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The 4 Technologies That Killed Transactional Recruitment Process

The 4 Technologies That Killed Transactional Recruitment Process

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

We’ve all been there, the telephone call from the recruiter, pitching a job that we are not interested in. We often forget that recruitment is a numbers game. Recruiters have to make so many calls, to get an interview and have so many interviews to get an offer. It’s all finely calculated, like a well oiled machine.

But like everything in the world recruitment is being disrupted and the winners will be those that see the change and don’t leave it to the last moment to change.

There are 4 trends that will disrupt Recruitment in 2019, they are:-

  • Diversity
  • New Interviewing techniques
  • Data
  • Artificial Intelligence 

Diversity and Inclusion, have gone from a “nice to have” to being front and central to an organisation. Companies must have employees that reflect a multi-cultural society, not because its political correct, which it is. But because diverse organisations are more innovative. It was Admiral Nelson that found out that tasks could be completed more effectively and efficiently by having a diverse team working on it. This has been a fundamental of the Navy ever since. In a recent Linkedin report 63% of companies use diversity to improve company performance.

It’s not just Millennials that want a sense of belonging, I (Generation X) always wanted this and you can soon disengage and leave if you don’t get this.

In a recent LinkedIn report that said “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance and belonging is dancing like no one is watching.”

New Interviewing Techniques

I was once called up by a company, they said they were looking for people that would be different, inject some change in a culture and could I send them a CV. I sent them a CV as an Infographic, they called back and said did I have a “normal” CV, I politely let the recruiter down. It was clear they were not really looking for a difference.

Most interviews and interview techniques have become a cliché. People are coached to answer the same old, same old questions. Often an interview is a formality and certainly it never gets to the “real” person.

With the new model the LinkedIn profile is key. The mistake that people make with the LinkedIn profile is that it’s CV. A list of objectives. Hirers are looking for the LinkedIn profile to describe the person, who they are, what they stand for.

Think of your LinkedIn profile like a book in a library, you don’t read the whole book, you are the summary, the reviews, that is how you get a sense for the book, then you read the whole thing. The same goes for the LinkedIn profile, I’m not looking for a corporate robot that is “Energetic, Tenacious, etc” we are all that. I’m looking for the real you.


Data has often been called the new oil. While companies have a social media strategy, a privacy policy they also need a talent data strategy too. One of the issues with data, is data privacy and the GDPR regulations which means that holding people data that are not your employees require you to get opt-in. One such tool that gets around GDPR (as people have input data into LinkedIn under their own free will) is the LinkedIn Talent Insights tool.

To quote a recent LinkedIn report “One of Nielsen’s businesses tapped its People Analytics team to understand why it was losing talent. Starting with five years of people data in a (big) spreadsheet and some hypotheses, they identified the factors most highly correlated with attrition. The biggest finding was that employees with a change in job responsibilities due to promotion or lateral movement within the past two years were much less likely to leave. This insight prompted Nielsen’s leadership to focus on making it easier for employees to learn about and pursue jobs internally and identifying “at-risk” high performers and proactively putting opportunities in front of them.”

Artificial Intelligence

While in a recent LinkedIn report, 76% of people said that AI would have an impact on recruitment. We ran a workshop on AI in recruitment and in my team the opinion was split, 50% of the people wanted AI to take a load of CVs and spit out a candidate and the other 50% said, no way they every wanted that to happen. Currently AI is being deployed to take the grunt work out and allow you to concentrate on the higher added value work like interviewing and picking the right candidates. AI is not replacing you, it’s empowering you. In a recent report by Linkedin, they mapped value add with human touch Vs automation potential and got this matrix.

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Why as a Salesman I Taught Myself to Market and You Need to Learn Too (As a Matter of Urgency)

Why as a Salesman I Taught Myself to Market and You Need to Learn Too (As a Matter of Urgency)

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

In the world of Sales there seems to be a view that certain activities are good and certain activities are bad. When they are bad for some reason you are a lesser person for doing this. And as sales so often is linked to a macho, it seems I am a lesser man for doing these things.

I’ve always been a new business salesperson, the notion of creating something from nothing and enabling a customer to get business benefit appeals to me. I remember my first £1Million plus ($1.3 Million) sale was at Stagecoach. I had no help from Marketing. My background is in selling Enterprise Accounting systems or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) as suppliers like to call it.

A couple of us were sitting in the office, we had a copy of the Financial Times (a UK newspaper focused on business) and we were looking down the stock market listings and we were going through which company had which ERP system. When we got to Stagecoach, nobody knew, so I called them up and the rest is history.

New Business meant I was “out there”, there was no existing relationships, no understanding of the procurement cycles, your role was alchemy. The ability to create gold from nothing. Some people have used the term Rainmaker, but living in the UK I have enough of the rain.

You are Only as Good As Your Last Deal

I’ve head this saying many times and in a way it’s true. As a new business guy I needed leads and meetings and maybe it’s just the companies I worked for but Marketing didn’t ever seem to deliver any, or enough.

In one sales role, on listening to me cold calling a (supposedly older and wiser) sales guy came over and told me I was wasting my time. It was marketing’s job to create leads. I was cold calling when he was called into the office and fired.

Creating Leads from Nothing

As creating leads from nothing was a constant for me, otherwise I would have nothing to close. One of the many tactics I employed was to read as many marketing books that I could. Marketing create leads don’t they, so if I read marketing books I will unlock the knowledge on how to create leads. Alas, no secrets and while I did find out a lot about marketing, I even did a course, I didn’t find out anything I didn’t know already.

So What’s The Secret of Leads and Meetings

The secret is graft or today people call it hustle, hard work pays and in sales, hard work pays well. You have to take control of the lead generation process yourself as there is nobody out there that will help you. Prospecting is key for the sales person and a prospecting culture is critical for any sales leader.

So Cold Calling is the Answer then?

The problem is, that 20 years ago, the world was so much similar. No internet, no mobile, no social media and in fact 20 years ago, there still wasn’t mass acceptance of email.

All of us, as all of us are buyers won’t stand for being interrupted and pitched at by salespeople or adverts or unsolicited email and we don’t go to events as it’s just people pitching. Add to that legislation like GDPR that has killed email marketing and certainly killed push selling. What I mean by that is continually calling somebody asking them to buy. You cannot do that anymore. We also have technology to help us, ad-blockers use grows at 30% year-on-year, if you send me an unsolicited email once, I just create a rule so any future emails go straight into junk or just block you. The same is with cold calls, standard iPhone functionality allows me to block future cold calls.

This is the challenge that marketers are facing every day. The only way they can get the same results next year is to throw more mud and budget at the problem. Marketing is broken and if you don’t see any leads today, you will get less tomorrow and vent less the year after.

Nobody is Coming to Save You!

In Sales nobody can hear you scream, we have CMO after CMO coming to us and saying “Marketing no longer works”. So as a Salesperson what are going to do?

You have to seize control of your own demand generation. This does not make you a lesser salesperson, in fact the opposite, it will propel you into the top tier. You have to get on social. Either you need to get your management to sponsor a social selling program or you need to read a book like “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” available on Amazon and is written has a handbook for sales people.

Marketing is broken and the sooner you do this, the better equipped you will be to meet the new challenges of an ever changing market. 

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Join a gym they said, get a great physique, get muscles. They didn’t say how long it would take.

Join a gym they said, get a great physique, get muscles. They didn’t say how long it would take.

by Phil Stubbs | @PhilStubbs14 | LinkedIn

If only life was that simple – we could turn up at the gym, walk around a bit, go home and then admire ourselves in the mirror. Getting in shape at the gym takes time and effort. A 45g bar of milk chocolate will take a man 21 minutes to ‘run off’ and a woman 28. That’s a proper run at a decent pace.

Eight months ago, I started Yoga, I’d tried Pilates before but Yoga, in my local gyms, is dominated by women – it’s a tough environment for a man to break into! I’m no weakling but boy! I struggled. A down dog left my arms and shoulders aching, my plank left a lot to be desired and as for a Chaturanga – it was embarrassing.

Now, when my diary permits, first thing every day I attend Yoga or Pilates – I persevered and although I still have stupidly tight hamstrings and a back that refuses to rotate, I hold my own. Some mornings, I wake up and think it would be so much easier to stay in bed another half hour, forget going to the gym and just log

 on to start my day. No one would care, the Yoga class wouldn’t say ‘Oh no, Phil’s not here, we can’t do this without him, lets all go home’. And then when I next turn up everyone doesn’t rush up to me asking where I was and if I’m OK. Life isn’t like that.

I think we can all agree that to get any benefit from an activity you have to put in the work – unless, here comes the but, you just want to stay as you are. My Mother doesn’t read my posts so I can share a story – for many years she will admit she was overweight but had a growing list of reasons why she was unable change. Then, her first grandson announced he was getting married – come the ceremony, there was my slim mother in her new outfit. She just needed a good reason to make the change.

My reason for Yoga? For me, getting older was no longer an excuse for not looking after myself – I wanted to feel better. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for years (OK, a couple of decades). I no longer drink, but I’ll save that for another blog.

Sales Navigator/LinkedIn and social selling only come into their own when you put in the effort. If I only went to one Yoga class a week, I would most probably be in the same shape I was in eight months ago. Very early on, I was aware of the results I could achieve if I put a bit more work in. Now my average weekly activity bar is set high. You need to raise your Sales Navigator and LinkedIn ‘bar’ to get the social selling penny dropping for you. It’s all very simple but it’s not easy, just like my early morning classes.

Maybe you are waiting for your very own ‘grandsons wedding’ moment – a reason to act before it’s too late. Maybe it could be a new CEO, CMO or Sales VP joining your company and demanding that employees hit a high average level of activity and performance on Sales Navigator and LinkedIn. Or maybe – prepare yourself – you stop making excuses and get on with it. Not being active on social isn’t a calculated business choice it’s downright lazy.

Sales Navigator and LinkedIn are where the clever people go to prospect. It’s not picking up a telephone and wasting hours trying to make your 70 calls a day. I’ll go as far as saying that anyone that says cold calling is better than social is saying it because they haven’t bothered to try or just find it easier to keep reeling out limp excuses as to why it won’t work for them.

Going to the gym is never going to be easy and neither is being successful in business. Get stuck in and stick with it – if you don’t start you stay as you are.

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The importance of a good LinkedIn headline

The importance of a good LinkedIn headline

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

Have you ever wondered why you should write a compelling headline for your LinkedIn profile rather than just the generic “Sales Manager at xxxxx” that LinkedIn gives you?

The other day we were working with a client and one of the sales leaders said “it’s important to me that people DO hear that generic headline because it lets me quickly see if I should cold-call them”…we said that this is EXACTLY the reason that people should change them as nobody likes being cold called. Actually, that’s a joke (well not the fact that nobody likes being cold-called…that’s not a joke, but the bit about that being the resin to change it). 

The reason to change your headline is that it enables you to stand-out from your competition. Imagine (for the sake of argument) that you are an ERP salesperson and that everyone else in your industry who is also an ERP salesperson does the same thing ALL of you will have a headline that reads “Sales xxx at Some ERP Vendor” so you look like everyone else who is trying to pursue the client for a sale.

LinkedIn is very good at facilitating this kind of searching. If I type in ERP Sales LinkedIn delivers 1,377,548 results to me and to be honest almost all of their job titles say the same thing. Then, if I do take the plunge and click on one, then LinkedIn is kind enough to show me all of their competitors (in this case all with the same job title) down the right side of the page.

Here is the best opportunity for you to make a quick first impression that is markedly different from everyone else.

As Dave Trott explains in his book Predatory Thinking, there is a huge opportunity to create recognition by being different, and therefore standing out, Dave calls this Gestalt Thinking and it’s based on the fact that standing out from the crowd creates two options in the human brain you or the crowd (a 1:1 chance of being chosen) whereas being one of the crowd (of say 10) creates a choice of 11 possibilities for the brain (a 1:10 chance of being chosen).

These days your competition is everyone else in the world and when they all look just like you the buyer doesn’t know which way to jump…

So, give it a go…you might be surprised.

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How to Jump Ahead of the Competition

How to Jump Ahead of the Competition

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Want to sell more than your competition and have more market share? Here’s how you do that.

Do a competitive analysis between you and your competition. Chalk up the amount you are spending on marketing and the number of salespeople you have. Now you will probably have to guess at the marketing spend and number of salespeople, but you should be able to guess and compare.

So you now have a table, comparing your you marketing spend and sales people with your competition.

The objective is to sell more than your competition? So How are you going to do this?

You could increase your marketing budget to be more than your competitor. You could recruit more sales people, to have more sales people than the competitor with the most salespeople. It’s that simple.

Now 9 people out of 10 who are reading this will say, there is no way I can have more marketing budget than my competition and there is no way I can have more sales people.  So what you going to do?

Simple.  You have to disrupt.

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Why A Strong Sales Team Loves Change

Why A Strong Sales Team Loves Change

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Why? Because sales is the catalyst driving change at today’s best companies.  

Ever since I started in sales 25 years ago there has been one constant.  Change.  I’ve always wondered if I should change my job title on my business card from “Sales Executive” to “Change Maker”.

I’ve just seen the statement on LinkedIn “IDC estimates the total addressable market for Digital Transformation to be $4.5 trillion over the next five years.”.

Now I’m sure how the modern world deniers can continue to not expect that the modern world is here and that has meant a change with the past.  It would seem there are people that deny the internet exists and they deny mobile phones exist and they deny social media exists, or how else can some people still make the statement that nothing in sales has changed?

It does not matter if the IDC forecast is correct, by it’s very nature it is a forecast and therefore it will be wrong, but even if it’s 10% right.  That is a massive amount of change for business and these are business that you are trying to sell and market to.

I started in sales, pre-internet, writing letters out on a pad of paper and handing them to a typing pool.  Through to getting my first 386 laptop.  Even in those days people having emails was not common place.  The way you got hold of people was by sending them letters. It seems archaic now, but a great example on how things have changed.  Sorry to bore you with my life story, but sales has changed and will continue to change.

I’ve always worked in “new business”, which has meant building trusting relationships with people, quickly.  In most cases today as sales people we are required to be the agents of change, change makers.  What do I mean?

My career has been built on selling accounting solutions or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) as suppliers call it.  In all the instances I’ve needed to provide a reason for the organisation to change. There will have been an old, legacy, accounting system in place.  But change is disruptive, sometimes the systems were written in-house and the original programmers were still in role.  Or more recently, there was an on-premise system that had cost millions if not billions to implement and it was my task to convince people that they could get a better and cheaper experience by moving to the cloud.  What would happen to the in-house support team?

Again this is about change.  Crafting a cast iron business case, proving this out the IT (project and support) team the Finance Team, Architecture, the end users either in departments or at different operating companies (op cos).  This requires master resources across the prospective client and our own supplier companies so we are aligning our resources.

This requires us in sales to be agents of change, change makers maybe should be our job title.  If you haven’t read it then Deb Calvert has a great book “Stop Selling and Start Leading”.

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