Bruce Trewhella: "All under the guise of how can we improve the business side of talent."

December 18th, 2016
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“All under the guise of how can we improve the business side of talent.”
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I’m walking through the winding corridors of the castle with Bruce. We’re aimlessly wondering around, with no real purpose but to chat and explore the many hidden passages and spiraling staircases of this place we’re calling home for the next week. It’s the easiest thing in the world to talk to Bruce with his lilting Australian accent and easy wit. He’s not a recruiter, just lives in the world of recruitment, and so he brings with him an incredibly fresh perspective.

Congratulations by the way, you just got married right?

Yes, thank you. Just married and already left her to come here.

You should have brought her along, she could have hung out with the other wives. 

I actually only found out about this three weeks ago.

No way!

Yeah I know. I was at a summer party, met Jo Murphy, she asked if I wanted to be a part of it and I was like ‘yeah absolutely’, thinking in the back of my mind, this will never happen. Come Monday morning, Jo calls and asks me if I’m still up for it. Talked to Chris on the Tuesday. I was instantly sold, and signed up on Wednesday.

That’s insane. 

I know. Said yes to the show, took two weeks off for my wedding and now I’m in a castle in France with all you guys.

Talk about the power of The Movement.

Tell me about it.

What are your first impressions?

There’s a really exciting vibe. As a concept, it’s so impressive, as is the production quality. As the shows have gone on, they’ve gotten so much more exciting.

We only arrived yesterday, but who are you excited about so far?

I haven’t seen as much of the American candidates yet, but I think the person going into the next round is the obvious person for me, and that’s Stefanie.

She is very impressive.

She’s got a great idea and is vastly different to anything I’ve seen out in the market. Her idea brings together so many of the grass roots ideas out there from social sourcing, to video interviewing etc. She’s really bringing it all together in a single platform.

Which could be the next evolution of recruitment CRM.

Could the next evolution of recruitment really come out of this week?

Why not! Just think about the people we’ve got here. There’s industry leaders, leaders in tech and leaders in the venture capital space. You’ve got a great group of minds here and if you were to pick a group of people to come together and make the next CRM, you’d probably pick a group of people just like this.

What’s your recruitment story?

Well I’m a chartered accountant by trade. I’ve learnt to love recruitment over time.

That’s very diplomatic.

Haha, I’ve never been a recruiter so I can’t really say much about it. I was working as a chartered accountant for a corporate company and at one point I interviewed with a recruitment firm to go in and be the guy that does accountancy and finance recruitment. In the end I decided to move to London instead.

Good choice. 

Yeah definitely. I fell into a software company in a mergers and accusation capacity and the business deals a lot with recruitment businesses, so that’s my relation to recruitment.

That gives you a really interesting perspective on the industry.

I think the industry is ready for change. It’s a little bit behind other industries, but ultimately it’s still done the same way as it was done five years ago. There is a huge opportunity in this space, especially with software, to change how things are done.

How do you think Top Recruiter is contributing to that?

I think what’s great is that it’s bringing together leaders not just from the UK, but the states as well. I’ve been chatting to Bryan Moll who’s so passionate. Torin Ellis is incredible. And then Randy Moore who has a phenomenal business. It’s really opened my eyes as to what other people are doing out there.

Then you meet people on the job board side like Keith Potts and Jerona Noonan. Fascinating brains just coming together, all under the guise of how can we improve the business side of talent.

You’re Australian, so in the battle between Europe and North America, where do you stand?

With Europe obviously. My wife is from London, I have to.

As someone who sits on the finance side of things, there’s generally a discord between finance departments and your everyday recruiter. 

Yes absolutely. But as a finance guy, I don’t hate recruiters. I mean yes, they can be pushy etc, but they bring you some really smart people to talk to and work with. It’s a double edged sword, you just need to find the good ones.

What do you think you’re going to take away from this?

Other than a whole heap of new friends, my eyes have been open to the art of the possible. Who’s doing what, and keeping your eyes open, so you can learn and take your own businesses to the next step.

What does The Movement mean to you?

I like to think that this is the groundswell of The Movement that is really focusing on improving the business side of talent. This might be the first step, and maybe Top Recruiter season five is what inspires others to launch on.

Who, out of everyone here, has really impressed you?

You mean other than you?

This is why I love you… 

Chris LaVoie is a super impressive guy. He’s not only one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, but he’s a brain. Amy Golding is incredibly impressive. She’s pulled together an incredible business, and such great courage. Throughout all the conversations we’ve had, Amy has nailed it every time. Bryan Moll is so impressive as well, and incredibly talented.

What’s really nice is that Amy, Bryan and yourself, you’re all the younger generation that are coming up. You’re the future of this whole industry. 

Exactly! The older guys like Jack and Randy are incredible too. You learn so much from them. Randy’s business blows my mind. That’s the kind of stuff that will come out in the next wave of recruitment software that will change the industry.

What has been your highlight so far?

The highlight I’d like recorded, or the real highlight?

Haha, only the real stuff here please.

Jon Dweck was being interviewed today in one of the run-and-gun shoots. We were watching through a window, and at one point he put his hands in his pocket but his fly was undone. I just really hope they were shooting from the neck up.

Let me just recap here for a second.. Jon Dweck’s fly was undone and you were watching through a window having a great time…?

Yes……but let’s not make it sound weird.

 

We laugh and continue searching for secret passages through the castle, the conversation easily flitting between business and pleasure. It strikes me how strange it is to be getting along so well with someone I’ve just met. I suppose hanging out in a castle in the middle of France will do that.

Would you like to work in recruitment in London?