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Recruitment Buzz Meets: James Crawley, Author and Co-Founder of JCM Advisors Ltd


Today, we at Recruitment Buzz caught up James Crawley, an accomplished Executive and Non -Executive Director with both commercial and public sector experience. With many years of involvement in the world of business development, James has worked with recruitment professionals and brands across the globe, sharing his experiences and opinions at this year’s Recruitment Agency Expo.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I started my professional life as a submariner in the Royal Navy, possibly the best free management training school in the world. After a few very enjoyable years, I decided that seeing further than ten feet occasionally would be nice, and some daylight wouldn’t go amiss either. So, he packed his bags, and after an eighteen-month notice period, set off from the Barrow-In-Furness submarine building centre in search of his wife, whom I had last spotted in Kent in a house I vaguely remembered buying. Having met a few head hunters on my own job search, fell into the world of executive search, started as a researcher and worked my way up.

Two start-ups, two turnarounds, a PLC, a venture capital backed rocket ship of company later, one divorce, the installation of wife v2.0 + with two preinstalled apps and an awful lot of fun later, I found that I had transitioned from a pure executive search consultant into a broad business consultant with a focus on talent. Somehow twenty years had passed and I launched JCM Advisors (JCM), an international talent management and business consulting firm.

Still working with the leadership teams of some of the world’s top professional services firms, whose clients that have been loyal for nearly two decades, the core mission for JCM is now to help smaller faster growing companies learn from their predecessors’ mistakes.

Whilst still maintaining a London presence, I try to hide away in Kent when not on active engagements. I also spends thirty percent of my time working with local and national charities ranging from The British Red Cross to SouthEast4x4 response. I’m also the Lead Governor of South East Coast Ambulance Service and a Community First Responder.

Can you tell us more about your company?

JCM is a boutique advisory firm with both Local and Global capabilities. We work with a small carefully selected client roster to ensure we don’t have conflicts of interest and will not provide the same services to more than one organisation of a similar type in the same geographic area. Recent clients our team have worked with include the leadership teams of Global Top 5 Professional Services firms, through to the CEO, HRD, FD, COO’s of companies of all sizes and maturity operating in the B2B, B2C and services industries.

Having worked for over 20 years with a range of organisations in both the Corporate, Professional Services and Public Sector, in over 40 countries, we have witnessed both the worst and the best of Talent Acquisition & Management and advised clients on a range of individual, team, company merger and large-scale talent programmes. We are able to help design and implement the most appropriate programme to your needs covering both day to day, specific and long-term Talent activities. These may include:

  • Employer Brand Development
  • Senior Hire Programmes
  • Succession Planning / Pipeline Programmes
  • Executive Search Provider Selection / PSL Review
  • Recruitment Process Re-Design
  • Employer Brand Training
  • Training “In-House” Resourcing teams
  • On-Site Short-Term Talent Acquisition Solutions
  • Assessment Centres
  • Diversity & Localisation Programmes

We also provide Retained Executive Search services to clients ranging from small start-ups through to FTSE 100 / Fortune 500 and Global Professional Services firms. Typical Projects Include:

  • C-Suite
  • Regional Partners / Global Sector Partners / Country Leaders – Professional Services
  • Regional & Country Talent Mapping & Pipelining
  • M&A target Identification and Approach
  • Named Approach of known individuals
  • Diversity Programmes

Could you give us a sneak preview of your seminar at the expo?

Employer Brand is often the least invested in aspect of a company’s operations.  Companies favour investing in Customer Service and Marketing instead. Our thesis is that you don’t need to spend money on Customer Service if you are spending your money on developing your team, as a happy motivated team will automatically deliver good customer experiences and a well trained team will offer customers better products and services.

Looking to 2019, what do you see as the biggest opportunities for the recruitment Sector?

Better technology is forcing out poor recruitment practices and suppliers. The opportunity for the sector will always remain developing better quality advisory services for clients to complement the day to day recruitment activities

Is there anything on the horizon the recruitment sector should be worried about?

AI will remove the need for poor quality, high volume agencies

What are your thoughts on Brexit and its impacts on your space?

No impact

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give a recruiter?

Develop quality thought leadership that adds value to your client

Automation: friend or foe to recruitment?

Friend – it will remove the need for clients to use poor quality mass recruitment agencies

What advice would you give to anyone attending the expo this year?

Learn and enjoy and don’t go round trying to sell ice to the eskimos


Over the past 3 years, Rachel has been working specifically within the digital marketing space and has worked with some of the country’s top brands. Drawing on her knowledge and experience, Rachel has developed a genuine understanding of how content can engage and compel an audience.

Rachel is responsible for every aspect of web management, marketing and overall production of the Recruitment Buzz brand and is often called upon for her skills and knowledge of WordPress, email marketing software and social media tools.

Rachel works closely with the Recruitment Buzz editorial team and certainly recognises a good story when she sees one!


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