I travelled 17,000 kilometres to tell the English recruiters this!

I travelled 17,000 kilometres to tell the British recruiters this!

Recently I flew across the world as a guest of REC to speak to recruiters in Manchester and London.

(South Africa is next by the way)

The Business Brains II series included excellent presentations from Kevin Green, the CEO of REC, and Mary B Lucas, an American staffing veteran with a brilliant story to tell, packed with messages key to the recruitment world of today.

The feedback from the event was very good indeed I have to say, so much so it prompted Kevin Green to suggest it was the best REC member event, ever!

I spoke for almost three hours (I know!) and covered a lot… but here I repeat 25 things I said that day, just to give you a flavour

    • The looming talent shortage is actually nirvana for our industry – but only if we are smart enough to work out how to find, nurture, recruit, seduce and bring top talent to a positive hiring decision. That’s our future. And most of us only do a tiny fraction of that.
    • You cannot go into this future recruiting like you did in 1999. In fact 2009 style won’t be good enough either. Yet most of us do exactly that. For many recruiters, their offer, their sourcing, their sales pitch, their BD tactics, and their methodology has not changed in any real way at all – for 10, maybe 20 years.
    • It’s great news that the economy is improving. But not everyone will rise on the tide. Just relying on a recovery will be your biggest mistake.
    • We have to offer something new, because ladies and gentlemen, our customers are cynical about our ability to deliver.  They are sceptical about our value.
    • It used to be that recruiters and clients worked in partnership. It was collaboration. Now mostly clients view themselves as competitors to Agency recruiters, fighting tooth and nail for the best talent.
    • Talent are not an online commodity.
    • Technology will never replace recruitment.
    • Candidate identification will get easier and easier. Candidate recruiting and hiring will get harder and harder.
    • Yes, I believe technology, and the very best technology for that matter, is critical to recruiting success, but I also believe that the craft of recruitment will make the difference.
    • What has actually happened is that technology has disconnected the recruiter from the clients and the candidate.
    • It is a fact that as clients’ recruitment models have become more sophisticated, most recruitment consultants have become less so.
    • The future of recruitment is where highly sophisticated technology meets highly tailored and influential human interaction.
    • Many active job seekers are suffering from a severe case of JBFS  (job board fatigue syndrome), and are now using less job boards.
    • The reality is that today’s job search behavior is becoming increasingly comparable to consumer buying behavior. Job seekers behave like consumers in that just as consumers check product reviews, candidates are researching potential employers, and recruiters, by using a wide range of resources, especially social media.
    • Instant access to so many digital resources has turned today’s workers into perpetual job seekers.


  • We have got to forget thinking of candidates as active or passive. Everybody is available to change jobs. They just need to be seduced.
  • We have got to set up a business that understands CRM. And that to me means Candidate Relationship Management.
  • That’s the battle of the future. Knowing where the talent is, and building relationships, through a community.
  • It’s obvious to me that any recruitment business model that relies on candidates making proactive applications for jobs, is destined to fail.
  • Increasingly, top talent will no longer apply for jobs. That is my prediction. Their next job will come to them. Or be brought to them.
  • Technology changes some of the mode of interaction, but the craft of recruitment remains as crucial, if not more so.
  • The absolute core of your jobs is influencing, persuading, selling and negotiating. And that will not go away. In fact it gets more crucial in the future. Indeed in my view it’s those skills, that clients will perceive as the value add, and pay for.
  • Finding the talent is important, but only step 1. The real value comes in managing the talent through to acceptance and afterwards.
  • The big ‘secret’ of candidate care is this: Find them a job or not, candidates will remember how you made them feel,a long time after they remember what you gave them, or even said to them.


The Savage Truth Tour moves on to Johannesburg and Cape Town! Two huge sessions. One for Managers, one for Recruiters. South African recruiters… get on it!


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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5 Responses to I travelled 17,000 kilometres to tell the British recruiters this!

  1. Alan Allebone April 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    South Africa is very lucky to be able to borrow you from us in Australia Greg.

    make sure you come back.

    We are wanting to get all fired up again.



  2. Paulette Steele April 23, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    I so agree with this last comment of yours – “The big ‘secret’ of candidate care is this: Find them a job or not, candidates will remember how you made them feel,a long time after they remember what you gave them, or even said to them”.

    It’s the reason I get candidates referring me to their work colleagues and friends.

  3. Maureen Wright April 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    I attended the Manchester event and what a great presentation. Thanks for your insights Greg – any business not listeneing to or indeed implementing your suggestions are making a huge mistake. Come back to the UK soon!!!

    • Greg Savage April 23, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

      Thank you Maureen… your comments are very much appreciated, Greg

  4. Adam June 24, 2014 at 1:48 am #

    Great article Greg, You have put into words what alot of us ‘old school’ recruiters have been thinking for some time. It is (and I fear it wil continue to be) hard for us to change our ways as they have served us well for so long but it is becoming apparent that in order for us to survive a period of evolution must exist.

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