Diary of a start-up: Episode 3. Crazy fools, irony…and a nice story!

Posted by Lawrence Bond April 25, 2017

Building any start-up is tough, but what sort of crazy fool starts a recruitment business? Not many industries are quite as competitive as this sector as there are very few barriers to entry. This is great if you are starting up, however it also means that it is a very crowded market. In 2016 alone there were almost 4500 new UK agencies registered, and whilst most claim to have a unique approach, all of us know that they tend to offer a very similar product.

I’m one of those crazy fools who decided to take on the world of recruitment. Although I’m obviously excited about our new business, our brand and our methods, why should anyone else care?

It might sound too idealistic (or basic as my wife calls me!), but having done this for nearly 20 years, I still love helping companies and changing people’s lives. Of course we’re a business and it’s about making profit too, however, far too many agencies forget the huge impact recruitment has on their customers (recruiters, candidates and the internal team too). When you forget that, you miss a ton of little things that make a big difference.

I’ll explain with a little story that will hopefully give one or two of you an idea and get some companies thinking about part of their own recruitment process that is frequently neglected.

Imagine how good for your business it would be if the people you have ‘rejected’ still go around saying how great your company is! Now who’s the crazy fool?

An irony:
Most recruitment companies are terrible at their own recruitment and that applies to small and large businesses alike. I’m sure we are all used to seeing numerous article about incentives and the nice things they do for newly recruited staff on their first day.

We obviously do those things (& more) for both our internal recruitment and our clients recruitment too, but how many businesses take time to REALLY engage with candidates who they are rejecting?

‘Rejecting’ is a harsh word and none of us like being rejected in any sense, however, telling someone that they haven’t been successful in their interview process can be done in a really productive and positive way. The way I see it, if someone makes it to interview stage in any company, they must have some relevant qualities and skills. It clearly doesn’t always mean that they are right for your business at that present time though.

The story:
We interviewed three candidates for a Recruitment Consultant role with us before Easter.

All of them were really engaging and were keen to join us, however two of them just weren’t quite what we needed for our business at this stage. That said, they may be perfect for us in 12 or 24 months when we have grown or they have gained wider experience. Obviously we had a really good, honest chat with them about this but we wanted to leave them as excited about our business as they were when they first met us.

Any business wants ‘promoters’, (especially in recruitment where there’s such competition for staff) and if we get back in touch in the future, we want these people to be ready to join us.

That simply won’t happen for any of us if 2 out of 3 people feel let down.

Knowing these candidates were local, we hand delivered a personalised card really thanking them for their interest in us and left it on their doorstep with some very nice Easter chocolates.

Obviously I checked with my ‘understanding wifey’ that I could give other women cards and chocolates when I’m rubbish at doing that for her. On the same note, I hope that their husbands weren’t too annoyed that they now need to go one better!

The feedback from these ladies was so positive that we knew that this little touch had made a big difference.

I’m not suggesting that every MD becomes the Easter bunny, however it may just be worth tracking candidates who aren’t successful in joining your business and ensuring that you do your best to keep them interested and positive about your brand.

As we all know, word of mouth especially including social media, is a powerful advertising tool and no agency (or other business) should ever forget the human element.

If we do that for candidates who don’t join us, imagine what we do for those who do!

The business challenge for BondMoran is to grow whilst maintaining the small touches that make all of our customers feel special.

We’ve all seen great, ambitious businesses who we’ve liked but after a while, we realise that they’ve changed. They’ve lost ‘something’ and they’re not what they used to be. If we fall into that category we won’t last long in this sector, but can this be done?

We know it can if the message is consistent and everyone in our business believes. We believe in what we’re creating and we hope you do too.

If you want to see how recruitment should be done, need any advice on recruitment related issues including retention ideas, or if you just want a chat about a related subject, please contact us.

We’d love you to be part of our journey!