This week I am writing about something dear to my heart, even though my beloved Liverpool FC have all but secured their place in the final of the Champions League I will refrain from gushing with pride and potentially leaving me open to egg on my face. I’m talking about Access. For those who don’t know what Access is, it is our new to recruitment night that we host every quarter at the wonderful Generator. Access was born during a conversation between Jon Rice and Tony Bishop of Focus Recruitment when discussing the lack of talent in the local market, both decided something needed to be done and they came to the conclusion; speed dating! Not to say that they hurried down to the closest mingling scene and took the edge off with a conveyor belt of like-minded single ladies, they were referring to the model and structure.

The first permutation of Access was born the day after Valentine’s day 2017 (we had the theory that people would be in a good mood) and was inventively titled “Rice Speed Recruiting” To be fair, the nights’ structure hasn’t strayed too far from that faithful night. The basic premise is that our ‘would be’ consultants are given 7 minutes, or an elevator pitch to you and me in sales, to wow a representative from one of our fantastic clients. These fledgling recruiters are exposed to a plethora of agencies that represent the industry spectrum; accountancy & finance, construction, executive search, trades and labor, IT & Digital and Medical. After 7 minutes a bell will sound and it is on to the next potential professional suitor. We usually aim for 8 candidates and 8 clients but given the unpredictable nature of recruitment, some cats often wander away from the herd. Our little ‘7 minutes in heaven’ is perfect for our clients who pride themselves on being able to tell a winner from minute 1 as they get to see 8 candidates in the time they usually screen 1.

Rice Speed Dating

Rice Speed Dating

The next evolution was skilfully renamed; The Freshman Draft. This was due in part to the commonality between the NBA draft and our humble night; both provide individuals with the opportunity to fulfill their potential in a lucrative and competitive arena. For those day 1’s who follow the Rice Instagram account you may recall the picture below. We adorned Generator in over $100 worth of sports-related decorating; bunting, trophies and bouncy balls a big departure from the candles, roses and Hershey’s kisses of yesteryear. If you look carefully you can spot Richard Lloyd of Halo fame putting a candidate through their paces. With this night we really worked on the spacing between candidates and clients with 4 clients using private rooms freeing up space for the conducting of other discussions.

The Freshman Draft

The Freshman Draft

As the full-time whistle blew on The Freshman Draft it did too on our very own Sarah English’s time with Rice, a beloved team member who’s help and persistence were instrumental to the success of RSD/TFD and whose placement of new to recruitment candidates showed that this event could be a success. The winds of change were a blowin’ and the event took it’s third and final Pokémon-esq evolution. Fully out of its embryonic stage Access emerged through the chrysalis a sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing beast complete with candidate profiles, client breakdowns, an application portal and a sophisticated scoring system.

New Look: Access

New Look: Access

Our next event is in on the 20th of June we again go through the process of carefully selecting 8 candidates who embody enthusiasm and desire to work in our industry. We select these candidates based on attitude and transferable skills having come from a sales or customer service background. For the cynics out there who think we’re just dragging people off the street moments before curtain, how dare you! Roughly 3,500 applications received /CVs screened, 400 telephone screens and 150 face to face interviews are conducted in order to get to our finalists. Now, before you flood me with chocolates and flowers you can redirect those to the desk of Anastasia Lee; our tireless and enigmatic community/candidate manager who works round the clock for this event and us at Rice. I come in at the back end, on the client side to coordinate the interviews and deliver feedback. I do have a brief cameo prior to the event to deliver a ‘warts and all’ view of recruitment and the flaws to having people as your ‘product’

I and Anastasia have spent the last couple of weeks meeting with the Access alumni. Alexandra Vetrov of Madison was still beaming with enthusiasm after a year spent in recruitment, Troy Whittle of Talent International has just finished his probation period and could not be more grateful to Kara Smith for the opportunity, his 4 placements in 8 weeks I’m sure is going a long way to show that appreciation. The loyalty all of our candidates have shown is heartwarming and it is encouraging to hear that they all felt well prepared for their first few months in recruitment which is often the most difficult. We will be posting testimonies to the Access section of the Rice website in the next weeks which also houses our “apply now” application so if you have any friends that you think would be a gun recruiter, that want to experience a unique event that gives them ACCESS to the decision makers of exciting and supportive recruitment agencies point them our way!

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