Cash is King

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like we’re in limbo at the moment? We are slowly adjusting to a post (high levels of..) COVID world where the shackles of lockdown are gradually being released (unless you live in Leicestershire).

It’s an ever changing situation; only yesterday I completed a consumer survey where I stated that I didn’t intend to go comparison goods shopping anytime soon. Then today I am planning on taking my kids up to Cheshire Oaks for the afternoon. It was originally going to be a trip to Chester city centre but a few shops that my kids wish to go to are temporarily closed. The same shop is open out of town, presumably an indication that some brands are staggering their opening strategy depending on in town/out of town stores. It could be a space determinant or it could be to see how traditional city centres, with a greater reliance on public transport as a means for people to get in and out play out in terms of (footfall) recovery.

Depeche Mode Enjoy
Depeche Mode Enjoy

The chart below is a recent snapshot from Red Tiger Talent’s accounting system. It makes for stark viewing and is likely to be reflective of other consumer led and consulting businesses. The blue bars are cash in, and the grey bars are cash out. January 2020 showed a spike in our costs where the business paid out Dividends to the directors, a move typical of smaller limited companies where monthly, quarterly or six monthly payments are seen as a more flexible and tax efficient means with which to reward business profitability. Late February was looking pretty good: we had cash coming in from placements made over the previous 3 months and we were actively working on a healthy number of recruitment roles. Events in early March reminded me of the voting in Paddy McGuiness’s dating show Take Me Out – we had a number of lights on (assignments) and in the space of a few days all of our lights had gone out with recruitment being put on hold – the only thing missing was the comedy noise of all our lights being switched off at once!

On the cost side, we at Red Tiger run a very tight ship, with fairly minimal overheads and no extra costs associated with expensive city centre offices or headcount. In fact, COVID-19 forced us to temporarily pause our search for an Apprentice (more on that later).

Our second biggest business expense is usually travel and entertainment which dropped right down since mid-March as we, like a lot of people, have been fulfilling all of our business obligations from home. There must be so many larger businesses with significant office and headcount costs which could not be immediately switched off when lockdown happened. These businesses have been carrying these costs and eating into their cash reserves while income is still waiting to recover. In all my businesses we have worked on the basis of a ‘going bust’ date that is subject to various scenarios on income and costs. This was one of the first exercises we did post COVID-19 and it was useful as it gave us comfort that as a direct result of retaining some of our profits within the business we would have enough (if we controlled our costs) to see us through to beyond a pessimistic economic recovery in early 2021.

The peak of cash in May 2020 was not some unexpected recruitment income, but a cash injection courtesy of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). We decided to get this loan just in case and will start to pay back in 12 months’ time with the hope that we will never need to use it. That said, it has given us the confidence to once again push ahead with finding an apprentice, the thinking being that we should have a good pick of quality candidates (with less competition from other hirers) and if the successful candidate joins in September we expect them to hit the ground running in the new year. I would just urge as many businesses as possible to follow our lead and try to be bullish in switching on your recruitment – you could steal a march on your competitors and there are going to be plenty of quality candidates available. It is certainly turning from a sellers’ market (candidate) to a buyer’s market (company) in recruitment.

July 2020 is looking a little better for Red Tiger Talent, and whilst it certainly isn’t back to former glories, we are due some extra income from successful placements in lockdown, as well as payment of outstanding invoices on COVID-19 extended credit terms. We will not be getting overly excited though as we are used to the recruitment lag. A lot of the work is done in the run up to placement, then a delay of 1-3 months when notice periods are typically served,. We then receive our fees 30 days (if we are lucky) after the successful candidate starts, which means we have a good view on (lack of) recruitment income 2-3 months out. Where we stand today we know that we are not currently in line to bill any clients for placements in July or August.

I am sure that this is a similar situation to a lot of other businesses. My call to action is for everyone to get out and spend. Spend like there is another lockdown imminent around the corner. Support all local businesses because we won’t appreciate them when they are gone! I feel we all have a collective responsibility to get the economy moving again, and I appreciate that the natural inclination where there is an extended period of uncertainty, redundancy and global recession on the horizon is to reign in our spending behaviour.

The quicker the recovery, the quicker we can get back to the ‘new normal’.

Seize the moment and savour our ‘freedom’ for as long as it lasts. But please remember to obey the 2 metre 1 metre rule and stay alert.

Photo by Anna Dziubinska on Unsplash

The impact of Covid-19 on the Working Population

We are now into the 3rd week of coronavirus (Covid-19) headlines here in the UK and it has been dominating everyone’s lives for the last few weeks.

Over the weekend the dinner table conversation was never far from coronavirus – the impact of the disease, from news of stockpiling to speculation on what the future holds. Topics like Brexit and the election seem like distant memories now. People I have spoken to seem varied in their approach.

It might look pretty but the future is looking uncertain in the face of Covid-19

Some are determined to ignore news or advice and carry on regardless. One gent in the men’s toilets over the weekend failed to even wash his hands!

Others are imposing complete self-isolation. The UK Government will be imposing stricter social distancing measures over the coming days and weeks in order to allow the health service to cope with the likely spike in infections.

This is a two-part blog, the first being an up to date account of how the virus is affecting our business in recruitment. This will be followed by a second blog on how the virus is affecting businesses and the workforce in general.

Part 1: Impact on Recruitment 

Everything was fine until a couple of weeks ago when the true impacts of the virus started to be felt in Red Tiger Talent’s recruitment world. My brother and I were meant to be going to a conference in Amsterdam in order to keep up to speed with the latest location planning technology – that was cancelled. Not really a significant impact on our recruiting activities but it was a sure-fire sign of things to come.

Candidate uncertainty 

Last week changes seemed to gather even more pace – we had a candidate cancel a final interview as a direct result of the virus and their situation on the job market doesn’t seem likely to change in the near future. We have also had a number of active candidates inform us that they are going to stand firm in their current roles for the time being.

We’re already seeing a change in recruitment and interview processes

This week has started with a candidate coming forward asking if there are any opportunities for them. Nothing strange in that at first glance – but it is after a significant period of them being an independent consultant. Their fear and main driver to moving back into the corporate world is that the longer-term economic impact (likely global recession) will be particularly challenging as a consultant and they felt a need to get back into permanent, more stable, employment.

Our thoughts are also with some of the candidates who are currently serving their notice and are due to be starting new roles in the next few months. We are ensuring that the lines of communication are well and truly open between the client and candidate to ensure that the candidates are well aware of what policies are in place with their new company and that they are still able to start on the agreed date. Fortunately, all of our placements are going ahead and measures will be in place to onboard within the restrictions that are likely.

Client procrastination 

The virus is also affecting our clients in a number of ways. Firstly, those clients who are actively recruiting may struggle to either find candidates or once found, struggle to find ways to appropriately assess their suitability.

We all know that meeting face to face is the best way to assess a candidate, something that is currently not encouraged and would be largely classed as a non-essential business activity. It is refreshing to see that some of our clients, with a very clear need to continue recruiting, are carrying on regardless. They are also thinking laterally about the interview process and embracing technology that can support the assessment in times of limited face to face contact.

Secondly, some businesses, particularly those in the consultancy space, seem to be ‘battening down the hatches’ in readiness for a prolonged period of reduced activity after a period of sustained growth. One interview scheduled for this week has been cancelled for ‘cost control’ reasons – there is little point in interviewing people if there is a reluctance to add head count until we are through the uncertainty.

Coping with the new regime 

This dovetails nicely with the second part of this blog which looks at the business impacts of the virus. What is clear is that this crisis will force changes in behaviours as a result. Those that succeed in the coming months will be those who can break from the shackles of ‘normal’ business operations and adapt to new behaviours required to survive in the new regime.

It will not be long before Red Tiger Talent place our first candidate without the need for them to meet the hiring manager face to face. This already happens on assignments where the candidates and the company are significant distances apart, where it isn’t practical for the candidate to travel. We have a candidate due to start a new role in mid April and their employer is already planning for how to get them onboard regardless of the ongoing lockdown situation.

Assessment of candidates is a critical part in the recruitment process, and we are certainly seeing greater flexibility from some businesses in order to continue to assess talent in the market. Only today we have instructed candidates that their face to face final interviews have not been cancelled but been switched to skype calls. Where there is a will there’s a way.

There is no doubt that recruitment activity levels will be relatively slow for Red Tiger Talent for the foreseeable future – depending on which crystal ball you look at, improvements could start slowly in September or worst case, this hiatus could carry on well into 2021. Red Tiger Talent are fortunate in some respects that we have had a really strong start to the first 6 months of our financial year and, whilst (pre coronavirus) we were on for a record breaking full year, the impact of the social isolation will inevitably limit our revenue for the foreseeable future. A small price to pay if it helps, as anticipated, to allow our NHS to cope with the increased pressure on services as a direct result of this virus.

We all need to our bit to halt the spread of this virus and limit its affect on our nation

Like many of our clients who are putting their expansion on hold for now we have also made the difficult decision to delay the taking on of an apprentice in order to keep our outgoings to a minimum. This, pre coronavirus, was an indication that we were feeling positive about our growth in the market and the next logical step was to get some operational support.

For Red Tiger will also have to adapt – we have a three point plan to build strong foundations over the next few months:

  • Cost control – less recruitment activity will certainly mean saving on travel and subsistence, but we will also be scrutinising every cost in order to ensure we remain in a cash positive position 
  • More conversations  – We will use the space in our calendar to engage with more candidates (existing and new) in order to ensure we are ready to support our clients once restrictions are lifted 
  • Diversification – With recruitment freezes and remote working going to be the norm for the foreseeable future we will promote our other services that may be delivered remotely, specifically: 
    • Consultancy – if clients need some temporary, remote resource to deliver location planning, GIS or data analytics project we are potentially available 
    • Training – this is a great time for people to use spare capacity in their working day to ensure 

We’d love to hear from you, whether you have a vacancy to advertise, are looking for a job or may be interested in talking to us about our consultancy or training services.

Together we can all succeed in isolation!

Please call us for a chat: Paul 44(0)7918 653 877 / Steve +44(0)7979 756 257 Or email us on: info@redtigerconsulting.co.uk

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Salary Survey: why is it important to our industry?

This blog has been written as a reflection on the recent 2020 Salary Survey that Red Tiger Talent have been working on throughout December 2019 and January 2020 (with support from The Society for Location Analysis – www.thesla.org). It outlines the journey we have been on, what is happening next, and also highlights some of the challenges and misconceptions we have found along the way.

In the Beginning 

In the very beginning (April 2002), a group of work colleagues, clients and I decided that the Location Planning Industry needed some sort of official representation. The Society of Property Researchers (www.sprweb.com) is a vibrant membership organisation but it is dominated by wider research professionals working in real estate agencies, property companies and pension funds. We felt that there wasn’t a body that truly represented the interests of ‘location planners’ and so the SLA was conceived after a ‘committee’ meeting in the Red Lion pub in Wendover.

I consider myself a location planner (with over 25 years’ experience) and The SLA really gave a focus and a sense of belonging to myself and my fellow practitioners. Through a healthy mix of networking and informative presentations this group grew to become the well-respected society that it is today. Throughout my working career I have had both a personal and professional frustration that there hasn’t been a robust salary benchmarking survey of our industry. Location Planners are often seen as very niche skills in larger businesses – and businesses themselves often struggle to find appropriate benchmark comparisons internally. Typically, we are compared to different niche skills in other departments in order to determine salary benchmarks, which aren’t always fit for purpose.

We appreciate the time it takes to respond. Without you guys there would be no survey
2016 Salary Survey

A Salary Survey initiative needs resource and in mid 2015, when in the early stages of my next venture, Red Tiger Talent, I started the planning for what would ultimately become the inaugural 2016 Salary & Remuneration Survey for Location Planning Practitioners. This proved to be an ideal vehicle with which to launch Red Tiger Talent – a recruitment agency focusing on Location Planning, Customer Insight and Property Research.

2018 Salary Survey

The 2016 Survey boasted 140 responses and we managed to grow to 180 responses for the 2018 Survey. The 2020 Survey will draw upon 217 responses, a true reflection of the growing recognition of the value of our initiative and our ever-expanding network of practitioners. One of the other interesting things about the 2020 Survey is that we had 90 partial completions (started but didn’t finish) – we have all been there, we start something but get distracted and never get back to it. There is no way of identifying how many of those went on to complete the survey but even if 50% of those didn’t that would have increased our sample to 262 respondents.

The Sceptics 

In my 25 years of employment it is fair to say that there are varying attitudes to revealing something as personal as your salary. There is a reason why the 2011 Census decided to omit questions on salary from the survey. Some people offer their salary uninvited during a casual conversation, whilst others wouldn’t want to reveal such information to their own partner. I recall as a teenager asking my Dad what he earnt, and he flatly refused, on account of it being very personal and frankly, none of my business.

In my 4 years of being a Recruitment Consultant, current salary (and expected salary in their next role) forms part of my standard question set, and whilst I do sometimes feel uncomfortable asking the question, particularly to people I know, it is a necessary part of the recruitment filter process. Most people oblige – I would say it is one person in a hundred who flatly refuses to reveal their salary. That is their personal choice but it certainly doesn’t help me in providing career guidance and finding them a role. What I would say is that we use a candidates’ current/expected salary to filter suitable roles we send (no point in bombarding candidates with roles that are £20k short of what they are currently on) and it also allows us to manage both the candidate and our client’s expectation on salary. It works both ways, some candidates can be totally unrealistic about their next hike in salary.

Our salary survey is anonymous, but with the range of questions we ask in the survey, in theory, we could reverse engineer responses to identify likely individuals. A couple of people have raised that concern directly and my answer back to them is threefold:

  • The nature of my primary job in recruitment is to know people’s current salaries so I would estimate that 70%-80% of people on our database have shared that information with Paul or I in a direct conversation anyway. 
  • I personally don’t have time (or inclination) to work through 217 responses to try to ‘guess who?’.  My effort is focused on looking at various crosstabs and comparing the time-series we now have between 2016 and 2020. 
  • Critical to the ongoing success of the Salary Survey (and our reputation as recruiters) is trust – more on this later. 

The Effort 

The financial cost of executing the survey is fairly minimal. With the exception of the licence costs for the survey platform, the majority of the cost is in terms of time and effort. This can be summarised into 5 key stages:

  1. Planning  – Planning for the 2020 Survey started in October 2019 with various email exchanges and a face to face with Jonathan Reynolds, the Chairman of the SLA. These discussions focus on shaping the question set, considering new themes to address, agreeing on survey timings and confirming tasks involved with marketing the survey. There is always a balance to be had with the question set, ensuring consistency with previous years’, seeking new insights on relevant issues for the current year, and also keeping it within 5 minutes to complete. I am very conscious of how stretched for time a lot of practitioners are and it is important that we ask as few questions as possible in order to glean the most useful output.
  2. Designing – The next stage in the process is designing/testing of the survey and creation of the marketing collateral (logos, words, images) in time for its launch in early January 2020. It is absolutely critical that the survey works and makes sense from a user’s perspective as we potentially only have one chance for completion when the respondent clicks on the survey link.
  3. Promoting – Promotion for the latest survey started in late December 2019 and carried on up to the end of January 2020. Promotion was done in coordination with The SLA and was a combination of e-shots, Social media (Twitter) and use of LinkedIn. In total we estimate around 1,000 emails were sent (personal and automated) and we posted 20 twitter items. LinkedIn activity amounted to 19 posts which generated 2,700 impressions. Alongside that, particularly as deadline day approached, Paul and I worked through our list of contacts to check if they had completed it. This was done via a mixture of calls, texts, LinkedIn messages and personal emails. We stopped short of hanging around outside the places you live and work to check if you had completed it!
  4. Analysis – We are now at this stage with the 2020 survey, which started with a thorough review of the respondent data. This review checks for any obvious errors, for example, people filling in the survey from irrelevant professions (working behind a bar or on a supermarket checkout doesn’t count as a location planner) and people putting their annual salary as £25.6. This review also involves adding some calculated fields (e.g. whether respondents live and work within the same region) and re-classifying data (e.g. allocating Government Office Regions to London & the South East, and the Rest of the UK). The next stage in the analysis is to replicate the cross tabs from previous surveys in order to see what the updated statistics show. This data is provided in the Key Tables which will be released in early March 2020. The final part of the analysis is to look at some of the new questions introduced this year, in this case it is focused around the types of job titles people have, recent changes in role, and whether respondents have a clear career development plan.
  5. Reporting  – The final part of our output is to pull the cross tabs into visuals (usually in the form of infographics and charts) and write some narrative around the findings. Add in an introduction by Jonathan Reynolds and I and we have the formal report. This is then made available to download and is emailed to anyone who has already requested a copy of the survey. Incidentally, the 2020 Survey has received record levels of requests for a copy of the survey which demonstrates its usefulness to the community. If you would like a copy emailed directly to you feel free to email survey@redtigerconsulting.co.uk to be added to the list. The report will be officially launched at an SLA event (TBC) and I am sure we will be showing a few slides with the headline findings. I am certainly interested to see how things have changed over the last 2 years – particularly with the backdrop of increased political uncertainty and the ongoing restructure of the UK retail industry which has certainly seen an impact in terms of team sizes and structure.

The Trust 

I mentioned this before but thought it was worthy of a section in its own right.  Critical to our continued success as a Recruiter and for the ongoing success of the Survey is trust.  Our whole ethos has been about long term relationships with candidates and clients and that has to be built on a strong foundation of trust. 

Candidates trust us to a certain degree with their careers, we pride ourselves on our practical advice which positions our candidates at the centre rather than shareholders or profits.  We are sometimes in situations where there are significant sensitivities (particularly with regards their current employer) and we never disclose details of conversations or their availability to prospective employers without their permission. 

Respondents to the Survey trust us as guardians of their anonymous data, they trust that we are not going to use it for means other than its intended purpose (GDPR) which is in an aggregate, anonymous form that protects individuals.  This is why we deliberately omit any small samples (>3 respondents) from any individual cross tab cells we publish.  It is also why we take great care in ensuring this data is securely stored in a single location (with dual factor authentication) and is never passed on in its raw form to representatives outside of the Red Tiger Talent team. 

This data, along with the data we collect on a daily basis after conversations with candidates and clients is our crown jewels – it is our life blood.   

One contact (who shall remain anonymous!) demonstrates that trust perfectly.  They had informed me that they had completed the survey but had made a critical error on the salary question.   After the completion deadline had passed, I phoned them up and explored further what the error was and gave them the opportunity to provide me with the correct information (this was one of the c20% that I hadn’t had a recent conversation with about their salary).  They started their response with ‘I wouldn’t normally, but as it’s you I am happy to’.  This sums up the trust that we strive to build with the community.  

The Reward 

It is fair to say, that for me, the Salary Survey is a labour of love and the effort (and ultimately opportunity cost for a small enterprise like Red Tiger) for doing it is paid over countless times by the personal reward of knowing it does make a difference to my industry.  Over the years we have done the survey we have had a number of emails from candidates (and HR/Hiring Managers) thanking us for the information and how useful it was to help their particular purpose. 

It is neatly summed up by a recent respondent who took time to leave the following comment: 

“Very useful to see the results – please continue running this survey!” 

The Future 

Following completion of the 2020 Survey project we will take a moment to reflect and document what we would do differently next time.  We are always looking for new ideas, not only in terms of subjects covered, but ways to collect the data, promote the survey and also in ways of delivering the results.  If anyone has any further suggestions, improvements or comments feel free to let us know – your opinions are really valued. 

In the meantime, we will look forward to revisiting the whole process in late 2021 when we start planning for the 2022 Survey and set our targets high in terms of number of responses. 

Images: Header Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Sweetest Perception

Have you ever been approached about a role at a company and been put off by your perception of that business?  I certainly think that as you progress through any career you do tend to get bogged down with mis-informed or outdated perceptions of potential employers.  This blog talks about exploring how those perceptions may have been created and how, if you scratch underneath the surface, things may not always appear as they first seem.

I can speak from personal experience – back in June 2008 I was head of Client Services at PB MapInfo (now Pitney Bowes), responsible for the provision of location planning consultancy to large retail, leisure and service businesses across the UK.  I got approached for a Head of Property Consultancy role at CACI, one of our main competitors.  At that stage I didn’t pursue the opportunity as I’d already lined up a role at Deloitte, but a year later, I was considering my options and the CACI role was still unfilled.

First impressions

The first time the recruiter came knocking I was not willing to entertain CACI for a number of reasons. Firstly, I wanted to try working for one of the big 4 management consultancies and I had the offer of a role, secondly my no compete contract at PB MapInfo would have made it trickier if I had moved directly to a competitor (at the time Deloitte was not seen as a competitor to PB MapInfo), and last, but by no means least, I had built up a perception of CACI that would prove to be outdated and mis-informed.

My first direct experience of CACI was back in the Rank Group days when Odeon Cinemas and Mecca Bingo used to have an InSite system and used CACI’s ACORN geodemographic.  I recall us meeting with our new CACI ‘Account Manager’ and he didn’t endear himself to us with his hard sell tactics and lack of understanding of the Rank business.  I believe he was a surf board salesman prior to his role at CACI, enough said.

Client conflab

Working for consultancies means that you do often get snippets of information about competitors from clients.  ‘Clients’ being the operative word – remember they are likely to have biased loyalties, otherwise they wouldn’t be your client.  Some clients do mix and match suppliers’ but others prefer a one stop shop.   Clients can vent about previous bad experiences with a competitor, or relay their perceptions based on someone else’s experience, or in fact reiterate their justifications in choosing you in the pitch process.  I don’t recall any specific stories about CACI but needless to say in any business there are good and bad client experiences, hopefully the good outweigh the bad.  Perceptions can be formed in the strangest of ways, I recall winning some work ahead of Experian and the client cited one of the reasons he went with us (hopefully not the only reason) was due to Experian playing a significant part in the rejection of his recent mortgage application.

The arch enemy

A hatred of competitors happens in the fictional and commercial worlds. Take Game of Thrones, where hatred is created between houses (companies) based on things that may (or may not) have happened generations ago – loyalties are tested and new alliances (such as with the Starks and the Wildlings – apologies if you are keeping out of the GoT bubble!) are being forged as part of the new world order. It was the same at PB MapInfo (and I assume elsewhere) where sales practices would engender a battle mode mentality, particularly in competitive pitches, where we would emphasise our strengths and magnify competitive weaknesses – often based on perception and conjecture, rather than fact.   In the earlier example from Rank our perception of CACI was formed by the sales representative and was not representative of the capability of the whole CACI team.

Putting aside perceptions

Fast forward to June 2009, in the middle of the global economic recession, and I had been approached about the still vacant Head of Property role at CACI.   Things were not really working out for me at Deloitte, my competitive perception of CACI had waned somewhat, and so it seemed like an opportune time to at least have a conversation.  Prior to agreeing to an interview with who would become my future boss I embarked on some research.  This was twofold, firstly, I spoke to a couple of contacts whom I could trust to give me an objective, honest opinion of CACI, and secondly, I scoured LinkedIn to get a flavour of who currently worked at CACI, their mix of experience/skills within the team and an idea of length of service.

Back then we didn’t have employer review sites like Glass Door which is another source of feedback.  How much weight you put to those responses has to be questioned as I’m sure contributors to such services are more likely to be disgruntled ex-employees than those with a positive story. Existing employees don’t tend to put up reviews. 

Needless to say I am very pleased I put my perceptions aside and progressed my application for the role at CACI.  I spent 7 very happy years at CACI, worked with a large number of very talented individuals, and I’m really glad I gave the role an opportunity.  If you have passed on opportunities due to perception of the company there are a few things that I would suggest:

  • Validate and question such perceptions of a new potential employer – be aware that businesses do change, bad managers move on and people may have a very blinkered view of a company.
  • Triangulate your research – use LinkedIn to look at the structure of the team you are potentially going to join, look at factors such as churn, length of service.  Find time to speak to current or past employees to get a more up to date picture of the business. Look at resources such as Glass Door but remember that the negatives may be over-amplified compared to the positives.
  • Don’t reject outright – if you have any concerns it may be worth having an informal meet over coffee rather than formally applying for the role. That way you can ask questions directly and try and address any concerns you have about the company/role.  Plus you can form a judgement first hand with one of the representatives of the hiring company.

As recruiters we sometimes come up with resistance from candidates about a company because of an outdated or mis-informed perception.  As I have outlined in this blog post it is certainly worth exploring the origins of such perceptions and ensure a balanced up to date view is established before rejecting such an opportunity. That opportunity may be your pathway to success.

The Top Six Benefits of Using a Recruiter

This follows on from my previous blog last year where I looked to dispel some myths surrounding recruiters and to demonstrate how a good recruiter can help candidates.  This blog looks at the role of a recruiter from a client’s perspective.

What does a recruiter do?

As I pointed out in my previous blog, I had always been sceptical of what a recruiter does to earn their fees.  I investigated the role of a recruiter very closely whilst working in various GIS roles, and saw an opportunity for a niche recruitment agency within the sector I was working in. I subsequently wrote a business case to set up Red Tiger Talent with my brother Steve, who owned a business specialising in GIS and Location Planning analysis, so was well placed to see the benefits of recruiters from the business side.

The importance of a strong team

From my previous experience as a manager within a large business and having made some good and bad choices of recruits in the past, I firmly believe that to be very successful you need to have a strong team. A manager can only be as good as the team that supports them, so should strive to have the best people possible in their team.  The chances of this is maximised by using a very good recruiter.

So as a client, why should you look to use a recruiter?  This blog sets out what good recruiters can provide in terms of our service and the top six benefits.

We uncover talent that otherwise would not apply for the role

The most satisfying placements from our experience are ones where the candidate was not actively looking to move roles.  Red Tiger Talent specialise in roles covering GIS, Location Planning, Property Research and Consumer Insight.  Through careers counselling and constantly engaging within our niche network we can suggest roles to the specific array of talent we have on our database as and when a suitable role comes up.  80% of our placements so far were candidates that would not have applied for the role (and often would not have seen the role) if we had not contacted them.  So, remember, if you purely advertise roles and don’t engage a recruiter/head-hunter, the perfect employee may not get the opportunity to look at your role.

We let you get on with your day job

At Red Tiger Talent we do find some managers spend time searching LinkedIn for candidates instead of using a recruiter.  Most recruiting assignments can take up weeks of searches, and we at Red Tiger Talent estimate that on average we spend about 15 working days per assignment – so at say £600/day that could amount to £9,000 in lost days.  The question is – what day-rate does your business allocate to your role (you should really know this) and are you wasting time on a candidate search that may not produce the level or quantity of candidates you require?

We understand the skills you need

All the team at Red Tiger Talent are analysts by trade, so having carried out similar roles to the specialist roles we are filling means we fully understand the role and skills very well.  What we often find is that companies who have their own recruitment departments don’t necessarily understand the skills of candidates and may not be able to ask the technical questions that we can to ascertain what skill level the candidate has.  If you want a service that doesn’t just include a “key words” search of a CV, get in touch with a good recruitment agency.

We are specialists in our sector

Specialising in our key areas means we know what the supply of talent is within a niche skillset, and more importantly what they want out of their next career step.  Every two years Red Tiger Talent undertakes a salary survey within the Location Planning analysis sector, in association with the Society for Location Analysts. This means we have up to date advice on what salaries various roles are commanding at each level and what benefits are available within these roles. We can give advice on what salary level you should be aiming for with respect to a role/level of experience required.  It is very important to get a role right from the start, so it is worth getting the advice of experts in when possible.

We can sell your company and your role

At Red Tiger Talent we like to understand a lot about your company and your team.  This can be from culture to size to strategic direction. This is all information that you cannot gain just from a simple job advert.  When we contact potential candidates, we explain a wide range of information about the role and company and use this to sell the role to the candidate.  As an example of this – we recently placed a candidate at a company that really believe in efficient working and work/life balance. The company they were working for, when we contacted them about the role, were expecting them to work an extortionate number of hours.  If we had not had the information about the work ethics of the company we were placing for, or the trust of the candidate, then that candidate would never have known that the role was available or applied for it.

Candidates are busy

A recent pole said that 61% of people don’t have enough time to do the things they want to do.  Job hunting isn’t usually top of one’s list after a hard day at the office, and after household chores etc are done.  As recruiters we can take the legwork away from the candidate and help to open their eyes to opportunities by doing that task for them.  All they need to do is invest say 1-1.5 hours in a good recruiter to chat about their career and the recruiter can do the rest.   If you don’t use a recruiter, it could mean that you are missing out on at least 61% of potential candidates.

I hope this blog has given you a more detailed view of recruiters and the work we do, but also an idea of the work we could do for you.  At Red Tiger Talent we strive to provide a very high quality and bespoke service, so please do not hesitate to contact us for your recruiting needs in GIS, Location Planning, Property Research and Consumer Insight.