17 April 2020

Hey, how ya doin’? I’m sorry you couldn’t get through…

Steve Halsall

Red Tiger Consulting


It has been an interesting month as a Recruitment Consultant, working without any live assignments. I did have one existing role until a couple of weeks ago, but I advised my client to pause it for now as it is unlikely that candidates will agree to a move during such uncertain times. It’s important that we all adapt to adversity and use this down time wisely.

I just called to say how much I care… 

At Red Tiger Talent we are using the time to speak to a lot of people. Of course, speaking to people is at the heart of successful recruitment, but our diary certainly allows for much more call time. Over the years we have built a very good relationship with a large number of people and this is a fantastic opportunity for us to check in with each and every one of them. Recent conversations tend to focus on checking in with how people are coping and in providing careers coaching and advice. Conversations vary from how people are coping with the isolation, advice on CVs and new skills to learn while in furlough. Most people are now experts in Zoom, Teams or Houseparty. We’ve also discussed what the retail landscape will look like, concerns about being made redundant and ideas on where next in their career. We do feel it is our duty (as well as the duty of our friends, family and work colleagues) to check in with people (both clients and candidates) and ensure they are OK in these very isolating times.

Red Tiger are in a very unique and privileged position in that we speak to a lot of businesses and so have a pretty good handle on the range of measures being taken to ride through this particularly tough time. We are very careful to not breech any client or candidate confidences, but we are in a position to provide clear assurances to concerned individuals that they are not the only ones who are experiencing specific concerns and challenges at this time.

If you do get a call from Paul or I, it is because we want to see how you are doing and are likely to offer a different conversation to the ones you’ve been having with friends, family or colleagues.

Call me, anytime just call me 

One of the more frustrating parts of recruitment is the number of phone messages that I leave that seem to disappear into the ether. Whilst I appreciate that there are a number of reasons for no response, you certainly need a thick skin to be a recruiter. Let me give you an example, over the last week I have made 40 calls to clients and candidates which have been divided up into the following outcomes:

  • Called and spoken to recipient first time – 35% 
  • Left a message and the recipient has replied and we have since spoken – 25% 
  • Called and left a message but, to date, no reply – 40% 

An initial 35% hit rate is quite good – over a third of my calls are being answered and it seems to have been a convenient time to have a chat with someone. I really relish these calls as I am also socially isolated, so I thrive on having a different conversation in comparison to those I typically have with my family (what time’s tea? What we having for tea? Why is the wifi so slow?). In the last week my hit rate rises to 60% of calls resulting in a conversation, if you include the 25% of calls where I left a message and the recipient returned my call. Most Sales Managers would think that 60% is an excellent return on my efforts, but I am not in sales and I currently have nothing to sell.

I understand that we may well be low down people’s priority lists, or that the last thing they want to do is speak to a pushy recruiter, but it is the 40% that I call and hear nothing (there is still time for this number to drop!) that can, at times, be frustrating. This is not a cold call list; it is people that I have more than a traditional ‘functional’ recruiter-candidate relationship with. These are people who I’ve either worked with in some capacity or built up more of a ‘trusted advisor’ relationship with.

Moving, just keep moving 

There still seems to be some movement of people (likely agreed prior to Coronavirus) in the last month or so, driven by a promotion or change of role in their current firm, or a move to another business. These changes instantly make our database out of date. I shouldn’t complain as if there was no movement there would be no need for recruitment. I’m also sad to say that we have started getting inbound enquiries from candidates seeking roles as a result of redundancy – a trend that is likely to gather pace over the next few months.

You’ve got to work hard, if you want anything at all 

The Red Tiger team have not been furloughed and in summary we are dividing our time between three main areas.

  1. Red Tiger Training – Based on feedback from clients and candidates we are busy developing our skills training materials.  Paul is creating an ‘Introduction to Alteryx’ training course and I am repurposing our ‘Excel for Business Analytics‘ training for a wider, remote audience.  These will be launched in the next few weeks – please get in touch if you wish to find out more about either of these courses. 
  2. Red Tiger Consulting – Our Location Analytics Consulting business has certainly taken a back seat over the last year or so, largely due to the rapid growth of our recruitment practice.  We have a wide range of experienced contractors on our books, all available at very competitive rates, so if you have a requirement for short term analytics resource then please get in touch to discuss further.
  3. Red Tiger Talent – Effort on our core activity of recruitment is still our focus.  We are using this downtime as an opportunity to tidy up our extensive contacts and candidate database.  We are also putting the finishing touches to the latest salary survey which will be released in early May.  We will continue with our calls to clients and candidates – hopefully this time we will manage to have a catch up, or if we leave a message please find time to call us back.  Our blogs are also coming thick and fast and we are planning a number of other ways to reach out to clients and candidates in the months ahead. 

PS – Message me if you know the songs that I reference in the sub-headings to each section, no cheating, mind! 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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Published by Steve Halsall

Steve is the founder of Red Tiger Consulting. He has worked in Location Planning for over 20 years – both on the consultancy side and client side. His passion is building successful teams that evolve their capability (skills, software and data) to meet the ever changing requirements of analysis. In his spare time he is mainly kept busy with his two children, falling in and out of love with Liverpool FC and at some point he wants to re-start his golfing ‘career’.


  1. Avatar

    It is very kind of you to check in Steve and provide a break from the mundane repeats on television and corona virus stresses and updates. Good to keep yourself busy in these times and then wont be as big of an upheaval when things hopefully return to normal.

    • Avatar

      Great to hear from you Mike. Hope you’re well. How are you coping with lockdown? And will things return to normal? What will be the new normal? Keep in touch 😉


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