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Keeping Recruitment Simple…What’s it all about Jason?


Q – Why Keeping Recruitment Simple and why now?
JD – Katherine and I have recruited for a number of years, not just within Keeping HR Simple for the last ten years but before the business was set up we recruited for staff, so over 20 years’ experience. We have recruited for years for our customers and had some brilliant results. 

I think the market has changed massively, we have record numbers in employment, skills gap and people shortages and the technology.  And I think business owners feel powerless with the current models and I just don’t think the current and/or traditional models work with the employer’s best interest at heart.   

Time to put the control back into the hands of the employer / business owner.

Also, there are lots of studies coming out saying that the candidates are not happy and they want a different experience too.  It’s also now a very candidate led market and we have to adapt to that.

As a business owner, I think business owners believe they are over a barrel and they are left with picking the best of a bad bunch and paying a very heavy fee sometimes for mediocre candidates.

So as business owners we looked into this, took all our experience and feedback and came up with a model we would want as a business owners.  And what we have come up with is a model that is ethical, sustainable and much more affordable for businesses who want to grow a sustainable and profitable business.

Q – How is Keeping Recruitment Simple recruitment done differently?

JD – Well there two main ways our model is very different from what’s traditionally available.  Firstly, we look at a much wider cycle of the business needs, how it recruits how it retains, the whole process.  Right the way through from candidate selection, offer letter, probation reviews etc.

Whereas, the traditional model is very much just make some phone calls, get some CVs, do some interviews, make an offer and really it is a short process admittedly.  But, it’s a very high cost and high risk process sometimes.

So, we dramatically reduce the risk up front and we increase the chances that you get the best return on investment and the best person.

And the other core aspect to Keeping Recruitment Simple is that you are in a constant recruitment cycle, you always have a campaign, you are always looking for the right staff, even if you don’t have a vacancy.

In our experience, the staff you really want are never in the market when you need them.

There are lots of stats about 60% of employees leave because they fall out of love with their employer/manager/colleagues not their job

Yes, some people do career change but more often people move because they are unhappy with their employer.  So, you need to be constantly recruiting now so when that person does want to move on, when they do, they think of you.

And this can be done with the advent of all the technology and platforms we have at our disposal, you really can be constantly marketing and recruiting in very cost-effective ways.

So, looking at the process and being in that constant mindset of constantly recruiting.

Q – Why have you decided not to charge a percentage of salary as a fee?

JD – We don’t charge a percentage of salary, it’s unethical and I don’t think it’s fair.

Well this one is a bit of a pet hate for me!!!!!

I think the current model of charging a percentage of salary is unethical and unfair.

And the reason for that let me explain………..As a candidate you have made yourself valuable to the market place.  You don’t get paid for the hour; you get paid for the value that you bring.  Now that value is created by years of experience, training and investment, courses, personal development etc.

And let’s just say you are commanding £50k in the marketplace…….

Now I’ve always felt, what gives a third party who you have never met the right to charge a percentage of that value, they are piggy backing what’s been built up over the years and charge 20% and I think it’s wrong.

For me…..I just think it’s wrong……………

So we have decided not to charge a percentage of salary.  Yes, we charge fees that are proportionate to the role. And yes, as you go up the salary and experience scale and want more experience and expertise it does cost more because your talent pool in effect gets smaller.

Base line roles, not a problem at all, but as you go up that scale the talent pool gets smaller so there is more advertising and resource involved so it does cost more money.

However, if you are recruiting from £25k to £45K let’s say as a salary band/bracket, there isn’t another £20k of work involved to recruit. Quite often the amount of resourcing and advertising is pretty much the same.

However, yet again what gives a third party the right to charge another 15% on that £20k which in effect is £3k in the difference which for a lot of cases it is stupid money.

It really is stupid money and for very little effort that’s has been put in.

So we decided, yes we do charge a fee that is proportionate to the role and yes as the role goes up it will cost more as there is more involved. 

However, we can do it fixed fee and it can be sensible.

We’re definitely not lifting anyone’s leg over it that’s for certain!!!!!!!!!!

Q – What do you mean by the only true return on investment in recruitment is Retention?

JD – Well I think the true mark of recruitment, i.e. the return on investment is retention.

I don’t think there is enough emphasis put on the return on investment when employing people.   A lot of focus is given to sales and profit margin etc and the lifetime value of a customer.

So, let’s just say a customer is worth £50k to you a year and you have them for ten years they are worth £1/2 million pounds let’s say.

But I would look at staff and teams in exactly the same way.  If a member of staff is going to generate £30k/£40k/£50k worth of profit annually and they stay with you for ten years again that’s £1/2 million.

So, it staggers me that when you look at the cost of acquisition in marketing terms, people are very happy to spend £3k / £4k to attract the right customer or even £500 to attract a customer let’s just say.

However, when it comes to recruiting and finding the best staff, people constantly stick the cheapest ad on Indeed (and I’m not saying don’t use Indeed, because that is part of it), using the cheapest method to find the best possible person and they don’t get any results.

You may get lucky, but it is very seldom.

So again for us looking at the life time value, knowing this candidate is going to potentially going to put some serious profit on your bottom line, surely you need to have a think about that and invest in a strategy that is going to, in effect like the cost of acquisition, give you the same return as an employee as you would from a customer.

So for us looking at retention, looking at spreading that cost over a much longer period, say ten years plus, that is the true measure of recruitment done differently, recruitment done well and obviously give you the very very best return on investment.   

LUCK = Labour Under Correct Knowledge – it’s about doing the right things to attract and retain the best staff.

Q – What is candidate churn and why do you give a cast iron guarantee not to do it?

JD – Well, I’m not saying all agencies do this but I am talking from my personal experience both as a candidate and as a recruiter.

Now we give a cast iron guarantee we will not contact a candidate we have placed with a client ever again about another role.

Because ultimately, it’s back to that return on investment we’ve talked about, we want the candidate to say and deliver lifetime value over a very long period of time.

Plus, if we get the best and the right person in that team, in our client, it makes our HR work so much easier for our client, so we want them to stay.

Genuinely we would not churn a candidate.

Not saying all agencies do it but most will call candidates after the rebate period and ask if they are getting on ok?  Which is ok by way of follow up, but often they will discuss another role “I have another role” and I’ve had that happen to me personally.

I think again….. this is just wrong.

However, I do recognise that in the traditional agency model they do need to churn candidates, because if the candidate were static, they would have no business.

So very often an agency will go straight to their contact list and look for candidates who are suitable and they will move them around.

And I also think agencies are partly responsible for driving salary increases which really only benefits them and puts pressure on businesses to just cough up more money. That’s wrong.

Because if you look at people who move multiple times you will generally see that they have an incremental increase in salary in each move.   Whereas, someone that stays for a longer period of time tends to be pretty static.  So, you must keep an eye on your salary and what you’re paying at the same time.

But really, from a money and motivator point of view, believe me, money is not the main motivator.  It’s important, don’t get me wrong, it facilitates a lot in life.  But when we do values with individuals and teams yes money comes out in round one to four all the time. But after round four money drops off really, really quickly.  

It’s all about being the employer of choice, flexibility, environment, community contribution, there are lots of other things.  And also, that changes in age brackets, we’re seeing some very distinct changes.

So, we look at tapping in and getting the right member of staff and then look at retaining that member of staff and getting the best out of them on their journey.

So that’s why we would give a cast iron guarantee that we would never contact a candidate we have placed with a client. 

We don’t want to churn them; we want them to stay.

The good news is you don’t have to pay the big money to get the best staff, that’s not what really motivates them.  If you think I’m wrong why do people come out of the big bucks jobs in corporate and go and work for a fraction of what they were paid before.  Or people volunteer.

Ask Paddy Lowe, he’ll tell you Formula 1 teams don’t pay the top money to their engineers to work for them.  It’s all about the prestige and cutting-edge research and development work they do.

Jason Duff Co-Founder and Co-Director of Keeping Recruitment Simple

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