My Ikigai Balancing Act

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.” – In this blog I explore my own reasons for being.
To help with my personal growth, a few years ago, I started to write down notes about the year that was. This year I have decided to put my brainstorms into some more organised blog posts. Very 2014 I know. This is an exercise to help me understand my own ideas, where my head is at and a place to write goals to help me grow.
2018 turns out to have been a pretty crucial year, personally and professionally. My end of year brainstorm was massive. I have broken it in to a few posts. The first was about my love for growth and some lessons I had learned. This one is about whats going on in my head. My hunt for an Ikigai.
I hope you enjoy the insights.
Tris Revill Ikigai
I feel awkward when I talk to most people. I have distanced myself from the way most people live their lives that I hesitate to open my mouth. Hell for my personal life. Family functions and meeting random people at events are the worse. I should be charming but it turns out to be the opposite if I’m not careful.
Why is that?
Probably cos I am so different now!
The last 34 years have been a long journey, 2 careers, 2 wives, 12 countries, hundreds of jobs. Thousands of hours pondering the future!
It’s a long time since I lived out of a backpack and cooked for a living. The scars on my arms have faded but the windy road that got me this far has left me scarred and angry.
You may expect me to start the year with hope and dreams.
2018 made it worse; my heroes died, my friends betrayed me and the whole world has gone mad!

Anthony’s Authenticity 
Anthony Bourdain’s book “Kitchen Confidential” had a huge effect on me. My sister gave me his book for Christmas the year it was released. I was 16 and I soaked it all in. I was already obsessed with cooking and working in my local pub at the time. I read his book an Authentic portrayal of addiction, kitchen life and one mans love for great food. A badass rockstar pirate chef’s self portrait painted with stories of a brigade bought together in the flames of service. It scared me, inspired me and fuelled my dreams.
It wasn’t until this year and his death that I realised this.
I met him a few times and he was the nicest, most authentic person I had ever had the chance to spend time with. It broke me to hear he had taken his own life. Was it because he still didn’t feel happy he was authentic?
2018 started the year with an interview for Mark Lundgren’s new show on YouTube. I was worried I may not come off right and Mark said to me; This year my goal is for you to become more you.
It took a while to sink in. 
My authentic self, entrepreneurial spirit and “je m’en foutiste” approach had been lost. Drowned under the murk of corporate jobs and trying to fit in. Inhouse recruiting had beaten out of me the best bits of me. Starting 2019 I realised that this year was going to be about big changes.
I left my job at Indeed primarily because of the fact the only thing they could give me to improve on was my communication technique. I realised I had gotten as far as I could there. The job board that can barely write a job ad. Hired robots. My first and last insight into the corporate world.
Not for me.
I realised what I want to do is be true to myself. Authentically broken with loud points of view and public mistakes. I would have to change again.
The lessons I learned in 2018, pointed that success in 2019 would all be about being true to me.
I want to inspire people.
I want to be Authentic.
I want to be me.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothes 

At the beginning of 2019, I left DBR.  

I did it because I no longer belong there. For a long time, I felt like a wolf in sheep’s clothes. I wasn’t going to say anything about it publicly but its a big part of this story.

I don’t belong in DBR anymore because I’m not an inhouse recruiter.  

This has been playing on my conscience for a while now. While at Indeed, I could kind of live with it but as this year I set up my own firm and set out on my own. I can’t deal with the feeling that as a budding entrepreneur I didn’t belong there.  

DBR is the world’s largest community built for inhouse recruiters.  

I am no longer an inhouse recruiter.  

I felt like a wolf in sheep’s clothes. I believe it is wrong that DBR is being run by CEO’s, HR Consultants and HR Tech peeps that don’t recruit. While their ethical compasses are obviously broken, mine is not. I should have left ages ago. DBR was set up for inhouse recruiters to talk to each other. We spent years fighting off the consultants and agencies. We strived to create a community that helped inhouse recruiters get better. An environment that helped them communicate and learned.   We were annoyed that vendors controlled events and communities.  

It turned a bit murky. What I thought was set up to stop the Back scratching, Backhanders and special rules for friends became a breeding ground for it. That left a sour taste in my mouth.

I am not an inhouse recruiter.  

I don’t belong there…. so I left.  

I still fundamentally believe in the community and the mission. I believe that by sharing we will build a better world. I believe DBR at its core is a beautiful platform and community. I hope that there are the right people in DBR to help it grow and flourish. I blieve there are people in it who can pick up the flame and help DBR continue to be a great place for inhouse recruiters.  

EDIT – I was asked to take this down by one of the founders because they felt it was an attack on them. This is not an attack on anyone invovled in running DBR. Just my thoughts out in the world on why I left.

ME Me ME gif Simpsons

The honest and (slightly) selfish truth. 

As much as I loved my job as an inhouse recruiter my end goal has always been to start building my own business. Recruitment was a way to observe the businesses that interest me from within, learn how they operate and figure out how to build one better.  

It wasn’t until we had a baby this year that it all sank in. Maybe the too many hours reading medium posts, self help books and yearning for a better life hit home too.  

After I finished my career as a chef I wanted to recruit because I was really interested in people. Interviewing them, Employing them and understanding how they fit into businesses. This has given me an amazingly unique perspective on the world especially when it comes to business.  

I am confident I know what people want now.  

With a baby and wife, my goals had changed. What I had been planning for ten years time, needed to happen today. My main goal as always is to be be an inspiration for them both. We want to travel, help others, build cool things and make the world a better place!

I want to channel my entrepreneurial skills to build businesses that are ethical and disruptive.  

My Ikigai Is not as an inhouse recruiter but as something else.  

I am not sure exactly what yet but I believe that I will find it on this road.

Sourcers VS Recruiters: A Quick Survey on Sourcing from DBR

Sourcers VS Recruiters is an old argument, we all know the difference at the end of the day. Below, you can see a data-driven approach to understanding the differences between recruiters and sourcers and the challenges they all face!
In the next few weeks, everyone is going to be talking about sourcing in Europe ahead of SourceCon’s first visit. So to kick this little project off, I decided to do some research.

I need your help!

It’s anonymous and the results of the research are just below!

At the end of the Day, Sourcer vs Recruiter, I don’t really care! I am more interested in what are the challenges people face when sourcing! I’m imagining there will be plenty of both Recruiters and Sourcers attending SourceCon this time around. At the end of the day, we all do sourcing from time to time right?
To make sure we were “On Trend” for DBR live we decided to choose, Sourcing vs Recruiters as a Topic.
I want to find what is the difference between Sourcing and Recruiting.
Anyone who follows my blog and reads my stuff knows that Sourcers are not Baby Recruiters. In DBR and the surrounding community we differentiate a lot less, or maybe I blocked everyone that thinks that way?
I am keen to Understand what challenges people are facing when sourcing. I also asked is there really a difference in the roles, as far as I’m concerned we all hire people, so we all Source.
The data is all below and the more you share it, the more we can learn about Sourcing!

More details?

Sam and I caught up on DBR Live to discuss the results after hitting 70 odd respondants!


Have you filled out the survey? 

Have you sent it to all your recruiting friends?

The results are all below, first, let’s see who actually responded.

With more respondents, we will be able to share a more defined segment of the audience. Please share and respond and I will update soon!

I looked at what all the respondents largest challenges are in their day to day roles.

The real question here is “What is the difference between Sourcers and Recruiters?”

If you want to hear Glen Cathy’s answer, check it out here!

The real difference is where they spend their time, right?

I wanted to find out the difference in how Recruiters and Sourcer spend their time. So I asked all the respondents how much time they spend sourcing every week roughly.

The graph below shows pecentage of time people spend roughly per week, broken down by role segment, Recruiter vs Sourcer (as more people respond, we will be able to add more segments, considering the survey is capturing info as to what style of Recruiter is responding).

Maybe we will finally have proof of the above?

In terms of responses, there are some excellent ones to the final question.

What do you think is the real difference between Sourcers and Recruiters?


“Sourcers have a passion for finding people, recruiters have a passion for finding fees.”

“A sourcer is a native hunter… a recruiter could be only a fisher… and sometimes an hunter….”
and of course
“Loaded question! A great recruiter has elements of a great sourcer, and vice versa.”
As far as I’m concerned, teams of experts working together in an agile manner is going to lead to solving some of the worlds hardest hiring problems faster!

What do you think?


I wrote this rant on DBR the other day about the people who are always trying to break the recruitment industry. Breaking the recruitment industry is my favorite subject of conversation, I have written about a couple of times before. I start every year blogging about it because I do believe there are still lots of things that need to change in the world of recruitment. Last year I said.

Let not try and break recruitment, let’s get together and build a worldwide community that makes all the recruiters better!

Now DBR has over 1000 members and continues to grow. We are definitely not the only recruitment community out there either. From the Recruiters Online Facebook group to the Recruiters Kitchen in Paris, all of these recruiters getting to know each other and helping each other is making recruitment better for everyone!

So to all of those of you that are still writing “Recruitment is Broken”, I stand by my previous post’s, it is not a wave of bright-eyed and eager tech entrepreneurs armed with Blockchains and Algorithms that will break recruitment.

It’s us recruiters who will fix our industry!

It’s down to every member of the global recruiting community that recruitment is getting better.

We have only just begun!

Here are my tips on how to be an awesome recruiter in 2018. It’s my rant from the other day in a more constructive of 2017 esque Broetry for those of you that are not DBR members,  the DBR members will remember a few of these lines! 

I hope this will help you be awesome at hiring in 2018. Please share it on your company slack, email lists or and print it out for the people that still don’t have the internet. It is up to all of us involved in hiring to fix Recruitment.

Recruiters aren’t evil, or whatever else Google cares to say about us.

Tech won’t break recruitment, it will make it better.

It’s up to us the recruiters to fix recruitment.

It’s up to us to tell everyone involved!

Not everyone will be happy with a hiring experience.

Not everyone can get the job but if we all work together we can make hiring awesome together!

Here are my tips in general on how to be awesome at hiring in 2018!

These are practical tips for anyone hiring.

Stop writing bland emails

Be Human

Think, People first

Hello, we are hiring people here…

Put yourself in the shoes of the job seeker


Get to know who you recruit for

They probably had it written on the door when you walked in. Convincing stories from people in the company are the easiest way to persuade someone to work there.

Get to know who you recruit

You literally just have to walk up to them and ask them things about their job and their industry. My favorite question to ask people is, how would you like to be recruited?

Understand your competitors

Either in locations or industry or role. Finding out about those companies is simple, try stuff like Owler or Blind or Google Maps.

Partner with your hiring manager


Search with them

Literally, sit down, open up your laptop, go on your fave search engine and search for who they want to hire on a database.

Communicate with Clarity

That takes practice, I’m not sure that I am the best to help you on that one, but try it!

Think about what you can automate

Why do 3 emails when you can do 1? Everyone one enjoys things that are efficient!


Write decent job ads.

Everyone has different ideas about job ads, so post a couple of different ones if you have to!

Make applying easy

Seriously. I get so bored after looking at a form for more than a few minutes!

Show off your team

You are probably going to need a hashtag and lots of pom poms.

Ask the people who are on the team to show it off too

They will get you referrals, reward them well, they will get you more referrals!

Ask for feedback

It does open up the door for rants and it can be tough to swallow, but ask for it anyway with a simple form. Did I do OK today?

Give Feedback

Constructively and honestly!

Be honest with hiring managers

Use Data, its hard to argue with numbers.

Say No – Often!

Try and do it over the phone, I know its hard but you are not going to hire everyone.

You are a gate keeper, you can’t let everyone past.


Design for Privacy

Yep, we are recruiters, we deal with sensitive data.

Make sure you know how to approach that!

(Oh and GDPR Regulation – this is the newest problem on recruiters list in 2018)


Keep notes, write stuff down. Tag Candidates. I can’t believe I’m still saying this.. seriously.


Oh man… there is so much interesting data in recruitment, start here.

Share data

Open up that magic black box of recruitment to the world! (HT Buckland) Telling people it takes 50 interviews to make a hire makes for an interesting conversation.

Help people out that need it

Sometimes it just means looking at their CV with them and showing them how to search for jobs other times and introduction!

Read things

Hung Lee’s Recruiting BrainFood is probably the best place to start!

Don’t believe everything you read

Seriously, especially if it is about recruitment.

Find a community

Specifically, one where you have similar people who face similar problems.

Contribute to it

Don’t just lurk. Write, rant, talk, laugh, post stuff your reading.

Share your best ideas

People need to be inspired!

Ask questions when you are stuck

I do, it helps me get better.

Don’t be scared to Fail

Failing is the best way to learn. I fail all the time.

If you are nice, you will tell me when you do so I can get better too!






In-house Recruiters; Should you be getting a Bonus?

The team over at DBR are running a salary survey again if you want to take part, just fill out this quick form here and we will share the data!

The point of the salary survey is to get a better understanding of life as an in-house recruiter today, we ask base salary, the average number of hires per month, company size, teams size and ask questions do you like your job or what bonus do you get?

We will release our findings to the whole world once we start to get a larger data set. In the meantime, if you join us at DBR we can hopefully answer some of the questions we get in DBR’s Slack channel like how much should I pay a recruiter in Ireland? or how many hires per month is normal for my industry?

Suprise Suprise! Inhouse recruiters bonus is not what you think.

When I posted this in a few forums, people were surprised to see that we had put the bonus question. From 150 or so responses so far I was surprised to see how many in-house recruiters are not getting a bonus this year.

Some people will argue that Hires is not a good metric to measure in-house recruiters on and some will say those in-house recruiters should not get bonuses for hires as it may mean they push the wrong people to be hired.


Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 3.41.12 PM


I am not sure if there is a right or wrong, my career started in agency where of course my salary was intrinsically linked to the number of hires I made. As I moved in-house, I realised it is not only about the number of hires but who and how I hired. I have worked in roles that both gave me a bonus and don’t and personally, I prefer to be rewarded when I hit my goal. The Dataset allowed me to ask a couple of questions to start the question.

Do bonuses affect the number of hires inhouse recruiters make?

With such a rich Dataset I was able to do some quick math on the responses so far, the reported average monthly hires are 3.6 hires per month. However, if we only look at an average of people that get no bonus, then they are making 3.2 hires a month and those that are getting 10% bonus are averaging 4.1 hires per month. The numbers speak for themselves.

Do bonuses make inhouse recruiters happier?

In-house recruiters are generally a happy bunch, we asked people on a scale of 1-5 how happy and they responded on average with a score of 4. As I said, a pretty cheerful bunch!

Those people that were getting a bonus were only slightly more, averaging 4.1 whereas those that aren’t getting a bonus are averaging 3.9 as a happiness score. Proof maybe that money doesn’t really make you that happy?

Should recruiters be getting a bonus?

Obviously, there is no hard or fast rule, more than 56% of respondents of the survey so far, are getting one. While it does seem to affect the number of hires, it doesn’t make you that much happier. We don’t have enough responses yet to make this all-encompassing, so I am keen to find out what you think.

Fill out the survey and help us make this a more inclusive data set and tweet me or comment and tell me; Do you think in-house recruiters should be getting a bonus?

RECRUITMENT: Don’t Break It, Fix It!

Wow, it feels like an age since I last wrote about DBR. It is a well overdue for me to tell you a little bit more about DBR in 2017 and in particular what it means to me to be part of this community as it grows.

I have to talk about it because the influence it has had on mine and other people’s lives blows my mind!

For those of you that don’t know what DBR is; DBR is the only safe place for in-house recruiters in Europe. We host events, talk to each other on slack and work together to solve the problems we face as recruiters every day. You probably need to start at one of these points and then come back to this post if you want to find out more about it:

DBR is now growing faster than we could ever have imagined. We have now given more than 400 in-house recruiters access to our slack channel. With our awesome new streamlined process, each applicant is vetted by the admin team and then swiftly invited into a community where help is at hand whatever recruitment problem you may be facing.


Running this slack channel means more in-house recruiters than ever before have the opportunity to share ideas, solve problems, get real-time feedback from peers and help more people than ever get jobs!


Yes, since we moved from a WhatsApp group to a slack channel we have sent 440,000 plus messages but it’s not all about what we share on our dark social channels the core of our community still lies in the real world. The relationships this community has helped build over beers in the pub, discussing ideas at events and supporting each other at trade shows, has lead to us all being better recruiters.


Robert Nunn Head of Talent at WorldStores Group summed up what the reality of being in a community of recruiters that share ideas and candidates really should be.


I agree, as recruiters, the way we will all become more successful will be to celebrate the talent we work with every day. Recruiters should share their networks and their connections and help the people they work with. I believe every in-house recruiter should share, invest in community and invest their time helping each other!

Let’s not try and Break Recruitment,  let’s get together to build a worldwide community that makes us all better!


DBR in 2017 is going to grow

We are sticking to the original idea that the original founder Hung Lee had for this community, we are focusing on our mission to build a safe place for in-house recruiters. Everything we do as an admin team will be focused on what the community needs and wants and we hope that you can all help us make it bigger!

Scaling the grassroots community feeling that DBR has is almost impossible without people meeting in the real world. The effort that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that the other DBR members have the same platform to learn and grow that the first few of us had when we started meeting is unprecedented. As admins, our trust and patience is continually tested by those that deliberately sabotage our success and profit from what we have built. We continue to stick to our guns. We won’t be monetizing this community, the mailing lists we have, our candidate databases or the relationships we have built. DBR will continue to be a not for profit organisation managed by the people that love it to help every fellow in-house recruiter we can.

We will continue to focus on stuff that helps the community with support, of our members and our partners.

So, if you hadn’t read it yet, I moved to Dublin and will be trying to grow the first official offshoot branch of DBR here in Dublin. We will be meeting up for our first drink on February the second, make sure if you are in Dublin you sign up here.

Thanks to the team at StackOverflow our “Don’t be afraid..” Series has a home in their Shoreditch offices and will be running every 6 weeks. Next one if on

Our friends at Indeed Prime will be hosting our larger parties, keep June the 15th free, we have a real treat in store for you!

Of course, you will also find some of us at the Dragon Bar sharing ideas over a drink or two.


Huge thanks to every DBR member for your time, your patience and your confidence in our community. Hung Lee for the idea in the first place and inviting me to the first DBR drinks, and for your teams time to build the new site. My fellow admins Matt Buckland, Matthew BradburnKristian Bright and Nick Yockney, you guys are the best.