The Recruitment Rollercoaster Podcast Live Event

Hunted recently partnered with Hishem Azzouz, Founder of Azzouz Branding and Host of The Recruitment Rollercoaster Podcast.

The podcast reaches 12,000 recruiters a month and if you aren’t one of them, you’ll find it on AppleSpotify, and Google.

Hishem and Hunted share a bunch of key values: we want to raise industry standards; elevate recruitment’s reputation; and hopefully make it a career path of choice, rather than something people “fall into”.

Hishem launched the podcast in March 2018.

And was recording episodes out of his room back then. But fast forward over 100 episodes and we’re packing out a bar in Blackfriars with a ton of like-minded people, all under one roof to talk about recruitment’s ups, downs, and everything in between.

Last week, we took over Sama Bankside for the first ever Recruitment Rollercoaster Podcast live event.

With none other than LinkedIn’s favourite wolf working the door.

hishem and ed

The evening’s theme: The State Of Recruitment In 2019

Our panelists were Rollercoaster alumni:

Anila Choudhury, Senior Country Manager, Cognitive Group

Tony Bates, Managing Director, IDEX Consulting

James Dean, Head of IP Divison, Hamilton Barnes

The general consensus from the panel is that 2019’s a brilliant time to be a recruiter. Literally the best it’s ever been. And realistically, it’s only going to get better.

Despite markets being so saturated, the playing field’s never been more level. Due to things like the rise of personal branding, easier access to better tech, the fact a good video, done well, lets you build trust and intimacy at scale.

Recruiters have never been more visible. And so one challenge becomes differentiating yourself from your competitors. 

Another becomes simply keeping up with them. Because it’s not just other agencies you’re sharing a market with, but new breeds of businesses offering all manner of talent solutions, from huge outsourced projects to fully embedded models.

And with challenges in mind, Brexit was of course brought up, as is now customary.

The link to the full podcast episode’s at the bottom of this article. But here’s a few choice points the panel covered over the course of the evening.


How do you measure client relationships?

They’ll drag you through the tough times and fuel the good ones. But how close are your closest client relationships?

Revenue only tells one side of the story.

Think about how many points of contact you’ve got at your client’s business.

What happens to the relationship if all yours spontaneously decide to quit?

Are you and HR still saying “Kind regards” to each other or have you advanced to swapping memes already?

As Anila puts it: “What’s going to be your level of engagement with your best revenue generating clients?”

As in, how involved with your clients do you choose to be?

Because depending on your answer, you could be looking at nurturing a £50K account or nurturing a £100K one.

Laying the groundwork with your clients is a long game. But if you start now, you’ll be grateful you did in a few months.


What can we do to make recruitment a career path of choice?

A lot of adverts for recruitment, naturally, focus on the best bits. The incentives. The opportunities for progression. The commission.

Whereas the challenges recruiters and business owners face – their failures as well as their successes – are equally important lessons to learn. Arguably moreso.

I’ve noticed more companies avoiding clichés and embracing authenticity recently.

In their marketing, their comms, their core values and their culture. And the effect this has on not just talent attraction, but retention as well, is a drum we’ve been banging for a while.

You’ll have noticed phrases like “£100K OTE!!1!” are gradually phasing out of job ads for agency recruiters. And I hear less recruitment bashing now. And more from candidates expressing gratitude at being kept in the loop and fed back to.

We’re even getting better as an industry at making noise about all the good things recruiters do.

As a result, the perception of the industry’s changing.

So what can we do? Keep at it. Because we know how good recruitment is. We just need to communicate that.

Ask yourself this: would you encourage your kids to get into recruitment?

And if not, why? Would you change anything about it? Because that’s what we need to work on next.


“The 360 model’s dated”. Discuss.

Tony makes the distinction between Consultants and Salespeople, arguing the former make better recruiters, suggesting the 180 model’s better suited to them.

It’s a divisive topic that gets the audience whipped up, and the panel went on to discuss bad practices they’d gladly see stamped out for good, whether or not you need a degree in recruitment, and their predictions for next year.

And in 2020, recruitment’s going in whichever direction we push it.

It was really encouraging to hear the industry echoing our content, things we’ve overheard at expos, research we’ve done, people we’ve spoken to.

That diversity and inclusion’s a major priority.

That BD’s less about power hours and more about doing your homework.

That sending CVs without speaking to the person named on them’s the mark of an absolute weapon.

And that tech’ll give you one heck of an edge over your competition, but the human touch will never disappear from recruitment.

One point we kept returning to was: why do people do it?

Get into recruitment, that is. We all fall in, don’t we?

Is it the money? The idea of helping businesses grow? Or the sheer joy that comes from making placements?

There’s obviously no set answer. We had people in the room who’d been recruiters for four weeks, and people who’d been in the game for four decades. Why they’d joined, and why they choose to stay in recruitment, will differ from person to person.

I’ll let you make your own mind up. On all of the above.

To listen to the full episode, pick your poison:

● Apple

● Spotify

● Google

● Buzzsprout

All in all, it was a really positive first live Recruitment Rollercoaster Podcast event.

A few people remarked how it seemed to signal a shift in the networking community, moving away from catering to CEOs and business owners and focusing predominantly on what makes billing consultants tick.

There’s already murmurs the next event will be even bigger. If you follow Hunted, we’ll let you know when we’ve got a date locked in. Expect that soon.

And in the meantime, you can read about you can read about the last time we saw Hishem speak, here.