Start with why

Start with why
Start with why

I absolutely love Simon Simek’s famous Ted talk, ‘Start with Why’, which examines why some companies achieve things that completely exceed our expectations and defy our assumptions of what’s possible, whilst others simply don’t.


After re-watching this talk, I started to think about how this talk applies to the recruitment industry, which leads me to this; many people think that all recruitment agencies are the same and that there is no difference. They all just fill jobs, right?



Everyone knows what a recruitment agency is and what they do, or at least they think that they do.

All recruitment agencies (should) have this one essential thing in common, which is that they aim to place people into jobs.

Whilst this may sound contradictory, the majority of recruitment firms aren’t in the business to fill your jobs… they are in the business to make money.



Most recruitment firms don’t proactively search for candidates for your jobs, which may sound strange but hear me out…

A lot of firms are extremely passive, they run a number of roles and simply move their connections around multiple job roles (instead of proactively searching for new candidates whose skills meet the needs of the current client).

The fill ratio of most large recruitment firms is 20%, that’s 1 in 5 roles, and if they are any good then this may even be 1 in 4.



A lot of this comes down to why firms do business, and their ‘why’ is normally quite internally focused. They have goals and targets they need to hit in order to please internal shareholders at the recruitment agency. Which I can tell you often doesn’t help the end client…

My advice is that you should understand what you want from your recruitment supply chain.

Are you after CVs or do you want them to fill the role?

If you want them to fill the role, are you incentivising them to do that successfully?

(I’ll give a quick tip here – sending jobs out to more agencies doesn’t get you better candidates… it gets you who they can get their hands on the quickest.)


Our Why

Our why is pretty simple. We believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in creative solutions and we believe in working together with people.


Our How

We do this by sourcing proactively for talent, by engaging people on a personal level and by adapting our model to suit our client’s needs.


Our What

We just so happen to want to fill your jobs…


We prefer to let our results talk for themselves, so rather than blow our own trumpets, you can check out some of our case studies here:

What I wish everyone knew about candidate experience during the recruitment process.

What I wish everyone knew about candidate experience during the recruitment process.
What I wish everyone knew about candidate experience during the recruitment process.

What I wish everyone knew about candidate experience during the recruitment process. Technology has completely changed the hiring landscape, for both job seekers and recruiters. These technical advances mean that employers can more easily find candidates that perfectly fit their current vacancies, and candidates can search for more jobs than ever before.


Often you find that companies will put candidates through a rigorous assessment process, without ever making an emotional connection with the potential employee (and then wonder why they don’t accept their job offers at the end of this process!)


Due to the increased online access to information, the best candidates can often have a choice of what job to go for and will quite often consider multiple roles before deciding which one to take.


This means that engaging with candidates is crucial and a great experience should be created from the get-go – you don’t want to lose a prospective candidate due to an outdated hiring process!


This is why the first contact is so important – it should be a two-way conversation between the interviewer and interviewee to explain the opportunity to them and to gain buy-in (as well as to assess).


Other things that you may want to reconsider within your own recruitment process include:


  • The format and style of the interview. It isn’t always necessary to do a ‘proper’ interview at this initial stage, you can do a full assessment after the candidate is brought in (they will be more open to jumping through hoops when they actually want the role)


  • Getting the line manager involved early in the process, even if only for a coffee. Most people work for their boss rather than the company so doing this can be a pivotal factor in the candidate’s final decision.


  • You want the candidate to get a real feel for the company culture. Introducing the candidate to multiple people within the company will ensure they get a rounded view of what its ‘really like’.



Think about it, wouldn’t you be more likely to accept a job offer if the hiring process was more enriching and you felt like you already had a feel for the company culture?

To discuss further, you can email me on

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.