One year into the recruitment revolution – by Tom Kirkpatrick

05.07.22 Blog

Since it’s been 1 year since I joined Lead Candidate, I thought I’d share some thoughts on the recruitment revolution thus far. The good, not-so-good, and the slightly daft.

The good:

  • We’ve got some incredible clients, and a level of relationship with them that I’ve never had anywhere else. 
  • The people that get it, really get it. When I explain what we’re doing and how we’re working to fix the outdated and broken recruitment model, it really resonates with people who’ve had bad experiences with cheap, transactional recruiters. 
  • We are truly free to operate in a way that benefits clients and candidates first. I have helped people get hired in companies that aren’t working with us, we collaborate with our competitors, we coach hiring managers how to do their own recruitment so they eventually won’t need our help – all things you’d get laughed out the building for at traditional agencies.  

The not-so-good:

  • I’ve dropped the ball at least once. I have let client service slip during a time when we’ve had a huge influx of work. Not nice to admit out loud, but sometimes start-up life comes at you hard. 
  • We haven’t got our offering spot-on yet. We are still figuring it out, and taking aspects that work well and tweaking the master plan as we receive client feedback. 
  • As much as I’ll preach about the necessity of time out of the business – I have found it seriously difficult to practise what I preach. I will be taking some much needed time next week in Wales though, and I won’t look at my phone once…

The slightly daft:

  • The day the website went live, Andrew Mears & I sat refreshing the google analytics, genuinely stunned that there weren’t thousands of visitors 
  • Naively thinking we could pitch up to CPhI Worldwide in Milan 2021, with around 14000 attendees and 8 halls of exhibitors, and just walk up to each stand and chat with people. Then furiously organising 3 days of meetings a month too late
  • Working in meeting rooms, cafes and even country pubs as we are still looking for our permanent home
  • Spraining my ankle sprinting through Chicago O’Hare airport in 30°c heat to catch a connecting flight in record time in the world’s hardest airport to navigate

When I look back to a year ago and think about how easily I left a comfortable, permanent job in a safe business, to join a company that didn’t exist, using a spare meeting room as an office – I couldn’t have done that if it wasn’t truly purpose-led, and truly something that will make a difference. 

I’m paraphrasing a Jeff Bezos quote here, but he said anyone can call themselves disruptive, it’s not until the buying behaviour of customers changes, when you change the way people part with their money, that you can really be considered disruptive. 

And we’ve achieved that – a small amount, of course – but we are changing the way people perceive and pay for recruitment services. 

Long may the polite disruption continue…