15 May Interview with Adam Tobias, Co-founder of WellsTobias
1. Tell us about Wells Tobias and the services you provide
The Wells Tobias Group was founded in 2005 and has 3 constituent parts: Wells Tobias Recruitment Solutions; Inventum Search and Inventum Consulting
Our entire business model is centred around inclusion and diversity – we help our clients improve workplace inclusion, increase workforce diversity and help them reach more diverse candidate and client audiences.
Wells Tobias Recruitment Solutions is a full-service business operations recruiter, with a laser sharp focus on diversity and inclusion. We are passionate about attraction, retention and relationship management practices and processes that are fully inclusive and we cover a range of permanent and contract roles across project management, marketing, HR, Operations and Legal.
We provide permanent, contract and interim talent, and pride ourselves on a very high level of customer service to both our clients and talent we engage with. Technology plays a key role in our business, and we operate highly efficient and effective back-office processes to ensure seamless solutions to all who engage with us.
We also deliver mini-RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) solutions, managing a client’s entire recruitment and talent acquisition process which can help client reduce their recruitment costs, efficiently manage their compliance and admin and speed up time-to-hire.
Inventum Search is a is the executive search division of the Wells Tobias Group. Like our sister organisation, we provide talent across business services with the aim of increasing diversity in senior level, director and c-suite appointments. There is woeful underrepresentation of certain groups at senior management level in the UK – our aim is to change this, one company and one talented individual at a time. Through our highly developed networks and partnerships with diversity groups, our extensive database, expert search consultants and investment in cutting edge technology, we can provide diverse shortlists for every assignment we take on.
Inventum Consulting is the newest part of the Wells Tobias Group and helps organisations embrace the commercial, moral and ethical benefits of increasing workplace inclusion and workforce diversity. Organisations that embrace inclusion and diversity significantly outperform their non-diverse competitors. These organisations are more innovative, more resilient and adaptable to changing economic conditions and more attractive to potential talent. We design, create and deliver bespoke solutions to our clients that drive positive and long-lasting change, including diverse talent acquisition, training, branding and data monitoring.
2. Where are you based
We are based in Holborn, central London. Our team includes search partners, diversity and inclusion consultants, recruiters, account managers and researchers.
3. Who are your typical customers?
Our clients sit across a variety of industries including financial services, insurance, life sciences, media & entertainment, real estate, FMCG and professional services. They range from FTSE100 and multinational corporations through to SME’s and start-ups. We don’t have a ‘typical client’ per se, because of the unique range of services we offer through our different divisions– some clients utilise our talent specialisms, some our inclusion and diversity consultancy, and in many cases, a combination.
4. How do you think the recruitment industry will change in the next 10 years?
Technology will continue to have impact on the industry. AI and the utilisation of identification technology will require recruiters to add significant value to their clients, otherwise they will cease to be relevant. Those recruiters that simply take a brief, post an advert and search and databases and send some CVs – well, their days are numbered in my view. We are here to advise, to add value, to introduce exclusive or hard to find talent, enhance our clients understanding of talent utilisation, training, marketing, how to reach diverse audiences, the future of work, building inclusive and high performing cultures. We are a talent and advisory business.
5. How do you stay in touch with your customers?
Relationships are based on trust, quality, understanding and empathy. These relationships must benefit both parties. We give a lot for free, be it research, articles and papers, advice, insight, case studies, time. And we stay close to understand our client’s needs now, and the future. And we are always honest – if they are being unrealistic, it is our role to explain it and provide solutions. We are careful who we work with too, there has to be mutual respect.
6. How do you stay in touch with your talent pool of candidates?
We utilise great technology as much as we can and marketing channels to provide interesting and helpful insight and content. We use emails of course, but the phone still plays a vital role – be it an audio or video call. Its hard to build an initial relationship unless you have met someone, which is why we always meet our candidates before we represent them. Candidates are as much our customers as our clients are. Treat everyone with respect; if you can’t help, be honest and don’t waste their time. And if you can’t help directly, try and point them in the direction of someone who can.
7. What’s the most interesting role you’ve filled for a client?
There have been many – sadly I’m bound by confidentiality to reveal the most interesting!
8. Who’s the most memorable candidate you’ve placed in a job?
In my career prior to founding Wells Tobias, and since we open almost 15 years ago, we have helped many thousands of people. There is nothing better than helping someone achieve a dream. We receive many cards and notes from candidates and we always put them up on the walls around the office.
I am particularly proud of the work we do helping disabled candidates. There is still a huge amount of discrimination out there, but slowly it feels like the tide is beginning to turn. I urge every employer, large or mall, to sign up to the government’s Disability Confident scheme, and make a difference.
I still make plenty of mistakes, but I think we are defined by how we react when we do get it wrong. Promptly admit it and try and learn from the experience. In my dealings with people, I try to remember the great quote by the American poet and civil rights campaigner Maya Angelou “people will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel”.