The Recruiter’s ‘Portfolio’

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Over the last few weeks I’ve been searching for a new project and what I have encountered, rather surprisingly, is a lot of the norms that we as a recruitment industry, still seem to be holding onto dogmatically. The one recurring question is ‘can you send me a copy of your CV?’.

My expectation would have been at least to ask me for a link to my LinkedIn profile; my hope is that I might be asked if I have a website or online portfolio, examples of campaigns I have successfully delivered, a request about blogs or any other information that would, in my opinion, actually present a holistic picture of the me as an individual and talent acquisition an recruitment professional. Across the board, the CV request was predominant.

I appreciate there is a counter-argument here which is ‘why don’t you just add links to your CV?’ – I’ve tested that and the click-through rates are low. From that test sample, my conclusion is that Hiring Managers / Agencies are still looking at the CV and making their decision based on the chronological script of my prior experience.

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This is going to sound like a sales pitch, however…

Whenever I recruit, I aim to build a picture of the individual through a combination of their LinkedIn profile, social media, blog posts and combine those notes and use them in the introductory conversation with them to really get a sense of them as a professional and person. With this knowledge, you can really start to explore their thoughts on culture, environment, working patterns and their mindset in the face of challenges and change. In short, you end up offering the Hiring Manager a ‘portfolio‘ of the person as opposed to a CV and each part of the process acts as an additional level of qualification beyond the standard ‘skills matching’ approach.

Flip the focus to recruiting for talent acquisition and recruitment professionals, would it be more interesting to your client to see examples of the following;

  • job specifications
  • social media content (i.e. posts, adverts)
  • recruitment assets (i.e. candidate, interviewee and on-boarding packs)
  • process workflows
  • interview formats
  • blog posts

How interesting to you and your client would this portfolio of information be at an introductory or pre-screening stage?

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Building your Portfolio

What are the challenges with starting to build your own recruitment portfolio?

The consideration of time is always the obvious starting point; the time to create a website of online host compared to writing your CV using a template is clear. Having said that, do you want to look back at your legacy in recruitment and have only a CV and some anecdotal stories and hiring numbers to refer to? – keep track of your journey and collate the information you have learned. Create your own ‘Recruitment Playbook’ – something you can use as you navigate your way through your career steps.

Another key consideration is, who owns the content you’ve created? – if you are a permanent employee (whether in-house or agency side), you’ll be subject to legal obligations regarding the content you have created. Having said that, referring to this content if it’s already in your, or the clients, social media feed isn’t a crime – blog about it even. Tell the story behind how and why you created it. This can be positive PR for the client’s brand.

What if I don’t have any of this content? – perhaps your in a role that hasn’t required you to write job specifications, create social media posts or implement new workflows. Then my suggestion to you is start!

The role of the Talent Acquisition (TA) and Recruitment (Rec) professional is evolving rapidly and you need to offer more than the ability to search, screen and present an applicant. As tools and products providing greater levels of automation change processes and the way tasks are completed, one of the greatest assets of a TA and Rec consultant is their ability to deliver creative solutions and the knowledge they already retain about the process of where to discover, attract and engage talent.

An invitation to fellow Professionals

If you want any suggestions as to where to start, I’m happy to have a chat. Just ping me a message. We can all benefit from sharing ideas! 


Uber – Problem or Solution?



As the myth goes, the concept of Uber was first discussed as a concept in Paris, France in 2008 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp as they had trouble hailing a cab; whether this is true or not is irrelevant – Uber has firmly, and forever, opened Pandora’s Box and disrupted the taxi industry – there is no way we, as the public, can go back now as we’ve seen the art of the possible. Cheaper fares, ease of booking cabs and convenience.

For those of you that might dispute my last statement, Uber is now operating in 632 cities worldwide at the time of this blog post being written.

What is evident in these 632 cities is that the industry stalwarts; the cab firms already present that have enjoyed stable market share and dominion over the rates and fares that the general public have paid up until Uber, are not happy.

Stop Uber

Public safety, perceived lack of tight regulation regarding it’s operating practices through to protests against the company itself, have all served to illustrate genuine anti-Uber sentiment and actions. The announcement on the 23rd September 2017 by Transport for London (TfL) that it has rejected Uber’s application for a new operating licence was greeted by cheers from a minority of industry competition and affiliated supporters; however, for the commuters that utilise Uber on a daily basis, this was both a shock and disappointment. Having said that, Uber’s cars will not disappear immediately as its current licence expires on 30 September 2017 and it plans to challenge the ruling; for this reason, Uber an continue to operate in the capital – where it has over 3 million users – until it has exhausted the appeals process, which could take a number of months.


Uber versus Taxi


I’ve used Uber in London on numerous occasions and in the USA in places such as Los Angeles and Anaheim; I have found these experiences to be very positive bar one time where I dropped the needle too far away and I had to cancel the pick-up (costing me $5) – I’ll put that down to user-error. The process of booking, the transparency of the driver details, the cost (fare) and the ease of payment have all added to the experience; on a personal level, I’ve found the drivers to be personable and happy to chat about anything from their day, why they drive for Uber and the general state of the weather (*a very polite British way of starting any conversation).

In contrast, two recent experiences of ‘professional’ and ‘established’ taxi firms have left me over-charged by £12.00 for one journey and in the other journey, the cab driver threatened to make us leave the cab because we asked him to wear his seatbelt. To protect any other individuals working for these firms, I will not name the companies, however, both trade-off of their aforementioned ‘professional’ and ‘established’ status. Where I was clearly over-charged (by more than 100%), I phoned the company to discuss this and they said they’d investigate it and come back to me…..that was over a week ago. With regards to the cab firm where the cab driver was slightly challenging, I spoke to the cab company and they said they would have a conversation and ‘deal with it’ as they didn’t want a poor reputation – I’ve heard nothing from them either. Interestingly, I had the same cab driver over the course of the weekend and I managed to resolve the issue with him personally and he appeared to have had ‘zero conversation’ about the previous issue otherwise, why would he have been designated to pick me up again?

Having read these two accounts of my experiences, and given the press attention on Uber, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the former was a more established company and the latter was Uber right?



Whether you’re a user or not of Uber, you surely cannot deny that it is an innovative company looking at ways to create solutions for greater social mobility at a cheaper cost to the user.

Evidence of this innovation is readily available on the Uber engineering blog found here and many articles are being written about the company’s testing of autonomous cars in Pennsylvania, Arizona and California. In March 2017, Recode reported that they had secured documentation that stated that Uber had 43 active cars that had driven 20,354 miles autonomously and the report went on to state that Uber uses specific metrics to measure its progress with autonomous vehicles and they are:

  • The average number of miles a car drives itself before a driver has to take over for any reason
  • The average number of miles between “critical” interventions — when a driver has to avoid causing harm, such as hitting pedestrians or causing material property damage
  • The average number of autonomous miles between “bad experiences” — things like jerky motions or hard braking, which are more likely to cause discomfort than damage

One of the key metrics has been illustrating a positive increase and that the requirement for a ‘critical’ intervention where a safety driver has to take manual control of the car; this has steadily increased to 200 miles per critical intervention.

All this evidence serves as a reminder that the company continues to innovate in a sector that has been dormant, apart from rising fares, for a number of decades. Isn’t this evidence of Uber as a solution rather than a problem?