In the build up to Business Brains on Tour we will be catching up with each of our guests to find what you can expect from the tour.
November sees the REC hitting the road for Business Brains On Tour, which brings together some top UK business talent to share their business knowledge to help you grow and develop your recruitment business.
One of our “brains” is Tony Goodwin, the chairman and CEO of Antal International who will be sharing his experiences of growing a recruitment business and why he has gone big overseas. Tony will talk markets, different approaches to UK and overseas expansion and also how to sell businesses to create greater value.
The REC caught up with Tony for a quick chat to find out what we can expect from him on tour.
1. Please sum up your business philosophy in no more than 140 characters?
We improve organisations globally by attracting, recruiting & retaining talented "rising star" execs from 110 offices in 35 countries. "We share information, knowledge and experience for the benefit of clients’ candidates and colleagues."
2. The economic pressures on recruitment agencies have grown in recent years – what one essential tip can you give to recruiters to help them build their business?
Maximise your contact with clients throughout the process as it helps you build longer lasting relationships, makes assignments run smoother and which in turn should help you get paid quicker as companies are more likely to respect valued suppliers with whom they have relationships. When you do get paid, don’t spend it on fancy offices, or the latest technology solutions with endless bells and whistles – that is all good but it can come later once you have established a run-rate of billings. So get out and see your customers. Also don't build for business that has not yet come in! Our quarterly survey Antal Global Snapshot AGS, enables us to have intelligent, business level conversations with our clients.
3. Recruitment has undergone huge changes in the way that it operates – what characteristics would you say are the most valuable for a successful recruitment business owner to have in the new environment?
You've got to think global, act local and be focussed. Be the best in the field that you specialise in rather trying too hard to be all things to all people. Each of our consultants is a specialist in a skill function or discipline and is aligned to an industry sector which gives them enormous knowledge of both their sector and the client’s business environment but also crucially they have an eagle eyed view of the talent landscape, enabling them to find the best fit candidates faster than many competitors. In other words be an inch wide and a mile deep in your specialist knowledge. Eg Woman in Madrid does mainly sales positions in the animal health sector.
4. Social media has had a massive impact on the way that recruiters operate and there are a range of options on offer – what approach would you advise recruiters to take to get the most out of their social media?
Use it outside of your core client time – it is a great tool and can enhance your reach and aid your marketing but can easily turn into a great distraction. Nothing beats the power of voice to voice communication in a people business. Emails and social networking can influence and persuade a candidate the job is right for them or the client that the candidate is the right fit.
5. The UK recruitment industry is continuing to grow and operate on a more global scale – what benefits are there to recruiters considering overseas markets?
There's less competition in many overseas markets, especially in Asia and CEE and as a result there is often fewer MSP's or RPO firms established. Most overseas markets are also fast growing (or faster than the UK) so there’s plenty of upside to be had. Also our sharing philosophy means that we are very connected whichever country we are in. Africa will have 7 of the world's fastest growing economies in 2013.
6. Retaining high quality staff is key to driving business forward – what advice can you give to recruiters to make sure they hold onto to their top talent?
Recognise them, reward them and help them see where their full potential is and keep it interesting, engaging and fun. We would prefer to offer internal career moves than see someone move with the competition and that's what having a network enables us to do.
7. As an expert in your field you’re always asked for the best advice – however what would you say is the worst piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
Go set up and office in a country and the business will come to you!
The Business Brains on Tour will be running on the 19, 20 and 21 of November in Birmingham, Manchester and London. Click here to book tickets or for more information.
Contact: Ed Sexton
Phone: 020 7009 2192
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