Matthew began his recruitment career 10 years ago, and carved his trade as a Data Science recruiter in a large, global recruitment agency.
After 2 years, he decided to join a more boutique and specialist recruitment agency, Xcede, where he has been ever since. It has been incredible helping the business grow from the size of 20 that it was then, through to the global agency with 180 recruiters worldwide that they have today. Xcede help organisations attract niche talent across data, product, software, cloud and cyber and operate in 4 different continents. His role in the business is to manage their UK Permanent practice.
What do you think is the key to being successful as a Talent leader in the current business environment?
Coming at it from the angle of an agency recruiter, relationships and quality of service are key.
These have always been important traits within agency recruitment, however, we have seen the UK market shift from an incredibly candidate-driven market to a job-driven market, meaning that these qualities are now more important than ever before. We have continued to succeed with clients where we have deep-rooted relationships. With new and existing suppliers, we have strived to ensure they receive a high-quality service that they have not experienced from any of their previous or existing suppliers.
As a Talent leader, what is your key advice for managing your teams and people?
Network, network, network! At Xcede, each of our Consultants recruits within a niche vertical. We encourage them, therefore, to really immerse themselves in their particular communities. Whether this be through attending meetups, speaking to as many candidates and clients as possible (on the phone, virtually, or ideally in person), or arranging our own networking events, webinars, roundtables, podcasts and panel sessions.
We also pride ourselves on a subject matter expertise mentality, making sure that all of our Consultants are well-versed in the skillsets they recruit through their own research, training, and development. Candidates and clients like to work with recruiters who are well-networked in their space and know what they are talking about, so we do as much as possible to help everyone along that journey.
How has the role of a recruiter changed and what new skills do you think they need to possess and develop?
Having been in agency recruitment for 10 years now, I have seen a lot of change over the years. Long gone are the days of a yellow pages and a phone!
There is still lots to be said for phone-based recruitment, something I feel the newer generation perhaps take for granted. As mentioned previously, relationships are key in our industry, and there is often an overreliance on tools like LinkedIn. There are a vast number of incredible tools and platforms available to recruiters nowadays, particularly in the UK, and those who are able to maximise on their usage will have a competitive advantage. However, networking and building those relationships over time is how people will succeed.
What do you think is the biggest challenge and biggest opportunity facing Talent and Recruitment?
Having started my career in the world of Data Science and Machine Learning, I am fortunate to have been exposed to the world of AI and do believe there is a lot of over-inflated hype around it at the moment due to the more commercial exposure of things like ChatGPT. That being said, AI can be a huge asset to everyone in the Talent and Recruitment sector if used correctly. I don’t see there ever being a world where AI replaces recruiters, but it can certainly do a lot of the heavy lifting. I think it is important that we embrace technology and explore how we can make use of it in our space.
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