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Change or Die – A Recruiter’s Story

​“Change or Die.” these words are often uttered in a business context and given such weight due to their deliberate provocative nature:

“Move with the demands of your customers and innovate your business, or you will become obsolete.”

Never have these words been truer than in the world we currently live in. As the world has been affected by COVID-19 and political unrest with the Black Lives Matter movement, changing or adapting is quite literally life or death for so many around the world. It’s time we acknowledged our shortcomings and champion new ways of elevating our society to make a better world.

We have a very tricky resurrection period ahead of us which needs to be managed by governments, companies and individuals alike to ensure we can maintain prosperity and continue to create opportunities for everyone to grow and achieve their ambitions.

Naturally most of usresistchange, it’s in our nature to feellossinstead of focusing onopportunity– the fear and survival instincts take over.

That’s why I want to share a brief summary of my experience when it comes to embracing change, and the process I went through to change the focus in my career to survive.


The Beginning

Given my eight years’ experience in the Insurance sector, it made sense to focus on this niche specialisation when I moved into recruitment. I could use my understanding of the products and my network to help my clients find the right technical skills and culture fit – bringing a depth of knowledge to create a competitive advantage.

This worked well and so I started to use my sales and relationship skills to build our Insurance niche from scratch (zero clients or candidates) to a team of five, focusing on marketing, change management, underwriting and actuarial.

We worked hard to build our networks and became a good competitor within the Insurance market. Having the Argyll Scott brand recognised by our clients as a brand with a strong insurance niche and by others in the industry as a competitor was a great achievement.

Overall, it took two to three years to achieve this feat, with of course a lot of help from my team. (Shout out to Kenneth, Hafsah, Jess, Canice and Sebastian!)


The Change Moment

After a few years, a number of my team moved on to try different avenues in their career and it afforded me the opportunity to look at what I saw as the future of the business/Singapore and really how my Insurance niche was aligned with this.

Firstly, I looked at our proposition from a candidate and client’s perspective – we had several functions and our core discipline was an industry. Is this really the best way to give candidates and clients the most choice?

This led us to study the market and refine our proposition to really focus on our strengths, which were primarily in the digital arena. (Think Mobile, Marketing, Customer Experience, CRM and Product.)

This was a tough switch, as it involved stopping hiring in some of the areas we had built and supported our clients on – however, it allowed us to focus and really deliver for them in other areas due to the depth in our niche and availability of options and market knowledge.


New Beginnings

Proposition is at the core of everything we do – our DNA – its where we start when looking at viable niches to build at Argyll Scott. Additionally, we look at three other “P’s” to define and shape our business:

  • People (e.g. Recruitment, Development and Wellness)

  • Performance (e.g. using the right measures and the right structure to deliver results)

  • Platform (e.g. Having the best possible CRM system, automation and tools in place to better equip our people)

Thinking in these terms has really helped give me clarity and take steps forward to improve the niche and proposition we are operating in. As expected, it’s not perfect and there are many challenges along the way! However, starting with this approach has helped me focus on moving forward instead of fearing the loss of what has been and to look at the art of the possible.


I hope this will help at least one person who is facing big changes, and as always if you need a fresh set of eyes or someone to bounce ideas with, please do reach out to me.

Posted 9 months ago
About the author:
Jason Lockwood

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