We’ve just arrived home after one hell of a business trip. 

Settings don’t come much better than the breath-taking Ibiza Gran Hotel, and it’s tough to think of any gatherings that compare with the RDLC Pirates’ Global Recruitment Summit. 

It’s been a jam-packed few days on the Balearic Islands to say the least, but I’m going to do my best to summarise the conference as well as I can below…

We love being Pirates

The RDLC – known as The Pirates – is a peer group of recruitment directors and leaders. The focus of coming together is to share information and help each other improve. 

As official members, Rich (my fellow ON:iT Recruitment founder) and I usually try and attend RDLC meetings at least once a month in either Manchester or London to discuss a wide range of topics. 

Being part of The Pirates means we’re always in touch with the top people in the industry and have access to the latest suppliers. This enables us to remain at the forefront of recruitment so we’re always offering employers and candidates the best possible service. 

At the end of September, The Pirates held their Global Recruitment Summit in Ibiza, and we went across to catch up with organisers Gary Goldsmith and Dean Kelly – the founding partners of RDLC. 

Day one: Recruitment and change 

The first day of the conference was awesome. Merryn Somerset Webb – Editor in Chief of MoneyWeek – kicked things off, talking about the effects of Brexit, different governments, right and left-wing policies, the economy, and the potential direction in which we could head. She was really good. 

Peter Gold was next, and he addressed an issue that loads of people keep talking about – the prospect of robots taking over all the jobs in recruitment. He asked: “By 2025, are 80% of recruitment roles going to be automated?” The answer is a resounding “no” of course, but what was really interesting is how robots could create more jobs than they eliminate. 

Then there was Lucy Adams – a big personality who talked about Leading your People Through Change. This was really useful for us as we picked up some important tips about potential solutions for rejuvenating our recruitment processes. 

Day two: Insight, innovation and inspiration

Trevor Pinder, the exclusive trainer for RDLC, opened up the second day of the event by reminding everyone in the room about what’s really important. 

Many of us at the conference set up recruitment businesses because we were good at getting in front of clients and talking to people. Yet now, we spend a lot of our time behind spreadsheets. Trevor asked: “Why is that?”, before exploring some smart ways to run our companies, emphasising the value of having a good team by your side at all times. 

The one quote that really stuck with me was: “It’s better to have a hole in your floor, than an arsehole on your floor.”

We were then treated to a financial masterclass from Paul Glynn. To put it mildly, the guy is brilliant. He covered everything from ratio comparison and cost categories to client analysis and credit control processes – crucial information that helps to move a business forward. 

I loved the next speech from the one and only Eddie the Eagle. Not only is he a really nice guy, he’s probably one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever listened to. As soon as I was home, I put his film on! Eddie had loads of obstacles to overcome and so many people wanted him to fail (skiing was always seen as a rich man’s sport), but he realised his dream against the odds. It was empowering stuff. 

Siri Narasimham – a fellow Pirate – then did a Q&A session and gave us some great tips on pitching for large-scale project work (a key lesson for us, as it’s something we’ve never done). 

After lunch, Caleb Storkey talked about building the right mindset as business owners and looking at things differently – shifting the focus from profit to purpose, control to empowerment, privacy to transparency, and hierarchy to decentralised networks. It was all about interactivity and I was really bought into it. 

Nathalie Nahai closed the conference with her lecture on The Science Behind Online Persuasion. We heard about the power of subliminal messaging, getting your point across in the right way, and what you can do to give yourself a greater online presence – using the examples of Nike and McDonalds. Fascinating stuff. 

Summing up the summit

The two days were both fantastic, and after taking in a series of superb speeches, we hit the Nassau Beach Club for some wine, enjoyed the VIP treatment at Pacha nightclub, and chilled out with a BBQ at Gary’s villa until it was time for our flight home. 

We’d like to thank Gary, Dean, Trevor, Hannah Maddox and James Del-Gatto for being such great hosts and organising an amazing event. We’re already giddy about going again next year. 

With everything we heard over the weekend, I reckon we’ll have developed much further as a business by the time the 2019 conference rolls around.