Probably the UK's favourite housebuilding headhunter

Linkedin has gone mad

Sneeze without a tissue and they’ll restrict your account

There’s nothing quite like a wet Tuesday to focus attention on Linkedin when they’ve locked you out of your account.

It happened a couple of weeks ago, they switched me off overnight and I was back up and running the next morning.

Today is different. No further updates from the automated restricted account message.

Locked out around 11pm on Monday evening and here I am at 4.15pm on Tuesday, without any access to the account.
It’s not any old account, well, it is old, because I was one of the early supporters of Linkedin, back in 2009.

The 11,000+ connections and the millions of viewers who read my work are now able to take a rest from reading my material.

My 11500 followers will have more time on their hands too.

I’ll still be busy, because as a Headhunter, I use google to search the back -end of Linkedin, giving me free access to everyone on the site without a subscription. I can make contact in other ways, as required.

The only reason for having a Linkedin account, a paid-for account, is to have a shop window. It’s not a big deal if I stop my subscription, I have enough contacts, probably 18,000, that I’ve collected and made relationships with, over the last 20 years.

Instead of spending money on Linkedin Job Ads and a monthly subscription, I’ll just use my network and the contacts I have, together with the power of google search, to find people.

All of my clients keep coming back, so I’m very fortunate.

My website makes it really easy to make contact if you wish to be added to my radar!

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.

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.

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