Wow! It really doesn't seem like ten years ago that Sara and I sat down trying to decide on a name for our new company.........
Now after ten years of recruiting, recruiting consulting projects, developing social recruiting strategies, delivering LinkedIn training and training many recruiters in the 'dark arts' of social media recruitment, we have taken some time out, supped a glass of wine and considered what the future will hold.
But first, a little journey through time...
We have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some great people and companies, and have learnt much along the ten years. For those of you who don't know Sirona Consulting was originally started off as a niche recruitment company - focusing on sales and marketing roles in the Credit Card and Payments industry (on the back of 13 years recruiting for others!). Six years ago, it 'morphed' into a consulting business. Three things happened that changed the direction of the business:
- I refused to recruit another replacement salesperson for one of my clients. Instead I ended up advising them how to recruit properly.
- Social media started to roll into town! And as an early adopter I was all over it trying to learn how to use it to find people for recruiting purposes.
- I started blogging. [ You can 'blame' a certain Peter Gold for that. Thanks Peter] Now six years later I have written over 1000 blogs on recruitment and social recruiting!
After a year of consulting across different candidate attraction projects as well as busily blogging ( I was writing 3-4 posts a week at that stage) I was approached by a large high street retailer to help them 'sort out' their recruitment systems, processes and strategy. This turned out being system review, recruitment process and ATS re-design, social media use, employer branding and finished with a European rollout. A full end-to-end project that resulted in huge recruitment efficiencies, including big cost and time savings.
And for those of you who doubt the power of blogs - that project came directly from a blog post I had written on online recruitment and technology.
The last few years of consulting with companies about recruitment has been really interesting /challenging - primarily because of social media. While many other markets embraced social media quickly, the recruitment sector were, shall we say, a little reserved!! HRD's, 'Heads of" and Recruitment Business Owners wanted full justification, ROI's, proof and guarantees of success before they would even start to listen.
I can't remember how many conversations I had at that stage trying to get them to remove the ban on Facebook, Twitter and (unbelievably) LinkedIn in workplaces. I even 'frog marched' one HRD out into his floor of recruiters one lunchtime, to show them it was a useless ban as their consultants were all accessing the social networks on their iPhones and Blackberries anyway!
Over the last couple of years the conversations around social recruiting have moved on from the 'why' to the 'how' (well mostly anyway!), as the recruitment industry has accepted that social media is not just a fantastic addition to the recruitment armoury, but more importantly, it is here to stay!
The 'how' has led to many training sessions, strategy workshops and in-house training for corporates and recruitment companies large and small - and this still continues with the demand for social recruiting training and knowledge higher than ever. Earlier this year we took it a stage further, helping recruiters understand and use the power of social media content within recruitment. (The next one is on the 1st May)
This nearly broke me but it was worth it in the end>> In 2011 I was approached by ARK Publishing to write them a business book about social media recruitment strategies. It was really hard work, and took tremendous dedication (just ask my wife, Sara!) but with a big grin on my face my first book was published in the summer of 2011 - Smart Social Media Recruitment Strategies. A New York bestseller it isn't, but is has sold well - in many different countries as well!
We actually turned to social media in 2009 and 2010 as The Worthing Crocman was born (well me actually!) to raise money for charity. I sadly lost my brother to leukaemia in 2007 and so I decided to raise money by doing some crazy jumps dresses as a crocodile!
First it was a mere 36 feet off Worthing Pier into the sea......(click image for video courtesy of the BBC - and yes that is me dreassed as Worthing Crocman)
then the year later it was followed by an 800 feet bungee off the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland, which my daughter did at the same time, watched by a very nervous Sara I might add!!! (click image for video)
Using the power of social media we raised over £1700 for leukaemia research. Watch this space for our next Worthing Crocman adventure - he will be returning sometime soon!
During the last few years, I have had the pleasure of speaking at different events, and consulting in many different countries including many European countries and the Middle East. I have also delivered projects remotely in the US. I am hoping that this trend continues in the future!
The final point I want to mention is that earlier this year, Sirona Consulting - was approached by asked by LinkedIn to join their new partner programme as an Official LinkedIn® EMEA Talent Solutions Partner. This doesn't mean I sell their products, it simply means as recognised experts in social recruiting we are able to offer independant support and advice to LinkedIn clients, as and when required.
So, there is a whistle stop tour of the last ten years - there has been loads more to talk about, and way too many people to mention. But the one thing that has made it great has been all the people we have met and interacted with literally all over the world.
So, now I am back to the question I posed at the start of the post, what will the future hold?
Over the last 10 years I have delivered projects, social media recruitiment training, recruitment strategies, social media content strategies, written and created content across all the social media channels, spoken at many conferences and of course recruited many people along the way!
It's funny what a 10 year anniversary does to you. It makes you take stock and think about what the future could hold.
I have done just that and looked at some areas where there may well be some slightly different ways that Sirona Consulting can add more value to companies in the future. Maybe some will come to fruition one day, maybe they won't. But one thing is for sure, sitting back and thinking about it has done me no harm at all!!
So with my thinking cap on and crystal ball in hand, here are some ways we could add more value for recruitment companies and/or corporates in the future:
- Consulting is good, but it would be great to be involved in an end to end recruitment project (usually in consulting we get involved in segments) - influencing decision making at the right stages, and managing projects to a conclusion. This would mean changing direction a little and taking a role on full-time or on an interim basis. Worth thinking about.
- Social recruiting strategies are still not as widely adopted as (I think) they should be. Short term training is good, but working within a company more closely either part-time or full-time, to full develop capability longer term experienced talent would be interesting.
- Social media content creation and strategies in recruitment is a problem area for many recruitment companies and departments - especially getting the consultants/recruiters to adopt the new ways of working. Again to make this effective, a period of time working directly with a company is the only way to really make this work.
- Recruitment technologies are changing and with fast moving social media (just look at the speed of change in LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook), recruitment processes need to change (IMO) to reflect the changes and embrace these new technologies. There could be options on the other side of the fence working with recruitment software providers to help position and embed their technologies better within recruitment.
- With the continued growth of RPO, will the existing models that are mainly based on cost savings be sustainable, with the need for more and more recruiters to deliver the numbers of quality candidates to clients. I know many clients are reluctantly accepting RPO as a necessary evil to drive cost down, but what about sourcing techniques, relationship management, delivery and client communications of the actual recruiters? Do they even care about candidate experience? What about employer brand extension?
As I said above it's funny what a 10 year anniversary does to you! Will any of the above happen? Maybe, maybe not, but it certainly got the thinking juices going again!
Thanks to everyone for the support during the last decade.
Here's to the next 10 years :-)
Andy & Sara
We work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them integrate social media into their existing recruitment strategy and recruitment processes. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.
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