In his keynote address at the 2010 APSCo Sales Conference, Anthony Hilton, the financial editor of the Evening Standard, warned recruiters must move up the value chain by offering clients added value services and becoming more like consultants than just sales people. Those that failed to adapt risked becoming obsolete.
Speaking on the theme of the conference’s tag-line, ‘Brave New World’, Hilton warned that "tectonic shifts" in the economic world would change the dynamic between recruiters and clients, with clients demanding more service for less money.
Hilton warned all sectors of business, including recruitment, faced the risk of disintermediation as a result of the rapid growth of online medias such as LinkedIn, Gumtree and Facebook, where clients can find people themselves without external help.
Hilton urged recruiters to become more proactive in demonstrating the added value they could provide for their clients.
Hilton reminded delegates of the 2010 Conference that all recruiters have a wealth of knowledge at their disposal and urged them to use this knowledge to add value to their service offering. Recruiters, he said, could advise clients on restructuring, for example, where complex staffing issues can often arise.
Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, said: "Disintermediation is a word that’s been bandied about for years, but Anthony Hilton presented a compelling argument as to why in the post-credit crunch world it could be about to become a reality. More than ever, organisations will be looking for value for money. Recruiters who don’t evolve face extinction."
"We were looking for someone outside of the recruitment industry to give a keynote address and provide a fresh outlook on the industry, and Anthony Hilton has done just that."
The conference opened with an address from Ann Swain. Delegates were then treated to the comedic styling of Magic Circle magician James Freeman, who reminded the audience, through a series of optical illusions and tricks, the importance of seeing the bigger picture in business.
Hilton then took to the stage for his address before Chris Matchcan, an internationally renowned speaker and expert in HR, demonstrated the importance of management engagement in business.
Conference delegates then chose between the sales track, the management track and the executive forum, before coming together again for a live panel discussion featuring several recruitment experts from highly successful businesses including Nokia, Blackrock, AXA UK and Copernicus Global Partners.
This article was first published on hrmagazine.co.uk