S2E11 The Highly Personalised Recruitment as a Service Edition with James Osborne

S2E11 The Highly Personalised Recruitment as a Service Edition with James Osborne

James chats with James Osborne, who the past 16 years has been working with recruitment business leaders helping them to achieve significant growth, performance improvement and competitive advantage acting as a non executive director, consultant, trainer and strategist for numerous fast growing recruitment businesses.


He’s a passionate speaker on behalf of the recruitment and staffing sector, and is the Chairman of the Recruitment Network. The fastest growing global support an advisory club for recruitment business leaders. He is also an Iron Man triathlete, which he competes in for raising money for his own personal charity.


They discuss recruitment as a service, automation and change, focusing on partnership relationships with clients, walking in the candidate’s shoes, loyalty and becoming an Iron Man.


Contact James:


W. www.therecruitmentnetwork.com
T. @osborne_tweets / @TheRecNetwork1

Click for the full transcript

James Nathan  0:54  Hello and welcome to The Only One Business Show with me Your host James Nathan, and in the studio today, I’ve got some somebody who I think you’re going to really enjoy. This man is on a mission to make a positive difference, is an award winning business consultant advisor and entrepreneur with an international board level background in the staffing and recruitment sector. For the past 16 years, he’s been working with recruitment business leaders helping them to achieve significant growth, performance improvement and competitive advantage acting as a non executive director, consultant, trainer and strategist for numerous fast growing recruitment businesses. He’s a passionate speaker on behalf of the recruitment and staffing sector, and is the Chairman of the Recruitment Network. The fastest growing global support an advisory club for recruitment business leaders. He is also an Iron Man triathlete, which he competes in for raising money for his own personal charity. Please welcome James Osborne. James. Hi, how are you?


James Osborne  1:49  I’m very good. Thank you, James. How you doing?


James Nathan  1:51  I’m great. Thank you triathlons must be hard work.


James Osborne  1:55  Yeah, they…. Yes. Yeah, it’s something I took up a couple years ago and decided to go for a…. try and become an Iron Man. And that was my ambition. So last year, I managed to complete my first Ironman last year so


James Nathan  2:08  Fantastic. So, that’s a long way, isn’t it Iron Man… does it finish with a marathon?


James Osborne  2:14  Yes. 3.8k swim, 180 k bike ride and then a marathon to finish off took me about 14 hours of sheer hell. Um, but yeah, worth it validated it and something I always want to achieve. So very pleased.


James Nathan  2:26  And is that the kind of thing you do again? Is it like…. you know my wife runs half marathons and she keeps doing them?


James Osborne  2:31  Yeah, I think so. Yeah, I’m addicted to it now. And I do it to raise money for charity. So I keep pushing myself off you doing it long as my body lets me. And my wife lets me know, well,


James Nathan  2:41  What’s the charity?


James Osborne  2:42  A while ago I lost my son, my first son, a number of years ago, so we raise money for the hospital where he was born down in Bath. Yeah. So it’s good. He just keeps us… it puts a positive swing on something, which was very negative at a time for us.


James Nathan  2:56  Sure. Oh, no. Good on your James, things like that are horrendous. And if you can bring something positive, and then then awesome. 180 kilometre bike ride and then a marathon. Okay. Yeah, you’re obviously a very driven guy. And you spent a huge amount of time in the recruitment sector. What is it about recruitment that draws you? What do you love about it?


James Osborne  3:18  As a whole host of things? Really. I mean, I fell into recruitment about 25 years ago when I was living over in Australia. And so I’ve always been in the recruitment sector, I love the people in recruitment, I think it’s just full of characters. I mean, for good, bad and ugly, but you know, there’s some amazing people in the recruitment sector now. And the ones I know are absolutely wonderful. So the characters themselves are brilliant, I think, you know, being very serious. And, you know, I think sometimes it sounds cliche, but I just love the impact of the recruitment sector has on people’s lives, on the on the world we live in, on the economies that we serve, you know, it’s just, we sit at the heart of so many things, and I think done right, the impact we can make, it is huge. I think I just love that I love the impact we can have. It is wonderful.


James Nathan  4:03  You know, you and I’ve been in recruitment about the same amount of time, which is, I call it donkey’s years, these days, because it makes it quicker and easier. But what’s been changing recently, when you look at the sector and the way it’s operating, what are the been the sort of significant changes of late?


James Osborne  4:18  Yeah, I mean, there’s quite a few. And I think the industry’s is changing and metamorphosis all the time. I think that’s the right word. The, you know, obviously, we’ve had things like, you know, technologies coming in playing a massive part in how we do and don’t work. It’s on the positive side, it’s made the industry far more agile, allows a lot more. Possibly on the negative side is taking some down not a huge amount for this stage. I think it’s a long way to go yet for it does anything serious from that perspective, but it’s certainly waking up the industry a little bit more. What one of the things I do like about how tech had a positive impact on the industry is the fact the SME marketplace of which is the largest part of the industry. So the smaller recruitment companies seem to have the ability now to take on and compete with some of the bigger players out there, which traditionally had a largest share of the market. So I think it’s been really enjoying working with the SME market, you know, those recruitment companies up to up to 120 staff. So I think they were in between seems to be doing a lot of stuff. So I think the industry is changing all the time. Now, if you think about, we are a sales driven industry, to an extent, I think that’s, I think buying and selling has changed over the years, just generally, not only in recruitment, but outside of that as well. So, you know, I think just the way that we do things, whether we work in any industry has changed, or the recruitment is part of that journey. And I don’t think we’ve really hit on all the changes yet. There’s a lot more to come. But I think it’s a really exciting time for the industry at the moment, I think and if you look at it as like any industry is those recruitment businesses, and there’s recruiting professionals that are embracing the changing using it to their advantage seem to be winning moment and outperforming the rest of the market.


James Nathan  5:53  It’s some it’s interesting what you say about the smaller businesses because the drawers to empty or the the ability to move into the recruitment marketplace has never been that difficult, you know, all you’ve really ever need is a phone and a load of effort. But the ability to source candidates and to be involved at a better level with technology seems to have come on leaps and bounds lately.


James Osborne  6:19  Yeah, I think I mean that there really is no barrier to entry to set up a recruitment business or become a recruiter. So you know, that I think, was good in one sense that I think it just keeps the flow of new people and new ideas coming into the industry alive, possibly has its impact, because you know, you get some people coming in, and maybe we shouldn’t be doing recruitment, and maybe not the best sort of way. But But now, there’s no getting away from the fact that recruitment is a human industry is all about people, technology, is there just as an enabler, and it’s not a replacement. And I think, you know, can it replace sales and marketing in the BD process and in sort of account management process, no, it can improve it, certainly and make it make it more more efficient. And can you replace the sourcing process, well no, but at the same time, you know, it enables us to find talent that other people aren’t able to find. And that type of stuff. We still need to convince and work with that talent to convince them to take a new job or move or to persuade a client to take a candidate. So there’s a huge human element of the recruitment industry that will never go away. And tech just enables it doesn’t replace it.


James Nathan  7:26  You know, it’s very interesting. I mean, I’m sure you you see this in the businesses you work with, but the number of people tapping on cable just getting higher and higher and higher. And the number people picking up telephones is getting lower and lower and lower. But when you walk into a business where there’s lots of noise and lots of people talking, it’s no surprise that the fee boards are pretty full as well. Yeah, I do. I do think that the ability to map using technology, so finding the right people for jobs is becoming easier in some ways and more complicated in others. But all of that’s got to be a very good thing. How does the technology side impact the service element, though? Because there is a huge amount of reliance on tech in recruitment these days?


James Osborne  8:12  Yeah, I think it has a again, it has a positive and negative I think, you know, from a service point of view, I think it can have the tendency to potentially make recruiters and any business professionals a little bit lazy, to an extent because if tech can replace me having to do it, then I might as well use tech and then that in itself, then I think depersonalizes into extent dumbs down the sort of the relationship we have with our clients and candidates. So I think we need to be a little bit careful that we don’t use tech to replace the service piece. Having said that, you know, tech technology does give us the ability to extract really useful data. And that data and then certainly help us improve the customer experience and the service level how we do it and tailor service to what industry, what candidates, what clients are actually looking for, as opposed to what we think is right. And to an extent, you know, it can it can help us streamline and automate parts of the service piece, but again, not going too far. Because if you do too far, then you are  depersonalizing it, which then takes away the real USP, I think of what recruitment all about.


James Nathan  9:16  So what what is going too far?


James Osborne  9:18  Well, I think going too far is when, you know, one of the biggest issues that candidates often say is that they never hear back from recruiters, or when they do is very generic sort of stuff. So, you know, if we have a relationship with our candidates, which is very much portal driven, which is very much based around automated responses, then I think that’s going too far. Because I think it then it just becomes you know, you know, it’s like when you receive some, you get a more time when you get generic responses from people that you knows is come from a chat bot or is coming from a data source or whatever, or you get a call from, you know, getting calls these days from companies trying to sell me stuff. And it’s actually a robotic voice as opposed to actually being human, the other ends of stuff. Yeah, that’s just too far. You know, the world doesn’t buy into that. Yet I don’t think, I don’t know how these things survive. So that to me, is that to me is too far. I think.


James Nathan  10:08  It’s interesting, when you say that, how they survive? Because I always wondered that, and they must do otherwise I wouldn’t do it.


James Osborne  10:13  Yeah, I honestly don’t know, I honestly don’t know whether it’s just because they survive, because their customers pay that these call centres, these contact centres based on the numbers of contacts and communications they have rather than the actually outputs. And if that’s the case, I when they ring, and they come through on a mobile number, I don’t recognize you, I’m intrigued, I pick it up, I listen. And then suddenly, next thing, you know, I find them talking to a robot that hasn’t got a clue I am. And it’s an automated message. So if that counts as a hit in a contact centre, and that’s what they get rewarded on there, maybe it does work for that point of view, but doesn’t create the output.


James Nathan  10:47  It’s very interesting. I mean, Apple have just updated their latest operating system as they tend to do and, you know, one of the upgrades was that you can filter those out so the phone doesn’t actually even ring if it doesn’t recognize the number. Now I think that’s going to make it good and bad. You know, if someone finds me from a number, I don’t know, I’m always excited hoping that it might be someone who wants to, you know, employ me in their business. So I tend not to want to filter those out. But, are recruiters getting to use that sort of stuff? I mean, are they starting to use robotics? Or is that it for contacting people? Or is that still a step beyond?


James Osborne  11:26  I think I don’t think they’re using it to contact people, I think, recruiters, there’s certainly a definitely a percentage of the industry that are definitely starting to use technology a hell of a lot more, which is great and really understanding and embracing it, whether it be something as simplistic as a chat bot, or whatever. But I don’t think we’ve gone down the route yet where we’re using it as proactive business development tactics, because I just don’t think that’s right. We don’t, we certainly use it from a marketing point of view, you know, you think about marketing automation. And I think that works, I think a big chunk of what we do from a candidate and client acquisition perspective, is around utilizing marketing to help us find and bring on and unearth talent better and engage with talent. And I think the automation side of that is fine, to an extent. And I think a lot more recruiters start to use it and a lot more than they had done in the past, because it’s now, it’s now less of a sort of a dark art, I think is now more of norm. And constantly, that means it gets utilized a lot more.


James Nathan  12:27  You mentioned generics and data earlier. And obviously, data is fabulous for personalization. You see a huge number of recruitment businesses all the time? Who’s using that data well, what are they doing with it? And how are they personalizing it for their client?


James Osborne  12:46  Yeah, I won’t use any particular names for the sake of this, but you know, I mean, we do work with a lot of recruitment organizations, we get to spend a lot of time understanding what they do, I think there’s a number of recruitment businesses, you have put data at the centre of their business. And that allows them to make data driven decisions, which I think is absolutely critical. So you know, one of the things that, you know, when we talk about service, customer experience, for example, one thing I get really, really annoyed about is that we think to improve the customer experience, we need to raise the quality of what we do, that’s just one small part of it, the real value of customer experience is where you improve the quality of it, and but you also tailor it to the person at the other end. And I find I get very frustrated. And I just come back from a couple weeks of traveling. And I get very frustrated when you go into a hotel, wherever it might be or an airline, etc. And they are fixated on giving you what I would call a celebrity level of service. But they’re not considering or taking into account what I’m personally feeling right now or where my current situation is. So consequently, it comes off wrong. And I think data allows you to be able to do that. So, you know, if an airline knew, for example, that I was flying between one country and another, and I was in…. I had like 45 minutes to get off one plane and board another plane. The last thing you want to do is stop at the desk and then be asked all the classic questions that they were told to ask because it delivers celebrity service, where as what they need to do is provide a different type of service albeit celebrity, but it’s tailored to what I need right now, which is I need a quick response, move me forward, getting me on the next plane type stuff. I think sometimes we get that piece wrong.


James Nathan  14:33  It’s interesting, because in the hospitality industry in the leisure industry, they’re the two kind of areas that are often seen as beacons for service. And you’d think that, you know, particularly the volume of business travel that they would get, you know, most people just want to get from one place to the other as seamlessly as possible with as least amount of friction as possible. And learn from it. But yet they still want to take that extra time with you. And I think it’s quite interesting what you said, because it doesn’t make it nicer. It doesn’t make it better just makes it frustrating.


James Osborne  15:05  Yeah.


James Nathan  15:06  Leisure and hospitality, as I say, they’re often seen as the kind of beacons because they’re very much focused on things, what can we learn in other industries from them?


James Osborne  15:17  With regards to customer experience and service? You know, I mean, one of the things that we spend a lot lot of time talking about with recruitment organizations is well, two things really, is their brand proposition. So what do they want to be known for the industry. And I think in a quite a crowded industry, which is what the recruitment sector is, in the same way, hotels are fairly crowded as an industry and so forth, you need to have a very clear brand proposition that people assimilate towards and buy and buy into. And I think having a clear definition of what that is for your business is critical. And I don’t think it should be a carbon copy or a slightly 5% better than something other than your competitors. I think it should be something which is unique and to you and your business and what you do. And then the second thing for me is, once you’ve done identified your brand proposition is to really understand what we refer to as the cycle of service excellence. So every single interaction, moments of truth, that your customers and candidates have with your business’s service. And I think some organizations, and certainly some hotels, and hospitality organizations do that very, very well. So they think about the moment you walk into the hotel door, they think about what happens when you go to the bathroom, they think about what happens when you check in, and so on and so forth. So every moment of truth is an important opportunity to deliver a celebrity level of service. And I think when recruitment organizations, we’ve done this a lot of businesses when they actually map out their cycle of service. So you know, when a candidate applies for a job, when they, when they receive a job spec, when they have sent through for interview, all the way through to invoicing and so on and so forth and payroll and everything, these are all moments of truth, that will really determine I think the quality of the experience that customers and candidates have.


So every moment needs be a celebrity moment of truth, I think that’s absolutely critical. One of the things I was talking about with someone recently, it was quite an interesting conversation is like, I was asking them as…… have they ever actually tried to apply for a job on their own company website as if they were a potential candidate. And the room hadn’t none of them had done it. And we use a couple of them, we actually went through a couple engine as an example to see. Now what was it like as a candidate experience, and it was awful, it was absolutely terrible. You know, and we live in a world where you know, if you want to go on a date, you swipe left, or you want to find your future future partner, you swipe left, that’s it. If you want to buy a coffee, you put a card on the card reader and walk out again, without having to even put your PIN number in. So that’s the world we live in. And yet in some instances, we make it quite hard for someone to even apply for a job in the first place. And I think those that there, there’s some of the changes that we need to be embracing. And I think the industry needs to be embracing was only recruiting organizations as individual businesses need to be thinking about is how do we make, you  use that word frictionless, I think that’s a great word to use, is how do we make, you know, the candidate process frictionless, so it’s easy to hang out with us, it’s easy for us to find them jobs, as opposed to it’s quite laborious. And therefore, if I’m going to go to four or five different agencies is now just going to get painful. And I’ve got five frictionful journeys to go through.


James Nathan  18:20  I often wonder, you know, with any business, really, if you make the process really nice, really easy. And that person finds everything they need with you, the chances of them wanting to go elsewhere are pretty slim. But when we mentioned that kind of making it difficult for candidates to apply for job, you just think, come on, really? But it does happen


James Osborne  18:43  I don’t think it’s slim, I think we certainly improve the chances of them staying. And I don’t honestly believe that you can really get true candidate loyalty. Because candidates, quite rightly are loyal to themselves and to their future career and their job. So you know, I think a candidate will naturally try and spread themselves as wide as they can to ensure that there’s lots of agencies giving them the best opportunities to find the best job. And that’s where a recruiter needs to be absolutely on their game when it comes to not only delivering an amazing service to that candidate so they feel bought in that trust and rapports there, etc. And there is a level of loyalty but not a huge amount. But also, where a recruiter needs to ensure they’ve got a wide collection of job opportunities for a candidate. So rather than being focused on just trying to fill loads of jobs, our is focus, taking a great candidate and helping them find a job, so placing candidates rather than just filling jobs.


James Nathan  19:41  Has that changed?


James Osborne  19:42  No, I don’t think so I, you know, it changes. And I think it gets emphasized depending on the market you’re in. If it’s a talent, short market, obviously, that gets insinuated, as opposed to a client market. But that has always been there, I think, you know, there’s always been, that’s always been what recruitment about, you know, you start off, you find an amazing candidate. And then you take that candidate to market, and I don’t think has ever changed. And I think we may have got a little bit lazy sometimes. And I think with this too, sometimes I get too much of a focus on BD and sales. When actually we need to become damn good at recruiting first to be able to then deliver on the sales in the first place. I mean, customer experience, ultimately, however good and however we sugar coat, it does come back to how good are you really at delivering what I’ve asked you to deliver for me. Now, that’s number one, first and foremost. So if we’re fixated on just finding jobs all the time, and then we work out afterwards how we’re going to try and fill it, then I think we’re definitely definitely missing a trick there 100%


James Nathan  20:40  I think that’s a really interesting point you made there, James and that, you know, we often think of service and it will you know, the fact that you can do a good job is a given, but actually it’s never a given is it. And the number of businesses…. I’ve met a recruitment business this week is you know, they they basically put people on desk, give them a week’s training, and off they go. And you think really, and you’re still making profit. How’s that possible?


James Osborne  21:02  I think you’re right, I’ve seen it work. Again, it does depend a little bit on the industry you’re in, and so on and so forth and the types of roles that you’re recruiting. But, you know, I do think sometimes we over train recruiters when that when they join businesses, you know, when a recruiter joins a business, before they do anything, I want them to become just amazing recruiters as in the ability to find talent that nobody else can find, quicker than anybody else, in a way better than anybody else. And once they can do that as a habit, and it’s ongoing and it’s continuous, they can keep doing it and doing it and are damn good at it, then we might start thinking about getting in front of customers and selling. And if that’s the journey, they going to go on with that if you’re going down the 360 route, but you know, but also I want some damn good recruiters. And I’ve worked with recruitment organizations where, you know, the brand looks great and their sales activities is up there, at the top end, they do some amazing stuff. But they’ve got ridiculously low conversion ratio. So like 12 to one or something. So the doing they’re do all that work. And they’re making profit, but it’s just there such an inefficient way of working with them losing so much potential that they could earn. And I think the key is to get, you know, get the conversion ratio, right become great recruiters, package it with a great level of service, and then go and take that to market.


James Nathan  If you do that you’ve got an invincible business, haven’t you?


James Osborne  Well I don’t know invincible, we’re getting close to it.


James Nathan  22:27  Well, it’s what we used to call recession proof, is businesses who can make money regardless of the market. And I think that’s something that’s almost gone out of people’s mind, is that, you know, the market is very, very flexible. We’re absolutely due a recession at anytime. And when that comes, you still need to better find good people because, you know, jobs need filling?


James Osborne  22:45  Absolutely. I agree.


James Nathan  22:47  When when you talked about improving the quality of service? How do you do that? How do you go about it?


James Osborne  22:55  Well, I mean, I think the defining point with service to me is service is never about the macros was about the micro. And I think sometimes we spend a lot of time saying, you know, we deliver a great service, congratulations, high five. You know, to me, it’s breaking it down into every single interaction. That’s the micro side of it. So how do you deliver a great service? I think from a business owner point of view, I think you need to identify, as I talked about before, there’s moments of truth and the micro components of service delivery, and then identify what great, what celebrity experience looks like. And I think what’s really important is to reward people based on the customer experience and the service delivery as much as they as we reward them sometimes on revenue and GP. And I’ve seen it happen with a couple of organization, couple recruitment companies where they actually don’t have a commission structure based on GP at all. It’s based purely on net promoter score. And it’s, and one in particular comes to mind knows who they are, but they are on of the fastest growing recruitment businesses in their country, that is overseas, not in the UK, it’s overseas. And they’re doing incredibly well. And that is based literally on the fact that they are fixated on delivering a phenomenal level of service to their customers, every single stage of the process. They are winning lots of business, getting lots of what I refer to as passive traffic where candidates and clients to come into them. And therefore the probability is improving going up, they’re getting better account penetration, more referrals, more repeat business. So it goes on. So I think there’s definitely a link between the two, and they’re proving it. But what I like about that is I’ve actually put the money where their mouth is.


James Nathan  24:36  I love the sound of that. I trained in a business which didn’t have commission we were bonused on profit or profit split amongst the teams. And I always thought that was a really good way to not only get teams working together, but actually to take out some of the issues that come with commission, although that is the simplest way to remunerate sales people. So if a business like that can do so well and grow so quickly, without using the traditional structure, why aren’t other businesses looking at that too?


James Osborne  25:07  Because it doesn’t necessarily work for everybody, and depends on the market that you’re in, and depends on the types of people that you’re recruiting in your business. So, you know, there’s no getting away from that there’s a big chunk of the industry, which are traditionally sales people, out and out sales people who just want to do a deal get paid, do a deal get paid, it’s nothing wrong with that providing and doing it in the right way. And that’s actually why that’s very traditional style. Whereas there are other people in the industry who just want to focus on delivering service and they bring that whole, I supposed to purpose motive over the profit motive, which is some people have go the other way. And I think more and more people are doing things like it, it’s a big leap, I think to put your whole commission structure based around net promoter score, in the marketplace, where you know, if we’re fighting for margin all the time, at the moment and because of the competition stuff. So I think it’s a big leap. Let’s do that. I think a lot of agencies are going a more in that direction. They’re doing more things around service and more things around purpose outputs and that type of stuff as they’ve done before I think.


James Nathan  26:13  You mentioned before the kind of competition in the marketplace. And you know, in the internet age competition is a click away. And it’s very quick and easy for people to move and, to look elsewhere. You mentioned levels of loyalty for candidates. And although I kind of agree with almost everything you said, you know, people will look after themselves, I think we can still encourage people to be more favourable, rather than loyal toward working with us. And certainly in terms of referring us on to their friends, family and colleagues and what have you in the future? The levels of loyalty within the client side as well, in the same way, is that less loyal than it used to be?


James Osborne  26:58  No, I don’t think so. Again, I mean, this comes down to I mean, there’s a whole load of stuff around this. But this comes down to a little bit about how we position ourselves as an industry and as recruiters and recruitment business owners. And I think if you if we come in position ourselves as a supplier to the industry, where we’re happy to work on generically contingent work and go and get jobs and try and fill them afterwards and that type of stuff, then we are a supplier on a potential panel of suppliers. And I think the wider that panel is, the less loyalty there will always be. Whereas if we’re coming in as a partner, take a partnership approach, which is why some of the models now that people using are very different to typical models, where’s that output focused and is about in all that sort of stuff, then I think suddenly we are becoming more of a partner to our customers, the more of a partner you are, the more exclusivity you will have, and if not completely, but certainly more of it, and the more loyalty that you are generally created, because then you can get closer to your customers and so on and so forth, you know. So I think, I think I think you can definitely create a greater sense of loyalty with customers, than potentially candidates, but it does come down to how we position ourselves in the first place. And, you know, one of the biggest beefs I have in the industry is that we do come in sometimes, a lot of agencies do come in as a supplier to the industry or supplier to our customers of a service or product. I don’t see that’s what we are, I think we are a…. we should be working in partnership. And so our structure and our process and our terms and agreements and everything, and our financial modelling should be linked around a partnership program, which then gives us greater access and all sorts of stuff, which means we can then deliver a better customer experience, which means then ultimately delivering a better customer experience, we’re producing better outputs and placing more candidates, which means ultimately, they’re going to create more loyalty, because we’re doing what they asked us to do so. But it starts off of how we position ourselves in the first place.


James Nathan  28:53  You know, I was told when I first started many moons ago in recruitment that you’re only as good as your last placement. I don’t think that’s changed at all.


James Osborne  29:00  No not at all, and I think you know, everything we do is watch everything we do is checked. And I think in a in a competitive marketplace, there are another 25 people at the door of your clients banging on there trying to get in there in whatever way they’re going to do that, whether it be in an ethical or unethical way, they will do anything they can to get in front of your customers, so and our job is to ensure that we stay front of mind to our customers. And when it comes to customer experience. I mean, that includes things like getting out and spending more time in front of your customers and seeing them spending time with them. And, you know, not doing everything via portal and not the getting behind emails, because as soon as you start doing that, then you’re depersonalizing it again and dehumanizing it. And then suddenly, you are just a portal that can be forgotten, as opposed to a person that can’t be forgotten.


James Nathan  29:50  You know, there’s plenty of technology for that. But that’s all well and good in the areas it works in. You talked before about walking in the candidate shoes, about sort of, you know, have you applied online to your own stuff and seeing what it is like. Are recruitment businesses as poor doing that as on the client side as well? Did they spend enough time walking through the client shoes or walking with their clients through a process?


James Osborne  30:13  I mean, I wouldn’t say they’re poor at it, I think that would be a bit harsh when like when I insinuates that earlier, but you know, I just think we’re missing some tricks, I suppose is the best way of looking at it. Do we do the same thing with client point of view, I think by default on the way we do things, often a lot of the client relationships we have are driven by what the client is asking for the client terms and that type of stuff. So just by default about we are naturally walking in the clients shoes, because they’re dictating how they want to work. And we sort of jump in and follow suit. And so I think there certainly is to an extent of that there’s a certain piece around actually, we should be dictating a little about how the relationship should work. And I mean, there’s a couple of members of the network that we’ve been working with recently, they have been producing some really interesting partnership agreements with their customers. And what they’ve done is they’ve literally gone out to a customer with a very clear carefully mapped out but defined blank canvas. It sounds cliche thing to say about a blank canvas. And it was a free thinking process ever between them and the finished product, sell it to them and the customer, they’ve created the perfect partnership relationship, what the outputs look like how that’s measured how that’s rewarded. And that’s being built between the recruiting recruiter and the customer. So that consequently has created A. very large or great sense of loyalty and partnership and relationship, which is great, but also builds a customer experience or a user journey, which works for both parties. And I can’t help thinking that’s definitely one of the ways that we should be working a little more so.


James Nathan  31:49  Oh, it certainly sounds it, certainly does. James, thank you so much for so much time and thought there that is plenty for people to go away and think about. Could you leave us though with your big thing, your golden nugget, the one thing that businesses could do today to make their businesses better for today and better for the years to come.


James Osborne  32:09  I think I’m going to come back with two things. If that’s okay. I think number one, from a recruitment perspective, it goes back to our positioning. This is the time more than ever, when recruitment organizations need to be very clearly defining what it is they do the value that they bring, spend more time talking with their customers about the outputs and the return on investment that their customers get them and measuring improving that. So and that then comes down to that positioning piece as a true partnership. And I think that’s number one is critical. And number two it when it comes to the service piece. You know, the way we look at things and we have a very simple sort of mantra, I suppose in our business is that every customer we have is a celebrity as far as we’re concerned. So it should receive a celebrity level of service, but is a different celebrity so that every set level service needs to be tailored per person.


James Nathan  33:02  Fantastic, James, thank you again. So so much been great chatting with you,


James Osborne  33:06  I really enjoyed it, thanks a lot James, appreciate it.



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