The FIRM – a 2011 update
In December 2007 I created a Group on LinkedIn called The FIRM – The Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers, to allow a few in-house recruiters and recruitment managers who had already been ‘speaking’ with each other via email and Yahoo! IM for a week or two to collaborate with each other. Little did I know then how big and successful The FIRM would become and never imagined it would become so useful to many, myself included. Now three and half years later there are 3800 members in 49 countries. We have established ourselves as an online community that meets offline, whose members enjoy sharing experiences, asking for and offering help and learning plenty along the way.
Our Vision – today
Run by in-house recruiters for in-house recruiters The FIRM was founded as a LinkedIn Group in December 2007, it is a supportive and collaborative community of corporate recruitment professionals that provides both an online and offline hub for members to network, request help, share knowledge and give advice on all aspects of recruitment and talent management.
We aim to promote the values and professionalism of our members, as well as ensuring ethical integrity and best practice – raising the standard of service we provide to our internal customers and receive from external suppliers.
I can’t speak for every one of course but I have heard some great comments from other members who also get regular benefit from engaging and meeting with each other, each professionals doing very similar jobs. Personally I have learned plenty, thanks to the input and/or introductions made. It is always the first place I turn when I need help with an issue related to the recruitment life cycle, processes and policies. It is also the first port of call, as it is for many, when I need to hire someone.
Offline we having been holding events on a fairly regular basis. They started out in January 2009 as a simple breakfast and the morning networking meeting. That was all it was, a chance to chat with fellow in house recruiters, with a little presentation from our first sponsor, LinkedIn. There were 45 people at this first event, many of whom still attend regularly, some of who have become friends now. It was at this first event I realised it was too big for just me and where I met Emma Mirrington for the first time. The rest, as they say is history.
Based on the success of that event we ran more. At each event we’ve asked the attendees what they wanted to discuss or hear about at the next or future events, we’ve progressed in this manner ever since albeit with slight bigger conference style events. We have been very lucky and very grateful to have had the support of so many of the members of The FIRM who come along, many are repeat visitors.
Currently all of the events have been restricted to the UK, this is purely a logistical issue, however we have aspirations to repeat some of these events in other countries in the future. We have courted with ideas and invites already to do something in Australia, China, Singapore and UAE however the time to find sponsors as well as the critical mass of members to make it a success somewhat influences us. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome here please.
We have also benefited from the great support and help of our fabulous sponsors over the last 2 years, without whom we just would not have been able to hold any of the events at all. So a hearty thanks to LinkedIn, Matt Alder (Barkers when they existed), SHL, 33, Google, TotalJobs.com, TheNetwork.com, Avature as well as to CareerPlayer for the filming and editing of the videos in this blog. Further thanks go to Frances Lewis of Osborne Clark, Peter Gold of Hire Strategies and Mark Williams of ETN Training for generous time helping us with the webinars we have been able to put on for the members. And of course the generous contribution of all of the speakers we have been lucky enough to have spend time informing us, educating us and helping us.
In the last year both Emma and I have changed jobs, which has meant huge changes and adjustments for each of us. And because the day jobs must always take priority we haven’t had the time to deliver against some of the plans we’ve had, nor has it afforded us the time to organise some of the events we had wished so. We have ideas to address this now.
Also in the last 18 months Emma has moved house, gotten married, had a baby and still found the time to get stuff done. The FIRM just wouldn’t be The FIRM and the success it is without her. Put it this way; I talk a lot, Emma actually does a lot.
Thank you Emma. x
Going forward? Simple. We would like The FIRM to be what the members want it to be.