Supercharging the Yellow Cat team: our hiring journey

“We don’t know who you are. We don’t know if we’re the team for you. If you’re looking for £100k salary in your first month, I can tell you we don’t have that money; but what we do have is a very particular set of skills; skills we’ve acquired over a very long recruitment career; skills that could make us a dream company for people like you. If you don’t like our company name, our faces or would prefer to work at ***** go now and that’ll be the end of it. We will not look for you. We will not pursue you. But if you don’t…We will invite you for a 1st interview…We will show you our strategic deck…and, potentially, WE WILL HIRE YOU!.”

Growing our Yellow Cat team has proven to be quite challenging. Granted, not quite the same life threatening dilemma that faced Liam Neeson’s character in ‘Taken’ but a challenge nonetheless.

If you’re not familiar with Yellow Cat, we’re a small Creative, Production & Broadcast Recruitment team. Jonny — the MD started the company almost 12 years ago and Steph (Me) joined in August this year. Two are set to become 3 in the coming weeks and given our eventful recruitment journey, we wanted to share our story with the wider community .

Breakfast with Jonny and Steph

It’s important to explain at this stage, that although we’re small, we’re the mighty mouse of recruitment companies. In the short time I’ve been at Yellow Cat, we’ve continued to bring on new business, make and celebrate placements, identify a road map for the future of the company, implement a CRM system (thanks Bullhorn) and importantly, identified what we are, what we want to do and what we can offer. PHEW…That’s a lot!

Yellow Cat is now re-energised and ready to grow with people who are aligned to our vision, mission and business goals and so, the challenge was set. We needed to hire more people to grow and continue succeeding. This can be a lengthy and time consuming task but we knew that if we invested on all levels, we could find really amazing people.

WeWork — Yellow Cat HQ

Our Approach

It was very important to us that we find the right people to join the team. In our minds, we hoped we would secure 1 or 2 new candidates to join us prior to Christmas and the dawn of 2018 but we also didn’t want to rush. Being considerate and strategic was key and luckily Jonny had plenty of learnings from years of experience, plus the support and guidance of the Recruitment Network (a members body for recruitment companies). We agreed on some pointers:

  • We would be open to candidates that didn’t have specific recruitment experience
  • We also wouldn’t mind if a candidate had recruited in a different sector
  • We were happy to meet with candidates at all levels (grads through to senior recruiters)
  • The candidate would need to have a sense of humour 🙂
  • If the candidate made it to the 2nd interview stage, they would need to complete a task suited to their experience levels

LinkedIn, Hunted, Social Media

With endless avenues to test, our first port of call was to sign up to Hunted — “A career management app for recruitment professionals”. The great thing about this platform is that it’s super simple and takes the stress out of the whole situation, for both candidates and companies. With three clicks of our paws, we had a snazzy profile page and two job adverts, packed full of the golden nuggets we hoped would bag us our next top cat! All we had to do was cross our fingers and wait for the candidates to flood in. Since signing up at the end of August, we’ve met some some great candidates of varying experience levels, sectors and job criteria.

In conjunction with our Hunted presence, we took the ‘say it loud, say it proud’ approach — our adverts went up on our website, through our job boards and social channels and even worked their way into conversations with pals over Nandos.

By the end of September, we had met with 7 potential candidates and had excitedly made one candidate an offer. Although the candidate went onto join a much bigger company in a different sector, we had learnt loads, understood our needs more clearly and we refined our approach.

LinkedIn Recruiter is a magical tool that lent itself well to head hunting potential experienced candidates. We sent inbox messages, laced with cat puns to hopefully attract candidates to come and meet with us. This was tough and ultimately our audience wasn’t quick to respond. Recruitment is a candidate led market and they’re overwhelmed with promises of greener pastures and higher commission possibilities. Ultimately, our numbers needed to go up and fast! We approached October and we were no closer to finding the unicorn we so hoped to unearth.

Then we met you!

By October, we called in for support. With the help of rec to rec whizz kids Inspiring Interns and Rule Recruitment we were able to meet with more candidates and a lot of the leg work was being masterfully managed, allowing us to fit in the demands of the day job.

Joe, Ben, Jonny and the worlds cutest dog! — Inspiring Interns visit to Yellow Cat HQ

Shortly after we engaged these recruitment ninjas, we met a candidate that absolutely smashed both his first and second interviews. He approached the set task with ease, consideration and bundles of business acumen. We had been blessed with the unicorn we’d always dreamed of…but the road to Oz wasn’t going to be smooth. This candidate was being courted by a number of other, bigger and potentially shinier companies. We held firm and made an offer that was generous but 100% justified. We meant business and ultimately we knew we had something special to offer.

After what felt like a 100 years, we got the green light and all of a sudden, our Yellow Cat family went from 2 to 3. We’re so excited for our new team member to join us in December. We look forward to sharing more details on this very soon!

Overall, Yellow Cat has chatted and met with over 25 candidates. On reflection, although the process has been time consuming, we believe we’ve now found the best people for us, therefore making this a resounding success!

Featured photo credit: Tim Marshall Unsplash
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Contact US

Yellow Cat Recruitment Ltd.
WeWork, 22 Upper Ground,
London, SE1 9PD

020 7580 7333