Probably the UK's favourite housebuilding headhunter

Disingenuous Assholes.

aka some Recruiters.

A potential client called me in a panic!

Simon, I’m worried that word has got out about the role we discussed, have you spoken to anyone about it?

No. Did you speak to anyone else?


I don’t start work until I’ve been paid and have clear instructions and every detail about the role, the team, the company, the forecasts, the problem to be solved etc.

Furthermore and more importantly, is that until I have someone in my sights who I think might fit your role, I would only disclose the company at the point of shortlisting. Until then, the search remains completely confidential and during disclosure, any potential candidate would need to sign a non-disclosure agreement and hold meetings away from the clients’ office.

When you deal with amateur recruiters, things will often get messy.

Some recruiters will meet themselves coming backwards. They are so focussed on ramming CV’s and people in front of a client, they miss the bigger picture.

Confidentiality is everything.

I have spent 18 years handling some of the most sensitive roles. That’s why my technology is discreet. I don’t use internal email systems for CV’s, I don’t disclose companies until I have a shortlist and people respect my position and honour agreements.

If you think appointing a professional is expensive, wait until you appoint an amateur.

Every step of the way, people are important. It’s an area that recruiters lose focus and are driven by greed. It can be distressing for those involved.

A few years ago I had a situation in which a candidate was offered a job with my client. They agreed terms and the candidate resigned from their employer.

Within a day or two of this happening, the same candidate was approached by another recruiter (you can guess who) and they tried their hardest to divert this candidate to another role being managed by them.

Multiple calls and text messages. A common trait for someone who’s main goal is greed.

Recruiters aren’t ethical.

They can’t be ethical if they work for every company.

That’s why I don’t work for many companies. I consider non-clients as target companies – a poaching ground.

Sadly, all recruiters that I’ve heard about will take one person out of your business whilst back filling the job or finding staff for another department.

I didn’t like it when I observed this as a Housebuilding Director and so my ethical approach is another reason to work with me. If I’m calling you about a job, I don’t recruit for your company. I have no wish to back-fill your role as I don’t work with your company. It’s simple and it’s ethical.

Retained search is a partnership. That’s my model. Nothing else.

A quote from a new client; “for the first time, it’s been a pleasure recruiting”.

When you register on my website, you will notice something unusal.

There aren’t any jobs listed.

I don’t need CV’s to introduce people to my clients. I’m a trusted partner.

All of my roles are exclusive because they are retained. When I’m involved, it’s a serious business. I don’t go fishing with your CV. I don’t have your CV!

CV’s are required just before you meet my clients. Not until I’ve arranged for them to meet you.

Think about that for a moment.

It’s delicate but potent.

The Power of Linkedin for Job Seekers

Quite frequently I receive calls and messages from people searching for a new job, often having been fired or left a company through redundancy.

Before I get into the benefits of Linkedin, I wanted to firstly say that at some time in your career, unless you are extremely lucky, you might find yourself without a job and it will seem very strange to say the least.

One of the most shocking findings from the conversations I’ve had is that people don’t really understand the power of Linkedin.

In many ways, it should be seen as your shop window. I mean that.

Creating the right profile, one which will be found by other users of Linkedin is so important. A good photo, words which sum up who you are and what you’ve been doing and for whom. Don’t overcook it. Keep the summary truthful and avoid industry speak.

Something which won’t necessarily occur to someone looking for a role or even having a Linkedin profile is that many hiring companies and recruitment firms will search the platform from the back-office perspective.
When Linkedin is searched by companies and recruiters, the options for search is still quite limited, so it’s really important to be as clear as possible with your intentions. A Job headline such as Seeking opportunities or Searching for my next role or Considering my options, can all be search strings used by recruiters to find the most active job seekers on the platfom.

Make sure that they know roughly where you reside too. There’s no point withholding this information because geography also plays a big part in the search criteria. Consider your nearest Linkedin Town or City and use it.
When I say, Linkedin Town or City, not every town is featured, just the major ones. For example, if you live in Crawley, West Sussex, your Linkedin town will be Redhill, the same for Horsham and surrounding areas.

Here are some tips for creating greater visibility for you when seeking out your next role;

Within Linkedin, use the search bar and enter the role of the likely hiring manager in the chain of command or go two tiers above your role if you wish. For example, if you are a Sales Manager, type in Sales Director and then use the search functions to be specific about who you are looking for.
The drop-down menus include Connections, Locations and Current Companies. The most important ones here are Location and People.

Linkedin gives you options as shown here;

Start narrowing the search down by choosing People.

Then look at the locations and add locations where you’d like to work, (select as many as you wish). If they don’t appear by typing them in, remember what I said about major Town and Cities. It’s best to look at a map for major towns within a radius.

Once you’ve selected your criteria, hit the return or enter key and soon you will have a list of people in front of you.
Now the fun begins.
This is the time consuming but valuable part of your hard work.

View the profile of the person or company one at a time. Click the profile name to view the whole profile. Then follow them from the follow option, found in a drop-down menu of the More button. It’s important to follow because they are notified by Linkedin that you’ve started following them.

Then use the back button in your browser to return to the list of the main search. Click on the next one and so forth. Keep going down the list, which usually has about 10 people listed per page.
After a while of repeating this exercise, (which is boring and repetitive), you will finally have visited quite a lot of profiles of people who might be responsible for appointing someone like you anytime soon. They will see that you’ve looked at their profile and in turn, they will look at yours. Human nature creates this intrigue.

Now, suddenly you have more or less everyone looking at your profile and if by chance they like the look of your skills, background and relevance, they might simply invite you to connect or make contact with you.

DO NOT send connection requests. The platform may suspend your account if you are rejected by the person you are approaching to be connected with. DO NOT send Connection requests. The odd request is ok, but too many will kill your account.

Instead, make sure you follow their profile, it’s much safer and no limits.

Good luck with improving your visibility, I know for sure that some people have been found this way. Not only is it fee-free for the employer, but it might also open a door, either now or later.

Keep watching this blog for future tips. Good luck, I hope this insight helps with your general understanding of Linkedin and I wish you well with your endeavours.

Make sure you’re on my radar for Housebuilding opportunities; Visit;

Over 12 months without anything to say?

This blog has been on holiday. It had a nice time.

With so many stories and so much content to read, I feel that it’s important to write about really interesting things as opposed to writing for the sake of self-promotion.

Often I see people writing about themselves, without adding any value.

I’m bored of these types of posts/stories because life is too short to read meaningless drivel without giving something or helping in some way.

Before I return to this blog, I want to talk about real issues and ways to help people secure employment, get better jobs, share information and be a resource for interesting things.

Stay tuned and I’ll be back soon.

SimonWilkins The Headhunter

Entering the world of Zoom

When someone mentioned Zoom, I thought of an iced -lolly from the early ’80s. Several contacts have asked me whether I shall be interviewing people via Zoom or Skype or FaceTime?

My automatic reply is always the same. I have no wish to use video conferencing platforms if I can help it. I don’t particularly need to see an image of a person in their pyjamas or with pets and kids moving around in the background, whilst trying to decipher the audio through a broken wifi signal.

I’ve met around 5000 of my contacts in person, so unless you’re new to me, I’ll know what you look like. Bedsides, phone calls are quite adequate. I’ve spent almost 20 years discussing careers on the phone before meetings and the meetings really only confirm my initial thoughts from the phone calls.

The new phrase ‘Social-Distancing’ will be around for some time to come, as we face a period of distancing to protect each other from “The Chinese virus”, as quoted by President Donald Trump. Will this mean that we shall be viewing each other on screens forever? We were heading this way before the virus attacked the planet, with people being obsessed with everyone else’s lives. Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter are popular platforms for wasting your life and not making memories of your own, instead, people are watching someone else boast about their new car, holiday, new watch, house, or model partner. There will be less of this boasting I hope, as toxic envy and jealousy are caused by these platforms, and many are responsible for relationship breakdowns, suicide and unnecessary pressures to keep up with others.

Isolation means that these platforms will thrive, but the content will be far less exotic, being confined to your own home for the time being at least.

Will video conference-style behaviour re-shape our content appetite? Will videos become less popular with the idea that you peer into someone else’s life in a Big-Brother style or Gogglebox perspective? Will it be usual to invite someone for a Zoom catch-up or simply call them via Videolink as you would a telephone?

Why hasn’t video calling really caught on? It’s been around for a long time. I remember being shown a system way back in 1993.

While we are all separated for a while, do you feel disconnected or more connected? Are you achieving more? Some home-workers are boasting that their productivity levels have increased dramatically and feel much happier working from home. Others, feel cut-off, fed-up and in a trance.

Whatever your feelings, I think that communication of any kind in any form is very important to maintaining psychological balance.

I’ve been self-employed for almost 18 years, largely working from home and travelling the UK for meetings. Knowing that I have to self-isolate in my car for an important call because the dogs are going mad, is quite normal.

Humans like interaction, more so now than ever before. I have a number of country walks nearby and you can bet your bottom dollar that if by chance someone else is on the same path in the middle of nowhere, they want to talk, instead of silence or a groan.

Maybe Zoom isn’t so bad after all. At least you’re in control of who you have to engage with!

Take care everyone, keep safe and try to remain calm. It’s a tough time for us all. I have no income or support from The Government. Two income streams lost overnight. Let’s hope for a speedy return, but be thankful for good health, which is everything.

About the author

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Simon Wilkins

Simon Wilkins

The Headhunter

07554 234 567