Hello world! History of The FIRM

Ok where do I start? Let’s start with a bit of a potted history of The FIRM and what has happened over the last 18 months – wow is it that long?  I am in a corporate recruiter, love my job – one of the most satisfying and enjoyable I have had; could be the company, could be the people I work with – has to be a combination of these and the challenges faced each week. 

In Dec 2007 I was trying to get some advice about something and felt that those I usually relied on internally had a limited perspective.  Nothing wrong with that, pretty natural!  So I did a little search on LinkedIn for other corporate recruiters working in the Thames Valley – areas of UK running west of London and reached out to them.  Having provided me with the advice I sought initially it grew to a small network of recruiters – 20 or so over the space of couple of months.  LinkedIn let me create a Group and I called it The Forum for In-house Recruitment Manager or The FIRM for short.  Snappier!

We seemed to be communicating freely by email, phone and IM.  Thoughts of meeting up were discussed. Never happened coz I had to work in Dubai for a while.  Now this was intense for 4.5 weeks I was on my own in a strange office with people I had never met having to recruit in a market that I had zero experience of.  What impressed me about the guys in Dubai was (and still is) their work ethic.  12 hour days are normal.  It might come from being scared to leave the cool air conditioning and venture outside into 40 degree heat!  It was infectious though.  I worked hard and didn’t really have time to pay attention to The FIRM.  So when I got back to UK in April 2008 I was surprised to find over 300 applications waiting to join the Group.  I had no real plan at this stage and no interest other than to grow the group and see how many members I could attract. 

I did however set a rule very early on – The FIRM was going to be exclusive to in-house recruiters only.  No agencies, no suppliers of any kind.  I didn’t want my windscreen wiped over at the lights thank you!

Then towards the end of Oct ’08 Emma Mirrington joined the Group at the same time I got involved in planning a new Graduate Recruiting program.  Emma is the graduate recruitment Manager where she works so we connected in the usual way via linked in and spoke a few time – her giving me advice again.  Emma introduced me to a number of other graduate recruiters with whom she was networked.  I saw what the FIRM had become and knew it ready for the next level, as was I.  I planned a Breakfast meeting, seeking sponsorship from LinkedIn.  The first meeting attracted 45 people.  I couldn’t believe it.

Nor could I believe the reception I got for my efforts and the unbelievable encouragement to take it even further.  So The FIRM now run by Emma and myself has more than doubled in size, in terms of members in 9 months.  Today there are over 1700 members in 35 counties.  Our Breakfast meetings run each quarter now attract over 100 attendees.  They don’t come to listen to me or Emma but to subject matter experts and they come to chat and interact with each other.

Subjects are chosen by the members and we fulfill from a long list of supplier or other type of parties wanting access to our membership community.  And it is a community.  I have met some great people who are more than willing to help each other and share knowledge and experience with others.  One thing became very clear to me; what we know will always be useful to someone and what we don’t know is always available from others if we are willing to cooperate. More information at

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=44518&trk=anet_ug_grppro

We are taking it to the next level in the next month or two and will report further then.

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