50 (half) smart, or (vaguely) controversial things I said at the RCSA Conference (Part 1)

Apparently my presentation at the RCSA Conference caused consternation, irritation, and even inspiration, in equal part. A success then, by my measure. I have had a lot of requests for summaries of the content, so here are 50 things I said that day. Although, in Part 1 we start with the first 25. The rest you can get in next weeks blog. Hope you enjoy this…

  1. My presentation today is so different to anything I have ever done before, that 3 years ago I would not even have been able to understand the content of this speech. Let alone give it. That tells us what is happening to our industry.
  2. The world is going through a period where we are seeing the ‘reinvention of everything’. And so, how blind would we be, how thick, how ostrich-like, if we did not suspect that our own industry – recruitment – will not be caught up in this tsunami of change?
  3. In the context of the ‘re-invention of everything’, are you re-inventing how you source candidates? Or are you like Kodak, once mighty, now gone or soon to go?
  4. Our customers are cynical about our value, and they are building resources specifically to exclude 3rd party recruiters. And they are serious about it.
  5. Candidates want transparency, speed and responsiveness. Many recruiters and hiring companies are nowhere near meeting that need – and it will exclude them from accessing the cream of the talent.
  6. Not everyone is looking for a job. But everyone is available to change jobs!
  7. The recruitment industry will never be a shortlisting, screening, culling service again. We are a talent identification and acquisition service.
  8. The future of recruitment is that everyone is a candidate – all the time!
  9. All candidates are ‘active’. Some just need to be ‘ignited’.
  10. ‘Just in time’ recruitment is dead or dying. Sourcing starts way before you are briefed on a specific role.
  11. The recruitment industry must adjust, or we will have nothing to offer clients that they can’t get themselves.
  12. The massive paradox of contemporary business life is that, just as unemployment soars, the number of unfilled vacancies increases.
  13. The extent of the gap between what employers need and what the labour market provides in terms of skills and talent, will continue to widen. Our reason for existence will be to bridge that gap.
  14. We are at the pointy end of a talent sourcing evolution. What worked before won’t work in the future. And what I am trying to do is place Firebrand in front of the wave, by creating a ‘social recruitment company’.
  15. The social recruiting business actually weaves social into the fabric of the entire business strategy.
  16. What I’m saying is that social media is not a separate strategy or a sub-strategy… it is our core strategy.
  17. Social media is not ‘recruiting’ or ‘marketing’ or ‘branding’ or ‘customer service’. It includes all those things, but it’s bigger than all those.
  18. Like it or not the world of recruitment is part of the real world. And that is a world that is far more transparent, has far fewer degrees of separation. A more networked world, a more casual world and a world where people want much faster response times. Our sourcing must reflect this world.
  19. A great social strategy means that every interaction is an opportunity to create and amplify advocates.
  20. In our view, the technology is an enabler only. It opens the dialogue with clients and candidates. It engages them. But you still need great personal recruiting, influencing and human skills to convert them to paying clients, or job-accepting candidates.
  21. That is the paradox of social recruiting. Faster… but also slower.
  22. Social media is NOT a sales channel. It is in fact a flirting, seduction and first-dating channel.
  23. Social media is not a place to sell your services or your jobs overtly. It is a place to showcase your expertise, generosity and thought-leadership.
  24. Not everyone on social media is a candidate today. But every one of them is a potential brand ambassador for you. Today!
  25. Identify the social media “champions” in your organisation and encourage them to communicate on behalf of the business. Give them the coaching, sell them the vision, then give them the power.


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About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

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16 Responses to 50 (half) smart, or (vaguely) controversial things I said at the RCSA Conference (Part 1)

  1. Nicholas Beames September 18, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Another great blog Greg!

  2. Jacqui Cotterill September 18, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Looking forward to next weeks edition that will cover off on ‘LinkedIn is not your friend!’

  3. walter faets September 18, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Absolutely true……….and I believe there is even lots more change as to what a recruitment company is and should become. I’d even go as far as saying, we need to get rid of the “recruitment” tag. I know I am personally much more than that.

  4. AK Menon September 18, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Greg: You could not have been more explicit !

    Thanks for the wake up alarm. Am looking forward to your next bulletin -points 26 to 50!!

  5. Mike W September 18, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Liked all 25, provides much to provoke thought and to ponder.

  6. Julie September 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Great info Greg

  7. christine September 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Dear Greg
    I definitely agree with your sensible observations so wonderfully and clearly summarized. Waiting for part 2 !

  8. Your usual ability to state an (apparently) complex notion in a clear and accurate manner has been excelled here, Greg.

    I particularly liked numbers 10,16 and 22.

    People talk about positioning social media as a core business strategy, as being “the future”. You make it absolutely clear that it is the present!

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  9. Craig September 18, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Totally agree Greg. I saw you speak about everything social at RecruitHub earlier in the year and thought then as I do now……a majority of Owners and Execs within recruitment businesses think its a fad and load of bollo*ks! By the time they get on board, there will be more advances in social media capability and companies like yours will be better positioned to steal market share rapidly. Well, let’s hope so anyhow!

  10. Marsha Byron September 19, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    As an independant consultant I can offer all of that and more. Just need the clients to realise that you don’t need a corporate agency with many staff who take you to the tennis,throw great christmas parties and events, they charge you more for the pleasure anyway. You just need a good recruitment partner who is trusted by their candidates and clients to do a good job. If you are a good recruitment partner, your candidates come back 2-3 years later for a growth change and you know exactly who will be interested in them, Its a win win situation.

  11. Alan Allebone September 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Well Greg,
    You never cease to amaze me!
    Almost every post I read from you I learn something new!
    They say you can not teach an old dog new tricks! Well that has been proven wrong many times. Here is one old dog who learns something new almost every time!

    I do learn a lot from you and others but I do find your posts interesting and uplifting. Keep up the good work and here’s looking to the next series.

    Thank you Greg!

  12. Yuriy Shevchenko September 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    So customers are cynical about our value (that’s not a new development) and are actively taking measures to exclude 3rd party recruiters (possibly a new(er) development)….

    Is the recruitment industry growing or shrinking then?

  13. warwick September 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Brilliant, infact this is why I’m going back for another internal stint….most agencies don’t get it…..

  14. Bronwen Kaspers October 24, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    Points 8 and 9 resonate the most. If a recruiter presented me with an exciting opportunity that offered more than my current job, then sure, I could be seduced. Aren’t we all open for a little sweet talking? If it’s just not the right time then it plants the seed and gets you thinking.


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