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Time For Something Different In Recruitment

By November 16, 2017No Comments

Next week sees the realisation of two different projects we have been working on within our business for quite some time now, and it’s fair to say I’m a bundle of nervous excitement and energy about it all.

Rice Consulting as a business has always sought to adopt an innovative approach to things. Innovation is a constant theme running through the company and it flows with abundance through everyone who works here. On one hand this means we’re a place where you can have fun trying out new ways of doing things and freely sharing ideas and opinions. On the other hand it can be a frustrating place to be, with several ideas leading to time wasted up blind alleys, and the wish that if we’d just done things like everyone else we would be so much better off.

Innovation comes at a cost, and nowhere is this more true than in the recruitment industry. The constant refrain about recruitment being “ripe for disruption” is a well worn record these days. The reason very few have ever seen through their ideas for innovating in recruitment is that in many ways, recruitment kind of justĀ works. Doing things differently is costly. Costly in terms of time and money invested, and costly in terms of missing out on easier recruitment revenue streams.

The seduction of making a five-digit fee by reverse marketing a candidate you happen to stumble upon is too much for many in recruitment to resist, and so earlier attempts to disrupt or innovate are typically dashed upon the rocks of contingent recruitment.


But I haven’t been able to shake the knowledge that actually recruitment doesn’t always work. Not for everyone involved. Some recruiters don’t like working in boiler rooms making constant cold calls, or colourless in-house recruitment teams spending all day doing compliance admin. Some clients don’t like the lack of transparency, the smoke and mirrors that in their eyes enshrouds our recruitment processes. The cost, for many, is eye-watering, whilst our industry is rife with cowboys firing CVs from the hip and waiting for an ill-deserved fee to land.

So, we persisted.

For five years we’ve been fine-tuning our virtualRPO model, providing companies with experienced recruiters on an hourly rate, in some ways seeking to turn recruitment into a professional service. Amazingly enough, it’s worked. So next week we take it a big step further. Renamed, rebranded, repackaged and repurposed, v.RPO is giving way to Joyn, where we will keep expanding our community of human recruiters but support them with more technological smarts.

We’ve also spent all year fine-tuning a new way of attracting good talent into the recruitment industry, with Quarterly speed-interviewing evenings enjoyed by a range of our agency clients. Next week we host another one, with ten clients set to meet ten aspiring recruiters, in an event we’ve called Access.


I’d like to thank all of my team (and suppliers) who have worked tirelessly on getting things together in preparation for next week. Innovation is a hard road to walk and takes plenty of grit and determination, but whatever the feedback next week, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved to this point.

Anyway, sorry for skiting on about ourselves this week, very indulgent of me I know. Thanks for listening and don’t stand still, keep on innovating, recruitment really does need it.

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.