The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

Recruitment Buzz Meets: James Osborne, Chairman of The Recruitment Network


With the country’s recruitment professionals now gearing up for the Recruitment Agency Expo, the Birmingham NEC is equally as busy, preparing the venue to host a collection of world-class speakers. James Osborne of The Recruitment Network is just one individual that will be taking the stage at the event, set to deliver a speech on the changing face of recruitment. Offering advice on how to capitalise on what he calls ‘exciting times’, we at Recruitment Buzz were eager to learn more about James and his business.

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

Having spent the majority of my life working in the recruitment and staffing sector, I’m on a mission to unite staffing businesses and communities globally so together we can unleash the extraordinary potential of talent.

For the last 14 years, I have advised, trained and mentored hundreds of recruitment leaders and their people and have a good insight into what works, what doesn’t work and what we need to do in the future to ensure that we remain fit for purpose, resilient and valuable to our clients and candidates.

Everything we do is focused on that.

  1. Can you tell us more about your company?

The Recruitment Network was born out of the concept that traditional 1:1 advisory services have their limitations in that when working in silo with one single advisor recruitment leaders are potentially limiting their access to a wide breadth of quality and up to date advice and insights.  Additionally, we feel that there is a huge appetite across the sector for recruitment leaders to work collaboratively to share best practices, support each other, generate shared opportunities, buying power and so on.

So we went on to create a club that was highly inclusive and that gives recruitment leaders access to everything they need to improve productivity, increase profitability and shareholder value and outperform the rest of the market from advice, support, tools, mentorship, training for their employees, recruitment tech and much more all bundled into one single membership.

Since launching less than two years ago we have continually expanded the service and product suite that our members get as part of their membership and at our last members’ event (an amazing 2 day retreat with some of the most renowned thought leaders and industry experts from around the globe), we had over 150 recruitment leaders with us, so the concept is clearly working.

Our new TRNWorld platform is just about to be released too, which will take the club to a whole new level!

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

My seminar is entitled Evolution or Revolution in Recruitment and explores what recruitment business leaders and recruiters themselves need to do to capitalise on the changing face of the industry.

We are seeing some unprecedented growth across some areas of the industry and it’s the lessons from those organisations who are really outperforming the rest of the market that I want to explore in my seminar.

These are hugely exciting times… if you get it right!

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

Obviously 2019 is going to be a year of change, not only because of Brexit but also because many of the technologies that have been talked about over the past few years that are impacting our industry will really solidify their position in the market (or leave).

With change comes opportunity and so for many recruitment businesses it is understanding how they can capitalise on the changing landscape that lays ahead.

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

Complacency mainly.  HR and Talent Management will continue to evolve at a breakneck pace, so we need to evolve as the market does and not become stagnant or reliant on what can sometimes be archaic ways of working.

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

Irrespective of what people think about Brexit and what they voted for, it will certainly get businesses thinking differently next year.  We are working with a number of industry experts around how to best prepare for different outcomes when Brexit finally happens, but one thing we do know – business will not stop, it will just move.

Recruitment leaders need to be ready to adapt their businesses to ensure that they can be at the heart of where that business moves to…

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

Someone told me once, you can never lose – you can only win or learn – and I think this is key.  As the industry continues to change and evolve so do recruiters. These are very exciting times, but we need to adapt and try new ways of working, we need to consolidate the business we have and we need to learn from others as to how we can win more and in some cases different types of business.

Enjoy the journey!

  1. Automation: friend or foe to recruitment?

Absolutely a friend, if you treat it like one!  Automation, tech advancements, it’s all happening now and we can stop that.  However, we can embrace it and use it make our recruitment processes, our candidate acquisition strategies, our entire offering more agile, more efficient and more effective.  Added to the personalised, human side of what we do, and you have a very compelling offering to take to market.

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

Go with a very open mind and speak to and see as much as you can.  Speak to the exhibitors as they have their ears to ground as to what the market is doing and attend as many of the seminars as you have time to do, as you will pick up new ideas that will transform how you work, your performance and your profitability.

Then go back to your desk and implement!