Welcome to the Telling of Story Podcast. I’m your host, Storyteller Jewels, and along with my guests, it’s my endeavor to explore the art and science of storytelling, to attract, engage, and retain a business audience, and to unpack why it works for some, and not for the many that try. Listen in as Vanessa talks about human connection.

[00:00:28] Vanessa: And a lot of teachers end up in the recruitment industry. And the reason for that is that as a teacher, you’re dealing with 25 to 30 different little personalities in your classroom. And you’ve got to know how to adapt and make a human connection with all of them. And that’s what a good recruiter does.

[00:00:44] Vanessa: A good recruiter is actually a matchmaker. So they can find the perfect candidate to match with a perfect client.

[00:00:56] Jewels: In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking with Vanessa Raath. Vanessa is a globally renowned for her contributions to the international sourcing community. She has delivered keynotes across three continents and has trained teams based from Auckland to Seattle. Vanessa launched her talent sourcing training business in early 2019 as Not Look Back.

[00:01:17] Jewels: She’s a qualified teacher with experience in both agency recruiting and internal talent acquisition. She now gets to combine a love of empowering others to do better with a passion for recruiting through her own online academy. She loves it when her training delegates experience that light bulb moment as she knows that she has just changed someone’s career for the better.

[00:01:39] Jewels: When Vanessa is not doing research for a training, recording content, or delivering a keynote, you can find her at the beach, or in the South African bush, taking photographs. Vanessa, welcome to the show. 

[00:01:52] Vanessa: Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be here. I’ve been excited about this for a long time.

[00:01:56] Jewels: Vanessa, take me along the journey from scuba diving instructor, chairlift operator through to teacher and then talent sourcing. 

[00:02:06] Vanessa: That’s actually a story in itself and it’s an amazing story. I love the way that my life has followed this journey. So I grew up in Durban in South Africa, went to school there, had a fantastic childhood, went on to study teaching because that’s what I wanted to do.

[00:02:20] Vanessa: I come from a long line of teachers in the family, um, did my four years and then headed over to London like most South Africans and Antipodeans did. I met lots of Aussies out there and made some really good friends. And I taught in the UK for seven years. Well, I say that loosely, it was either teaching or crowd control, depending on what school I was at for the day.

[00:02:38] Vanessa: And that was amazing. I stayed there, got my British passport and then kind of got itchy feet. It wasn’t time to go home yet. It, you know, didn’t really want to stay in the UK. I didn’t love, it wasn’t even the weather. I just didn’t love the darkness. I love the people, but the darkness was too much. So I decided I’m going to Thailand for a year.

[00:02:55] Vanessa: So I shipped a whole lot of stuff back to South Africa. I went over to Thailand and took [00:03:00] my teaching experience and decided to try adult education and landed on an island called Koh Tao and I did a course on how to be a scuba diving instructor. Which was amazing, because that opened up so many more doors.

[00:03:13] Vanessa: I ended up traveling around Malaysia, Southeast Asia, teaching people how to scuba dive, diving some of the most amazing locations in the world. And then ended up a little bit closer to home. I ended up on Zanzibar Island in East Africa. That was also fantastic. Then got bent one too many times chasing divers to the surface and ended up on the land side.

[00:03:33] Vanessa: So it got involved in hospitality, you know, tourism, people coming to visit in Kenya and Tanzania. And then literally one morning, it was about 14 years after leaving home, I sat up and I thought, right, I’ve had enough. I’m, I’m going home now. So, you know, it was quite a different journey. During that time, I’d also spent a good six months backpacking around New Zealand and Australia that I loved.

[00:03:54] Vanessa: I’d worked in the U. S. operating a ski lift chair, much to my parents amazement and delight as [00:04:00] they just paid for my degree, and here I was traveling around the U. S. And then you’re kind of fed into the recruitment industry, which is where I’ve been for the last 17, 18 years. I’ve done agency recruitment, internal recruitment, and for the last five years I’ve been running my own business.

[00:04:15] Vanessa: So still very much true to my roots of being a teacher and training, but now I just train people in the recruitment space all over the world. So. Just to finish off that story, I’ve loved my life. It’s always been very people focused. All of my roles have been either, you know, teaching or, you know, just helping others, consulting.

[00:04:34] Vanessa: And one of the defining moments is that if you can read what a scuba diver’s gonna do at 30 meters below the sea, you have a very good understanding of people when they can’t communicate with you, and you literally can just look into their eyes. So, as I say, everything that I have done may not have been very conventional, but has got me to the point where I am now in my life at the ripe old age of 47.

[00:04:55] Jewels: So tell me a little bit about the recruiting aspect [00:05:00] and what aspects are you actually working with? Are you working with agencies to build their agencies or to internal recruitment or a bit of both? It 

[00:05:08] Vanessa: appears. So a bit of both, but I’m very much focused. I talk about recruitment because a lot of people don’t understand what the talent sourcing piece is, and the talent sourcing is actually finding the talent.

[00:05:19] Vanessa: So the recruitment is generally referred to as that full 360, where you’re bringing in the business, you’re dealing with the client, you’re taking the order, you’re taking the candidates, you’re You’re finding the candidates and you’re putting them through an interview process and you’re finding a new role.

[00:05:33] Vanessa: The talent sourcing piece, which is where I choose to focus is literally finding the talent. Because I realized when I was working internally for 10 years, that there was actually a problem that everyone was fishing in the same place. They were fishing in two incredibly small fishing ponds. So it was LinkedIn, which always came up and it was local job boards.

[00:05:54] Vanessa: And I just started thinking, we’ve now got this internet at our fingertips. It’s so powerful. There’s so many different [00:06:00] social platforms out there. Why aren’t we expanding where we are looking? And that’s literally the crux and the basis of the training that I deliver. 

[00:06:07] Jewels: And so is it effectively headhunting?

[00:06:09] Jewels: Are you looking for particular talent for the, to fill some of those roles? That maybe perhaps they’re not actually looking for a role, are they, you know, settled in a position? Is that the kind of roles you’re looking for or the kind of people? So 

[00:06:21] Vanessa: recruitment’s pretty much changed a lot since Covid. What has happened is that we’ve all become executive headhunters.

[00:06:27] Vanessa: You know, executive headhunting 15 years ago meant you went off to sea level positions. You were taking people outta jobs, you were putting them into new jobs. But now, because we’re sitting with such a global skills crisis, is that every role that you’re trying to fill, you generally are headhunting people.

[00:06:43] Vanessa: So you’re going after a market that we refer to in the industry as passive talent. So there’s a lot of people out there working in jobs. They’re pretty happy in the jobs they’re working in. But now you need to persuade them to move on from that job and to move to a job that you’re trying to recruit for.

[00:06:59] Vanessa: So. [00:07:00] Recruitment’s actually got a lot more difficult because now you’re selling on both sides. You know, you’re selling to the candidate, you’re selling to the clients, so it really is a dynamic, quick changing industry. 

[00:07:10] Jewels: So tell me a little bit about that persuasion process, because people that are listening to this are often either looking for talent themselves, but they’re also trying, they’re looking for clients at the same time.

[00:07:21] Jewels: So, you know, one sort of generally comes with the other, but there’s a common thread where there is a persuasion. required on both fronts where you’re trying to obviously bring good people in and great talent to build a great culture, to build a great business, to continue to grow, but you’re also trying to persuade clients to come and spend money with you and stay with you for as long as possible.

[00:07:42] Jewels: Tell me a little bit about the persuasion techniques that you might have to resort to to get people to even, you know, initially pay attention and say, yes, you know, I’d happily have a chat 

[00:07:54] Vanessa: about that. It’s a really interesting question and I’ll go back to my initial story of starting out as a teacher and [00:08:00] a lot of teachers end up in the recruitment industry and the reason for that is that as a teacher you’re dealing with 25 to 30 different little personalities in your classroom and you’ve got to know how to adapt and make a human connection with all of them and that’s what a good recruiter does.

[00:08:15] Vanessa: A good recruiter is actually a matchmaker. So they can find the perfect candidate to match with a perfect client. And I’m not saying that either of them are perfect, but they’re perfect for each other. And that for me is the skill that you look for in a recruiter as someone who can read the role, read the existing team and know which personality is going to fit.

[00:08:35] Vanessa: directly into that team. So the precision piece actually comes in. It makes it a lot easier when you have that good match because the person who’s going through the interview process realizes, Hey, I like these people. They’re my kind of people. I like the work so it’s an easier sell. And the clients on the other hand thinks, Oh, wow, Vanessa’s done a really great job here.

[00:08:55] Vanessa: She’s found someone who fits into the team dynamic beautifully. We definitely going to take [00:09:00] this person on board. And that’s why we can throw the spin of what’s, you know, recently coming into play and what everyone’s talking about is AR. AR can’t match yet. It thinks it can, but it can’t. It doesn’t have the people skills yet to match the two humans, you know, the candidates with the existing team.

[00:09:18] Vanessa: And that’s why I think recruiters don’t have to panic just yet about their jobs being taken over by a robot. 

[00:09:23] Jewels: So I’m curious, what’s more important in the case of skillset versus the personality fit? I 

[00:09:30] Vanessa: think that’s a very subjective question because it also depends on which level of the person’s career that you’re looking at.

[00:09:36] Vanessa: I mean, if you’re taking in a graduate, sure they need to have the right degree, but you want to take on someone who’s got good energy, who’s positive, who’s a pleasure to be around because that’s more important at that stage of their career. For me, I would much rather, and this is something I’ve followed by my whole life, is, you know, hire for attitude and train the skill, because I think someone’s attitude actually carries them much further in life, and I’d rather work with happy [00:10:00] and positive individuals.

[00:10:01] Vanessa: But if you’ve got someone, and it’s a really scarce skill, and it’s a hard to find software engineer, and they’re grumpy, you’re just going to have to deal with that and know that. From the outset and maybe just let them work from home. Maybe they’re not a team player, so it all depends on, you know, what is the most important for the business at that point and that stage?

[00:10:21] Jewels: It’s interesting because I have a similar attitude when it comes to looking for clients and actually engaging with clients. So there’s particular traits that I look for that obviously they have a, you know, perhaps a skill shortage in something that I’m trying to, to work with them on. But to me, what’s actually more important is the attitude that comes out.

[00:10:40] Jewels: To me, it’s about, you know, I want to work with good people. I want to work with people who are a joy to be around. I want to work with people who are interesting and open and listeners and all of those good things. That way, the interaction is actually more of a partnership. Rather than me sort of forcing somebody to do something perhaps [00:11:00] against their will at times.

[00:11:01] Jewels: So it’s really, to me, the match at a client level is much more about the personality mix than it is about, you know, where they are in their business and, you know, what skill shortage they might have that I might need to fill in. 

[00:11:14] Vanessa: Absolutely. And that speaks to the matching piece because you’re not just matching personalities, you’re matching, uh, you know, values, uh, characteristics, you know, do they identify with the brand that they’re going to be working for?

[00:11:25] Vanessa: Do they believe in the products and the services that are being delivered? It’s actually a much bigger piece than whether the person can just do the job or not. It’s about, you know, how well are they going to do the job? Because, you know, what job these days is literally an eight or five, you close your laptop, you know, you go home, but you’ve got all of these apps on your phone that actually allow you to keep working 24 hours.

[00:11:46] Vanessa: So you need to find the right person for the demands of the role. I want 

[00:11:51] Jewels: to switch tact just a little bit now. I, in my research, looking at Vanessa Rath and seeing, you know, what she’s done and where she’s come [00:12:00] from, I couldn’t help but notice that you’re a quite prolific storyteller, that you spend a lot of time, you know, on interviews like this one.

[00:12:07] Jewels: You’ve done quite a few podcasts and radio interviews. You’re also a blogger. Your social media content is full of video and stories and bits and pieces on your own. Is that something that’s quite natural for you? Or is that something that you’ve had to work on? Because I’ve also noticed that you’ve amassed, you know, something around 40, 000 followers across the various social channels.

[00:12:29] Jewels: Is that something that you’ve done purposefully? And was it a natural thing for you? 

[00:12:34] Vanessa: Another really good question. So I’ll be honest with you. I hate Sales. I hate salesy people. I hate doing business development. I hate cold calling. So I figured out if I don’t want to do those things, I need to have a brand.

[00:12:46] Vanessa: And I have worked exceptionally hard since I’ve got back, since I’ve been working in corporates, probably about a good 17 years now to build a brand. And to establish myself as the go to person in the talent sourcing space. [00:13:00] And that for me was far easier than having to worry about where’s my next client coming from.

[00:13:05] Vanessa: That’s why when someone reaches out to me and says, would you like to be on our podcast? The answer is always yes, because this is part of my marketing strategy. And I love it. I love meeting people all over the world. I just want to touch on your first piece of what you asked there about the storytelling.

[00:13:18] Vanessa: And, um, I grew up in a beautiful family and every night before we went to bed, there was always a story. So my folks would sit and read a story that absolutely instilled the love of reading in me. I’m a prolific reader. I’m not so great at reading business books. I’m not going to lie, but I love reading, you know, nonfiction books.

[00:13:36] Vanessa: I just think it’s amazing. I’m always engrossed in a different type of story. My Kindle’s always with me. And that leads into my childhood of growing up in Africa. And there are so many stories in Africa that have been passed down from generation to generation because we had a group of people that didn’t have the ability to write.

[00:13:55] Vanessa: So it comes from like paintings and caves in South Africa that go back [00:14:00]centuries. And that has always fascinated me because we’ve got great stories and Africa is built on a culture and a traditional storytelling. And I think that storytelling is so powerful and so important that we share it with others.

[00:14:13] Vanessa: I mean, I always share my story of, you know, living in London and then scuba diving because your life story is going to change. And the more I can share my story with others, they realize that, wow, you can change and pivot at any time. 

[00:14:25] Jewels: What I love about storytelling in the personal sense as well is that it’s actually your story.

[00:14:30] Jewels: It’s unique to you. Nobody else can tell that story, right? It might sound similar in some aspects, you know, some people follow similar journeys, but they’re never going to be exactly the same and the nuances and the little backstories that you have are always going to be personal to you. So nobody, you’re completely unique.

[00:14:48] Jewels: Whereas I don’t know how many recruitment agents there are out there. There must be tens of thousands, right? You 

[00:14:54] Vanessa: have a very low barrier to entry in this industry. 

[00:14:57] Jewels: There’s a lot, there’s a lot, right? And so they all [00:15:00] start to sound the same if they’re just talking about recruitment. So how do you then personally stand out in that space?

[00:15:06] Jewels: What are some of the techniques I’ve, you know, I’ve seen some personally, but share with the audience what you do to stand out. Well, one 

[00:15:12] Vanessa: of the two things that I always, you know, have promised myself is I always want to be true to myself. I know that I’m very different. I am actually a chronic, I don’t want to say sufferer, but it’s a superpower of mine that I suffer from ADHD, which I refer to as ADD in high definition.

[00:15:27] Vanessa: And that does make me pretty unique. You know, I’ve had to really focus on getting filters before, you know, my brain engages before something comes out of my mouth. And I know that I am quite different and I’ve actually embraced that and I’m quite happy with it. So when it comes to standing out is that for me, two things, two words always spring to mind, and that has been genuine and being authentic, and they’re both very similar.

[00:15:50] Vanessa: And that is what I strive to do. And I kind of also got my head around life is that. Not everyone’s going to love you and want to spend time with you or want to [00:16:00] work with you. And I’m fine with that because the majority of people do want to spend time with me and do want to work with me. So again, this comes down to the matching piece.

[00:16:08] Vanessa: I like what you said about being able to pick and choose your clients. I do exactly the same thing. If I don’t like, you know, reputation that they have or something that they’re doing in the industry, I choose to step away, you know, from that particular piece of work. So I think what is going on with a lot of recruitment agencies is that they’re very.

[00:16:25] Vanessa: Generic, you know, what is their purpose? And no one actually, you know, at the age of five runs around and tells their parents, I want to be a recruiter. I want to help people find jobs when everyone wants to be a fireman or a teacher or a nurse or something like that. No one studies recruiting. There’s no degree in the world that trains you to be a recruiter.

[00:16:42] Vanessa: So you literally fall into a profession because of your love for people. They can very quickly fade because you realize people can be quite flaky and are quite difficult to work with. So you really have to be, have a lot of tenacity in order to stay in this industry. And I think for me, being genuine and authentic to myself and [00:17:00] to other people has helped me to stand the test of time in what is a very difficult 

[00:17:04] Jewels: industry.

[00:17:05] Jewels: You mentioned that you don’t like sales and this is a common trait that I find amongst Practitioners, people that are very good at what they do and they love, absolutely love what they do, but they’re not necessarily natural salespeople. And so it’s always somewhat of a chore to do sales in itself. And I love the fact that you’ve chosen to build a brand around that.

[00:17:25] Jewels: Cause that’s, you know, a lot about what this particular podcast is about is storytelling around the business in order to build the brand. Can you share with us what? impact, you know, these various means that you’ve chosen to do. So either podcasting, you also do some, you know, some speaking on stage as well.

[00:17:42] Jewels: Tell me a little bit about that and what sort of impact that has on your ability to sell, and then obviously grow your business. Awesome. 

[00:17:48] Vanessa: So I actually launched my business pretty much six or seven months before COVID hit. So I’ve stepped away from a massive salary and a corporate job. I was very comfortable.

[00:17:59] Vanessa: I’ve been there for 10 [00:18:00] years. They were like, you know, the work family and when COVID hit, I sat back and I thought, what have I done here? You know, the whole world is locked down, you know, have I made the right decision? And it was probably the best thing that I, COVID was probably the best thing could have happened to, to my business.

[00:18:15] Vanessa: Having a brand and being able to be online when everyone was now forced online really just accelerated my career, my business, because what happened was is that conference organizers were still running conferences. It took a bit of a while to settle, a couple of months, but I started speaking at events literally once a week, sometimes twice a week during COVID.

[00:18:34] Vanessa: So my exposure was huge. People all over the world were getting to know who’s Vanessa Roth. She speaks a lot. She delivers talent sourcing training. We want to get to know her. And my LinkedIn profile was decent before then, my network, but it absolutely accelerated during COVID. So it’s actually allowed me to be invited to speak at these different events.

[00:18:55] Vanessa: And like last year, for example, was, was a lot. I mean, I was in the UK in June, I was in Sydney in [00:19:00] August, and I was in Seattle in October. I fly out next month to present in a conference in Amsterdam, and I wouldn’t have all of these opportunities if I hadn’t worked so hard to build a brand. And I didn’t, you know, have a following of people and I didn’t give back.

[00:19:13] Vanessa: I think a lot of people think that it’s, you know, all of these presentations that we do being a guest on a podcast, they probably think I’m raking in, you know, loads of dollars because I’m doing all these things. They don’t realize. Actually, 95 percent of the speaking engagements I do for free because I treat it as my marketing and an opportunity to meet people all over the world.

[00:19:32] Vanessa: So not, I mean, it’s, it’s combined with, don’t get me wrong. I love the travel. I love meeting people, especially people that I’ve worked with over zoom calls and meeting them in 3D is exciting, but just giving back. I think that’s a big part of it is giving back to the industry has really helped to boost my standing in the global talent sourcing space.

[00:19:52] Jewels: Are you able to quantify that effect? So over those years, do you think it’s, you know, contributed to half your [00:20:00] business, more than half, less than halfway, where do you sort of put all your brand activity as far as influencing ultimately the revenue that you’ve made? So me 

[00:20:09] Vanessa: sharing online, embracing new technologies.

[00:20:12] Vanessa: I mean, I’ve just taken to tick tock, which was a bit of a shock to the system. I now have a YouTube channel and taking advantage of all of these platforms. I’m actually going to go out on a limb and say it’s a hundred percent because I’ve run my own business now I’m in my fifth year and I’ve never had to go and sell business cold call, phone someone, tell them about my online training academy, everything that’s.

[00:20:34] Vanessa: I end up doing and training people is all inbound. And for that, I’m eternally grateful. I’m very blessed, but I know that it’s down to, you know, what I’ve created online and keeping people updated of what I’m doing and the training that I’m delivering. So I’m a massive advocate of building an online brand.

[00:20:51] Vanessa: I really, and truly am. 

[00:20:52] Jewels: So for those practitioners out there listening and going, you know, this is something I’ve needed to do. I should be doing, [00:21:00] I’m scared to do it. You know, there’s a lot of fear around, you know, getting out there and putting yourself out there. What advice would you give somebody like that?

[00:21:09] Jewels: That’s perhaps at ground zero where they’ve got no following. They’re a few people on LinkedIn that connected to, where would you start? What’s some techniques, what’s some tips that you might give somebody like that? So 

[00:21:19] Vanessa: this is definitely something that I cover in my training and my academy. But the one thing that comes and springs to mind is what you said earlier, is that your story is unique.

[00:21:30] Vanessa: So a lot of people don’t want to put themselves out there. They don’t want to post on these platforms, whatever platform it might be, because they’re scared of the repercussions. So it’s what are people going to say? How are they going to react? What if someone says something negative in a public platform?

[00:21:44] Vanessa: But if you’re telling your story, Then who can actually argue with that because it’s your story. So I always say to people, don’t go and post on LinkedIn as recruiters. Don’t go and post, you know, job adverts. Leave that up to your company to do. Talk about what you’re looking for. [00:22:00]So you’re looking for a project manager.

[00:22:02] Vanessa: Don’t post that, the job spec and the role. Talk about project management. Talk about it as a discipline. Talk about, you know, what are the latest qualifications. Stand out as the go to recruiter in the project management space. So if you’re talking about your experiences, like I interviewed a really great project manager.

[00:22:18] Vanessa: He stood out because I’ve just learned about this in the project management space. It’s a very different story that you’re telling as opposed to just acting like a job board and just posting job after job. So my advice is. Start getting a little bit more active on the socials. Like LinkedIn is a great place to be, except if you are doing technical recruiting and looking for developers, then I would say it’s maybe not the best place to build a brand or persona, but all of you finance marketing recruiters out there, your people are there.

[00:22:47] Vanessa: They just don’t know that you exist because you’re not posting. So I always encourage people to post, you know, start off once a week for a month. Then push that to twice a week for a month. Then look at three times a week for the [00:23:00] month. I don’t post more than three times a week on LinkedIn because keeping up with the comments and making sure that I go and comment because I’m working the LinkedIn algorithm and I’m trying to push my post.

[00:23:09] Vanessa: Is, you know, it’s a lot of work, and at the same time I’m also delivering live training, I’m speaking at conferences, so I can’t always be online. But it’s about taking that leap of faith. But tell your own story, because no one can dispute your 

[00:23:22] Jewels: experiences. That’s fabulous advice. I similarly tell people to do that, where they don’t necessarily talk technical.

[00:23:30] Jewels: They don’t have to overwhelm themselves. And the good thing about starting out is that, more than likely, nobody’s listening at the beginning anyway. So even the stuff that you’re putting out, especially in the early days, even if it’s a little bit rough around the edges, it doesn’t matter. You know, you and your partner and your mum might watch it and that’s about it.

[00:23:49] Jewels: Like nobody else is really listening at first. So you get time to practice, but you must also spend time in that practice. So it does take a bit of energy. Commit to something that [00:24:00]you’re willing to, to stick to. So as you say, you know, start off pretty light. So that you can get into it, you know, form it as a bit of a habit, put it in your diary, get it done.

[00:24:11] Jewels: But the other side of it that I often talk about is you don’t have to think about something that’s brand new every time. My advice is to actually document your day to day, right? So you and I as, you know, practitioners are always having conversations with people and clients and friends and family. And in that, there’s little snippets.

[00:24:31] Jewels: There’s tiny little stories within those interactions. And you might say something in a client setting that you go, you know what, if I just take that, you know, that few sentences of that conversation and Document that, write that out. That becomes a little bit of a, a social post. So you don’t have to reinvent, you don’t have to invent every day.

[00:24:51] Jewels: Just document as you go and you’ll find that you’ve actually got a lot to say. You just need to capture it. You just need to find that time to capture it. So, you know, thinking [00:25:00] across your day that’s just been, document some of that out and then post it somewhere. 

[00:25:05] Vanessa: And you know what? I’ve got two things to say to that.

[00:25:07] Vanessa: Take it old school. I literally have pen and paper on my desk and when I have an interaction with someone and I think, wow, okay, this is a great LinkedIn post. I need to talk about this. I’ll go and write it down. So when I sit down in the morning and I need to get my post out, it’s not like, what am I going to say?

[00:25:22] Vanessa: What am I going to do? It’s like, okay, let me look at my list. How can I turn this into a post? So that’s the first thing. And the second thing is, is that A lot of people don’t realize the value that they actually have to give. A lot of people think, Oh, I’m just a recruiter or I’m just a marketing assistant.

[00:25:38] Vanessa: And I think that because we’re so engrossed in what we do day to day, week in, week out, we don’t know the unique insights that we actually get in on businesses. So people need to realize is that because it sounds normal and natural to you, a lot of people might not know it. So a lot of recruiters actually start out building a brand on these platforms by giving interview advice, giving CV writing [00:26:00] tips, because we see the mistakes every day.

[00:26:03] Vanessa: So how can we help people to improve? And that’s a great starting point for anyone. I 

[00:26:07] Jewels: always refer to the mundane for some is interesting for others, you know, you only have to look online and, and look at cooking. Segments, you know, watching somebody cut vegetables for the chef. Is it, you know, something that they do eight hours a day and is boring as bad, but for others, it’s fascinating, right?

[00:26:27] Jewels: Watching somebody in the skill that they use and the, you know, the precision that they’re able to cut those Julian carrots in and it’s worthy of content. So what you think might be mundane in your life could actually be quite interesting for somebody else too. A hundred 

[00:26:42] Vanessa: percent. I mean, look at the Master Chef series.

[00:26:44] Vanessa: Yeah. I mean, a global success of something which people have to do every day because we have to eat. Yeah. I mean, a lot of people’s worst part of their day is thinking about, what am I gonna make supper? How am I gonna make supper? When am I gonna do this? Yet it’s. You know, those kind of cooking shows and [00:27:00] competitions have just kind of taken over.

[00:27:02] Jewels: Crazy. Changing tack a little bit again, when working with talent and then taking them through the journey and then getting them in front of their potential new employers, what advice do you give to somebody who’s going into an interview? Is there a process about, you know, how to stand out in an interview process?

[00:27:21] Jewels: Because once again, You know, you could sound exactly like the last five people that they’ve just interviewed. What’s some advice for somebody who would be going into that? And how do I stand out, you know, in a crowded market? 

[00:27:32] Vanessa: So I think that it’s important to do that within the interview, but the interview is only an hour for me.

[00:27:38] Vanessa: I always encourage people to get their branding right because I’m, I would really hope that the person that’s interviewing them is going to Google them before they actually meet them. So it’s always about, you know, how do you look online? You know, you might consider Facebook as your first, your personal platform and no one’s going to look there, but they do.

[00:27:54] Vanessa: But in the actual interview itself. I always have gone with this policy my whole life is that honesty is the [00:28:00] best policy. So I never big up a candidate more than what they can actually do. I always say to tell the candidates, be honest, don’t lie about a skill if they ask you, because they’re going to dig deeper and ask questions, you know, and when you do answer, it’s not just answer with a yes or no.

[00:28:15] Vanessa: Again, the power of storytelling. So. Answer yes or no, and then give a situation of where that has happened in your career, in your previous role. So, standing out in an interview, you know, besides the basics of looking good, arriving on time, nice handshake, look people in the eye, be yourself. A lot of the rest is, you know, what you’re saying.

[00:28:36] Vanessa: And that definitely comes down to what you are willing to share, your experiences, but there’s so much more about it, which is the holistic view of the individual and kind of how they carry themselves, how they talk about themselves and the pride that they have in the work that they’ve done 

[00:28:51] Jewels: previously.

[00:28:53] Jewels: And so I know you get some inspiration by things like the sunrise because I know you’re a big walker on the beach when you can get there [00:29:00] and perhaps the the bush and the photography and things like that. Where do you find your inspiration? I know I saw a clip there too, where you said you’ve got a massive big beanbag in the corner of it.

[00:29:11] Jewels: An office, I’m not sure if that’s your current one or an older one, but it’s your thinking chair. I think you called it. And so where do you find your inspiration and where do your stories come 

[00:29:20] Vanessa: from? So I think I’m inherently a very positive person. I like to have good energy. I’m not down for long. If anything kind of doesn’t go right.

[00:29:28] Vanessa: And I definitely draw that energy and that inspiration from being outdoors and being in nature. So, the beanbag that you referred to is we’re currently in the process of moving home, we’re moving down to the coast, we’re getting out of the city. My husband and I are both, you know, have the ability in our careers to work remotely.

[00:29:44] Vanessa: And the reason why we’re doing that is that it allows us to have those morning walks on the beach and to spend more time in nature and to have a bigger garden and And those kind of things and that is definitely where I draw my energy. So the two things i’ve actually already got in my new office when we [00:30:00] move is that bean bag Which we actually were staying in cake town beginning of the year and we were in an airbnb Rental and they had a bean bag and I was drawn to this like a magnet and I spent so much time in the bean Bag on the bean bag reading, you know doing whatever I could do.

[00:30:14] Vanessa: It was just such a comfortable space So that’s why I bought the bean bag and the other thing that i’ve Bought, invested in is one of those electric desks that go up and down because whenever I’m presenting at a conference or I’m delivering training, I’m standing and that’s several times a day. And it’s one of the things that if you have a look here, I have a standing desk, which is, it’s doesn’t move by itself and I’ve gotta physically move my laptop and my monitor and I thought, no, I’m actually going to get a button that I can push.

[00:30:41] Vanessa: And the desk goes up and down and just those two things just make my workspace such a happy, good energy, good valve. Positive space. I can’t wait to get back to that house and keep working from that office. So maybe I’m going to take the plunge and launch that podcast myself. Who knows? 

[00:30:56] Jewels: Absolutely. You should, but be warned.

[00:30:58] Jewels: There’s a favor to work [00:31:00] behind it. So 

[00:31:02] Vanessa: absolutely. No, thanks. I’m learning from the best and thank you for, you know, your experience of being a guest on this podcast. It was super easy and streamlined and an absolute pleasure. 

[00:31:11] Jewels: Oh, thank you so much. Just as to sort of wrap up, what advice would you give somebody who’s perhaps looking for just a new direction and want to get their story out and perhaps are a little bit intimidated by public speaking?

[00:31:26] Jewels: What are some simple steps, not just the online stuff, but what are some simple steps to actually start building a brand? What are some of the pitfalls and things that they might have to think about along the way? So 

[00:31:36] Vanessa: a couple of steps I think around the brand is you’ve got to figure out what makes you unique.

[00:31:41] Vanessa: Because I mean, if I look at the industry, there’s loads of recruiters out there. What is your story? What makes you unique? And you actually need to be able to like bottle that and to keep referring back to it. You know, it’s almost like you’re, why, why do you want to do what you’re doing? Why do you want to take that leap of faith?

[00:31:58] Vanessa: Why do you want to do your [00:32:00] own thing? So that’s the first thing that I, that I would look at. And then a good piece of business advice that I was given when I went out on my own five years ago, being a solopreneur is go for 60 and 60. And that is 60 coffee conversations in 60 days. Now, I didn’t do it exactly in that format, but what I did was when I, before I launched my own business, I chatted to a lot of people.

[00:32:22] Vanessa: So I met people in the industry. I met people who’d been candidates. I met people who were clients, because you can’t always find your uniqueness. You can’t always define your brand, but having a coffee with someone that can be a virtual coffee over a zoom call, 30 minutes. is chat to them about your services that you provided for them.

[00:32:39] Vanessa: What stood out? What was different? Because we don’t always know what our competitors are doing. So, that will help you to define your brand, define your uniqueness, and then you know exactly what is it that you’re taking to market. So, as many coffee days as you can with people, um, online is going to be a lot easier, and that will actually help you to define your purpose.[00:33:00]

[00:33:00] Vanessa: And then the last thing is find your niche. So instead of me launching my own business as a recruiter trainer, which there’s lots of in the world, I went with a talent sourcing trainer, because you can’t recruit if you don’t have the talent. And that for me was the uniqueness, the niche that I found that was.

[00:33:16] Vanessa: Definitely needed in that space. So you’ve gotta find what is the gap? What are you trying to improve, and then run with it. 

[00:33:23] Jewels: Vanessa, that’s fabulous advice. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our conversation on, I absolutely loved your energy And your, what’d you say? A D. D. D. D in H. High definition. hd. in in high definition.

[00:33:35] Jewels: A ad in high definition. In high definition. Absolutely fabulous. Loved it. Where can the listener find out a little bit more about you? 

[00:33:43] Vanessa: Okay, that would be amazing. I’m really happy to connect with anyone on LinkedIn. I’m pretty much on every social platform that is out there. The handle that I use a lot is at van underscore Roth, but wherever.

[00:33:54] Vanessa: My website is www. vanessaroth. com. If you want to do some free training [00:34:00] in my academy, go to academy. vanessaroth. com. And if you sign up there, there’s a couple of free courses I’ve put online. But yeah, anyway, whichever platform you’re comfortable with. And thanks for having me as a guest. It’s been a really great conversation.

[00:34:13] Vanessa: I’ve really enjoyed it. I love the storytelling piece and I’ll definitely be telling other people about this because I think you’re onto something amazing. 

[00:34:21] Jewels: Thank you so much, Vanessa. And all of that information will be in the show notes. So for anybody looking out, I suggest you look her up because she does have quite a lot of content, which is all fabulous and go for a read.

[00:34:32] Jewels: You will learn something new for sure. Thank you so much for being 

[00:34:36] Vanessa: on the show. Thank you so much. I hope that our paths cross again in the future. 

[00:34:40] Jewels: Absolutely. Cheers. Cheers.

[00:34:45] Jewels: An energetic conversation with Vanessa. Many things learnt. Being able to identify and read a personality is a skill enabling a good conversation and interaction. And building a personal brand helps [00:35:00] attract the clients you want to work with. Much love. Chat soon.

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