iThink: September 2017

With the Summer break over and the tan starting to fade, it is that time of year in which many businesses start to think about how best to manage the remainder of their talent budget (if it’s not already spent!) and start to think about planning for 2018, and we are enjoying continuing to offer different and innovative solutions to our customers which help them hire and retain great talent, and use that budget wisely.

Since my last post in June, we have grown our ranks with 2 new researchers and successfully concluded our 12-month transformation programme at Arval. This was an incredibly rewarding piece of work, in which we supported the transition of the recruitment model from an outsourced solution to in-house. Working in collaboration with a driven HR team and recruitment lead, the programme saw direct fill achievement at 90%, significantly reducing their recruitment spend.   It is exactly the type of programme we wanted to deliver and client we wanted to work with when Cogito was formed!

Our talent mapping solution has helped new and existing customers alike to benefit from deep talent and market insight, which has enabled them to engage with talent they wouldn’t usually attract when using traditional recruitment methods.  Of particular satisfaction has been the range of skills and projects from Executive level to volume skilled and operational roles.  Amongst our recent projects are:

Chief Technology Officer – Financial Services
Chief Information Security Officer – Financial Services
CIO – Financial Services
Operations Director – Manufacturing
Commercial Director – Manufacturing
Head of CSR – Fashion
Operations Manager – Manufacturing
Multi-Skilled Engineers – Food
NPD Managers – Food

For many of these projects, I have been delighted that after being assessed against Headhunters and Recruitment Agencies,  it was our ability to provide deep insight to support decision making and wider organisation design strategies which set us apart and led to our engagement – and success.  Being able to show customers that turning data into information can provide a much better recruitment output for all continues to be rewarding for us all.

In addition to talent mapping, our research has supported broader Organisation Design projects for two of our key customers, this is where we see much of our future engagement, offering added value insight to identify “What Great Looks Like” and analyse why people thrive, as we not only help businesses to hire great talent, but retain and progress it!

With all this data and insight, we are keen to share more, so over the next quarter we will be introducing new ways of benefiting from our insight.

The iThink Hub will be populated with more content, including sharing headlines from our insight so that our followers can discover trends and stats which could help shape their talent thinking. If you are not a member of the iThink Hub yet, you can sign up for free

We will be expanding our Hiring Index reporting to include market data as well as specific company and sector talent news, this means that you can not only be aware of demand for talent in your sector and region, but also understand the national labour picture.

Our training programme which has been delivered to clients over the past 3 years is now available for single sign up. We have received great feedback from inhouse recruiters from these sessions in which we focus upon candidate and hiring manager engagement to improve recruitment performance. With sessions in Bristol in October and November, we now want to provide the opportunity for other internal recruiters to develop their skills and improve the quality of candidates and service to the business.  If you are interested in participating drop me a line.

Finally, in the October we will host our next iThink Seminar, this time on the power of storytelling to enhance Employer Brand, to join us, our expert speakers and thought leaders click here

A busy quarter ahead…



T: 01179200125


If you want to create fact-based talent strategies from acquisition to engagement, and reduce your reliance upon recruitment agencies and lower recruitment spend, please get in touch.

iThink: June 2017

As we move towards the middle part of our third year, it seems like a great time to take stock and share our evolution.  We continue to add more and more value to our increasing number of customers, helping them to improve direct hiring performance and reduce recruitment spend. 

This means that we have had the opportunity to grow our team and we have recently moved to a new, larger, office in central Bristol.

Already in 2017 our transformation programme at Arval has not only led to the transition of the recruitment model from an outsourced solution to in-house, but we have worked in partnership with them to create a recruitment model which has achieved over 90% direct fill and significantly reduced their recruitment spend. They have embraced our insight and are soon to launch a new employer brand and engagement collateral.

Our talent mapping solution has helped new and existing customers alike to benefit from deep talent and market insight, which has enabled them to engage with talent they wouldn’t usually attract when using traditional recruitment methods, amongst our projects this year are:

  • Chief Operating Officer – Manufacturing
  • Telesales Director – Financial Services
  • Director of Merchandising – Retail
  • Sales Manager – FMCG
  • Technical Specialists – Food
  • Account Managers – Food
  • VP IT Delivery – Financial Services

Our ability to identify and assess Senior Talent along with operational skills to build long term talent pipelines continues to add commercial benefit to our customers who now see Talent Mapping as a real alternative to Headhunt.

We are also proud to have supported one of our key clients to identify the best location in the UK for their new Contact Centre. Our analysis of Socio-Economic, Employment and Competitors across six UK cities in April has already seen our customer kick off their direct recruitment campaign.
Customers across Retail, Manufacturing, Food and FMCG have benefited from our research into what external talent perceives about their Employer Brand and how they can better directly engage with them.
Amongst our ever evolving insight offering we now include Talent Profiling in which we engage with employees to identify “What Good Looks Like” and analyse why people thrive.  This provides in-house recruitment teams with the insight to improve the quality of talent they hire and HR leaders with the insight to enhance L&D programmes which support business growth. 

If you want to create fact-based talent strategies from acquisition to engagement, and reduce your reliance upon recruitment agencies and lower recruitment spend, please get in touch.



Marc Drew
Cogito Talent
01179 200 125

Are you sticking to your recruitment resolutions?

bottle-548903__180The new year cobwebs are now well and truly blown away, vacancies are being approved and the recruitment budgets have been set so it is now all about finding talent; no more excuses about waiting for sign offs!

But how many of those recruitment resolutions about being innovative and creative, taking greater control of the employer brand and increasing candidate quality this year are you actually keeping? 

Are your candidates, hiring managers, colleagues and you confident that things are going to be different in 2015?

It is all too easy for us to revert to old habits as the pressure of work resumes and the need to present candidates quickly to hiring managers hinders the opportunity for you to stop and think about how to do things differently.  In a market where fewer people are unemployed than at any other time in the past seven years, the temptation to keep doing what you did before is likely to restrict your effectiveness in convincing top talent to make the move from their job to your vacancy.

The opportunity for recruiters to engage with talent directly exists in so many different ways and does not have to be complex or require in-depth planning to get started.  Developing your personal brand so that you are THE recruiter to engage with requires little effort whilst promoting your company EVP does not always need a full blown PR/marketing review and re-imagining. 

Applying a little thought and impetus yourself will create interest in you and by association your company and the career opportunities.  Allocating time and thought to understand what others do will enable you to learn new ways of promoting your positions, compare your tactics and gain greater awareness of what you can do.  Maybe this is year you embrace different social media, focus on video adverts or pro-actively present passive talent profiles to the business – even when you are not hiring.  Whatever it is, don’t be guilty of saying you are too busy to consider the alternatives to improve your performance.

Consistently, articles on skills shortage dominate the recruitment and business press, so the need to be more innovative to overcome recruitment challenges should be at the forefront of every recruiters mind, its starts with the first step – making time, understanding the problem and adopting an attitude of not being afraid to fail.

Being inspired to do things differently in the search for success is a feature of a champion, learning from those times when things goes wrong and continually striving to achieve will get you there, famously Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs!  Resuming your old methods will only leave you behind your competition and you will represent Henry Ford’s “do what you’ve always done… “quote.

I believe that any recruiter has the opportunity to discover any candidate, you can be unique and you can get a return on your invested time and ideas.

So, revisit all those things you said you would do differently this year whilst you relaxed over the end of 2014 break and try different ways to improve your talent acquisition activities.

After all you’ve probably already had the lightbulb moment…!


Marc Drew is the Managing Director of Cogito Talent Limited, a direct hiring consultancy helping organisations to improve recruitment effectiveness. To understand more about how Cogito can help you to improve your recruitment performance visit, call +44 1179200125 or email

Embrace Big Data and turn it into Recruitment Insight



Data, Data, Data… its everywhere and in order to utilise it to improve the way in which your business conducts its recruitment, where do you look first?  From reviewing careers site analytics, measuring cost per hire, competitors remuneration and attraction strategies, the likelihood of being overwhelmed is significant.


If the last couple of years are a guide we are going to have more and more data to work with.  An incredible stat from George Lee – CIO at Goldman Sachs is that “90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years”.   So it’s not surprising that we get confused by the amount of it.  


Identifying which big data stream to interrogate is key, but you also have to focus upon the problem you are trying to solve.  After all, if you knew everything about your competitors pay, culture and hiring activities would your recruitment model be effective enough to act upon this information? 


The opportunity exists to use data to improve the quality of hires and proactively engage with talent.


Businesses regularly analyse data at a overall performance level as they seek to become more efficient in their production methods and to be more competitive on price.  Whilst most HR teams I speak with are using big data in the hope to improve employee attendance, productivity and a number of internal processes – including recruitment, the focus on the latter tends to be on how companies can streamline the recruitment process by introducing efficiencies in screening and interviewing.


 The real benefit from big data is when it’s turned into knowledge.


Whereas big data helps to identify trends, greater advantages can be gained through a more rounded analysis by including candidate and recruiter behaviours and experiences.  Combining fact-based insight gained from big data with recruitment expertise will help to create a better recruitment solution.


Progressive recruitment strategies use insight as a predictor of key factors such as: internal talent gaps, when passive talent becomes active and when direct competitors are likely to start a hiring campaign. 


Foresight will enable the recruiter to place themselves ahead of the curve. 


Organisations who employ or work with those able to convert the data into information and then create fact-based hiring plans will engage with the best talent earlier than those who do not. 


Market maps of coveted talent, tracking future leaders and benchmarking attraction strategies with others in the sector should all be evident in any business striving to gain the competitive edge.  After all talented people make businesses successful.



Marc Drew is the Managing Director of Cogito Talent Limited, a hiring intelligence consultancy business.  To discover how Cogito can help improve your organisations’ direct hiring, call 01179 200 125, email or visit



Think Direct Hiring


lightbulbIt’s a simple goal, build a sustainable business which helps clients to increase direct hiring and become more recruiting self-sufficient.


The excitement is palpable around the place, although I cannot say there isn’t a certain level of apprehension to keep things measured.  In being part of Cogito, I am looking forward to realising my overriding work driver – customer satisfaction.


All of my recruiting life has been within corporate businesses, setting and delivering upon our own strategic initiatives (not always in tune with our customers) and I wanted to step into a truly consultative relationship, rewarded by helping customers to realise their own potential and achieve their own goals.


I am sure that anyone reading this will realise that the plethora of candidate attraction channels has created never before seen opportunities for employers to broadcast their message in the hope of growing the number of direct hires.  More and more companies are developing their internal sourcing teams with almost half of UK organisations now having their own internal recruitment capability.  The appetite exists for more direct hiring, providing greater influence over stakeholder relationships, costs and brand.


Similarly, we crave for and are swamped by data – more now than ever before and 2014 is just the tip of the iceberg, with some predictions stating that by 2020 we’ll be creating over forty times more data than we create today.  So how can employers understand which attraction channels work best and which data can become the insightful information needed to ensure that their hiring tactics deliver the people they want?


After spending over a decade leading recruitment solutions which focused upon delivering very niche skills in Space, Aviation and Energy, it became obvious that being able to understand external factors such as the hiring activities of our competitors and the whereabouts and subsequent availability of skilled professionals, ensured that both attraction and retention strategies were in place.


It’s time for companies to think more about how and who they recruit by using hiring intelligence to intelligently hire. 


Intelligence is not only external.  Organisations should continuously examine their own internal performance including: thinking about what worked for them the last time they hired skill X, the future tracking of candidates who were not quite right this time around, understanding where their recruitment supplier found the best candidate then occupying the same space and using all of their organisations plus points and people to enhance hiring performance.


Having chosen to invest in an internal recruitment team, many employers fail to build effective and agile recruitment plans.  Employers should be giving their recruiters the best opportunity to promote their employer brand and access talent in the speediest and most appropriate way. This means understanding where talent is today, what will attract it and also being prepared to engage before that talent is likely to enter the candidate market. 


In the so-called War for Talent, the companies with the greatest knowledge and best intelligence networks are going to succeed.  Every employer has the opportunity to find the right talent for their business, this should start with a review of what currently does and doesn’t work, which skills they are going to need in order to meet future operational demand and what external factors are going to limit their ability to realise their vision.


It’s time to really  start thinking about direct hiring.


Marc Drew is the Managing Director of Cogito Talent Limited, a direct hiring consultancy helping organisations to improve recruitment effectiveness. To understand more about how Cogito can help you to find quality candidates and add value to your recruitment performance visit, call +44 1179200125 or email