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Change Is The Only Constant

If you've been in business for the last 5-10 years you will recognise this pattern;

Start-up - expand, recession – shrink, recovery - take a deep (deep) breath and plan, grow - hire, restructure – reposition. All of this whilst at the same time looking at budgets, targets, investment, and cash flow to name a few!

Goodness, who would run their own business these days…? Well that’s right, you are! And like it or not, one of your many tasks is to lead your business through everything that hits you on a daily, quarterly, or annual basis. Yep, this is what we‘ve signed up for!

So I often wonder, if we recognise that the world around is constantly changing dramatically, why are most recruitment business still operating the same way as they always have?

To break this down, people have to change according to their circumstances and business’s needs, and respond to their environments in the same way. If you ask any recruiter you will hear the same pains:

  • Employers think they can do it all themselves
  • Candidates can choose to take or dingy (Scottish for ignore) your calls
  • There are not enough candidates and you now have literally thousands of online channels to manage all the time


Despite these problems, this year I have seen some great recruitment leaders achieve incredible results. I want to summarise what I think they have in common and how they are making their mark:

1. Risk - I think that the phase ‘no pain without gain’ rings true here. Business owners have to be fearless and understand that they are in a growth market. Now is the time to flex your muscles. Successful owners have never been afraid to take calculated risks, trial new methods of recruitment delivery, invent new revenue models, change technology or re-package their existing recruitment services. They push the boundaries, either succeed or fail fast, and learn from their experience.

2. Be different - There are so many recruitment companies out there, so ask yourself what really differentiates you in your space. The expectation from the market is not one-size-fits-all, but more why should your clients work with your business and what will they remember about you the next day! Just as we have all grown up learning about who we are and feeling comfortable in our own skin, the successful businesses owners have figured this out for their businesses and have a clear idea of their position in their market place. With one look you can figure out what these businesses stand for and how they intend to deliver value.

3. Culture – The bit that you can’t touch and yet is evident through everything your business is, strives for and stands for. Successful businesses have a personality that I could sit back on the sofa and get to know without talking to a single employee of the company. This is so important because you live in an industry where you have to find ways to break down the barriers to talk to a decision maker, so you need to allow as many avenues as possible for your target decision makers to get to know you.

4. Why - The power of why. Each leader had a clear vision, passion and story as to why they are doing what they are doing. This cannot and should never be under estimated. Whether it is to help all startups grow through talent, eradicate unemployment in your local area, or deliver a service with a guarantee; they are giving their clients something to buy into and a reason to support them.

5. Latest Tech - Technology has changed the lives of everyone and it will continue to do so. This was one of the clear differentiations between the companies that have achieved success. The owner was not hiding away from tech, hoping it will go away, instead they were throwing themselves into it. When asked about their attitude towards the latest technology they accepted that technology has impacted in everything we do. For example, the way we contact and engage with our friends, or that no one buys anything without doing online research, or stays in a hotel without reading their reviews…

The main theme here is they understand it's disastrous to stand still and are therefore are not afraid to embrace change.


Wendy McDougall


Firefish Software

Tel: +44 (0)141 648 8520