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The Resilient Recruiter

Aug 17, 2021

One of the common factors that fast-growing recruitment companies share is that they invest in their people. To attract great recruiters, maximize their performance and retain them as pillars upon which you can build your business, you need a solid career development program in place including excellent training and development.

What does a world-class talent development program look like? I can’t think of anyone better qualified to answer that question than my special guest, Ann Swain. Ann is the Global CEO of APSCo, an international trade body representing the recruitment sector with operations in the UK, Germany, Singapore, and Australia. Ann has over 30 years’ recruitment experience, and co-authored the best-selling Professional Recruiter’s Handbook. 

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [1:10] An easy and inexpensive way to way to begin training your new recruiters.
  • [7:57] Brief introduction to APSCo (Association of Professional Staffing Companies).
  • [11:45] Talent development and making recruitment a real profession.
  • [18:34] What does a world-class talent development program look like?
  • [26:45] What can we do in the recruitment sector to create pathways for more women to the top?
  • [31:49] Culture by design - what should business owners consider when designing the culture of their workplace?
  • [35:08] Trends, opportunities and challenges for recruiters post-COVID.
  • [46:06] Planning to expand internationally? Factors to consider. 

What Does A World-Class Talent Development Program Look Like?

Ann is passionate about talent development and making the recruitment sector into the profession it deserves to be. The two are interrelated, and should be brought together in order to maximize your team’s performance and attract great people. With over 30 years’ career in recruitment and global talent development, what does a world-class career and talent development program look like for Ann? She laid out the following pointers:

  • Training shouldn’t stop once someone completes their induction / onboarding. It should be a career long program.
  • Utilize both internal and external resources when creating a development program.
  • It should be organized and have flexibility, avoiding a cookie-cutter approach.
  • Should be a mix of online training and face to face delivery.
  • Be creative - don’t focus purely on skills development. “The recruitment market should start looking at personal development rather than just skills-based training.”
  • The benefits of a mentoring program.

To conclude, Ann said, “I think from a development program, it goes beyond training, it goes to mentoring, it goes to personal development across the board in things that are not only about recruitment and skill sets necessary, but as an individual - how you can grow throughout your career.” 

Creating Pathways to Greater Diversity

Working my way through Recruiter Magazine’s Hot 100 List, I noticed that there are only around six women on the list of Founders and CEOs, which I thought as an industry we could do better. I took this chance to ask Ann, as someone who made it to the C-suite, what she believes we can do to create pathways for more women to the top. She shared a very interesting insight. 

Ann said, “I’ve been involved in ‘Women in Recruitment’ for a very long period of time and we have done research every year, to see whether that figure has changed. It hasn’t changed enough and there are definitely things we can do.” One of the things they found is that “we lose women from the recruitment market, not all of them but a big percentage.” And what could be the reason? Cultural fit. Listen to how Ann further elaborated this aspect and how we can do better as a sector in terms of gender balance and diversity.

Our Sponsors

This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro®. 

i-intro® is an end-to-end retained recruitment platform. Our technology and methodology allows recruiters to differentiate themselves from the competition, win more retained business, bigger fees and increase their billings. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter for a 25% discount. Book your free, no obligation consultation here: 

Ann Swain Bio and Contact Info

Ann Swain is the Global CEO of APSCo, an international trade body representing the professional recruitment sector with operations in the UK, Germany, Singapore and Australia. Ann has over 30 years’ recruitment experience and is co-author of the best-selling Professional Recruiter’s Handbook. In 2009, she was honoured to receive a fellowship from the NSPCC and in 2014 she joined the Executive Committee of Women in Recruitment. In 2018, Ann received the prestigious Leadership Award from the Trader Association Forum and features in Staffing Industry Analysts Global Power List of the most influential women in professional recruitment. 

An acknowledged thought leader, Ann features regularly in the national, HR, business and recruitment media and is a popular platform speaker at conferences around the world.

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