Half year OX Seven update

I am sure you will see plenty of these kinds of posts over the coming weeks, incredulous that we are now nearly closer to next Christmas than the Christmas just gone.

Reflecting over the first 6 months of 2019 has been on the most part very pleasant. But there has most definitely been huge areas of learning and lots of mistakes which have been made. It hasn’t been a rosey hand holding, back rubbing hootenanny that sometimes Social Media depicts.

One thing which I did not, or could not forecast was being the victims of our own uncompromising standards. I am proud that we are not ‘CV peddlers’ or don’t work with clients who wont brief us correctly on a role, but I have witnessed us losing out on roles to other agencies who do not share the same standards. Is this a moan? Definitely not. Is this a regret that we lost revenue? Partially. Finding that balance between continual revenue generation but maintaining standards is a delicate balance, one which we are striving to get right consistently.

We started the year with 6 and now we are on 9. Attracting and retaining staff is always a huge challenge in recruitment and I think it is an area we are particularly good at. I feel it is extremely important to offer the kind of workplace that I would want to work in. This doesn’t mean the cliche fruit bowls and bean bags (of which we have both), it means offering true flexibility, compassion and opportunity. Not just with our own candidate attraction, but across the board, I am noticing less and less on emphasis on the basic remuneration number and more on the wider opportunity.

I think this is great. A candidate market who is focused more on self-improvement and opportunity than isolated salary levels is fantastic. That being said, it should not be seen as an excuse for employers to push down basic salaries and throw about false promises of ‘equity, huge bonuses and flexible working’.

Rather conversely, the biggest reason for wanting to move on from a company remains ‘lack of progression opportunity’. I would say this accounts for 75% of main reasons for wanting to leave a job for people I speak with. Now I am not naive, I know quite often there are underlying reasons (which over the years I have got very good at identifying), but it is still a scenario which comes up very frequently.

The second quarter of the year has seen us really formalise our RPO offering and take it to market. We have won an incredibly important one with a client we love working with (funnily enough I am writing this in the Waitrose Cafe as I wait for a catch-up meeting with them) and so far the feedback has far exceeded what I could have expected. The second half of the year is going to see us push this more and more as a primary offering, with the contingent/retained perm offering supporting the non-RPO clients (of which there are many, many great ones).

Another thing we are looking at working very closely with is AI, and in particular chatbots. It is something which I find incredibly exciting and an area which I think will revolutionize the way high volume recruitment is done. I have a number of development meetings with a company who are absolutely outstanding in their field and who share huge amounts of values with OX Seven, with a view to becoming brand partners.

So to summarise, OX Seven are going to continue to improve, continue to maintain our high standards and continue to embrace and develop emerging technology.

Will Grashoff

Managing Director

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