My one piece of advice to help you grow in the next decade

You may think I’m crazy summing up my last decade’s worth of success’s, failures and learnings to one single piece of advice. You may not want to believe that there is such a simple thing that kept me going in the last ten years. Yet during my time of reflection at the end of this year and the many discussions I have had with friends and family I caught up with over the holidays. My thoughts kept on coming back to this one thing that has led to the success and happiness I have today.

Positive Attitude

Those of you that have know me well, will know that a decade ago; I was lost, frustrated and very very poor. It was a turbulent decade of personal and professional hyper growth for me. I think it is typical for anyone going from their mid 20’s to their mid 30’s. Yet, there is no doubt today when I talk to people around me that my super power through this all has been to keep a positive attitude.

At the beginning of the decade I was lost, hunting for a change and desperate to find happiness. I had given up my career as a chef, vowing never to return to the dark life I had sunk into during my years in the kitchen.

I didn’t feel very positive, I was grieving for a lost love for food that had started in my early teens. Burnt out by the chef’s lifestyle, the crazy hours, the low pay and never ending late nights. I vowed never to wear my chef’s whites again. At the beginning of 2010, I had nothing more than a rucksack full of clothes. I was lucky that my family believed in me, they took me in and looked through the rocky months of me changing direction and gaining a new focus and goals.

During this time I met many people who offered advice and council. Many people had ideas of what I should do next and where I should go next. From all the sound bites, books, ted videos and council I received the one resounding piece of advice I took to heart was;

Stay Positive

To grow in your career, you first have to take a step back. By March 2010 I had started to apply for jobs. No one wanted to hire a burnt out ex-chef who had finished school at 18. I managed to persuade the sales director of a Door to Door company to take a risk. I started with no base salary, knocking on doors on the south coast earning 50 pounds every time I made a sale.

There is nothing better than being told to get lost (or worse) 80 times a day to hone a positive attitude. The conversation you have with yourself when its 8 o’clock at night and water is dripping down your neck and you have made no sales may sound crazy to most of you.

Stay positive, keep smiling, the next door could be the one.

I believe, having a positive attitude is all about the conversation you have with yourself. Everyone faces tough situations every day. Telling yourself you can tackle it, with a smile in your mind is all you need to start keeping a positive attitude.

I have been lucky enough to meet and interview thousands of very successful people over the last 10 years. Those that achieve the most unbelievable things are not from the best families or the best educated, they are the ones that can stay positive in any situation.

My single piece of advice to you, however you want to grow and live in the next decade is to stay positive.

Be Positive

Sadly, my wife has been terribly sick at the end of this year and the last few weeks have been really tough. It didn’t stop us traveling around the UK and enjoying our trip as much as possible. People are always surprised at how positively we approach our life. She will get better thanks to the great doctors and support from the people around us. Whatever the worry, we approach everything with a smile and a positive attitude, I’m convinced it’s the secret to our success. You can do it too, stay positive and smile.

Today, I’m looking back at the beginning of the decade with disbelief. I feel so happy. It’s been an amazing year ending an amazing decade of personal and professional transformation. I found a career, a voice, a mission. I fell in love, became a dad and built things that (I think) helped the world get a tiny bit better for some people. I have no regrets, I’ve lived life to the full and am happy with my shortcomings.

I always over estimate what I can achieve in 6 months and under estimated what I managed to achieve in the last ten years. As we approach the next decade, one that promises to be filled with chaos and change. My advice to you is all you need is to keep a positive attitude. It’s your smile that will help you succeed.

Happy New Year!

I hope the next decade will be filled with everything you want.

Cleophee looking out over the sunset on Bournemouth beach on New Years Eve

Traveling & Eating with Baby – Blog 1

One of our biggest goals in 2019 is to write more about our love for food and travel.
Over the years, we have been inspired by the hundreds of other bloggers, foodies and travel writers. Sharing our most memorable moments with the world is a way we hope to bring joy to the people around us. A documentation exercise. We have talked about it for ages, pondered hundreds of ideas and options and still not done anything about it.
Today, with our epic 10 week trip around Asia only 7 days away. I am writing a quick post about our plans to blog and share more about our travels. For now, we will post here. If we can keep it up then we can spin it over to its own home.
To make it easy, our challenge is to write a travel blog once a week for the next 10 weeks + a few other little missions.
Travel is one of the foundations of our relationship. When Melow and I met we lived in different countries. Flying to see each other wasn’t enough and we often arranged to meet in different cities around Europe. We ran away to Vegas to get married and it didn’t stop with the pregnancy, Melow travelled around Europe until she was 8 months pregnant.
We fiercely declared that having a baby wouldn’t stop us. In the last six months, we have managed 7 trips with our baby, and she’s just six months old!
It’s exciting
Our shared passion to travel to wonderful places to enjoy authentic local experiences is what we love to share together.
Why not share that with the world?
Looking back on the last few years we have filled up hard drives with the pictures and videos of our adventures.
Our friends laugh at the high production values of our end of trip videos. We always have new photos to share when people come over.
Over the last few years, we have been practising.
Hours researching
Religiously posting reviews in Google maps…
Getting better at quickly editing and sharing photo albums to share with friends and family.
It only seems natural to share this passion for the world with the world.

Tris’s Google Maps Local Guides Contributions

We are inspired by travel bloggers, YouTubers and everyone sharing their experiences. They have helped us find great places to enjoy our holidays and our weekends. Now our challenge is to get better at sharing our travels so you can enjoy those moments too.
The challenge in the next ten weeks around Asia is to focus our efforts on producing content that people enjoy and find useful.
This isn’t about showing off but about inspiring others.
Our plan is to develop two things,

  • Posting Rhythm
  • Post Formats

For rhythm, we will continue contributing to Google maps and Instagram. If you want to follow us then behind the scenes will be kept on Instagram stories, with the posts shared every day on Instagram to Facebook and Twitter and wherever else during our trip.
We will try and contribute to Google maps more the before. This will allow us to take notes of the places we have seen and visited. Tris really likes the tracking features and has so far broken the 2,500,000 views on photos and 350+ reviews. Go check out his contributions.
On top of that, the idea is to generate a minimum, not one post, ideally two or three a week to document our travels.
As for posting formats. This is still an area we are exploring. We are hoping to take this opportunity to explore that during our trip. Food and travel blogging it’s nothing new, looking at the content we enjoy has helped us understand what brings value to her audience.

Having hunted for tips and travelling with a baby we now feel confident that blogs around preparation is a pretty good starting point. There are not that many recent travel blogs for people with babies.
So we are going to focus on:

  • How to blogs on how to travel with a baby
  • Posts about areas that we visit on a regular basis with insider tips (less of these on holidays obviously but a chance for us to document our tips before)
  • Memorable moments blogs from our favourite moments from the holiday so we can share them with you all.

Tris is also really keen on working in YouTube format and somehow tying in 360 films! Amelie wants to see how she can share all her cool organisation tips.
Creating great things on the internet is not only about having great content but also about posting regularly. We all know how long editing takes. Our goal here is to create quality content in the fastest manner. Life with a 6-month-old is already busy enough!
So, sharing our travel stories with you.
We hope it will be enjoyable and inspiring.
We have been asked that it can be read in an email format for those of you, not on the little internet’s. Subscribe to this blog to get an update every week!
We are looking forward to sharing our most memorable moments with the world so that more people can enjoy the places further away and be closer to us.
Now follow us on Instagram and follow this blog to watch the story unfold.


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?


Dear Thief

Something has changed.

I used to get really upset that people like you have been stealing my content to make yourself look good.

Then I came to Asia.

In part, it was a piece in Charles Cham’s Orangutan house that inspired this post.

I realised that no one cares about authentic things.

It’s a big world but most people are the same. Success for 99.9% of the world involves flash cars, oversized houses, designer clothes and swanky dinners out. Most people think that faking it till you make it is the way to do it. I know, I made that mistake.

Everyone tells you to be successful you need to hustle. They tell you this is the key to this happiness.

So you don’t have the creativity needed to build and develop your own things so you steal to try to get to the top. Sadly this won’t lead you to happiness or success.

Me getting upset at you won’t allow me to be happy.

So feel free to steal my content.

As growth hackers, pinching ideas and optimising them for our own benefit is at the core of our mindset. Looking at what works and replicating the techniques used is killer when you start getting it right.

Just copy and pasting will only get you so far.

Understanding why things work is what differentiates the true creators from the spammers and thieves. Having your own voice and being you is what generates the fans you are looking for.

If stealing someone else’s content is what starts you on the road to understanding this.

Then please make sure you steal mine.

In his Charles Cham’s shop, just behind the sales person is a sign about copying. If you ever visit Malaka, make sure to get a look, read this if you are interested in understanding more.

To get good at this you should read the book steal like an artist…
and observe some art in the wild. Not comparing myself to Picasso here but innovators like Picasso were working and developing themselves and their art over years and years to find their voice.

If you ever learned to draw,  Picasso did, you first start by learning techniques and classics composition before adding your own flair to it. Picasso didn’t steal ideas, he was inspired by classics to develop new techniques and eventually find his own voice.

Artists work around themes and develop them with their own creative flair. That’s how I see myself. I have been studying this stuff for years, avoiding the mega growth hacks to instead going for a creative development based on themes that work. My writing skills something I have worked in a lot. I spend hours practising and learning how to do it better. You stealing my art, my creativity and my voice, of course, results in nothing because people will see through you.

But if it helps you on this road, then I am happy to have helped. Your thieving has finally helped me find more peace!

This post was originally written as an email to a thief and then posted in my Facebook Group Growth Hacking Recruiters. Join us if this stuff interests you.

6 Travel Hacks we Learned Traveling with our Baby Before Six Months Old

Lots of people have asked us how we can travel with a baby. It’s all bout practice really. Here are our top tips for traveling with a baby we learned when she was less than 6 months old.

Traveling with a newborn baby is one of the most rewarding things you can experience as a family. For some people it sounds impossible, or at least so incredibly stressful that you wouldn’t even know where to start. That is why, we have written this guide for you. By the time our little one was 3 months old she has been on the road a third of her life.

We have survived bomb scares and riots and feel ready to take in the world as a family.

Before she was 6 Months old, we had completed 7 trips around Europe without a car.

With a ten week trip around south east Asia well under way and plenty of posts over on our instagram, people have been asking us how do we manage to travel with a baby. We thought it was time to share our tips with the world while we find some new ones for our big voyage.

Our travel style

Melow and I can’t drive which means we only travel via public transport, planes and cabs (when needed).

Taking our daughter with us on planes and trains has been fun and has turned us into a well oiled traveling machine. These trips from the age of 3 weeks to 6 months have all been in Europe. Good thing we got the practice in when she was a few weeks old. We are currently on a ten week trip around Southeast Asia and feel like we have this traveling with a baby down to a fine art!

That’s why we thought it would be fun to share this with any other brave parents like us who want to start traveling with their babies.

1 – Be Brave, Young Parents

It’s going to be stressful, you are going to need some courage and some nerve! You need to be brave.

We are in our mid 30s so as you can expect have many new parents in our circle of friends and family. We believe the biggest mistake is staying home with the baby.

The earlier you start the easier it becomes.

Getting out and about has been a liberating and empowering experience for all of us!

I’m not going to tell you it’s not stressful. It definitely is. Getting stuck at the Eurostar during a bomb alert was definitely one of the most stressful moments ever.

However, traveling with our newborn has helped us come together as a family. We have grown closer as we survived the challenges and stresses that come with traveling as a baby. We would recommend it to anyone to get out there with their little one.

It’s much easier before they can walk 😉 So you’d better get them used to travelling before it happens (and it can happen earlier than you imagine)

2 – Take it slow

Everything takes longer with a baby.

As experienced travelers we used to get to the airport and hour before our flight took off, now we allow a lot more time! It may be boring getting there three hours in advance but allowing yourself the time for poonadoes, vomit fountains and minor melt downs saves a lot of stress in the long run!

Lower your expectations, everything is going to take longer. Lower your expectations and go with the flow.

3 – Get a panic bag

This is the one thing we don’t leave the house without.

Every single time, we take a panic bag and whether its ten weeks or ten minutes, its the same bag. We found ours on wish, it is slim, has a built in changing mat and holds everything you need in it (because you will need all that, you just don’t know when) from a spare change of clothes to a days supply of nappies and wipes.

Here is the one we use and have bought to all our friends.

4 – Pack one big bag for three

This is the tip we wished someone told us at the beginning. You need to get used to sharing stuff and sharing a big bag makes everything easier when it comes to traveling with a baby.

One carries the bag and the other one the baby.

To make it easier we pack lots of little bags into the big bag so we all have our own space and can find things easier. This probably needs a blog of its own !

Here is the one we are using for our big trip.

5 – A little home away from home

In our eyes, travel cots are heavy and bulky. Tris’s big sister had us test them before we even got a baby and told us her favorite thing from her travels with two little ones was a baby tent!

The baby tent acts as a little home away from home, somewhere that smells like home and they are used to sleeping in. It’s easy to carry everywhere, lighter that a travel cot and very comfortable and safe.

Getting them used to it from an early age is key. You don’t want to add new things to the stress of your first night away so test it at home and when you go round a friend’s for dinner.

This is the one we bought by Deryan. We spent hours comparing online the different brands and this had the best characteristics : size, weight, UV protection, extra windscreen available… You can even choose the color !

Having your baby sleep wherever you go gives you the confidence you need to travel further.

6 – Set a Max Travel / On the road time

Some of the worst moments we have had traveling is when we have been out for too long and our little one just lost the plot and screamed at us for an hour.

Now we set a max out of the house time for when we are traveling and when we go out exploring.

You will find what this is and it will change as you all grow but we recommend keeping it below three hours to begin with and then working up to longer trips. We are now confident to be out the house for more than 8, but that took practice!

Have baby, can travel!

Sleepless nights, grumpy babies and tiredness for the whole family is unavoidable. May as well be in beautiful surroundings rather than locked up at home.

The best thing about traveling with a baby is you are priority everywhere, people are more friendly than ever and you will get plenty of free stuff. We believe it’s an unmissable experience. We love traveling with our baby.

We love traveling with our baby.

We hope these tips inspire you and are looking forward to hearing your travel plans!

Follow our adventures over on Instagram and subscribe for more random travel blogs.

How to be an AWESOME Recruiter in 2019

This is for anyone wanting to have an amazing 2019. Take your recruiting career to the next level with this simple to follow the guide on how to be an awesome recruiter in 2019. Last year I wrote a list of things that I thought would help recruiters be amazing in 2018, this year I am back with an updated version. Some of the things are the same as last year, same, same but different. A simple to follow a collection of ideas, methods and hacks to help you in 2019.

2019, Recruitment isn’t broken, we all just need to get better at Recruiting!

I have spent a lot of nearly ten years of my career under the black cloud of HR PR claiming Recruitment is broken. I have watched many entrepreneurs crash attempting to fix recruitment with Blockchain, AI or some other tech hodgepodge only to realise that the real problem in Recruiting is how hard it is to actually is to hire someone.

Recruiting isn’t broken. Recruiting is hard. Anyone building a team these days needs a unique set of skills just to hire efficiently.

Recruitment as a skill needs to be recognised and developed. Recruiters that hire should be proud what they do. Recruiting will get better if we share more with each other. Tech can’t fix our problem, we can. I believe it’s down to every member of the global recruiting community that recruitment is getting better.

If we really want to fix recruiting, its up to all of us.

That’s why I wrote this post, to share what I know with the world. I hope this will help you be awesome at hiring in 2019.

Please share this link with everyone in recruitment you know. Everyone on your company slack, email lists and if you’re feeling rebellious 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. Here is how you can start being a better recruiter.

Get to know who you recruit

The biggest complaint I hear about recruiters is they don’t understand the jobs they recruit for. Every mistake I have made during my recruiting career could have been avoided if I had just spent more time getting to know who I was recruiting. Get to know who you recruit, spend time with them they will help you fill all those jobs you are trying to hire for!

TIP – Find some people who you want to hire and ask them, how would you like to get your new job?

Partner with your hiring manager

Your hiring manager is your end client, it is their team you are hiring for. Get super cosy with them. The best recruiters I know, are never annoyed at their hiring managers but see them as complicit partners that they are trying to help grow. Recruiters success in 2019 will be down to how well they know the team they are hiring for. Get close to them today.

TIP – Set up weekly check ins, show them who you have approached, ask them if they can do your follow ups for the people who didn’t reply!

Tell people you are hiring

Yes, so new for 2019. Tell people you are hiring! Advertise the Jobs you are hiring for. Not crappy job ads with 40 bullet points and a wall of requirements. Get out there and tell people who you are hiring and what they will do. Don’t forget to tell them what they will get out of it. Crazy to think it’s 2019 and the best way to hire people is still to advertise!

TIP – Here is my walkthrough of how to hire people for free on Indeed.

Don’t be scared to Fail

Stop hunting for perfection and worrying about getting everything right. Start messing things up. The best manager I ever had taught me that he was happy when I was failing 20% of the time. If you have never failed, you have never done anything. Start Doing, Start Failing.

TIP – Watch this Ted Video Playlist to learn how to Fail

Ask questions when you are stuck

There is so much power in asking questions. Not questions you could have just googled, but the complicated ones or the ones that need input from elsewhere or from someone with experience. There is a forgotten magic power in asking people questions, it helps you make new friends and helps you leverage the expertise in your own org and your network. Don’t think you know everything, ask more questions!

TIP – Give this HBR Article a Read

Don’t be a creepy phantom, Engage

Odd that I should tell this; but please be sociable on social media. Stop hiding behind highly filtered Instagram posts and corporate headshots, start commenting, having discussions and being your weird ass true self. Your lurking is putting your people off. As recruiters we need to be more social, we are after all in the people business. Stop Lurking. Comment on your audiences content. Built your online tribe. Be social.

TIP – Tweet me or comment, its easy!

Know your market

If you are going to be an expert recruiter in Python or the next recruiter at Yodel. Your market knowledge will help you build better relationships with the people you recruit. Recruiters are uniquely positioned to speak to hundreds of people a week, that gives them market knowledge. Get to know your company, get to know your competitors, get to know your candidates. Recruiters should be able to offer everyone a slice of the information they get to see in the market.

TIP – Use reviews on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor for knowledge, or try Owler or Blind to find out about companies.

Get REALLY GOOD AT Finding stuff out!

Seriously the number of people that can’t find stuff out on the internet still blows my mind. You are a recruiter, your job is to find people. That means you have to get good at looking for people. Learn how to search for anything quickly. It will make your life so easy..

TIP – Learn about George Boole, use this tool to look for people on Facebook, learn all the search tricks here and when you get super advanced google .

Use Data

Measure everything. Use Data Religiously in every part of your life. Its 2019, big data is everywhere. I still find recruiters FitBit’s and supermarket know more about you than you do about your recruiting process. Learning how to measure things from eyeballs to time

Design for Privacy

As a Recruiter you have a lot of private data. CV’s are seriously sensitive information, so is interview feedback and salary info. Get your head around the fact that you are dealing with a lot of private data and start treating it like such. Don’t leave people’s CV’s lying around.

Tip – Read my Alan’s blog on what Sourcer’s & Recruiters need to know about GDPR

Authentic content Wins

Seriously, no one cares about your brand values. Authentic content is shared by the people that actually work in the place. Everyone knows that your “employer brand” is a lie. Let your people tell their story.

Tip – Start watching Gary Vee videos!

Stop Writing Bland Emails

Dear Mr ten-page email writer. If you fall asleep writing the email, I reply. Short one/two paragraph emails that are to the point are going to make life so much easier and will get you so many more responses. Also, can you stop DM’ing me with just Tell me what you want in that first message so I can figure out if I can help!

TIP – Read Sofia’s story about her journey with and read this if you still can’t do it.


a scary, powerful weapon. Use it to improve yourself. Don’t get mad when unqualified people give it to you.

See every piece of feedback as a gift.

Whoever gives it, everyones perspective needs to be listened to when it comes to hiring.

Everyone is your client. Using their feedback to improve will help you get better!

Say No – Often!

Sadly, as recruiters, we are gatekeepers as well as dream givers.

You will find yourself saying No a lot more than saying yes.

Getting good at this and confident with this is key to your success as a recruiter.

Tip – It’s expensive not to give candidates feedback


Getting really good at documentation is an important skill for every recruiter! This not only helps us share knowledge and collaborate but at the end of the day its core to our function.

From taking interview notes to sharing new techniques. This starts by learning things like how to touch type and with how to write better tutorials.

Documentation is a key skill everyone in recruiting needs.

Read more

Well you got this far so you must be doing something right! What I really mean by read more, is consume more content! Consuming long form content is the differentiator in todays world. Sure, you can learn a lot watching 2 minute videos. To be an expert you need to consume more long form content.

consume content religiously about Recruiting from recruitingbrainfood.com or sourcecon.com and .

Help people out

Every recruiter I spoke to in 2018, when I asked them why they are a recruiter told me it was to help people. Nuff said.

Help people.

You will reap the rewards in the long run.

Find a community

A network is Key to everyone’s career success. Communities are key to getting the latest hiring knowledge and learning about the easiest ways to hire people. It’s 2019 people you can explode your network and your career. Spend time asking questions reading, learning and soaking it all in. If you are an InHouse recruiter join DBR, if you like Growth minded recruitment, join the growth hacking recruiters.

TIP – Check out Hung Lee’s amazing list of Communities to join in 2019

Share your best ideas

Please. It will help the rest of us get better.

If your stuck, share other peoples ideas!

Please share this.


I thought it was a bit arrogant of me to just post my own thoughts, so I asked the worlds largest community of recruiters. The Facebook Group “Recruiters Online” to also share their thoughts on what will make recruiters better in 2019 and I was overwhelmed by the responses. Go check out the post here, I have screen grabbed some of the top responses below.

Top tips for being a better recuiter in 2019 – this is how you become an awesome recruiter

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.
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 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 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 , 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 there are people in it who can pick up the flame and help DBR continue to be a great place for 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  in running DBR. Just my thoughts out in the world on why I left.

The honest and (slightly) selfish truth. 

As much as I loved my job as an 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, 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 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 recruiter but as something else.  

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

My Love for Growth Runs Deep

To help me Grow, I document things, at the end of every year, I write some notes about my year and some goals for the year to come. My mini personal retrospective has been happening in the dark for several (5+) years with just a spin-off article or two being published. This year its different. 

2018 turns out to have been a pretty crucial year, personally and professionally. I had so much stuff I wanted to talk about. Time to write the personal blog I wanted to share. To make easier to understand, I have split it into three major topics. 

Let start with what happened professionally, I quit my amazing job at Indeed to focus on looking after my wife and baby in Paris. A lifestyle choice is driven by my frustrations at the constrictions of working within a business operating at such a huge scale. My time at Indeed was a success, it was the longest I was ever an employee in a company and I learned a lot. However, since the beginning of the year, I have had something different planned for 2019. So I spent a lot of 2018 focused on my side hustle with the hope to become more nomadic, authentic and entrepreneurial. That’s why I have been doing a lot of Growth Hacking!

Tris Growth Hacking

2018 I focused on honing my Growth Hacking Skills and applying them to Recruitment. Considering blogging and spending too much time on the internet is what got me started off on the journey to becoming a recruiter in the first place. In the last ten years and with no degree just energy, passion and a lot of hard work I come full circle back to my growth hacking roots. My personal and professional Growth can be tied closely to my passion for all things hacking. Life Hacking my way out of the kitchen, I have gone from dreaming of working in cool tech companies to being recognized as one of the top influencers in HR tech. There was no wonder I threw so much time and effort building the Growth Hacking Recruiters community. 


I wanted to get better at Recruiting. I believe that innovation in recruiting comes from outside it, not within. On my constant quest to improve, Growth Hacking became my buzzword crutch to help me make more hires.

Growth Hacking was a Hot Topic; Personally, I had been following Growth Hacking industry for some time and stealing things I could apply to recruitment. When Jan Tegze wrote at the beginning of 2018 “Sorry, 2018 Won’t Be the Year of A.I., But Growth Hacking” I knew it was the time to jump and build the community. Talent Hackers had long stood still, build by vendors to capitalise on a trend. The recruitment hacking community had suffered by not having a place to call its own. The techniques had advanced, much as Growth Hacking since Sean Ellis used it as a buzzword to try and hire people.

There was an opportunity for a community that focused on consistently improving recruiting tactics and sharing cool tips and hacks. The timing felt perfect so I dropped Jan a note to see if he wanted to be involved and we got started on building what has already been called one of the hottest groups for Recruiters in 2019!


“Cutting through the noise and being there… ideally at the right time (even though there are many external factors to this that a sourcer/recruiter can not control). Being on the right screen with the right message is a real job” – Guillaume Alexandre

The truth is, Recruiter response rates are dropping and people are finding it hard to break through the noise we are all subjected to.

Gone are the days that people are flattered about being headhunted. Outbound recruiting has become normal, especially in the tech spheres.

Growth Hackers are experts at engaging with people at scale and (most of the time) selling them stuff. You can pretty much bet that that is exactly what most modern recruitment jobs are about too.

All Growth comes from desperately trying to succeed 

The inefficiencies of most things in Recruiting show us how Recruitment mechanics still need to be optimised. Applying more growth hacking methods to the problem allows us to improve all elements of the hiring journey for both sides of the table.

To start the year, I read up huge amounts on the principles of growth hacking and marketing. I didn’t want the group to just be about sharing tools and tricks but about sharing methods too. During the journey, I realised that these techniques apply not just in Recruiting, but in sales, marketing and every part of your life where you want to improve. A lot of people are already sharing this stuff and learning from each other. That’s why it was so easy to build the community to where it is now.

I’m grateful for all the people that have gotten involved to create a community. We step into 2019 with a manifesto, a mission and a plan. Hopefully, we have helped others out there as this has become a huge catalyst for my personal growth.

Confused as to what I’m talking about? I wrote a true definition of what a growth hacking recruiter does. Confused about what a Growth Hack is, think free lightweight hacks that you can implement that will 100% improve your hiring process.

On top of growing a group where I could learn from my fellow growth hacking recruiters and share tips with new ones! Here is what I learned;


The first three points need far more time to explain than I have here, so expect separate blog posts on that soon, but Considering I have written posts about the three last points already in the group. I thought it would be fun to buld on the content and put them here.


The highest earning YouTuber is a seven-year-old. Every one of us has a chance to make our mark in whatever we do. The UK in-house recruitment award for employer branding video this year was won by one person using their phone to shoot the video.

Creating content has got easier. Personal branding is everywhere. 

9 years ago, I went to IBC and heard from thought leaders in the broadcast industry that brands were going to become the broadcasters, they were wrong. Anyone can be a broadcaster and everyone is giving it a go. We really do live in a time when anyone can broadcast for millions, pretty much for free.

In recruitment, one of the biggest complaints I hear is they don’t have the support, the tools or the time to create the content they need to support their recruiting efforts. I think there is too much overthinking here and these people need a reality check.

The Barrier to entry is so low that all you need is an idea and a phone and you can create something amazing.

People don’t want polished content anymore, they don’t trust “on brand” corporate videos. They want an authentic view of where they can work and they want to hear the real story.

The only thing holding you back is yourself.

I find this true for myself as for those people I observe in the world.

Your not going to get it perfect the first time.

Just do it.

The worse that will happen is you will Fail and learn. More likely than not, you will get free exposure in any domain you want. I have helped and watched friends do this for their own careers in every domain and it works. Don’t wait for approval of your idea. Don’t expect people to get it.

Make it, post it and beg for forgiveness if someone complains.

I have done this in corporate employers and small ones and for myself. No one ever complained, they were grateful I made them look good and they were happy with the candidates I got them.

Be brave, your growth starts now!

Content is key, but first, you need rhythm.

Content is king but Rhythm is a Recruiters form of nurture marketing. Posting constantly and consistently reminds people who you are, what you stand for and what you do. It gets you more eyeballs and if what you post is good, it gets you fans and followers.

As a recruiter, it will increase your response rates, drive more relevant inbound candidates to you personally and make your bosses happy (because being engaged online makes them look good.)

Hung Lee and I talked about how hard this is. He reminded me that it takes a huge amount of confidence to post and share your authentic views on the world with the internet. ITs about building the muscle memory that helps you become a better contributor to the internet. “You need to get in the Rhythm,” he told me.

Jan Tegze reminded me as well when I asked him how he creates so much awesome content. Its all about having a rhythm.

To build the rhythm myself, I have taken to creating more and posting more. You can do that too. Here are some of the top tips I share with the Growth Hacking Recruiters that will help build the muscle memory to easily keep consistently contributing to the internet and building your personal brand. 

  1. Pick a topic and try and write one micro post about it a day, HIT SHARE even if it is not perfect! (Platforms like Twitter, Instagram or snapchat are great for this)
  2. Write three comments when you Log In on every Platform
  3. Regularly write a post in a format you enjoy and works for your brand.

Hung is the Perfect example of Rhythmic posting. Not only is he curating an amazing newsletter every week but he is posting format posts on LinkedIn to compliment them. If you want to start getting your brand out there then just sharing a link to his amazing newsletter gets your name in front of thousands of other peeps interested in the same stuff as us!

I have a loooong way to go

So while building this MINDSET has been a personal journey to get to what I really want in life, Freedom to do what I want every day. Make awesome moments!

My personal journey, becoming confident enough to consistently create and post content has been tough. I have always wanted to do more, this is the umpteenth year that I had started out saying. “I’m going to post more blogs and share more stuff” but I am definitely starting to get my head around it. Not a 100k a year from posting on LinkedIn and in Facebook groups yet, but we can all be dreamers

I have often been blessed with a “Just do It” mindset, that reached a whole new level this year as I have focused on building a new growth focused mindset. More to come on that in my next post.

Growing myself is a long-term project!


Growth Hacking Principles in Recruiting are still Nascent, you may remember that I wrote a long time ago that fixing recruitment is more about levelling up the recruiters. Empowering people to get better at what they do in every part of their life is something I can only dream of. If you want to join us and help us grow, don’t forget to say hi and share this post with a friend.

Focus on what you can do to grow things now!


What is a Growth Hacking Recruiter?

Hires = Growth. A Growth Hacking Recruiter has a growth mindset and curiously and confidently leverages media, technology, data to hit hiring targets with minimal financial investment. Simply put, they help companies hire more effectively with fewer resources than their competition.

A fine-tuned hiring machine, growth hacking recruiters have mastered the art of targeting and engaging with job seekers at scale. Leveraging advances in technology, communication and information availability. Growth Hacking, when applied to recruitment, allows recruiters to become more agile, rapidly evolving and fixing hiring processes to increase satisfaction for everyone involved.

A Growth Hacking Recruiter has the data skills to analyse what is happening with a role (funnel hacking), the marketing skills to optimise and attract the right candidates (SEO, PPC, UX, Content marketing etc), the technical chops to automate the process (scraping, data enrichment, bots, AI etc) and the mindset that constantly drives growth!

Having a Growth Hacking Recruiter on your team will make you more hires, grow your brand and optimise every element of your hiring process.

Growth hacking is a mindset, so are the Growth Hacking Recruiters; A new breed of recruiters who can find the information they need to help companies scale teams successfully. Constantly adapting and adopting, the growth hacking recruiter is taking advantage of the newest technologies, data sources, marketing tactics and shared consciousness to rapidly test things, finding what works and exploiting them to make more hires.

I adopted the growth hacking mindset and applied it to hiring and it worked. By adopting the guidelines below, you can do it too!

Hires = Growth



This stuff is not new, it’s old.

It’s 2018 people, if you can’t use the internet to make hires, you need to learn NOW. Growth Hacking applied to recruitment was first written about by Nick Marsh in 2014 in an attempt to coin the term Talent Hacker. At the beginning of 2018 Jan Tegze, predicted growth hacking would be more important in recruiting than AI in 2018.

This is because it’s EASY and FREE to implement.

Having now been working on this in companies since 2014. Soaking in knowledge and building a network of recruiting experts around the world in my search for Talent Hacks. Jan and my vision was that to accelerate the adoption by building a group focused on this we would have a way to share growth hacking tips and tricks that actually work for recruiters.

The community has grown to more than 1500+ members, all recruiters actively engaging in growth hacking the hiring process and there way

They share articles focused around;

  • Information retrieval & Scraping
  • Automation and Bots
  • Digital & Content Marketing (SEO, PPC, Virals, Blogging etc)
  • The dark arts of Engagement & Hacking

As well as questions, real-world hacks, personal growth stories, life hacks, productivity tricks, collaborative projects and challenges.

As a growth hacking Recruiter, I have chased growth in all elements of my life. If you would like to receive all of the information I have learned. Everything I think you need to succeed as a recruiter, growth hacking your way to success, sign up on our landing page.

Join our free community of thousands of growth hacking recruiters around the world sharing tips and tricks that work to help you hire and grow.

Join the biggest and best community of growth hacking recruiters on GrowthHackingRecruiters.com

Still not convinced? Here is one of the first ever video’s we made to explain how Growth Hacking Recruitment works and how to start adopting the mindset.

Top Tips on Creating Viral Content to help you Hire!

These AWESOME Tricks will get you MORE views on your posts ANYWHERE

A recruiter needs to be able to connect hiring teams with relevant candidates as fast as possible. Viral content helps you do that!

Creating viral content can help you drive qualified applicants to apply to a role for free!

ONCE an effective profile is established of the people you are looking to hire. There is no reason why you can’t use techniques developed by the growth hacking communities to drive qualified applicants to roles for free.

Virality is the key to many successful hiring projects. You are making your life easier if you can use viral content to drive applicants via referral and from online sources.  

Start with talking to the people you have already hired!

If you start with an internal network you can quickly leverage large hiring teams to create viral content on the web that drives qualified applicants to your roles for free!

  • QUALITY Native Content is King
  • Make it CLEAR
  • Make people want to React
  • Gaming the Algorithm is OK = Build your Tribe
  • KISS

I talk through these principles in a lot more detail on the Live hangout here.

According to Dao Nguyen, Buzzfeed Data Teams, who introduces the concept of cultural cartography to understand virality in her TED talk. Following her research she recommends the content must meet one of these needs in order for the viewer to like and share:

  • “Makes Me Laugh” (Humor)
  • “This is Me” (Identity)
  • “Helps Me Connect” (This is Us)
  • “Helps Me…” (Learn something, do something, etc)
  • “Makes Me Feel…” (Curious, sad, etc) 

Highly Emotionaly charged content is always best to drive engagement and views on the web for free!

I recently caught up with my friend Dylan Hey, who left his job a few weeks ago to start his own company. Lucky he works in social selling, his LinkedIn video when he left his job got; 150,000 views, over 2k likes, loads of comments.

When I asked him, Hey said the key to good LinkedIn posts are:

1 – Authenticity. Be as authentic as possible with your content.

2 – Make yourself vulnerable.

3 – Timing. How can you leverage other events?

I was authentic to myself. Made myself vulnerable and leveraged the event that I was leaving – was his comment.

It definitely seems to be working! Keep it up. 

You should take away the fact that hiring people is an event and getting people to share that teams are growing just takes an honest and authentic piece of content that they connect with.

Most social networks are striving to keep users within their ecosystem, so creating content has to be native. For a recruiter, the challenge comes in converting the viewer or engager to the candidate.

While your first mission when hiring is creating good quality content that is shareable and an easy system to gather intent from the job seeker. As a recruiter, once you start to scale this you need to be mindful that candidates on social media should still be treated within a system that ensures a fair route to the role. A challenge I have not seen an HR tech provider truly fix yet in terms of integrating ATS to multiple social platforms and tracking interaction.

Practical take away for every recruiter here is to stop re-posting boring jobs and write about why someone would want to join the team. Take a picture of the work environment. Share an honest story about the challenge you face.

It is so exciting to see more of this content out there and I think we all have an opportunity to lead the way with helping people get jobs.

I hope you enjoy the tips, really looking forward to your feedback.

Make sure you Join the Growth Hacking Recruiters group on facebook, subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on twitter!