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What does the Great British Bake Off have in common with recruitment?

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    What does the Great British Bake Off have in common with recruitment?


    This season, just like the last, sees the nation glued to its TV sets each week. However, the Great British Bake Off (GBBO) is more than simply a great TV show; it is a metaphor for the entire recruitment industry.

    1. Passion and drive: There is no denying the fact that each and every contestant on the show is passionate about baking – but passion and drive alone are no guarantee of success. Having the drive and determination to achieve the end goal is the critical ingredient. Recruitment business leaders need to be clear what ‘success’ looks like in their agency and the measures consultants can take to achieve it.

     2. Practice, practice, practice: Nobody bakes the perfect cake at the first, second or even third time of asking. It takes time to learn and master the skills that will set them on the road to becoming recognised as the best in class. Consultants need to take ownership of their career too, and recruitment business leaders have to nurture and invest in their people. In doing so, they will master the role they need to perform and position themselves as genuine contenders to take the crown. 

    3. It’s all in the preparation: It is important to commit the right amount of time on those unseen, crucial parts of the business. Selling, training, strategising, analysing and researching are all parts of the recruitment recipe that can’t be overlooked. If you underestimate the amount of time you need to excel in these areas, your growth will not only be slow, it will also be severely undercooked.

     4. Developing talent – the recipe for success: Having great people with all the talent in the world is fine. Unless they are provided with the tools they need, the outcome of their efforts is more likely to resemble a flat pancake than one of Paul Hollywood’s Full English Wellingtons. Providing the right equipment and working environment are certainly important. Also ensuring there is the financial support on hand for when the business needs to take that next step is essential.

    There is nothing more deflating for a consultant than a deal gone flat because the agency doesn’t have the funds in place to enable them to take on that great new contract supplying tens of workers every week. Flexible funding at 100% that will help bind your business together is available – you just need to know who to ask.

    5. Going off-menu with blended skillsets: One of the greatest things about GBBO is the variety on offer – in terms of people. There is a 31-year old of Health Inspector, a 52-year old IT Programme Manager, a 46-year Laboratory Research Scientist and 29-year old Home Economics teacher. Their age, ethnicity, background or prior career experiences have no bearing either on their ability to become great bakers or our perception of whether they will or not. Recruitment is the same. It’s an industry where the right attitude, application and approach to work supersedes anything else.

     6. Creating the best mix: One of the most important ingredients for recruitment business growth is investing in great people and having the right mix of people in your team. Mix in a database of good quality clients that understand the value of recruiting highly talented staff and deliver good margins and you’re already simmering your way to success.

    Add all of the above into the mix and turn the temperature to high – the result will be a recruitment business that is perfectly prepared for success and growth. To add the proverbial icing to the cake means creating your own magnum opus – the aspect of your business that sees you rise above the rest. In recruitment, business acquisition, customer retention, strong branding and awareness, and nailing the candidate experience isn’t just a side-order; it’s the starter, the main course and the dessert – each needs to be nurtured and cultivated.