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The Resilient Recruiter

Jun 15, 2020

As a recruiter, it is important to have a unique value proposition to be successful. In this episode of The Resilient Recruiter, my special guest Craig Watson is challenging the accepted paradigm of how recruitment services are sold and delivered.

His business model is disruptive, either you are going to love it or hate it.  If you are a third-party staffing and recruiting agency, you may feel threatened by Craig’s business model. But setting emotions aside, listen to how his innovative thinking is reimagining the talent acquisition process.

Craig Watson is Founder & Director of Recstra, which to his words, “a community of freelance recruiters who are changing the face of recruitment forever.”  Craig actually comes from a traditional agency background with over 20 years of recruitment & sales industry experience.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [5:22] Why Craig launched a weekly podcast (Tapod) and four key pointers on what makes it successful.
  • [8:19] How hosting or listening to podcasts adds value for recruiters 
  • [17:50] The Recstra business model and how it is challenging the norms of a recruitment agency model.
  • [34:24] Will the traditional recruitment business model eventually lose its place in the market?
  • [48:48] “Recruitment is Dead” - why Craig wrote a blog with this title and what it means for you as a recruiter.
  • [56:21] Craig’s volunteer work as a Lifesaver

“Hey, Can I Buy You a Coffee?”

Craig and I believe in the value of learning and how being exposed to topnotch people with great ideas adds value. As Craig puts it, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room... It is important to find people who are doing a really good idea or really good ways of doing it, ask to buy them a coffee, sit down and be honest and try to get some more information and learn something.”

Relating his experience with Max Walker, a Cricket celebrity in Australia, and Max’s philosophy on why he always makes time for people. “You know what Craig? If anybody ever asks me for coffee, I would bite the handoff to take it. The worst thing I am ever going to get out of that is free coffee, and the best thing is I might learn something.”

Getting Recstra from Concept to Reality

Recstra is a platform with a community of experienced, freelance recruitment consultants. Clients receive high-quality recruitment services while achieving significant cost savings.

How did he come up with that concept? Craig said that “Recstra was born out of a need to have a point of difference for me to be successful.” After doing a data study of why recruiters are leaving the industry, he found out that 28% of recruiters left because they either wanted more work-life balance and flexibility, or they didn’t want to sell. From there, he was able to come up with a business model of remote working and flexibility, instead of a traditional agency environment on which recruiters are traditionally working from 8-5. 

Another way Craig is challenging the norms in the agency recruitment business is through his billing model -  an hourly rate, based on activity. In a general sense, it is pay per service not pay per outcome. How is that working for him? They’ve broken down the recruitment process and an average perm role has around 15 to 17 hours of dedicated activity. For an average role, they are able to complete a placement for about under AUD3000. In comparison, the average placement fee in Australia is within AUD12,000-15,000.

This did not go down well with some of his competitors. “Straightaway, the recruitment agency industry which I was so immersed in got their hackles up and said, ‘You are undercutting us, you are diluting it, what are you doing?’ I’m not on here to upset people, all I can do is talk about my experience and the research that I have done which I am happy for it to be challenged in any way.”

Lifesaving Work 

Craig is President of Venus Bay Surf Lifesaving Club that achieved the Australian Lifesaving Club of the Year in 2019 in a field of over 370 Clubs. Running a small club of 600 volunteer members gives him the opportunity to learn a lot of leadership skills when it comes to inspiring and motivating people. This also enables him to have an active lifestyle and the opportunity to save lives. 

Craig Watson Bio and Contact Info

Craig Watson is Founder & Director of Recstra and Co-host of the Tapod podcast.

He is extremely proud of the Recstra revolution - a community of freelance recruiters who are changing the face of recruitment forever.

TaPod is ranked in the top 10 of Career Podcasts in ANZ and its informal and informative style has seen it become a staple amongst TA Leaders and professionals in the region.

With over 20 years of recruitment & sales industry experience, he is a trainer and consultant to a number of Industries and Corporate groups - specializing in social media, building businesses, building your TA Tech Stack, managing process, leadership skills, business modeling, attraction, engagement, and retention.

Craig has presented keynotes to Global Conferences and was recently named in the Top 50 Global HR & Recruitment influencers.

People and Resources Mentioned

  • Robin Doenicke on LinkedIn
  • Greg Savage on LinkedIn
  • Ann Swain on LinkedIn
  • The Movement Documentary link
  • Why 98% of Recruiters Fail to Differentiate their Firm from the Competition, by Mark Whitby, video link

Connect with Mark Whitby

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