Tag Archive for: The Magic Hour

At CX Talent Jo and I have long been interested in the whole end to end world of recruitment and what best practise should and does look like – we love the whole process. Here are some of the highlights, as well as news on our latest developments.


We start with the business problem – discussions with the hiring manager around what sort of skills and experience the client is looking for to solve their challenges or move them forward. We need to really understand that in order to be able to find the right talent, and it’s always an interesting and inspiring part of the job.


The candidate experience – this is so important! We are transparent about the opportunity and the salary banding from the word go, and of course we do all the due diligence we can to make sure that the role is real, signed off and ready to go. Candidates invest their time, effort, experience and skills in each and eery application (as do we), and we respect and support that. We try ago make sure that the process moves smoothly. momentum is maintained and feedback is timely. This isn’t always in our power, but we try!


The shortlist. Our shortlists are just that – having gone out to our network and had lots of conversations, we usually present between 4 an 6 excellent candidates for consideration – usually within around a week. We are able to do this because we’ve spent over 8 years building up our network of CX professionals and we know who we want to talk to about each role almost straight away. The way CVs are presented in the first place has evolved – many companies now ask for names and DOBs to be redacted and some go even further. We love getting involved with helping businesses act to reduce even unconscious bias in this space.


The result! A happy Client who has quickly and efficiently filled their role from a carefully and expertly curated shortlist so that in the quickest possible time they are up to speed with their brilliant new recruit in place. Their other applicants had a decent experience and their business brand is stronger than ever. And the right Candidate is in the best next job for their career!


Alongside the nuts and bolts of recruitment are the associated issues of employee wellbeing, rewards an benefit packages, bonus structures and so on – and working with HRs to advise on expectations and build the right package is another important part of the job. We’ve definitely see that changes emerging over the last few years have been accelerating in this aria. Overwhelmingly now people want some flexibility in how and where they work – and they are absolutely looking for this to be a permanent change post Covid.


This is partly what has led Jo van Riemsdijk (CX Talent co-founder as or course you know) and her architect husband Hans to develop their new business, Modulr Spaces Ltd. Modulr Spaces offers a premium, architect designed, plug and play office that can be delivered to almost the smallest of outdoor spaces and provided a comfortable, secure, sound proofed, ergonomically optimised office. It’s aimed at businesses to buy or lease for their staff, and we hope it will fill need for people who are continuing to work from home to be as productive an comfortable as possible.


So at CX Talent we are very much involved with launching and placing this hugely exciting new product and I am sure you will hear more about it! You can find out more from either of us and/or the link at the end of this article, and any feedback is gratefully received.


The core business of Customer Experience Specialist Recruitment, and the offering of our Magic Hour personal job search training sessions, continues as normal. We are currently recruiting in London, the Midlands, Europe and Japan, as you may have seen on other posts, and we hope to be busier than ever next year, so please stay in touch!

There is a LOT of help for job seekers available at the moment and it can be confusing to navigate.

Where do you start?

Definitely with the free stuff! A quick google search for hints and tips for jobseekers will bring you free advice on curating and styling your CV and LinkedIn profile, writing cover letters, practice questions for job interviews, tips on how to approach them on Zoom and much more.

Whose do you use?

Much of the information is common sense based and overlaps, some is specialist to particular industries – all of it is obviously generalised. Go to websites of recruiters you know, media outlets that are particularly relevant to your industry, or the large jobsite websites. Read around and find a source that offers advice you find helpful.

Many different people are offering paid-for services in addition to free help. Access to these can be as simple as buying a book on the subject! They also include specialist recruiters like us, career coaches, CV copywriters and others – we all offer different services and niche resources.

The different models:

There are different models to choose from – from one-off CV writing to subscription services. One-off copy writing services can be helpful but a word of warning here – make sure that your CV and cover letter read as authentically you – this is especially tricky now that documents need to be ATS friendly and be free of most formatting.

For a bit more of a financial commitment, subscription services give months of coaching together with access to supportive online communities which can be useful for networking as well as maintaining optimism and resilience through your search. Don’t forget that you can and should find and build your own community on LinkedIn too. If you are job-seeking, you should already be active on LinkedIn by engaging and commenting on posts and even posting yourself.

If you have more of a budget, you can align with a dedicated career coach to take you hand in hand through a personalised process and there are some very good people in this space. This can be expensive though, so try and get a personal recommendation, and be prepared to research a few so that you are sure you have the right fit for your personality and experience.

Which is going to offer the most value to you?

What do you need it to achieve? This obviously depends on your own personal requirements and needs. None of these options are a quick fix to ‘get a new job’ – this is all about supporting you in your process of finding the right one.

Like many other recruiters we at CX Talent Ltd offer a combination of free and personalised advice. There are hints and tips on our LinkedIn feed. We publish regular blogs on our website in the hope that they will help as many people as possible. We also post frequently on our Linkedin page – job tip reminders and encouragement.

What we offer –

If you want or need more focussed, personalise and individual advice – we offer a service called The Magic Hour. This is a purely bespoke and one to one deep dive look at your CV and LinkedIn profile, your jobseeking plans and your strategy. We don’t write your CV for you but we work through your experience with you to make sure that you are presenting your best, most hire-able self. We get your jobseeking self in its’ strongest possible shape and we support and encourage you in your search. It’s an opportunity to have a sounding board about a future direction and some no-nonsense feedback from a team who have been recruiters, hiring managers and of course candidates ourselves.

We’ve had some great feedback –

“It was really great to speak with you yesterday, I found the conversation, tips and guidance extremely useful and it has given me the boost and motivation to focus my efforts in a constructive and disciplined way to search and secure that new opportunity which is out there somewhere for me!”

“Speaking with Kate and Jo has been invaluable in understanding how to best position myself in the job market. Really deep diving into my CV and LinkedIn profile has placed me in a much more confident position regarding any future job hunt! Kate and Jo have a wealth of amazing experience and they chat with you openly and honestly, a great team to have in your corner.”

This may not be right for you at the moment – if you are on track with your collateral (CV etc) but need ongoing support, look to LinkedIn for a largely helpful community – find the relevant groups and get involved with conversations begun by leaders in your field.

If you are thinking of a career change, you may want to find a specialised career coach to work with you over a period of time.

For general good advice, use our free materials and those of other reputable recruiters, jobseeker websites and media outlets.

And of course, if you feel you could benefit from our one-to-one personalised advice to help you get started or to re-boot you on your job seeking journey, give us a call!

Customer Experience – A Business Critical Team:

In your business – where do you feel that RIGHT NOW there are business critical hires to be made?

If you are not thinking about your Customer Teams you could be making a costly mistake!

As we teeter on the edge of a second wave of this awful pandemic – shouldn’t you be really thinking about how to keep as many of your customers as possible? To do this – you need to: understand how they are feeling, what they need, how they want to be treated. Overlooking the importance of this could lead to huge swathes of customers going elsewhere. They will look to other businesses who are putting their needs at the heart of what they are doing. RIGHT NOW is the time for organisations to swiftly change and adapt their offerings to meet the needs of their customer bases.

ALL businesses serve customers – they are there and survive because of the customers who buy the product or service. This is irrespective of sector and whether you are B2C or B2B organisation.

Listen to your Customers, get Customer Programmes underway NOW:

If you don’t listen to your customer – how will you ensure that you are doing the best for them? You need to make sure that their needs and requirements are at the centre of strategic business decisions. If you aren’t doing the best for your customer – they will go elsewhere. New customers are a lot more expensive to find than the retention of existing ones! Existing customers often make recommendations to friends and family and businesses get more long term custom because of this. So – this is surely one of the most effective ways of marketing and one that is cost effective!

Businesses have become so process orientated – but those processes often aren’t to benefit the customer. They are to benefit the business – making it easier for the business to function. It does not necessarily make things better for the customer!

Investing in your customer teams and enabling your employees to really listen and understand what the customer wants will help organisations stop and think about whether implementing or changing something operationally will ultimately make the experience their customer has with the business better.

Meet and Exceed your Customer’s Expectations:

Since the first wave of this pandemic – when so many organsiations were – not to put too finer point on it – caught with their pants down! We have become acutely aware of how businesses need to adapt, meet and ideally exceed customer expectations at the moment in order to survive. Do you think that NOW might be the time to consider investing in those teams or customer projects?

Organisations investing in Customer Experience will surely be able to navigate their way through this and live to tell the tale. Please Don’t leave it too late or to chance. Invest in your Customer teams. Don’t leave recruitment of these individuals to chance. You need the very best people for your organisation and we can help find you the right person quickly, efficiently and effectively. We have spent 8 years growing and developing our candidate base. Whatever your sector, whatever the maturity of your CX programme, whatever level of individual you need – WE KNOW THEM and can get them into your business making a difference FAST!

CX Talent Ltd is an Independent Customer Experience Recruitment Specialist. We have candidates at all levels. We are only interested in putting the right person into the right role. For all your Customer talent requirements – please contact us today. We are ready and here to help! www.cxtalent.co.uk

How and Why did we come up with the idea of The Magic Hour?

You may have seen us posting about our new service – which we’ve called The Magic Hour. The name was coined by one of our candidates who we helped with some coaching and advice earlier on this year.

Essentially – The Magic Hour is an individually tailored, one to one coaching session where we review your CV and make recommendations on how to improve it, how to make it ATS friendly and how to show yourself off to the best advantage. We also look at your LinkedIn profile and make recommendations on how to change it and how to post to improve your visibility on the platform. We explain how recruitment in the UK works and how to navigate your way through it. We encourage you to work out and articulate what you enjoy about your role and home in on what exactly you are looking for next.  We also give some general advice around job searching and your individual job search plan.  We believe that it gives candidates a sound base from which to launch their job search and helps them secure their next role more quickly.

My Own Experience:

The idea for this came from my experience of being made redundant a few years ago. I felt like I had been cast out to sea – with no direction or understanding about how to best go about finding my next role. It left me feeling very vulnerable and exposed and the experience of this has been one that has been long lasting in my professional life. I wanted to be able to help candidates by providing a useful service to help them take back control of their job search in these very strange and unpredictable times. I wish I had had something similar – it would have saved me weeks / months of floundering about like a mad woman (read my redundancy post!).

In the normal run of things when we are briefed by a client for a role, we start by having a chat about which candidates on our database and network would be a good fit for the position, and who from that list might be ready for their next move.  Then we’d schedule a conversation and go through a very similar process to the Magic Hour, but obviously tartgeted to the new brief.  So we coach candidates through aligning their skills and experiences as closely as possible to the role profile to make sure that the most relevant strengths are easily apparent to the client.

At the moment we have very few ‘live’ briefs on the go!  But we want to keep talking to people and helping candidates to be as strong and focussed as possible in their job searches, so in order to be able to keep doing that we’ve streamlined and focussed our experience and advice and come up with The Magic Hour. This is a fixed fee service we have priced at £150 incl VAT.

We have talked to candidates across the private, public and third sectors in the UK and internationally – consultancies, agencies and in-house clients – and we have seen what works.  We’ve placed candidates in huge complex global businesses and smaller, owner managed companies, and we’ve been doing this successfully since 2012.  There are thousands of professionals on our database and we’ve talked to them all!

A Complete 360 degree view of recruitment:

Before becoming recruitment consultants we have both been candidates (obviously!) and hiring managers, so we really do have a 360 degree view of the process and we have consistently had positive feedback from our sessions.  In fact our business has grown precisely because our candidates often become our clients as they move through their careers and grow their own teams.  So we are confident that we add value.

We are partnering with some clients at the moment and working on some fantastic opportunities and our network of candidates can absolutely rest assured that we will be actively in touch about those as and when appropriate.  The idea is that you do not need to be a candidate for a specific role in order to benefit from our help and advice, or even a CX professional – The Magic Hour is relevant to candidates across any discipline and industry.

Those who do not undertake The Magic Hour will be at no less of an advantage for future roles with us as we are ONLY interested in fitting the right candidate with the right job. That approach will never change at CX Talent Ltd.

The Magic Hour is there to help keep you going in your job search. If you decide you’d benefit from our in depth advice and book a package – you’ll be helping us keep going too!

Here are some recent testimonials:
‘I’d recommend THE MAGIC HOUR, 100%. CX Talent Ltd care, that shows in the EPIC service they provide!’ –

“I found the conversation, tips and guidance extremely useful and it has given me the boost and motivation to focus my efforts in a constructive and disciplined way to search and secure that new opportunity which is out there somewhere for me!”

‘I loved my magic hour, it was not only informative it also motivated me to do things differently…. a real breath of air. Thanks Jo & Kate’.


Are there any positive outcomes for Customer Experience Recruitment from COVID?

As a Director and owner of CX Talent Ltd, I have spent many hours lamenting the lack of CX roles, wondering if we can continue to trade as a business with the very few roles we’ve managed to hold on to and fill during the last few months. I know that I am not alone in this – many of the recruitment agencies we all know of may sadly not make it through. In House resourcing teams are under enormous pressure to fill roles internally rather than use agency partners in order to help reduce costs. We’ve all seen the tsunamis of candidates applying for each and every role! With that sort of role demand – what’s the point of appointing an agency? I wont lie – there have been moments of panic and several sleepless nights!

Advantages of Appointing an Agency at this moment in time:

There are many advantages to appointing a specialist recruitment agency for specialist roles. In a nutshell, we can fill them REALLY quickly and efficiently with the right people and the best talent, while ensuring an excellent candidate experience. I don’t need to advertise unless we don’t have the right people with the right skill set, in the right location for the right money. Other than that – we use our extensive network and database. But enough of that – I’ve talked about it at length in previous posts and this is not the purpose of this particular post

I still have moments of despair and worry about the state of the economy and the lack of roles out there. However, I do have more and more moments of clarity and positivity. I’d like to share them as even in adversity you can find positives to reflect upon:

Listening and Talking with increased number of diverse individuals:

Over the past few months I have spoken to several fantastic individuals both from the CX world and external to it. I have really enjoyed listening to other people’s stories and in many cases being able to help them move forward effectively in their job search. LinkedIn has been our mouthpiece to talk about issues around recruitment and customer experience that we find useful and interesting (and hopefully you do too). Our post engagement seems to be growing – so I take this as a good sign?!

Our huge and rapidly growing top talent database:

Our candidate database, which was already amazing, is now bursting at the seams with the most amazing Customer Experience candidates. I would be confident of filling any Customer Insight, Research, Strategy, Implementation, Change and Transformation, Digital, Product role in a heartbeat. When the market does eventually return to some degree of normality our reach in the Customer Experience world both here in the UK also internationally looks likely to be unrivalled.

Kindness and Longevity of relationships:

We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness and graciousness of those candidates and individuals that we have spoken to and advised, some of whom have even gone on to publicly thank us. I cannot tell you how much that means to both Kate and myself, it makes all the hours of work and all the conversations more than worthwhile. We see our relationship with candidates and contacts as ongoing and beyond just the next role. Whether we place candidates this time or in 1,2 or 5 years is irrelevant – once you are in our world you’ll stay in it as long as you’d like to, whether that be as candidate or client.

Magic Hour:

We continue to offer and enjoy our Magic Hour sessions with candidates and again, are delighted with the feedback and thanks we have received. These are not just interesting but also so rewarding, as we are helping people position themselves to their best advantage to help them secure the next role – wherever that might be from.

Best Mates and Laughter:

Talking personally – I am so lucky to work with one of my dearest friends. There is never a day that goes by that we don’t find something to laugh at! We pick each other up off the floor when needed and celebrate when things go well. We discuss the matters of the day, current affairs (always an opinion to be shared and very usually agreed upon), and very occasionally the frustrations of being a WFH mum of school age children (Quite a few actually) and newly WFH partners as well (Quite a lot more!).  I genuinely would not enjoy my job as half as much if it was not for the fact I work with Kate.

So all in all – though business may not be where I’d like it to be and though I’m not able to help as many of our candidates into roles as I would like, I count my blessings.  It might just be that when we get out of these strange times or indeed learn to live with them – CX Talent Ltd will be better, stronger and more resilient as a business than ever before.

If you are thinking of expanding your customer teams and need to act fast and efficiently – please contact Kate or myself. We pride ourselves on being open and transparent and kinder than many other agencies out there. We are fast, efficient and offer the best candidate and client experience we possibly can and WE REALLY CARE about doing the best job, finding the best talent and finding the best talent the right jobs.

Are we being too quick to abandon the physical office?


I signed up with a temping agency after graduating – I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do and needed to earn some money.  After sending me around a selection of advertising agencies I was sent to the Really Useful Group (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatre production company) as temporary secretary to the Head of Marketing.  I didn’t know that Arts Administration was even an option, but I loved it, stayed, got offered a permanent job, and that was the start of a 15 year career in theatre production, pr, marketing and management.


So going into different offices gave me the chance to find a career I loved but more than that, being in the office with older, successful professionals actually taught me HOW to do these jobs.  I listened to phone conversations, went along to meetings, visited the different box offices / ticket agents / ad agencies / theatres themselves and saw and heard all these different professionals at work.


How are people learning how to do their jobs?  Online mentoring and zoom meetings are  great, really valuable – but not the same as sitting in an office actually hearing different people engage, negotiate, present, make business cases and generally helping you find our own professional voice.


Jo and I were able to start CX Talent Ltd over eight years ago now because of our experience and interests – we had both been regularly recruited and been hiring managers and knew what worked and how to deal with people and their careers not as transactional target points but the real life events they are.  In addition we both had different but valuable understanding of customer experiences in different industries and were interested and connected enough to find out more.


Our careers would have looked very different without the real time exposure to our business environments.


What can we do to help young people starting their careers to broaden out their learning?  My feeling is that businesses will gradually bring back most of their workers for most of the week to an office environment despite all the early thinking that almost all staff who can do will start to WFH.


As well as the learning environment provided by the shared workspace there is also the creative and competitive buzz – of solving problems, innovating, sharing a laugh or encouraging each other along.


There are real issues for businesses to weigh up here – how much office square footage can be safely lost without loosing out to these other, difficult to quantify issues?  I hope that we are able to go into this change carefully and with consideration to future proofing in terms of long term resilience and keeping the pipeline of new talent on track.


For a conversation about talent planning or customer experience recruitment please do get in touch – we are specialists in this field with client across many sectors and industries in the UK and internationally.


If you are a candidate in the current market please check out our website and LinkedIn page for free access to hints and tips to support your job search, or for a personalised session consider booking a Magic Hour.

As we’re emerging from lockdown and easing back into the world it’s interesting to look at the new behaviours that could improve our lives in the future – and what we’ll be happy to leave behind.


Remote working – this is the big one and there has been a lot of focus on it.  Companies can no longer claim that productivity has to suffer and many more people will be working for part of the week from home.  This will have a really positive impact not only on work / life balance for individuals and families, but also on the wider transport system and environment as collectively there will be a significant impact on the number of journeys taken each week.

But also…. the joys of office working – despite the advantages of working from home many workers are keen to get back to the office at least part time.  The company culture, camaraderie, feeling of teamwork and shared endeavour are all stronger and more accessible when we’re physically together.

Busy = important?  Let’s leave this one behind.  I hope that the forced slower pace of the last few months helps us be more mindful about what we WANT to do and break the cycle of doing everything we CAN do just because it’s there.   Stress as a status symbol seems a very old fashioned pose when we are surrounded by the horribly real issues provoked by Covid-19.  Let’s keep focussing on productivity, not hours at the desk.

Customer service is JUST as important as we knew it was – as customers we’ve given companies the benefit of the doubt for months about long wait times for reduced support,  but all the signs are there that we have had enough of poor customer service and want our issues resolved now!  Businesses which acted with the best intentions to hastily adapt processes in order to keep afloat now need to accelerate when it comes to aligning those processes with customer satisfaction.  Customer loyalty is more important than ever and businesses that are doing well in terms of both customer and employee engagement are very visible – these actions now will be remembered!  Good Customer Experience is the KEY differentiator – and both successes and failures are widely shared.

Deliveries – I think we’ll all keep on shopping more online.  The extra billions enjoyed by Jeff Bezos over the last few months as a result of Amazon’s success reflect the trend for taking advantage of the convenient and efficient access to almost everything we need, delivered to our door.

Cleaning – the rise of the anti-bac!  I am sure that this will gradually relax and that hairdressers for example won’t need to ostentatiously wipe down each chair between clients – but it seems likely that we’ll all keep the habit of being more aware of keeping especially shared spaces a lot cleaner.

LinkedIn and virtual networking – LinkedIn particularly has seen a huge surge in networking as people use the platform to connect, build relationships and successfully find new roles.  It’s great to see the support being offered – and the positive results will keep us all coming back for more.

Raised profile for health and care workers – they’ve always been appreciated but now they are rightly celebrated.  Let’s hope (and lobby for) better pay and conditions for these sectors in the future.

Pets – lots of people have used the time at home as an opportunity to get a cat or dog, knowing they can spend the time training and socialising them.  I hope that the pets will adapt as we go back to work, they might find the adjustment difficult at first, but hopefully a new balance of home and office working will ensure success.

Community and creativity – we’ve found different ways to be sociable and communities have found many ways of supporting each other. From making phone calls, delivering food and prescriptions, timed celebrations on VE day and the clap for carers bringing us together, to hyper local seed swaps for people spending more time in their gardens – hopefully some of these links will endure.

Recruitment – we’re talking to people all the time in different sectors and waiting to see how this will change.  Many companies are coming to the end of recruitment freezes and looking to solve their own new problems.  Customer Experience looks likely to be more important than ever as people are more careful with their spending and each buying experience matters for products and services across the board.


If your company is recruiting in the CX space give us a call – we are expert specialist recruiters who have spent over 8 years building a network of customer experience candidates.  We understand the sector and will curate a shortlist of fantastic talent for your role, leaving your hiring manager and HR to get on with the many other demands of the complicated present.

If you’re a CX professional looking for your next role, get in touch – we are always happy to chat and make sure you are in our database.  We are actively working on roles and may have the right one for you.

Do you need some help with your job search? Jo van Riemsdijk at CX Talent Ltd gives her top 10 tips to get you started.

I hope that the tips I detail here will be of some help to Candidates looking for roles or thinking about their next move.

1.If you are in a job and thinking about moving – my first piece of advice would be – DON’T! Squeeze every last drop of experience you can out of your current role and be grateful you have a job – there are a lot of candidates out there who don’t! Don’t disengage either – you may find that you start to really enjoy where you currently are. By all means get your CV ready and your Linkedin profile ship shape – but please stay put!
2.If you are not in a job – do not despair. We will get through this and the market will pick up again. Contact us and we can have a chat about putting an action plan in place.
3.Spend no more than 2 hours a day (if that right now – probably 2 mins with the recruitment freezes out there) looking on job boards and applying for roles. Then for goodness sake go and do something entirely different. Just because you don’t apply for a role the minute it is advertised – does not mean that you won’t get it.
4.Your CV should be tailored for each and every role – WITHOUT FAIL!!!!!!!!! It’s a competitive market out there and will become more so. Absolutely no stretching the truth! Look at the areas the JD is really focusing on. If stakeholder engagement and influencing is one of the main themes – then emphasise this experience. If its customer experience communications – then bring this to the fore. Don’t assume that the person looking at your CV understands CX, has any interest in CX or your CV for that matter. You need to hit people in the face with your suitability for a role.  DON’T ASSUME PEOPLE READ BETWEEN THE LINES.
5.Come up with a CV that you can tailor quickly and effectively. Good CV’s have a personal statement at the top, a list of key skills and / or achievements. Then professional experience, education and other info. I also like to see training undertaken and any software packages you are familiar with (though this is job specific).
6.Your Linkedin profile is incredibly important. Do you have a picture? Please – DO NOT PUT ONE OF YOU WEARING SILLY GLASSES OR DRINKING ALCOHOL. This is a professional networking site – not Facebook! Linkedin should act as your shop window – does someone have your perfect job and is searching for someone like you? MAKE SURE THEY FIND YOU!! Be specific about your skills and describe yourself as your next ideal role – again telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth! The more specific you are on Linkedin about yourself – the more likely you are to be found. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to do a catch all profile – as it will become so generic that you wont be found for anything.
7.Utilise your network – talk to old bosses, get in touch with old colleagues. You never know – they could be looking for someone to run a programme or project short term. Getting involved in interim or contract roles during this time will do you no harm and conversations had about your job area, industry sector, areas of expertise in general can lead to great things.
8.Get involved in conversations on Linkedin about your industry or area of expertise. In our case this is Customer Experience – yes, I know do as I say not as I do! I am aware that we have not been the most vocal people on Linkedin but we are trying to change that! Post regularly, comment with at least 8 words and thoughtfully on relevant posts. Like posts that are relevant to your interests and skill set. Linkedin rewards people who use the platform by making you more visible. It will increase your exposure to people who might be looking for staff.
9.Is there an organisation you’d love to work for? Why not reach out to the Department Head or Director – for our world this would be CX Director or Head of CX, or the CEO if you are one of our more senior candidates. Don’t be afraid to show you are keen on working for an organisation – it’s terribly appealing to have a strong candidate approach you particularly when you decide you want to recruit either immediately or further down the line. Even if it results in a coffee and nothing more – it’s another contact made.
10.Talk to us – we’d love to be the ones to place you in your next job. But even if it’s not us who place you there, we are keen to help you find your next role. The more we talk to you – the easier you are to place and the easier it is to place for you when you need help with recruiting for your teams.

Poor Candidate Experience can damage your Brand.

Kate and I have not always been in recruitment – I personally have been a Picture Researcher, an Account Manager, A Business Development Manager, A Commercial Director and now Recruitment Consultant. Kate has been involved in Theatre, Production and PR in General Management and is now a Recruitment Consultant. Why you may think? Isn’t recruitment dirty and nasty and doesn’t everyone hate you?! Well – yes! But that is why we wanted to do it, because we wanted to do it better and make a difference.

We’ve both been a candidate, We’ve been a Hiring Managers and we like people! We have seen and experienced recruitment from all sides. I am good at Relationship Building, I’m good at selling (though this should not be a big part of my current role) and I care about people getting and doing jobs they love. Kate is too – but she brings the operational focus. The only BIG JOY of being in recruitment is knowing we have placed someone in an awesome role that is completely right for them. If it is right for them – it’s right for the client and great things can happen! As we know – businesses are created by people, run by people and are nothing without their people – so more effort should be placed on finding the right people – Right?!!

When I started up CX Talent Ltd with my friend Kate Baird we didn’t start out as CX recruiters. We started out trying to help local businesses by providing them with short term and interim candidates to help run high level projects. It didn’t work! We fell into CX recruitment almost by mistake – but quickly realised that there was a big gap there, where those recruiting for the roles didn’t understand what they were recruiting for as the roles tended to be so diverse and complex. CX Candidates were completely unrepresented at that time and we found a lovely niche in an area that I would have probably found myself in had I not had my children. We’ve grown our business slowly and organically. Most of our business to date has been by referral and from many of our amazing candidates who like our approach.

What is our approach?

Simply to not be like the other recruitment agencies out there. Don’t get me wrong – there are some awesome ones and those we applaud. However, as you will be aware a great number of people and companies in recruitment have an awful name and reputation and we DON’T want to be like them! We TRY to be as personal as possible, talking and viewing our candidates as individuals not numbers. We try to give as much information and advice to help them secure their next role – irrespective of whether it is with us. Ideally of course – we would place every single person, but that simply isn’t possible. We LISTEN to what our client’s want in a person and then look to our network to find those people. When we have been given a briefing for a role – we don’t immediately rush out and advertise it. We don’t tell our candidates to check roles on our website – we proactively inform candidates when we have a role that is suitable for them. When we’ve been given a briefing – we will already have a few people in mind and those are the first we speak to. Then we go into the database and look to see who else might be interested, then Linkedin and then and ONLY then will be advertise for a role. That is only if we don’t have enough people with the right skill set in the right location for the right money.

So is that why I’m not be familiar with your brand?!

You wont have seen us advertising very often on Linkedin or other job boards. We are not overly shouty about ourselves – but maybe we should be?! Our candidate base is AWESOME full of amazing CX professionals of all levels. If you need someone in this field, In House or Consultancy – seriously look no further – we’ll have them! Other specialist agencies will have amazing candidates in their fields.


Who goes into the Hiring Process with joy in their hearts?

Absolutely No-one!

Customer Experience Recruitment – made easy

What I would like is for when In House Resourcing Managers and Hiring Managers have to recruit for CX roles – they think of us. They don’t think – OH GOD! I’ve got to recruit – this is going to be painful. Which is certainly the current way that people feel when they have to recruit!  Instead of that – they think: – ‘OK – I’ve got a role to fill – I’ll call Kate or Jo and they will get it sorted. It won’t be painful or laborious – it will be a great partnership’. We’ll get them the right person into that position as seamlessly as possible. Shouldn’t recruitment be like that – always for all roles?

I know that there are a lot of great In House resourcing teams – fantastic! However, they are often working on far more roles than a Recruitment Consultant is and they can be hugely varied. The In-House Resourcer is often far more stretched than a Recruitment Consultant. With the more complex and specialist roles – like CX, Customer Insight, Transformation, Digital CX, UX, UX Research etc… it is surely easier for these teams to look to a specialist agency to help them find that talent? It is cost effective to get those people in place in a business as soon as possible. It saves on advertising costs and allows those In House Resourcers to get on and fill the roles that are easier to fill – where they don’t necessarily need expert knowledge to know who is suitable for a role and who is not.

I’ve read so many posts on Linkedin recently by people who have had appalling candidate experiences, where they are one of maybe 400 applicants or more for a role. They are often feeling vulnerable due to not being in work and are susceptible to take the silence badly. Don’t damage your brand by offering bad recruitment experiences. As Noah Halperin (a recent contact on Linkedin) so eloquently said in a recent post – ‘People are not a product and processing them like they are is to the detriment of all’. How can recruitment have become like this? People hire people – yet it’s become very transactional and dehumanised.

How can we help to overcome this?

Why not consider using the smaller Independent Specialist recruitment agencies for the more complex roles? They are often owner run and always want to do a great job – this in turn always ensures a great recruitment experience for both candidate and client. It will protect your brand and you might just help keep some of them in business! It is surely a win win!!?

If you’ve got a role – please don’t just look at the PSL agencies. Please look beyond and see if there are others who can offer you a better service – you may be pleasantly surprised!

If you are preparing for an interview or even looking for your next role – take the time to have a think about how to present yourself on a video call – it will be worth it!


First and foremost, do your homework in the normal way.  Re-read the job description, research the company, prepare some questions as well as answers to standard interview situations like – why did you leave your last role?  What are your weaknesses?


Write down a list of your own strengths and successes and have this to hand.  Having these at the front of your mind will make it MUCH easier to bring out examples to illustrate your skills and experience.


Think about the technical side.  Make sure you are well lit – no on wants to interview a shadowy outline!  But not dazzled either as this will be distracting for you.  See if you can set up your computer in front of a window with a white or cream blind to even out the glare.


Make sure that the background for your call is neutral and tidy – again you want to cut down on distractions.  I would recommend a tidy room in your home as better than a Zoom background screen, you want to appear authentic.


Check your clothes.  It may be by video from home but it IS an interview so treat it as a formal meeting and dress accordingly.  No stripes, small graphics or neon colours, they will all distort on a screen.  Make sure to present yourself in a professional way.


Practise looking at the camera on your screen instead of at the interviewers’ eyes – you will make a better connection.  Remember that you’re only seeing (and showing) about 25% of each other on screen so you may want to ramp up non verbal engagement signals such as nodding, smiling and using hand gestures  (take it easy here!!).


Record yourself on a practise interview with a friend – it really is the best way to improve your delivery and well worth the time.


And finally, allow some extra time at the start of the interview to check your tech – check your camera is on, your audio is working, your son isn’t downloading a massive game upgrade which is likely to interfere with your connection (personal experience anyone?!), your wifi isn’t having a wobble – think of this as your journey to the meeting and leave time for a margin of error.  You don’t want to ‘arrive’ late or flustered – but calm, well prepared and in control!


Very best of luck with the job search and please do get in touch for more help and advice.