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Cognism at Recruitment Agency Expo 2019 - LIVE BLOG

October 2, 2019

The Recruitment Agency Expo is the UK’s No 1. recruitment industry event. Follow us for live updates from the NEC Birmingham!

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Brad is the last person, to speak at the conference!

Thanks for following the blog :)


Brad then demonstrates, how you can score yourself to work out which of the 5Ps you are struggling with and where you need to strive to improve and make your business/ yourself more efficient.


Brad asks the audience

  1. Score yourself out of 10 - how passionate are you when selling your business and yourself?
  2. Score yourself out of 10 - how well you are pitching your business?
  3. Score yourself out of 10 - are you speaking to the best people in the market?
  4. Score yourself out of 10 - how good are you as building relationships at the moment?
  5. Score out of 10 - how good is your sales process?


Because the 5 Ps are in a triangle. They are all interconnected as explained in the slide below.

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Why do companies fail? Why do companies not win enough business?


He says they are defined by what he calls the 5 Ps

  1. Passion
  2. Proposition
  3. Profit
  4. Productivity
  5. Process


Brad asks the audience

“What defines a sales champion?”


“The person has to know you and like you to buy from you. You have to do more than cold outreach”


You’ve got to move them from suspect to prospect, and then prospect to customer and to finally, ambassador/repeat customer”


“Most people believe when they are talking to someone on a cold call they are talking to a suspect. WRONG! You’re talking to a suspect”


“To become the go-to person in the market you must make yourself visible. Become a sales champion and then become a marketing champion”


“To win business in 2020 you must become the go-to person in your market.”


Brad asks the audience:

  • Whats your goal?

  • Whats your commercial ambition?
  • What are your sales challenges?
  • How long have you had these challenges?
  • Whats the root cause?
  • What’s it costing your business & what’s it costing you?
  • What would the value be to you if you could fix it?


“To make money, you have to make it about your people”


Our final presentation for today, “Winning New Business in 2020” with Brad Shackleton from Recruiting Excellence, in his interactive session he covers what it will take to become a Sales Champion and the Go-To-Recruiter in your industry in 2020.


Although, AI can do some things a lot faster and in a more scalable way than humans. It’s also not very good at a lot of other things, that recruiters (humans) can do, and find easy. To top that AI is no where close to those skills yet, and won’t be anytime soon.


So are machines taking over? Will the recruitment industry die?


Deep learning can enable you to make a fingerprint documents. For example, CVs can be each independently identifiable and then matched. I.e the AI could scan multiple CVs and group by job function sales leaders/marketing leaders/data scientists.


An AI can help sort and manage the data to present to you. The recruiters own knowledge then turns that data into intelligence.


Then how do you teach an AI to understand the recruitment data?

Mining huge amounts of data and find all the nuances and teach the machine how they relate, provide context and therefore enable it to derive the correct meaning.


And Recruiters and hiring managers are too descriptive, job descriptions and CVS are all qualitative documents as opposed quantitative and therefore difficult for an AI understand.


AI Machines are encoded to literally at the moment and can’t quite grasp the nuances of humans and recruitment.


Why aren’t we seeing a big AI revolution in recruitment yet?


What is Deep learning?

It’s AI algorithms that can automatically find meaningful patterns in large data using brain like structures.


However, access to this data is difficult. So a lot of effort still goes into acquiring data and inefficient methods of recruiting.


We have access to more data on people and what they do, than ever before.


He begins!


The next session we will be attending, will be at 14:00 - “AI: Now Your Entire Team Knows More Than Your Most Experienced Recruiter” with Tijis Van Tilburg, Director of sales at Textkernel.


Key takeaways

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  • Tips on getting more from your vendor
  • Always negotiate extra training
  • Regular usage reports
  • Diarised catch up calls/meetings
  • Early access to new features


What are the major pitfalls?

  • Undervaluing training
  • Buy it and expect to work
  • Deviating from vendor process
  • Don’t give it enough time
  • Fail to sell it to consultants
  • Don’t adjust sales targets


4) Training & Implementation

  • Don’t overload consultants
  • Include the senior team
  • Commit to the full program
  • Break it down into manageable chunks
  • Introduce competitions


3) Expect Resistance!

  • Recruiters don’t like change!
  • Selling the product is key
  • Bring high performers onside
  • Driving adoption is absolutely vital
  • Manage expectations


2) Pre-implementation.

  • Speak to the Trainer beforehand
  • Negotiate extra training
  • Sell the dream to users
  • Provide vendor with required info early
  • Allocate enough resource
    - Executive sponsors, Operations, Technical, Super Users


1) Asses properly.

  • Does it solve a major business need?
  • Is it complimentary to your existing stack?
  • Does it streamline processes?
  • Can you adjust targets?
  • References from a similar business?
  • How will you measure ROI?


How do I ensure it does work?


4) Adoption Buzz drops off.

Make sure, that adoption and use of tech remains high. Run internal campaigns and competitions that encourage use of the tech.


3) Training isn’t delivered effectively. Always take advantage of the training available, so that you’re getting the most out of product.


2) Pre-implementation is disorganised. Always stick to the vendors process, if you deviate really think about whether thats the right way to go.


1) Often tech is purchased incorrectly and isn’t a right fit for the business so make sure you do your research before purchasing any tech.


When buying technology people often ask…Why doesn’t it always work?


Steve Beckitt takes the stage and begins!


We’re back! We’ll be starting the day with “How to Maximise ROI From Technology” by Steve Beckitt, Founder at SourceBreaker at 10:45.



That’s all from the live blog today, we’ll be back tomorrow to continue covering the latest trends in the recruitment industry.


Ben’s parting words - go find your target audience and run your cadences!



Our client was looking for start-ups that recently listed job adverts requiring knowledge of Java script as well as having recently received Series A funding.

Using Cognism’s technology they were able to target and find those exact contacts. That information enabled them to be able to hyper personalise communications to them, to drive success.


Knowing your strengths…

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Recruitment agencies are running a two sided market place. Trying to get new clients AND new candidates.


Flip the funnel!

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Recruitment Marketing…

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The last presentation we’ll be covering in our live blog today, is our very Ben Ritchie, Chief Product Officer at Cognism!


Tactics such as Decoy pricing - create a product suite, so you can ask people what they want to buy from you as opposed to selling to them.


3) Shifting the focus to products & outputs


Red Ocean Strategy is about consolidating what you currently have today.

Blue Ocean Strategy is about creating a new offering or idea and taking it to market.

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2) Red Ocean Strategy Vs Blue Ocean Strategy


It’s important for recruitment business success, to treat everything as an ecosystem, one small thing will affect another. If you keep tweaking areas of your business, you can drive business success and profitability.

To know what to tweak, you must measure the metrics right for you and also always have in mind your bottom line profitability.


What does this mean?

It means, “working together to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes” internally, externally, with partners, customers and across their business ecosystem


1) Building Interdependent ecosystems


What are the fastest growing recruitment agencies doing to out perform the rest of the market?


We’ll be back for a presentation from James Osborne, Chairman, The Recruitment Network at 14:30 as he provides the key components of the most successful recruitment agencies giving you insight into best in class models and tactics.


We’re taking a short break and will be back in just over an hours time.


Summary - “Add value to your outreach. Don’t just sell a candidates CV because everyone is doing it”

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The end results?

Cold prospects, begin to become warm.


But how do we implement this?
The biggest resource in the recruitment industry, is your expertise.

So share it! Through online channels, social media, email cadences and events.



1) Spark interest through blogs and social media
2) Deliver value by sending them an eBook that is topical and relevant to their pain points.
3) Use a personalised video in your first outreach to them


How do I build this into a cadence?

1) Spark Interest (separate from your actually offering)
2) Deliver value (before you’ve supplied a candidate)
3) Personalise your outreach
4) Meeting


Step 3

Decision, it’s not until this point that people make actually look to decide as whether to use services.

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Step 2
Initiate change - its difficult for a business to switch vendor, keep it causal and friendly at this point.

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Step 1 of an outreach strategy:
Allow access, allow the prospect to get to know you.

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So, how can we help them engage with your business?

If recruitment doesn’t change, it could end up very unapproachable. Will people become scared to pick up the phone to a recruiter? Or refuse to click on CVs because they fear being contacted.


The traditional consultative sell, starts with getting that meeting with the decision maker. But that meeting is so hard to get!

And that can be explained, by the fact that 89% of prospects do at least 12 searches before engaging with your business.

REC Expo Image 12


What does this mean?

If you’re making 100 to 150 cold calls a week…
It will take 5000 calls, to make 1 placement.
Thats, 21 weeks of calls for 1 placement.


Some stats…

91% of the time cold calling does not work
2% of cold calls results in an appointment
1% of cold calls results in sales


Wendy McDougall, Firefish begins her presentation on “Stop Cold Calling, Start Warm Calling”


Where will recruitment be by 2025?

All research and admin will be taken away from you, so you can focus on relationship management and closing business.


RecTech is going to make recruitment more exciting and allow you to spend more time out of the office, meeting clients and prospects.


Questions to ask when evaluating new tech

  1. Is it simple to use?
  2. Does this technology save me time?
  3. Does this technology make me more money?
  4. Does this technology solve a problem for me?
  5. Does this technology improve the productivity of the sales floor?
  6. Does this technology provide 10x in ROI


Tech in Recruitment - RecTech. How should we be embracing technology?


Better market intelligence, can enable you to find out when firms are hiring and firing, updating in realtime and saving recruiters time and effort.


REC Expo Image 13


It’s common for recruiters to dismiss technology, fearing it will replace or steal business as opposed to help them.


Coming up, “Why You Should Embrace Technological Innovation & Change” with Nick Vaughan, CEO, Talent Ticker. He will demonstrate what technology can do to help scale and grow your business and why you need to embrace it to ensure your consultants are effective and efficient.


In summary find out what you need to meet the changing market, chose the right technology partners to help meet those challenges and create a solution that will serve your clients.


Opportunities for recruitment

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Methods to ensure growth:

  • Placement (permanent & apprentices)
  • Talent Acquisitions (on-boarding & testing)
  • Marketing Intelligence (market trends & regulation)
  • Career Management
  • Managed Services
  • Consultancy Services


What services are available that you can use to help provide the service that your end client needs?


Excitingly we now have robotics and AI helping us to find those hidden candidates.


PWC’s Annual Global CEO survey

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The skills gap is also at the highest point ever.


Vacancy levels are also at a record high, however, they are beginning to dip (the assumption is this dip is due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit)


Employment levels are at a record high (68%)


Over a quarter (28%) of all recruitment firms are based in London. Huge regional opportunity for growth!


The recruitment market is expected to grow 2% this year.


We start with “Creating a Strategy for Growth” with Sam Hurley as she looks at the latest trends affecting the recruitment market today. Including changing customer needs, the new workforce ecosystem and the future growth strategies that will be required by recruitment firms as a result.