We Looked into the Future and Liked What We Saw

Thursday 02 Jun 2016


For those who know Firefish Software® from our product, our social media, our blog- you may be aware that yesterday was a pretty big day for us. It was the day we brought the Future of Recruitment event to Glasgow and hosted the biggest gathering of recruiters in Scotland, the first event of its kind to ever grace our Bonnie Lands. Oh, and it was a sell-out. No biggie.

Not to sound a million years old, but where does the time go? Do you ever make plans and at the time think “Och, that’s ages away!” and then BAM! The big day is here! June 1st seemed to hurtle towards us at some pace but, if we do say so ourselves, it was a brilliant day. From the amazing venue (more on that later) to our amazing speakers (more on them later, too) and our attendees- both faces old and new to Firefish, we were absolutely over the moon with how things turned out. Now, we’re not ones to blow our own trumpets too loudly so instead, we’ll round up some of our favourite things from yesterday *hums that song from the Sound of Music*…

Our event wouldn’t have been such a roaring success if it wasn’t for our amazing, über futuristic venue; the Glasgow Science Centre. The team there was fantastic and they all worked hard to manifest and deliver what we envisioned to put our stamp on the space and provide our attendees with an experience. We also encouraged our attendees to download our exclusive event app where they could access speaker information, track social media and plan their day with us. This was just one of a few things about the event which we are keeping schtum on and special for those who attended. For those who couldn’t make it, we ensured everyone looking in via the power of Twitter received all the soundbites and highlights they needed to make them feel there with us.

Of course, the man who started it all by agreeing to come and speak in Scotland (for the very first time) was Greg Savage and his full morning Savage Truth Masterclass proved to be quite the draw- as was the man himself with a steady stream of selfie requests when he was done! The crowd was so keen to see him and boy did he deliver. For the entire morning, our audience was captivated as Greg took a deep look into the changes and emerging tools and ideologies which are shaping the recruitment industry. You could see the hamsters on wheels working overtime as everyone was forced to really think about and face up to where their business will go in the future unless they embrace this new age. It was pretty clear that in order to survive and emerge in the ‘Golden Era of Recruitment’ Greg speaks so passionately about, the status quo just won’t do. For those who came along to the event, Greg’s talk workbook is available in his speaker profile on the app.

At lunch, our attendees had the chance to venture into the heart of the science centre and see the exhibits and planetarium there, but the crowd seemed to be more interested in refuelling with a delicious lunch (the Glasgow Science Centre events team just kept knocking it out the park) and the stunning views of Glasgow on offer as well as networking and chatting to our event supporters including the awesome Social Talent. [FYI- they have an event with Greg today and the event #tag for Twitter is #STGregSavage. Are they calling Greg a saint?]

When everyone came back together for the afternoon session, minds still buzzing but bellies now full- we did things a little differently, splitting the room in two and having Kai Murray and Google Dave up first.

Kai’s talk was on Future Proofing Your Business and she held a captive audience as she forced managers and owners especially to look at where they could be improving and changing now to reap the benefits and encourage positive growth later. One of the areas she focussed on was reviewing dynamics and addressing any issues or differences which could hinder progress. She encouraged this to become a collaboration whereby teams use a scorecard to explore capabilities and passions to see who can take you further and what key strengths and skills you can play to.

Google Dave was giving everyone Goosebumps with Digital Marketing across the hall and heads were nodding so much, we thought they were going to fall off. It’s becoming clear that in order to do well in recruitment, recruiters need to embrace marketing into their skill set so Dave gave some great insight as to where pain points could be and how to fix them. We loved when he said asking if recruiters need marketing is like asking if we need electricity- it’s becoming a necessity. He also quashed the idea that good content = viral success calling it complete bulls**t. Going viral takes a lot of hard work and the right audience and Dave went on to give some great tips on finding and targeting the right audience.

Matt Burney from Indeed spoke on the Future of Work: How the Internet Economy is Reshaping Markets of Talent and provided lots of great stats and insight courtesy of Indeed. Did you know that 10% of those applying for tech jobs have degrees in Fine Arts? Did you also know that 65% of hired candidates worldwide will return to look for other jobs online within 91 days (typically, the 3 month probation period) perhaps just in case there’s still something better? It’s clear that talent behaviour isn’t as traditional and easily predictable as it used to be, so recruiters have to get smarter about how they track candidates’ life cycles and points where they will want to move. This is something Firefish advocate strongly with our predictive recruitment ideology.

Bill Boorman – or ‘Hat Man’ as everyone seemed to be calling him- was exploring Networking Without the BS. He encouraged participation and questions from the audience throughout the talk as he challenged a few of the networking behaviours people engage in daily. Bill questioned why candidates are told to clean up their social media profiles or make them private yet we also ask people to be transparent and authentic. He also encouraged recruiters to network as the ‘Useful Guy/Girl’- being able to solve problems for people and become known as that person who brings solutions, not problems. Google Dave also got a shout out as Bill told us he knew him when he was ‘Boring Dave’ -which drew quite a laugh- and hinted that nicknames and memorable twitter handles can also aid your networking.

Closing our day on a high, we had Johnny Campbell who is CEO of Social Talent. He had flown into Glasgow from recruitment events this week in Dubai and Israel. If that’s just his travel in the past few days, we imagine the stamps in his passport would make us cry with envy over a year. Johnny was exploring 5 Trends Shaping the Future of Recruitment and this talk was an absolute highlight, as well as having the room laughing out loud many a time. Johnny started off by asking people what they thought he meant by the ‘uber-isation’ of temp volume staffing and after a few not-quite-right answers, the clue was definitely in the name as Johnny got recruiters thinking about how instant access apps like Uber and Hailo could be replicated and used for recruiting. Of course, the psychology behind paying a £10k fee on an app means we’re a long way off that just yet but he suggested that if the recruitment agency operating the app is reputable and respected, clients may be happy to book a day’s temp receptionist or other cover this way. Interesting stuff!

Something that got everyone talking was Johnny’s idea of ‘liquid recruiters’, enthusing that this way of turning work on and off may be used increasingly in the UK and Ireland. The method (or variations of it) is already widely used across Europe as agencies bring in specialist recruiters on a contract to fill certain roles before the recruiter then moves on to another project. The idea that flexibility should become more widely implemented in recruitment companies across the UK was met with much enthusiasm. Typically, UK recruiters work an average working week of 36-48 hours so where is the work life balance? A bit of liquidity is necessary to promote a more positive environment and happier staff. Johnny mused that offering flexibility never results in people working less hours, instead they work more effectively. Remote working doesn’t necessarily mean working from home either, it means working from where suits you. Some staff will choose the structure and camaraderie of office life, while some may prefer a coffee shop. It’s about giving staff choice and respect and reaping the benefits of where they are most productive. It seems crazy that UK recruiters work so many hours but don’t embrace innovative ways of working like our cousins on the mainland.

After Johnny finished (to thunderous applause) all of the afternoon’s speakers returned to the stage for a panel discussion and Q&A session to close the day. Keen to get back into the Glasgow sunshine (yes, there was a rare day of Mediterranean style weather in Glasgow) the event wrapped up with lots of applause, congratulations and thanks. We were really feeling the love on social, too. These are just a few of the tweets we received:

Thank you to everyone who attended the Future of Recruitment as a guest, speaker, supporter or who followed the day on social media – we even trended in Glasgow for a time yesterday! Your support truly means the world to the entire Firefish team and we hope you had as much fun as we did. You can still track all of the day’s chat at #FutureofRec and event pictures are available on the Firefish Facebook.

Huge thank you to Nick of NDK Photography for being awesome and snap happy on the day.