his business exactly where he wants it.

Here’s Doug talking about Product Management.



When You Can Use Customer Advice Services

Telephone-Legal-Advice-Legal-OperatorEvery once in a while, there appear some situations that need a delicate resolution. It’s about those situations when you have bought something and you’ve discovered that it’s not working properly, and the store where you’ve bought from won’t offer you warrantee or give you back the money.

This was just an example, but these situations are frequent and that’s the reason why this kind of service is needed. Every country has an institution who takes care of the rights of the customers, a place where people can send petitions  and, if they are right, they also receive the help they need.

Let’s see what are some of the situations when you can ask for customer help to guide you and advise you on what you need to do to make things right for you, as a customer.

Car Related Situations

When you have a car, you might encounter some problems with it. However, if you have just bought it, you are entitled to having it repaired if there’s a serious problem, like the car breaks down, the brakes don’t work properly or the engine fails. In these situations, you will be able to ask for repairs being made by the seller, or you could get some or all the money that you have paid.

However, you won’t get any help in these cases if you were told that the care has problems, if you have seen the car as it was and you’ve noticed the problems when you’ve bought it or if you reconsider the price that you have paid for your car – this last one is definitely no excuse for recovering the money and suing the seller.

When you think about buying a car, you need to make sure that it comes from an approved seller – these are usually known as dealers – those businesses that sell cars. It should be a dealer with a properly reputation, part of a trade association or some seller that has the CABlogo1cars inspected by independent motoring organizations or engineers.

When Purchasing Something

People usually don’t take this into consideration, and if they buy something that soon breaks down, they prefer to go and buy a new item. However, keep in mind that if you’ve done nothing wrong to determine the item to break down, you may be entitled to a replacement of the item, repair for it or even refund.

You will have these rights if the thing that you have got is damaged or broken, and you notice this at home, if it’s not fit for the purpose it was made, or if it’s something that doesn’t correspond with the advertisement made for it or if it doesn’t fit the description made by the seller.

However, if you are the one who broke the item or if the item got damaged due to a misuse or an accident, you are not entitled to warranty, guarantee or replacement.

There’s also another situation when you can have legal help in dealing with buying something – when you discover that the item that you have just bought is counterfeit or fake. This usually happens when the seller advertises an item to be or a certain brand – meaning original – and you discover that it’s fake after you have bought it. However, things change if you knew beforehand that the item is not original – you are not entitled to refund.

Other Situations

slider1-660x330There are plenty of situations when you are entitled to getting legal help in dealing with every day things. For example, you can ask for customer advice when something that you have ordered hasn’t arrived, or when you think you have bought stolen goods; if you clothes have been damaged or lost by a dry cleaner service or if you’re not happy with a certain service – meaning a lower quality than promised.

Apart from this, you can get specialized advice when you need to cancel a holiday, getting compensation if the flight is cancelled or delayed, getting compensation for delayed or lost luggage when flying with a plane or getting a claim compensation for a holiday.