Lessons we have learned (UPDATED 2023)

Note: this blog was originally written 10 years ago, so here it is again, updated for 2023.

This is a very special week for us; Monday 13th February 2013 marks 10 years since Matt and Alex started Blues Point, which has gone on to become a thriving Burton business.  The company was formed on 13th February 2003 and opened its doors a few weeks later, on 24th March.  To celebrate our first decade we can’t decide whether to go for a meal, throw a party, or all get a Blues Point tattoo. But while we are deciding, we thought it would be worth taking a look at some of the most important lessons we have learned in the last decade.

Note: now 20 years!  Still based in Burton but the team all work mainly from home – and most of our recruitment is online too.  We had a meal in the end – no tattoos. 

You should trust your instincts. A successful recruiter will develop good instincts – we speak to a lot of people and we tend to develop a sense for whether someone is telling you the truth or just what you want to hear. The candidates that we go on to place will be those that have been open and honest with us throughout the recruitment process.

Note: still true.

Recruitment is changing. Smart recruiters are moving away from preferred supplier lists and forming strategic partnerships with their clients to gain exclusivity on vacancies, providing a more complete recruitment solution rather than just flinging CVs at the client and hoping for the best. Social media has become increasingly important too – we are not just trawling databases and placing advertisements, we are networking smartly and engaging with jobseekers and prospective clients through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and our own website.

Note: still true.  We work on an exclusive basis with our clients in almost every case – and with most of our candidates as well.  Social media is still important but our network is our biggest asset.  Job boards less useful than 10 years ago.   

Being honest can make you unpopular but it is still better to be honest. Candidates might not like the client’s feedback but it is our duty to pass it on, so that person will be able to learn from the experience and approach things differently next time.

Note: still true.

Making a placement is a real buzz! Delivering an offer to a candidate and then going back to the client to let them know that the offer has been accepted is a great feeling. It is nice to know that in introducing the two, you have made a real difference to the individual’s life, and they in turn will add value to your client’s business.

Note: still true.

You can’t get it right every single time. With the best will in the world, there will be times when things don’t go the way we want them to. Clients can change their minds and so can candidates. A failed placement isn’t the end of the world, but the way in which you handle it can make a difference to the future of your relationship with both the client and the candidate.

Note: still true.

People in IT are a good bunch, and so we usually enjoy talking to them. They tend to be friendly and co-operative and passionate about what they do. If we encounter a candidate that we think is a cut above the rest, we won’t forget them; you can guarantee we’ll cross paths with them again.

Note: still true.  

The customer isn’t always right. We work hard to please our clients but sometimes there is no benefit in pursuing a relationship with a ‘bad’ client. Dealing with clients that never provide feedback, change the goalposts and never return your calls wastes time that you could be devoting to better clients.

Note: still true.

There are good agencies and bad agencies. Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals exist in every industry, and most of us will have experience of dealing with a bad agency. Rather than assume all agencies are bad, you need to know how to identify the good ones. Talking to us is a good place to start.

Note: still true.

The best recruitment starts with a cup of coffee or tea. Whether that is with a prospective client, to tell them about how we work, or at the start of the day in our team meeting, to decide how to approach the day’s activities, we never underestimate the power of a cup of tea.

Note: still true – but we meet far less in person than we used to.  Generally speaking, people are actually talking less.  These days it’s possible to place a candidate without actually speaking to them, or to the hiring manager!  We don’t do this though – we value conversation, and we believe that the more you get to know someone, the better you can help them. 

You can’t put a price on a friendly, fun and harmonious workplace. If you are fortunate enough to create or be a part of maintaining one, then you are very fortunate indeed. We have a great team at Blues Point, and we can’t wait to see what the next decade brings! Happy 10th anniversary to us!

Note: still true – but you have to work a bit harder when the workplace is online. 

Here’s the original blog for comparison.  Not much has changed, really!  We’re a bit bigger than we were, and more focused on working in exclusive partnership with our clients and candidates, but our values are otherwise the same.

Here’s to decade number three!