First, I loved hearing the history of The FIRM from starting as a LinkedIn group, to becoming a recognised centre of excellence for in-house recruiters, to them developing a qualification and this summer holding an experiential camping and learning event called Recruitstock. There’s a lot to be learned in how this has come about.
For me, it’s about the needs of the profession being delivered by a few brave souls. Gary saw the in-house recruitment market needed something extra and something purposeful to help them be better and he made it happen.
I liken this to how L&D Connect came about, and why it persists as a community.
Industry bodies are one thing, and they always have good intentions at heart. The beauty of a community like L&D Connect or The FIRM is that they’re agile, and responsive to the needs of the community. Industry bodies have to seek approval and seek industry speakers and have industry standards. Why determine the fate of a group when the group are perfectly capable of self-government – provided they have the means and the resources to make it happen?
There were two excellent examples of organisational activity which I came away with.
The first was having robust discussions about diversity and inclusion at a major high street bank. They held a series of internal and external forums to find out how they could attract more talent into the business at all levels so there was true diversity being represented. This was pretty cool and I wonder how purposeful most companies make this kind of activity? I imagine most will say – oh yeah sure we do diversity checks and surveys all the time, we’re fine.
What I liked about this approach was the willingness to have discussions about a topic which most people don’t even know how to address. It’s clearly a topic of concern, and the challenge is always about creating a culture where it’s ok to have those robust discussions.
The second was about how to improve your employee referral programme aka refer a friend. A lot of companies have a scheme whereby if you recommend someone you know for a permanent job in your company, you receive a pay reward for doing so. What we heard about was how for a call centre based in Crewe, this referral programme became their preferred method of recruitment. They trained all staff in how to be brand advocates and spent money and comms and marketing efforts in promoting the referral programme across the company.
Oh and I spoke about Positive Psychology which was warmly received and I got some brilliant feedback.
It was an unexpectedly good day of learning and good opportunity to hear how internal recruitment teams are making good things happen in different companies.