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Who knew – I’m in the 14th best job in the UK….

Intriguing results published in City AM this morning. Being a Recruitment Consultant is ranked 14th best job in the UK.

Yes, after over 18 years in recruitment (all with the same company), I can safely say I love my job – you get to work with some brilliant brands and companies, you’re continually dealing with people and no one day is the same. Nothing beats that buzz of placing a ‘difficult to help candidate’ in that ‘difficult to fill job’.

But I wonder – for all those people who carve out successful long term careers in recruitment, there’s a good number out there who find it tough going and harder than it sounds! It’s no secret that the majority of trainee recruiters last less than a year. Over the ages, I’ve had to combine being a listener, an adviser, a salesman, a realist, an optimist, a multi-tasker, a project manager, a writer, a do-er and more often than not a counsellor. Lightning reaction skills are required, at the same time as being thoughtful and considered. You need an eye for detail, whilst still being very appreciative of and understanding the bigger picture. You’ve got to be sensitive to the needs of others, whilst developing a thick skin in the face of adversity. A cheery disposition combined with a sense of humour is pretty much a prerequisite – and honesty and ethics go a long way in this business too.

All sounds a bit chameleon-like, doesn’t it? But I’d suggest that the fundamental trait  of the best recruiters out there is the ability to be themselves and show their own individuality and personality at the core of what they do. It’s a matter of adapting one’s style and approach to situations, whilst retaining the essence of what you are all about as a person. Indeed, not as easy as it sounds.

If all this chimes with you, then you’ll find like minds here at BLT. We’re one of the UK’s longest established recruitment businesses, where we specialise in Management Consultancy and Indirect Tax appointments. We’re actually looking to hire a couple of recruiters right now to join our team – so if you think you’ve got what it takes, click here to find out more about what we’re after.

By Guy Barrand


Recruitment Blog



The Anti-Candidate

Tariq wonders if the recruitment market can learn something from ‘The Donald’…

I very much dislike the idea of giving Donald Trump more column inches – but I did read a very interesting take on his success this morning which I wanted to highlight. So, a little grudgingly, here we go…

The author Tom Gentile – a highly respected brand specialist – brings a fascinating perspective to things. He likens ‘The Donald’ to David Ogilvy, the brand and advertising guru of Ogilvy & Mather. Not of course in the sense that Ogilvy was a Mexican and Muslim hating property magnate with non-implementable ideas (Ogilvy was definitely a man who knew how to implement) – but in the sense that he went against the grain and ‘knew – intuitively, how to build icon brands’.

Trump has no political experience, but that is entirely the point; he has built his brand as a straight-talking, non-PC firebrand who doesn’t need the money from special interests or other outside influencers. He is not part of the existing system which so many distrust. He spouts cheap and outlandish ideas, he is almost constantly on US network television, and he takes full advantage of social media platforms to ensure that his face and name are never far away from the limelight. The fact that he is completely vague and non-comital on actual policy detail is not a problem. He is a non-politician. The Anti-Candidate.

Being a recruiter, this got me thinking about the types of candidates I meet and speak with every day. I would never suggest to any of them to be flaky on the details regarding experience and relevance for a role – but maybe there is some method to Trump’s madness here. Maybe we can learn something from his success.

Here at BLT, if you were to look through the long list of candidates we have placed with our clients over the last 28 years, I would guess that very few of them – if any – actually match the corresponding job description. The ‘perfect candidate’ simply doesn’t exist and, consciously or otherwise, firms almost never hire people who actually match the blueprint.

Now more than ever, a candidate bringing something different or unexpected to the table is in a good position. Of course you need to tick most of the basic boxes first – but after that it’s very much about how you differentiate yourself from the others.

As an example; for many management consulting firms today, great academics and progressive experience within the Fortune500 is not necessarily enough anymore. There is an all-important third criteria; personal brand. What is the character of the candidate? What have they achieved off their own back outside of the immediate job description? How do they stand out from the crowd?

It applies to all industries. I recently saw Sir Ben Ainslie – the multiple Olympic sailing gold medallist – give a talk on the importance of innovation within his America’s Cup team. He didn’t want a group exclusively made up of sailors and sailing engineers who might be brilliant but will all offer the same thinking. In addition to those from sailing, Ainslie recruited Martin Whitmarsh from Formula 1 as his CEO along with innovators from the worlds of aerodynamics, aerospace and others.  They’ve apparently built the ‘world’s most advanced boat’.

One of Ogilvy’s famous maxims was to ‘hire people better than yourself’. Well, hiring those different to yourself seems just as applicable here. Those from different backgrounds or with different life experiences will bring different ideas, they will bring innovation with them, and they will challenge incumbent thinking.

Trump of course takes this a few steps further; he misses out the seemingly pre-requisite boxes labelled ‘political experience’ or ‘holding a relevant office’ or even ‘don’t offend huge swathes of the electorate’ – but this is a candidate who definitely challenges the status quo, who absolutely brings a different perspective to the table and who undoubtedly stands out from the crowd – and yet still remains valid.  He knows, intuitively, how to build his personal brand.

I’m like my new phrase: The Anti-Candidate – and like him or loathe him, he is a great example of one. I don’t like Trump, but I do say long live the Anti-Candidate!


Why fit in when you can stand out

Strategy Consultants Take Home the Big Bucks

Figures published by salary comparison website Emoluments indicate that (perhaps unsurprisingly) the biggest salaries and bonuses in consulting go to those hardworking strategy folk. Special mention should go to the holy trinity of Bain, Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company who occupy three of the top four positions in the rankings.

If the sight of those figures is making you think a role in strategy is the next challenge you need in your career, then please give us a call (020 7419 0909)!

New Year…..New Job?

Now that 2016 has arrived the motto that many people will be living their life by is ‘new year, new me’. An admirable sentiment, and if you plan to do more than pretend not to drink for the next couple of weeks then what better way to encapsulate it than a fantastic new job! There’s any number of reasons to have a look for a new role (new challenge, career progression, horrible colleagues), but here’s a 5 reasons that we here at BLT managed to jot down.

  1. A change of scenery – the best spots in the office are taken and all your approaches to better placed colleagues for a swap have hit a brick wall. When you can recite the instructions for the fire extinguisher off by heart it’s definitely time for a change in your surroundings.
  2. Jump the sinking ship – your company is in a downward spiral and as the old maritime adage goes “the captain goes down with the ship.” However you have always fancied yourself as more of a midshipman and this isn’t Victorian England. Swim! Swim for your life! A new role could be the lifeboat you have been waiting for.
  3. Join your favourite team – your life revolves around this one brand. Your front room looks a lot like one of their high street shops and you own every one of their products, from the his and hers fragrance to the branded onesie. Maybe it’s time to move somewhere that makes you excited to get into the office, plus that discount card would come in handy…
  4. A change in lifestyle – something in your life is about to change and that change is going to cost you. Whether it’s a big wedding, a child or a killer new 60 inch flat screen to watch all your favourite films on, you’re going to need some cash. Why not look for a job with a few extra digits in the salary?
  5. Freshen up the wardrobe – those work clothes are starting to look a bit 2015, so it’s time to get some new threads. What better excuse for a sharper professional look than a brilliant new job! Please refer to point 4 for tips on how to fund this high street splurge.

There are so many reasons to look for a new role it would be impossible to cover them all, but if any of the above have you thinking that a new job might be the best way to kick off 2016 then please get in touch!


What does it take to become an astronaut?

I have a confession to make, I haven’t been as caught up in the excitement surrounding Major Tim Peake going into orbit as maybe I should’ve been. But thinking about it now, it is a huge achievement to become only the second Brit in space (let’s not forget Dr Helen Sharman who visited the Mir Space Station in 1991) and perhaps I haven’t been giving him the attention he deserves. It becomes even more impressive when you look at some of the hoops you have to jump through to become an astronaut. I’ve listed a few of the requirements below…

  • First off, you’ll need a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in engineer, biological/physical/computer science or maths. Not too bad so far.
  • You will also need to have AT LEAST three years of ‘related, progressively responsible, professional experience obtained after degree completion OR a minimum of 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time in a jet aircraft’. Take your pick.
  • On top of this there’s a whole host of physical requirements including, but not limited to, having perfect natural vision (none of laser enhanced muck here thank you) and being the exact right size to fit into one of those dashing suits. Height could be a problem for a lot of you here, the previous maximum stands at 5’11. You will also need to be physically fit enough to withstand the rigours of space travel.
  • Previously astronauts have had to be under the age of 40, but Major Tim is 43 so they might have relaxed that one…

All of these requirements and we haven’t even considered the competition you’ll be facing! The average IQ of astronauts on the Apollo missions was apparently 136, which is quite high. And you’ll need to be able to cope with ‘a high level of stress’. Their words, not mine.

All in all it sounds like a tough process, although I guess the view from the office would be pretty good…

If you don’t fancy being the next astronaut in space call us on 020 7419 0909


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