Campaigning to turn recruitment failures into successes, Angela Cripps is a seasoned recruitment professional. Having recruited over 5,000 individuals in her time, her speech at this year’s Recruitment Agency Expo is much-awaited. Today, she gives us a sneak preview of what we can expect from the event, discussing everything from recruitment trends and challenges to the impact of Brexit on the resourcing industry.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I am a global trainer, management consultant, executive coach, board advisor, mentor and performance specialist and I’ve been working within the recruitment industry for nearly 30 years.
Can you tell us more about your company?
The aim of Connemara UK is to make companies more successful and profitable through the development of their people and processes. We’ve worked with over 150 SMEs throughout the world with a current focus on APac which includes, HK, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and Australia.
Could you give us a sneak preview of your seminar at the expo?
The seminar will cover what I’ve learnt from working on the government’s Growth Accelerator scheme and working with 30+ companies on their 3 year business plans over the past 5 years.
There will be research statistics, example documentation and the opportunity for people to ask about how they can tackle issues and problems, that maybe they’ve faced in the past whilst trying to get a business plan to work.
Looking to 2019, what do you see as the biggest opportunities for the recruitment sector?
The country is facing a skills crisis already and it’s likely to get worse (unless Brexit puts us into a recession!), so it’s important for companies to be focusing on the service that they are offering to their candidates – as well as their clients.
Is there anything on the horizon the recruitment sector should be worried about?
There’s always things on the horizon… AI, Brexit, technology, economic downturn, skills shortages, additional legislation and red tape, larger internal recruitment teams. I could go on!
Over the past 30 years, I’ve faced these issues (okay, not Brexit) but all of the others, time and time again. There will always be a requirement for good quality recruiters in this world and because of technology, it’s now easy to recruit for any location in the world. So if the UK starts to struggle, don’t worry, find out now where in the world yo0ur sector is thriving.
What are your thoughts on Brexit and its impacts on your space?
I get frustrated with talk around Brexit. Initially because my belief was that the general public were not informed enough to be able to make a rational decision. Who really knew what it meant… who knows now?!
This is a decision that will impact generations to come and will definitely impact the staffing sector next year. We’re already seeing companies changing their strategies a year ahead and a huge reduction in application for Universities and job applications this year. Next year could see an exodus of skill from the UK… and we brought that upon ourselves.
This was one of the reasons for Connemara UK to focus on the APac region, as after the first month of initial shock throughout the world, it’s not currently having an impact. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, but recruiters can work anywhere nowadays and LinkedIn makes it so easy to identify your target market – wherever you are in the world.
What’s the most important piece of advice you would give a recruiter?
Our industry is one of the best in the world that can provide you with so many opportunities, so be prepared to work hard and above all else LISTEN. Listen to your colleagues and manager and steal their good ideas. Listen to your candidates and find out exactly what they want from their next position… and the one after that. Listen to your clients and challenge them on what they’re asking for, including why and finally, listen to yourself.
Recruitment is not as easy as it looks and it’s a stressful job, so make sure that you get the support and advice that you need and if you’re not… speak up!
Automation: friend or foe to recruitment?
Definitely a friend. Before computers arrived on our desks, I once counted the different documents that I had to fill out to get a candidate out to work for just 4 hours temping and to make sure that they got paid. 27!! Automation does so much of that for you now, so take advantage of that extra time and add it into customer service.
Saying that, there are great companies out there now automating the customer service elements for you now too. One that I was so impressed with the idea of, and therefore got involved in the company nearly a year before it’s launch is Recruiter Insider. They’re based in Melbourne, so it’s great when I get to spend a day with the creators when I’m there once a quarter.
What advice would you give to anyone attending the expo this year?
Plan your day.
There are so many opportunities for learning and networking, so invite your clients along (remember it’s free) to a speech or training session that would be relevant to them. Then organise some client meetings whilst you’re there. I’m sure they would be impressed in the way that it’s conducted and how wonderful the people in the recruitment industry are.