Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Empowering Growth Through Learning

From Ian Knowlson, Director and Co-founder, The Recruitment Training Group

As the industry continues to rapidly evolve, the challenges for recruitment businesses will evolve too. As clients becoming savvier to recruiting for themselves, shortages of high calibre recruiters and candidates continue, and salary inflation and candidate buy-backs accelerate, recruiters are more and more compelled to find their competitive advantage.
Partnership Is the Way Forward
RTG Office Motion Blur CopyJo Gregory and Ian Knowlson, founding partners of Recruitment Training Group, are clear on where recruitment businesses need to focus their attention in 2015 and beyond. Jo is quick to point out that, “unless we can improve our service level offering to businesses so that we can add value in other areas of their world other than just sending CV’s, we will face a bleak future. This means creating a much more consultative ‘partnership’ with businesses.“
Whilst internal recruitment is growing at one end of the spectrum, the vast majority of businesses are SMEs that cannot afford internal recruitment, or HR, or RPO.  This presents an opportunity, “there is a huge gap where we could be offering added value services to these companies and helping them to compete with the major players.”

Recruitment is a Craft
It’s hard not to be inspired by Jo and Ian’s approach to the recruitment industry. Their clarity and passion is infectious:
“As an industry we do not give enough credence to the value of learning and perfecting a craft. There are numerous industries that demand years of devoted learning before you can enter them. However, there is no barrier to entry within recruitment.”
But consider this, Recruitment Training Group identifies a self-inflicted barrier to success. And this, as Jo puts it, “is our naivety in thinking that we can throw a 20 year old at a phone with no proper training or qualifications within the sector, and expect them to bill £500k each year. And when they don’t we blame them. This needs to change and I am passionate about that.”
There is a strong sense of an organisation passionate and driven to make a real difference, both to an industry and the businesses striving every day within it.  Their complimentary skills mean there is no shortage of challenge and debate. But this is tempered by a disarming honesty in the founders’ delivery; Jo and Ian have a natural and respectful partnership which is unique and powerful.  Indeed, it’s easy to see how so many recruitment professionals have benefited from their training and development approach.

Challenge Perceptions
Recruitment Training Group expose their clients to an eye opening and transformational journey, which is ultimately extremely empowering. You only need to listen to them discussing each other’s strengths to get a sense of the honesty, energy, insight and respect Jo and Ian commit to this.
As Ian rather eloquently puts it, “We don’t deliver training. We deliver clarity, vision, direction and support, which are then aligned with employee engagement and development strategies. We are always looking towards the point when we exit our client’s business because they no longer need us.”

Keep it Simple!
Whilst transformation is a powerful concept, Jo and Ian are reassuringly humble. “We don’t claim to be rocket scientists and we don’t feel the need to over complicate our training in order to make ourselves look clever. Our ethos is quite simple. We spend all of our time thinking about and dreaming up the smartest ways to work a recruitment desk or business so that we can distil it down to its simplest and most basic format. That way everyone is able to make improvements and I think that is where we differ.”

Take Charge of Your Business or Your Desk
There are so many ways that recruitment businesses can get ahead by engaging in a powerful development journey. But in an industry that is all about people, the human focus is key.
Ian says, “We liberate people to pursue their true life’s passions. We provide clarity on what their soul-purpose is and we align their ambitions and goals to that of the businesses we work with.  We offer them flexibility, teach resilience, deliver confidence and empower growth.”
The Recruitment Training Group ethos is tomorrow starts today.  And never a truer word was said in such a fast paced, rapidly evolving industry. Those that embrace change and seek empowerment will be the ones best prepared for the future. And if you were wondering, there is a last word from Ian and Jo:
“Recruitment is a fantastic industry. We’re immensely proud to be a part of it and embrace wholeheartedly our role in its success.” And when asked what they hope to give their clients, Jo and Ian both agree:

“Clarity, a vision, a partner, an enabler, a guide, a mentor and a passionate supporter.”

About Ian Knowlson
Ian has had an impressive career to date spanning nearly 30 years in recruitment, talent acquisition, sales and training sectors.
Having worked as Sales Director for Hays Specialist Recruitment for 11 years, Ian understands the complexities of corporate resourcing and constructing high return client relationships. He has led the sale of Managed Services contracts with values of up to £20M per annum and delivered numerous long term high value partnerships.
As a strategic partner to many blue chip organisations, Ian has worked at board level to assist strategic decision-making in skills availability within regions, sectors and countries. The organisations Ian has helped with his innovative, solutions focused approach include Barclays Bank, Clerical Medical, NHS Connecting for Health, DWP, MoneySupermarket, AXA Direct and Leicestershire County Council.
As well as being a founder partner of Recruitment Training Group, Ian also runs the complimentary Selling Success business, offering consulting, coaching, training and education in business development and relationship selling. Ian’s enthusiasm for coaching doesn’t end there, as a qualified FA coach he enjoys motivating people to be the best in their sporting endeavours, as well as in business.
Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and management psychology, Ian is able to teach sales relationship skills that it takes others years to learn. Ian is a highly proficient user of social media as a sales tool, having generated over 50% of his business income via social media. And gives others the framework to use channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter to drive their own success.
You can follow Ian on Twitter @IanKnowlson

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