Ivory Jacobs

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Working Recruitment Mums – How Do They Do It?!

So here it goes, I’m wondering what the general opinion is on working mums in the recruitment industry? I would especially like to hear from working mums who are currently working in recruitment and making it work – how are you finding it?

I’ve been meeting some incredibly inspiring working mums recently (clients and candidates) who somehow just manage to stay super organised whilst perfecting this balancing act of looking after small person(s), maintaining a profitable recruitment desk and everything else in between – all with next to no sleep! Me? Well, I can barely function without a solid 8 hours sleep so how do they do it?

My honest opinion: in this day and age, with laptops and smart phones, there is no reason why you can’t be a successful recruiter whilst also juggling a busy household. Difficult? Absolutely yes! Impossible? Definitely not!

I’m urging clients to start considering candidates who need more flexibility around their work – these candidates wouldn’t choose this path if they weren’t prepared for serious dedication and hard work – and it just so happens the majority of working recruitment mums I speak to are managing to bill in excess of £10,000 per month.

Simply put, as a small business owner myself, if you’re paying a consultant a pro rata’d salary (let’s say a £20k salary, as an example, for a consultant working 3 days per week,  pro rata salary costs costing you circa £1,000 a month salary costs + £1,000 to £2,000 a month overhead/commission costs) – what would that consultant need to bill in order to bring what you would consider a healthy profit?

Understandably, not all businesses want to operate in this style but I’d love to hear from business owners who have tried hiring recruiters part-time – has it worked or has it not? And those working recruitment parents who do make it work? How?

As always, thoughts/views/opinions/comments/likes/shares are much appreciated! 

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How Millennials changed the recruitment industry…

Millennials = Millennials are the generation born between 1982 and sometime in the early 2000′s.

So the other day I noticed a recruiter’s post which described Millennials as lazy and unproductive. I decided not to comment at the time but it has been playing on my mind ever since so I decided to write a post defending the Millennial generation.

I myself am a ‘Millennial’ – I was born in 1991 (making me 25 years old now) and I set up my first business at 21 years old. Millennials are a materialistic generation; we want more but want to work less. Here’s the BIG but, I am far from lazy and I am far from unproductive. Will I try to find the most prompt, effective route to the end goal in practically any situation? Of course. Will I cut corners? Absolutely not. Will I work 12 hour days for the next 15 years if it means there’s the potential opportunity I can retire on a beach in the Bahamas – YES, yes I will. It might be naive but I’d say it’s more productive if anything.

Millennials have changed (or perhaps disrupted) the workplace. Millennials have forced Generation X to become more flexible in the way they work whether they like it or not. If you want to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced, changing workplace, you can genuinely learn a lesson or two from Millennials.

Millennials are: Tech-savvy Marketeers

Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress – whether we’re posting about our latest workouts, the fancy restaurant we went to at the weekend, our pets, our holidays. Millennials can work these platforms in a nanosecond and they’re going to be a huge part of the ever-changing recruitment industry so Millennials already have an advantage.

Millennials are: Entrepreneurs

Millennials are a true entrepreneur generation. It’s human nature to want to settle into a routine but Millennials realise how quickly you can gain new skills by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and throwing yourself in the deep end. For myself, starting a business (even if it didn’t work out) I knew would teach me more in 2 years than plodding along in my old job – and I was right – luckily for me it did work out!

Millennials are: Empathetic Counsellors

I’m speaking for myself here. Millennials are often criticised for being selfish / self-obsessed. There are so many Millennials with big caring hearts out there. I would hope that each and every candidate / client I’ve met & represented has felt like I genuinely care – because I do. My work and my reputation mean the world to me.

So you want to get the best out of Millennials (in particular in the recruitment industry) what should you be offering and you should be managing?

Millennials want: Freedom

Admittedly… We can be a bit (or a lot) of a pain in the bum to manage. We want the freedom to make choices and we feel like we need to make an impact. For leaders, this means creating an empowering environment. Generation X are more accepting of a ‘traditional career path’ but Millennials are looking for something away from the ordinary.

Millennials want: Management

I know Millennials seem difficult to manage – but it’s actually very simple. Millennials are looking for support and guidance – they are not looking for a micro manager breathing down their neck every two minutes. I’m not saying let your Millennials rule the roost but you would be surprised at the loyalty / hard work you will receive in return.

Millennials want: Incentives

Notice how more agencies are now offering ‘cool’ workplaces, flexible working and incentives (lunch at Michelin star restaurants, 5* holidays, cash prizes, Rolex watches, Mulberry handbags) – we want our Instagram pages to make us look like absolute ballers!

Millennials do get a bad wrap but I believe it can come down to a misconception of who we are and what we’re looking for.

As always, I’d love your comments/thoughts/opinions/shares/likes/feedback, so please do like & share and comment with your views.

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Are you a pig in a blanket? Don’t get “wrapped up” in a basic salary

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As my fellow recruitment associates can appreciate, one of the challenges we face on a weekly (if not daily) basis is candidates that demand an unrealistic basic salary for their level of experience and success to date. Part of our role is to be direct, as well as consultative, as well as realistic when situations like this arise. However, we are dealing with humans – and humans can be stubborn.

My question is, how can an individual demand perhaps a £5k to £10k increase on their basic salary? Can that individual genuinely warrant this uplift? Have they been successful in their current/previous role(s)? And will they bring something to the table to make this uplift worth it?

Now… We have recently placed a candidate who was severely underpaid but absolutely over-performing. In this case, we managed to secure the candidate a £8000 increase because they had genuine, proven success in their previous role. I’m not saying people aren’t worth a higher paid salary, what I’m trying to express is that if you haven’t had much success in your current role why do you believe you are worth more in a new company?

Sometimes, not often, but sometimes – we find candidates who will demand an increase simply because “they’re looking for a new role” and therefore “deserve a higher package”. We can fully understand and appreciate a natural uplift of £1k – £2k. However, how can a candidate expect a huge increase if they’re looking for a new role due to reasons such as:

Relationship breakdown with their direct manager or team members 
Not generating revenue (mainly aimed at recruiters/sales professionals)
Not willing to put hard graft in, for example, looking for an easy ride

In order to get that juicy basic salary, you have to earn your stripes. As a Recruitment Consultant looking for a new role, you have to ask yourself ’How much have revenue have I generated? What new clients have I won? Have I built up an impressive candidate network?’ A company are going to be asking themselves “what can they bring to the table” that will drive their business forward in order to warrant the big flashy package?

I’d love to hear my networks opinion on this? Does that happen often in other industries and/or with your candidates?

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PICK UP THE PHONE!

Sometimes in the R2R industry, I am completely flabbergasted by the actions of some recruiters. Today is one of those days… After dealing with a candidate for months (met them, spoken to them countless times over the phone and know them well at this point) – their chosen method for turning down a job is TEXT.

Texting, by its very nature, is meant to be brief. It was intended to convey short pieces of information so we can connect with one another more easily, without a phone call. By not talking face-to-face about difficult subjects, you’re simply avoiding the topic rather than facing it head on.

Some use texting as a way to sort-of talk about it, but without all that messy irrationality that comes with a direct conversation. Have you ever had a someone (personal or professional) misconstrued a text that has been sent and subsequently things get blown out of proportion? This is exactly why we prefer to talk about important subjects over the phone – things are always misconstrued by text and email. Technology is great in so many ways but important conversations (good or bad) should be held over the phone or face to face.

 “Every action has a reaction”the older I get, the more this rings true. I am a firm believer in acting with integrity, no matter the situation, personally or professionally.

I am proud to say as a recruiter and business owner, I always stay human and do my best to put myself in that candidate or clients shoes. I would never let down a candidate via text. I genuinely care about my reputation and I want to be known as a trusted partner in the recruitment industry. I am even prouder to say I am building a team with these morals too.

Have you ever texted something that was taken the wrong way and caused an even bigger problem? As always, any comments/shares/likes/views are always appreciated.

Ivory Jacobs are a specialist Rec to Rec firm on the South Coast with coverage across Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire, Surrey & London. Please do follow our company page for latest blogs, hot jobs and recruitment news.

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