You may have already heard, but Glen Callum Associates (GCA) turned 25 in October 2023.
It is safe to say that much has changed over the last quarter of a century, and naturally, this has affected the world of recruitment, bringing about a whole host of new opportunities and ways of working.
Glen Shepherd, director of GCA, has been with the company since the very beginning, and here he shares his insight into these changes in greater detail, and what it means for the automotive aftermarket and recruitment industry in general.
👩💻 We emerged at the turning point of the internet explosion:
25 years ago, recruitment in general, on initial glance, was all so very different. However, when you take a closer look, the process of introducing a career opportunity to a candidate remains the same, although we DO have some hi-tec tools to assist us these days to improve communication performance.
Our organisation emerged just at the turning point and explosion of internet trading. So, in many ways we were lucky to embrace new technology as it evolved, integrating it into our recruitment process.
🔮 Recruitment – the ‘Dark art’:
Recruitment has always been somewhat of a dark art and linking candidates to opportunities has often been described as pulling rabbits out of hats. However, in essence in the 25 years we have been in operation the result hasn’t changed. Our focus has revolved around finding careers for candidates, and candidates for employers. We have leveraged our aftermarket and automotive pedigree to enhance the engagement process. It’s been quite simple really.
☎ Telephone work slog:
Most of the recruiter’s day revolved around telephone work. Our BD hours were 07.30 am until 9.00 am, building networks, relationships, letting the industry know we were there and open for business. We would drive the key message that an aftermarket specialist, with aftermarket pedigree, was a real option and an alternative from a generalist recruiter pedalling vacancies and CVs.
We would then focus on candidate searches throughout the day and engaging candidates on the vacancies we had, followed by late day BD from 4.00 pm until 6.30 pm where MDs and Senior Execs were likely to be car bound and possibly more captive to talk to us.
We still view the telephone as an essential tool in our day-to-day operation and people still want to deal with people ultimately.
Someone called me a few weeks ago and asked if we still used the Grocer to place jobs. Back in the day sales jobs were heavily promoted on a weekly basis with media such as The Grocer, Coat Hanger and the monthly aftermarket publications.
With the emergence of online job board and marketing platforms hard copy format has somewhat died a natural death and has thus changed the application process with CV upload and one-click apply etc.
However back then, hardcopy format was the way to build your brand and showcase your vacancies and the clients you worked with.
📓 Database & networking the little black book:
In modern times emergence of job boards, job sites, LinkedIn and social media in general, has resulted in accessibility being made easier for all. The name of the game now is engagement.
Back in the day a good recruiter worked on their little black book. Who was the industry’s hot talent? What were their contact numbers? How do you get hold of this person? Even today our recruiters still work a black-book solution, although it has become more digitalised compared to 1998.
Although technology and AI is driving the candidate identification process and sourcing and searching activities, the key is still in building trust with your candidates and allowing them to see the value you are able to deliver in their next career search, whenever that may be.
So, in many ways relationship building, talent spotting and candidate engagement hasn’t really changed a great deal. We have just embraced new technology to aid and enhance our capabilities to do this quickly.
🤝 Building trust through knowledge:
Recruitment by and large still remains a four-way sell / relationship dynamic: recruiter to candidate, candidate to recruiter, candidate to employer, employer to candidate.
If this remains at the front and centre of your strategy, then you are building solid and trusting relationships across your network. People still want to deal with people ultimately.
⛔ Some of the things we don’t do anymore:
🖨 Photocopy CVs – Does anyone still own a photocopier?
✉ Post interview letters to candidates’ postal addresses
📠 Fax CVs to clients
📞Dial up internet via modem (what a racket that made)
🗞 Place media hardcopy adverts for jobs (Grocer / CAT mag)
🗒 Work from Rolodex client cards
🖌 Tipp-Ex address and contact details out
🐍 Play Snake on your NOKIA at lunch time.