Below is a letter from a trusted contact of ours, Ray Murphy. He would have liked to attend the network lunch on the 3rd October but pressing business calls him away. However he has kindly sent this note that was intended for the lunch but I feel might be of use to a wider audience so it is reproduced here.

Ray has worked in recruitment for several decades and can be considered an expert in his field.  He has kindly offered to speak to any members who would like to pick his brain, so let us know if you would like to contact him and we will put you in touch.

More than happy to pen a few words, re recruitment and the way of the world as it is today.                                        

Firstly, you should warn all of your guests that the recruiting world is now a very differing place than it was 5 years ago. The rules have changed significantly. There is simply less choice for applicants as in volume or numbers of roles available. These days clients are spoiled for choice i.e. a vast talent pool sits out there screaming for work. London has fared slightly better than the the rest of UK, but conditions remain tight everywhere.

The advent of the internet, job boards, and direct hiring models has definitely dented the traditional agency market and the employers space too There are now so many options……as follows

* Outsource models are simply the contracting out of a business process , which an organization may have previously performed internally or has a new need for, to an independent organization from which the process is purchased back as a service. Though the practice of purchasing a business function—instead of providing it internally—is a common feature of our modern economy. An outsourcing deal may also involve transfer of the employees and assets involved to the outsourcing business partner. We see a lot skills going abroad with the consequent drop in job demand here in the UK.

* Master Vendors The principle of the Master Vendor Recruitment Supply Model is simple. The customer enters into a contract with 1 recruitment agency, who in turn enter into contracts with a number of supporting agencies. The Master Vendor will manage all communication and the delivery of 100% fulfilment to the customer via this single channel. These supporting agencies are carefully selected to ensure maximum coverage, both geographically and by discipline and specialism. In today’s ever cost-conscious marketplace, more and more companies are seeking to streamline their supplier base in order to maximise value for money and increase operational efficiencies within the business. From our perspective as a supplier we lose control, we have no line manager contacts and a phrase you will hear is “black hole recruitment” as you are depending on a 3rd party assessing your cv’s presented.

* Master Service Providers ….this is where a company takes on primary responsibility for managing an organization’s contingent workforce program. An MSP may or may not be independent of a staffing supplier. Typical responsibilities of an MSP include overall program management, reporting and tracking, supplier selection and management, order distribution, and consolidated billing across program suppliers. This again restricts supply by agencies e.g. if you want to work at GSK for example there is no point in talking to PSD about them. We are not on the Preferred Supplier listing

* Direct Recruiting Models……again this is simply the principle where you have a specific in house team, that is solely tasked with providing recruitment services. In all honesty its like having your own HR department except they do only look at “roles” not HR law etc.

These are the main contenders in the market place and candidates needs be aware of these models so that they can choose their point of entry more specifically.

With regards to recruiting in general its simply doesn’t wash that you push your cv into the market place and hope for a response. You MUST follow up all applications, speak to the client confirming receipt and must ENSURE your cv is crisp, sharp, targeted and easy to read. We still get a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes in cv’s (mainly down to spool check (pardon the pun) . Get a friend to read your cv before sending it out.

Our stats in the good old days used to be…..3 cvs, 2 interviews, 1 placement. You would lucky these days to attain 10 cvs, 1 interview , 1 placement and in a lot of cases the placement may not happen at all. There is so much competition that’s its a very tough world to be in. To give you a rough idea of how tough it can be from both sides, I advertised a role the other day ….a Project Management Officer ….3 month contract ….£350 per day. I received 197 cv’s within 48 hours. 60% were totally wide of the mark (chancers) , 20% were over qualified (risk takers) , the rest were good but only 7 people actually called me to discuss their cv. I short listed 3 people and placed one of the people who I had spoken to directly. I do read every cv, but be aware that industry standards dictate that once you have the 3 required cv’s i.e. hit the SLA, everything else is virtually ignored. Hence the importance of contact.

Following from the direct recruit model above, referrals are now playing a big part in the market place and therefore networking and using your contacts is imperative. LinkedIn is a typical example of this and should be absolutely 100% up to date.

Apart from this , I could go on about

* Cv presentation
* Competency Based Interviewing techniques
* Presentation (grooming)
* Preparation
* Knowing your market
* knowing your agents
* Always follow up
* Don’t expect to be called back or receive a reject letter.
* Always be pro-active.
* Interview techniques
* Body language etc etc

but its a long list and each point virtually speaks for itself

Its not as bad is its painted, but my view is that if you know the rules, its an easier game to play….just the same as any sport.

Best regards,


Ray Murphy  – Principal Consultant PSD