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Recruitment Buzz Meets: Steve Ward, Head of Staffing Agency Solutions at Candidate.ID


With the Recruitment Agency Expo less than a week away, we at Recruitment Buzz are eager to gain   an insight into what we can expect from the 2-day event. With technology always at the heart of the exhibition, we were thrilled to interview Derry Holt, the man at the helm of OneUp Sales. Set to speak at the expo, he today shares his thoughts on how gamification can aid productivity in the world of recruitment.

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

Hi, I’m Steve Ward – I am a Talent Attraction & Social Recruiting Strategist and work most predominantly with Candidate.ID; the world’s first dedicated, automated Talent Pipeline software. I’ve been in recruiting nearly 25 years, and rose to prominence as the founder of CloudNine, a pure Social Recruiting recruitment agency. Quoted generally as being the “first practising social recruiter”, back in 2008.

I merged that company with a larger entity in 2012, and then in 2015 stepped away to work in a combination of inhouse, agency and technology; in creating magnetic talent attraction methods.

I am also the REC’s Social Recruiting, LinkedIn Masterclass and Agency Branding trainer.

Can you tell us more about your company?

Candidate.ID is reason I’m more inspired than ever about the direction of recruitment. Built off B2B Marketing Automation and Demand Generation software; the product helps recruiters identify candidates and clients; by name; in real time; as they peruse our content, website and digital activity, that our marketing person spent so much time lovingly preparing. By tracking and assessing what topics, content and assets they engage with – we can learn about their communication preferences and motivations, and most crucially, understanding when their behaviours imply that they could be ready for a conversation with a recruiter.

Naturally, this does 2 key things – 1) makes the recruiters more effective, because they should now focus on the digital engagements as their primary source of active candidates, rather than cold contacts and random advert responders; and 2) makes the marketing, website and content more effective and glean ROI, because we can see the journeys that led a candidate to make a move to communicate with our recruiters.

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

My talk is entitled “Social Recruiting 2018: From Lip-Service to Lead Generation”.

Social Recruiting has had a tough journey, furthermore, the goalposts have continually moved because of the multiple facets at play; not least the behaviours of our talent market. Added to that, the ridiculous evangelism of social-platform recruiting has been unhelpful, and often frankly, wrong.

I’ve been at the cutting edge and forefront of this for 10 years. In 2018, you cannot do what you did in 2008. In fact, I’d even say 2015. Technology, behaviour, trust and changing preferences; mean that social recruiting is no longer allowed to be an invasive exercise – but it should be a logical, purposeful, value-driven – and crucially – tracked and monitored exercise. Social interaction is not a “nice to do” thing now – it’s an identify, engage and draw in exercise.

I’ll talk on how, and the best tactics.

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

Technology *has* to move recruiters away from cold contact, aimless advertising, and inane sourcing – and *has* to allow recruiters to be better informed, digitally enabled and more efficient. The result of this, is better candidate conversation, which leads to a better candidate experience, which leads to a better industry reputation.

We’re way better than Estate Agents and Car Sales People… the opportunity to change face, is exciting.

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


Every evolution of market, and redeployment of the parameters, leads to new goals, new markets, changing candidate needs, and changing client needs. Never consider dying, only consider evolving and thriving.

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

Bring it on. It’s the same for everyone. So, hurdles it will bring, will be the same that all competitors face. Talent Attraction will be a constant, good marketing and communications will be a constant. We just may need to get better, and more targeted, about the way we engage with tighter talent audiences.

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

Recruitment has never been so easy. Our access to data, candidate behaviours, digital footprints and better human interventions; means you need to work with close information and stay in control of tight niche boundaries and talent groups, before trying to change the world at scale. Your candidates and clients are literally at your fingertips. Use knowledge well.

Automation: friend or foe to recruitment?

Candidate.ID is an automation product – so that’s easy.

But why? – If used well, automation is designed to be used for the things that human recruiters are less efficient at: Sourcing, Pipeline, Large Scale Communications, Advertising, etc; in order to allow human recruiters to be even more efficient at the things we excel at – i.e. relationships, influence, sales, close engagement and shortlist and recruitment process management.

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

Come with open ears, listen well – talk and ask questions. Also just because someone on stage says it, it doesn’t always mean it’s true for you . Be watchful and smart


Chris is a digital marketing and publishing whizz by trade, having worked alongside the Automotive, Information Security and Software Asset Management sectors.

Specialising in data analysis and social media, he combines an analytical approach with a creative flair to achieve the best results. With a keen interest in Technology and Politics, Chris is constantly on the look-out for the latest stories around change and innovation.

As a lover of all things innovative, he has developed a keen eye for spotting the latest trends and hot topics. He sources and reads the latest news and thought-leadership articles from the world of recruitment before sharing them with the social media population.


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