Our recruitment experiment: a new approach to attracting outstanding talent

Attracting outstanding talent to your organisation in a globally competitive environment is a challenge for companies big and small. We recently experimented with a new approach; one that has been a great success and has also seen us shortlisted as a Finalist in the Innovation category for the In-House Recruitment Awards.

Over drinks at our offices we host informal evenings for small groups of pre-screened guests to learn more about consulting, capability building and Brand Learning – and by creating a personal and memorable experience, we’ve brought to life our employer brand.

These events have been so successful in the UK and US that we have recently hosted our 6th Brand Learning Recruitment Evening. We have used these to meet some fascinating people, have open and informal conversations and engage with individuals in a way that a standard recruitment process finds hard to accommodate. From the energy and buzz in the room (and the general reluctance from anybody to want to go home), I overwhelmingly sensed a real shared energy and desire to learn more about each other and Brand Learning.

Since our pilot event back in the spring of 2014 these evenings have become an integral part of our Talent Acquisition Strategy. With strong business growth globally and a need for a very particular kind of recruitment profile to deliver against the needs of our multinational client base, we wanted to create an opportunity to open up conversations with potential candidates who knew little about working in a consultancy, knew little about capability development, and knew even less about us. In fact the outcome has been much greater than this...

  1. Our insight: Many of the people we speak to have been on a typical blue chip career journey to date and have thoroughly enjoyed it so far. They know they don’t necessarily want to do more of the same for the next 10 years, but equally they don’t know what they want to do!  At this point they are curious and excited to learn more about what life could be like beyond the corporate world that they have become both successful and familiar with.

  2. Our approach: As a global consultancy we are competing for world-class talent who may well be considering both senior client side and consulting roles. Attending one of these evenings can help on that journey of discovery and change. Could consultancy, capability and Brand Learning be right for them?

  3. Tailoring the experience: The evenings are designed to feel small and personal, with typically about 12 pre-screened guests attending. During the evening our guests have the opportunity  over drinks and canapes to learn more about Brand Learning through a short presentation,  take part in a very open and completely non-scripted Q&A session (the most popular question is always, ‘what’s a typical day like?’.  The honest answer, ‘there isn’t one!’), and have a one to one conversation with one of our team, tailored to their individual circumstances. We’re very clear that we are not there to ‘sell’ anyone the merits of a career at Brand Learning, but we are there to help bring our EVP to life along with helping our guests experience our core values of ‘engagement, expertise and inspiring change’, and so enthuse those for whom the opportunity feels right.

  4. Engaging our internal team: The evenings have also been great at engaging the business and client teams and really partnering with them. There is always a buzz around the office the day after the event with the team excited to hear how it went and I even have a ‘waiting list’ of Brand Learning team members who would like to come along (says something  when it means giving up your evening!)

  5. Playing the long-game: We believe in playing ‘the long game’ and indeed for many of the people we engage with it may just not be the right time for them, but the seed is sewn, the door left wide open and conversations picked up on sometimes months, sometimes years later. The thing about time is that it has to be ‘the right time’, for both parties.

  6. Creating advocacy: And although not all candidates are successful or feel we are personally right for them, we aim for their experience of the event to leave them feeling positive towards Brand Learning, building on our external reputation and referral network. The feedback we have received from both those who have gone on to become recruitment candidates and for those who we have agreed it isn’t quite right for has been heartfelt thanks for so openly  giving them the opportunity to personally understand who we are and what we do.

And do they work in actually bringing outstanding talent into the business? Yes. To date 10 people have joined the Brand Learning Teams in London and New York having attended one of our evenings.

We’ll soon be planning our 2016 Recruitment Evenings; the new year is always a popular time of year to consider changes and new chapters in our lives. However, this is a long time to wait and if you are interested in learning more about our current opportunities please get in touch, we’d be delighted to hear from you.


Brand Learning: Inspiring people. Lifting Capabilities. Growing organisations.
We work with companies across the world to lift the performance of their teams to drive growth