It’s early evening and the sun is just starting to make it’s decent, although the activity of filming shows no signs of stopping. Amy and I are sitting in the pavilion with everything sprawled in front of us. Camera crews are running around, groups of people are discussing strategy under various trees, on benches and on the steps of the castle. This set is literally set to roll right on into the evening, and it’s of nice to take a step back and watch it unfold.
Did you have any expectations before you arrived?
I don’t think it’s too far off what I expected. I feel like any conversation I’ve had over the last four days could have been filmed. There’s content everywhere.
How have you found it?
Exhausting actually. I know my own boundaries and I like to go out and be really on, and the minute I hit a wall, I’m gone. It’s been five days since I’ve had a minute to do anything to myself. But I’ve absolutely loved it. I feel like there’s so many people now who once I go home, if I have a question, or a problem, or an idea, there’s someone I could ring up, and they would listen and help.
Who have you gotten to know that you didn’t know previously?
I think the three people I’ve gotten to know best on a professional and personal level is Bruce Trewhella, Darren Ryemill and Ann Swain.
Have the Americans and the Brits got on?
Funnily enough, I thought there might be a cultural clash, but because the interaction has been so social, there’s been no real problems there. Everyone has gotten on so well.
What do you think Top Recruiter does for our industry?
What it will do, because the production quality and the storyline and setting is interesting, it will get people to watch it who otherwise wouldn’t. I’ve only been in the recruitment industry for three years so I don’t have that broad a view on it. The quality of people I’ve met is amazing. Before coming into recruitment my assumption was there wasn’t a lot of brilliant minds in the industry, and I think a lot of people think that.
And you think Top Recruiter is changing that stereotype?
Yeah because I’ve genuinely been impressed with everyone I’ve met. And in totally different ways. Everyone here is at the top of their game. They’re CEOs or business owners. They’re all decision makers. And what this process is teaching everybody is that everyone has something to offer, and you’ll get to the answer quicker if you just ask.
Why did you decide to do it?
I wanted a wider perspective. I wanted to spend a lot of time with people who are considered to be some of the best. Everyone is doing similar things, but in different ways. And even the smallest tweak can have the biggest ripple effect.
Would you do it again?
What’s been your favourite moment so far?
For me, definitely the bits when we’re not filming. The time with people. Because the filming you expect, but the other stuff you can’t guess. Like who you’re going to connect with, or what they’re going to tell you, or what you’ll know. I feel like I’ve already got loads of people who I will continue conversations with when I get home.
Like I was grinding with Ann Swain on the dance floor to Beyoncé. Like who gets to do that?! When would that have ever happened in my normal working day.
And the other thing that’s really important about this, is the community. For an industry that’s all about people, recruitment doesn’t have a community. People are mean to each other because it’s so crowded and everyone is doing something similar, that people try to rise by pushing other people down. We are the leaders of the industry, so it’s up to us to set the tone.
Who have you loved?
Bruce Trewhella. He’s someone who I would definitely be mates with. And he lives around the corner from me literally.
What will you take away from this?
It’s opened my eyes. When you’re running your business you’re doing micro stuff every day, that you don’t get the chance to step away and take a good look. Now when I’m looking at my business I’ve got ideas, and I’ve got so many people I can call and talk it through with.
Our conversation is cut short as a camera crew runs past us filming footage, and somehow we’re swept up into a scene. We spend the next two hours discussing strategy for the European candidate and how we can do last minute prep. You take your moments when you can get them around here.