Skip to content

#truManchester cocktail of choice

September 4, 2010

Followers of the U.S. conference scene will know that each conference or gathering is precluded by posts, tweets and discussions of the most important issue of the day. Here at #truManchester, we are no different, and to welcome Amanda Hite, Jeff Dickey-Chassins, Jennifer McClure and Arie Ball, here is our cocktail of choice:



The flat fee debate starts #truManchester

September 3, 2010

Lis Wilson of #HRConnexions contacted me recently, asking to lead a track on flat fee recruitment. It’s a good debate. Typical with any #tru event, anyone can host a track on anything they want too. I’m glad we could oblige, and Lis will be leading her track day 1. Please join her.

To prepare for the track, I sent out a tweet asking for views on flat fee recruitment. One of my follows, Jack Barton of Oyster and Ocean partnership, and JobshopHQ felt so moved he blogged a reply to start the debate.

Recruitment Will Eat Itself (R.W.E.I)

When will we ever learn to work together as recruiters in this country?  Not in a Hays / Randstad / CDI AndersElite et al price fixing cartel type way though, certainly. Time and time again I see recruitment businesses undercut one another and subsequently devalue and undermine the quality of service it is then possible to provide.  When did that become the UK mentality?  In America for example, competitors see one another charging 25% for recruitment services.  Their mentality is to approach the same client and to offer the same service AT THE SAME PRICE.  In the UK our first thought is to undercut, over and over again.  Why?

For the most part, clients now look at pricing above everything else – they have cottoned on to the fact that many recruitment companies are so desperate for work they’ll agree to almost anything to work on a job or for a prized place on a PSL where they’re probably working at 8% and getting paid in 90 days.  Of course we have all seen this before – in a boom market these clients are the first to receive poor service as recruiters leave them in their droves for the 25-30%ers.  The main issue is that those recruiters that started the undercutting have most likely left the market because you know what, low margins don’t pay the bills.  If they did, we’d all have an office in Inverness employing untrained phone monkeys on 12k basics.

What’s the point of employing talented individuals, spending 18 months developing them professionally, basing yourself in a good working environment and striving to provide quality service if all you’re going to do is work at eye-stabbingly poor margins?  I turned down another revised VMS rate agreement today for The London Borough of Bromley.  Sorry Comensura, you’re usually pretty reasonable to be fair.  I know your earnings are based on annual savings splits, but we’re not going to work at 10%.  Don’t even get me started on Matrix.  Anyone with an ounce of sense will be able to work out that this business model doesn’t work, and until companies have the guts to start saying “No”, the same elements of our industry that outsiders frown upon will continue to exist because that is all we will be able to sustain.  The Oyster Partnership is a specialist provider of Public Sector recruitment services and client after client are now being denied our services.  It turns out that there are plenty that are available to replace them.  After this shift in strategy our GP is up by over 20% on the same period last year with the same number of consultants.

Don’t give away your hard earned skills for nothing.  Back each other up.  Value what you do.  Don’t panic. Support each other and swap skills where you can.  Run sustainable businesses.  It will be better for everyone in the industry and we will all be able to give our clients the levels of service they deserve and demand.

So what do I think of flat fee recruitment?  If you give me £299 I’ll have the answer for you within a month.

Jack Barton


The Oyster Partnership

Over to Lis. Have your say.

Links In This Post

Oyster Partnership

Ocean Partnership



12 of the Best #truManchester sounds

September 2, 2010

O.K, so the 8’th and 9’th are drawing closer. Over the weekend I’m going to be posting the venue for the #truManchester tweetup, Wednesday night. If past events are anything to go by, this will be a “must go” casual affair. Manchester is a town renowned  for its party potential.
As an early weekend treat, and as it is my Birthday on Sunday, here is the 12 tunes i’ve selected for the #truManchester backing track, that sums up the Madchester sound over the last 30+ years.

That is  the full 12, though I could have posted 100’s more.

How do I feel about #truManchester next week?

I’m Mad For It!

Extra link:

List of Manchester Bands From Wikipedia


For the Job Board Doctor

And for James Swift

Another Radical Rant from Geoff Webb: Next stop #truManchester

September 2, 2010

New #truManchester track: Using Technology to business develop and find new vacancies

September 1, 2010

The Recruiter’s box of tricks and gadgetry is endless these days and talking parsing, tracking and posting is the language of recruiters globally. These wizardry inventions cover just one area of the recruitment process, be it recording data relating to candidates, posting candidate information, posting job adverts and tracking responses. The whole spectrum of recruitment technology seems to have always looked after the candidate side of the fence. Utilising technology to assist the recruiter in business development is now within reach with new technology and services to assist recruiters in cutting out the cold calling at last! Opening new doors when you are blind to what’s happening is a tricky thing to do, with the consequence of wasted time on the phone with negative results. This track hosted by Mark Lennard Co-Founder of looks at using technology to business develop for you.

#truManchester live blogger @lesanto talks “Live Blogging.”

September 1, 2010

Glenn Lesanto is well known as a new age reporter at some of the leading social-media events around Europe. I’m delighted to say that “The Pirate” will be joining us again at #truManchester to head the blog squad. Glenn will also be bringing his own special brand of track leading as the ring master in the “Social Media Circus” track. Here is an introduction, and what he has to say about live blogging:

I’ve been a journalist since just before the dawn of the Internet age.
In that time I’ve seen many changes to my craft, including the game changing arrival of HTML. Now we have witnessed the rise of social media, itself a broad term that covers a wide range of activities. One of which, live reporting from events, is already very familiar to me.
In my previous work as a sports reporter I was part of a small band of media experts who travelled the world covering the prestigious World Superbike Championship. The experience prepared me well for the present social media times and the rise of live event blogging.

For me, because of my past as a sports reporter, I feel I am working in a very familiar territory. All that has really changed is the tools that we use to do the job – I can remember a time before digital cameras, let alone smart phones. But, regardless of changes to the tool set, I feel that we were doing essentially the same job then as we are today: Making positive noise and bringing attention to an event.

So what has changed? I feel the key shifts are in immediacy of reporting and the response we get from our audience. In times past we would often not file copy from the event, instead we had days or even weeks to send in our posts. As the Internet arrived that luxury of time soon vanished. I can remember Internet editors ringing me up in the late 90s just minutes after riders crossed the line, demanding I file a post-race report as soon as possible. Now, even a few minutes is too long and much of our work is done on the fly. Short and very sharp posts go out like machine gun fire for the duration of an event.

We also have the satisfaction of seeing immediate results in the form of statistics showing us how many eyes are on our posts. Added to this we have feedback from our audience, usually instant, and this is something I find immensely satisfying. Gone are the days when publishers frankly lied about just how many people were reading the reports and readers’ letters were made up by editors. Instead we can see the real numbers and the audience enjoys a active back-channel. In my recent experience these numbers can be very impressive and the back-channel is always extremely busy.

I’m firmly of the opinion that live-event-blogging is a powerful tool for creating positive noise, discussion and therefore publicity surrounding almost any event. In fact, I’m so convinced of its worth that I even advise organisations to hold events merely as an excuse to create this noise.

Using a live blogger, or a team of bloggers at an event is not free because quality still costs money. But the returns are phenomenal if the job is done properly and if professional people who really know their trade are employed. With data available to demonstrate the reach and amplification achieved by such reporting, clients hiring live bloggers can see for themselves the benefits. While readers alone are not necessarily ROI, without eyes on your information ROI will always be elusive. I’m convinced that turning audience into ROI is very possible in a number of ways – and this is something I’m always happy to advise my clients about.

I confidently predict that events held in the future will increasingly employ teams of professional live bloggers. Those that don’t will suffer as a result of missing out on a clear opportunity for disseminating information and garnering publicity. Far from journalism being dead, it’s alive and kicking – albeit in a newly evolved state.
For those capable of working under the immense pressure that live-blogging brings, and who also have all the right skills for attracting and keeping readers, the future is very bright.

The Oyster and Ocean Twintern project. #truManchester

August 27, 2010

I posted a while ago about how I was working with interns to implement a social recruiting strategy for the Ocean Partnership, Oyster partnership and JobShpHQ. This generated quite a lot of interest and is beginning to deliver results.
We will be sharing some of our experiences and progress in the intern track at #truManchester.
I was recently interviewed about the programme by the interns for a video on their recently launched YouTube channel. I thought I would share it with you in preparation of the track and would welcome your comments and questions.

Hope you found this interesting and look forward to your questions, comments and conversation.