Shaking Up Recruitment: Redstone Search Group

Redstone Search Group are an award-winning search firm with 3 brands and they are growing fast. They currently cover the global commodities, private banking, legal and risk management industries, all of which are fast-growing markets, showing little signs of slowing. Uniquely, Redstone Search Group, through their commodity recruitment and other brands give back through charity, more than many other businesses even contemplate.

TechRound had a chat with Jordan Lewis, Founder and Director of Redstone Search Group and the brains behind their operations and continued successes.

Recruitment can seem quite dry to many people but it’s so important; what makes using a recruiter so valuable over doing it yourself, say via LinkedIn?

People are any company’s most valuable commodity and managers need to ensure they hire not just the best candidate on paper, but candidates who also fit in with the values and goals of the company. For that you need extensive research, a relentless pulse on the market and plenty of time to manage it all. To do the job well its actually cheaper and more efficient to hire a headhunter.

Who do you predominantly work with?

Ambitious companies: those who are at the forefront of market disruption. Whether its mining companies pushing for carbon reduction or private banks improving transparency, there are a lot of exciting clients in our industries.

How did you start the company and what made you do it?

I saw a gap in the market for a dedicated agency who would combine the benefits of being niche industry specialists with the speed and accuracy clients crave.

I started the company with great advice and good intentions with the long term aim of having greater coverage than many of our competitors, I don’t mind admitting that I am extremely competitive which will always be a major driver for me. Charity is also a big motivator, I’m proud to say that since Redstone Search’s founding, we have given 10% of our net profits to charity.

What do you think will be the main challenges in recruitment in 2021?

Companies getting over the hurdle of meeting a candidate in person. We have already seen candidates go through an entire virtual interview process and then start their new role, even though they haven’t left their home office. The biggest challenge we face is integration and onboarding new starters. Ensuring there is the right personal fit is going to be very tough to judge for quite a while.

Covid-19 obviously changed the way we work and do things; what has it meant for recruitment?

There will be lots of positives; there will be more companies who will be happy to hire workers remotely, allow flexible office hours, conduct initial screening calls via zoom instead of a face-to-face meeting (which will speed up the process) and there is also a vast number of unemployed candidates (through no fault of their own) waiting for ambitious companies to hire them.

How have you managed to properly vet clients and candidates without physically meeting them?

Well, I have been active both in the direct and associated markets we operate in for over a decade and have the luxury of combining both a fantastic network of contacts (a mix of current clients and legacy candidates) with a detail-oriented approach to the market.

This is a modern world and there are a multitude of platforms where we can do some in depth research into individuals and company backgrounds. Whilst there will never be a better mechanism of sitting with someone and looking them in the eye whilst speaking with them, we do take advantage of the video conference tools available as well in-depth screening calls.

If all else fails (mostly on the candidate front) we are a licenced operator of the predictive index software which allows us to take a detailed snapshot of a person’s personality profile and asses (with unnerving accuracy) their main drivers in terms of needs, wants and expressed behaviours.

Meeting so many people,; clients and candidates so often can’t always go smoothly, right?

I once won a retainer by meeting my client in London, this was a South Korean company, I don’t speak Korean and the Client didn’t speak English. After ten minutes of smiling at each other over a drink (coffee of course!) A pigeon unfortunately confused me with a bathroom which turned out to be the one thing we could communicate over.

The client found it hilarious and we developed a hand signal way of communication. We developed a great working relationship, but this will live on in my memory as funny, weird but successful as well!

What makes Redstone so different to traditional recruiters?

We care. We care about the long-term relationships; we care about making introductions that will not only build our clients businesses, but will be a good fit for the candidates themselves. We admit our mistakes and we will be open an honest with clients and candidates. If we can’t help on a mandate, we will introduce our client to an agency that can.

How have you kept your staff, clients and candidates motivated and engaged with so much going on remotely?

The key factor to our motivation has been to have an optimistic outlook. We have hired four new consultants since June 2020 and have plans to add another ten. We launched a new brand, multiplied our advertising budgets and are really pushing for growth. It’s exciting.

This enthusiasm feeds into everything we do. Clients can hear it in our voices and candidates are excited to be represented by us. The agencies who took an aggressive approach to the financial crash in 2008 are those who have reaped the benefits in recent years.

There have been team activities over zoom, quizzes etc and plenty of zoom hangouts but nothing beats having a common purpose and goals to work towards. (with all the time saved from international travel, we are able to realign that time to client facing zooms.)

What does the future hold for recruitment?

Short term, it will be still be difficult with all the uncertainty. We are viewing it as time to leapfrog our competition

Medium to long term, many consultants will be lazy. Not willing to travel or to invest time in client relationships. For an agency like Redstone Search who focus on the personal touch this will lead to an ever-widening gap between us and our competition

How can we find you? or the virtual golf course!