My Recruitment Story – Bridget Cooksley

Stories defines us. Each of us have a unique story. RHUB’s theme this year is stories and storytelling.  We asked Bridget Cooksley three questions ahead of her talk at RHUB.

Q. How did you get into recruitment?
I, like many others, am an ‘accidental recruiter’.  I took voluntary redundancy from IBM in 1991 and after meeting with a number of recruiters who all told me how good I’d be at recruitment, I decided to give it a go! Have to say I couldn’t believe my luck in that I’d found a job where I could talk to people all day, be really nosey about people’s careers and businesses AND make good money out of it.

Q. What’s your most memorable recruitment story?
Being asked to assist TVNZ with their IT recruitment exclusively after working with their new CIO when he was a candidate. Even though I hadn’t placed him, he liked the way I worked and thought I was the right person to represent their brand (great for branded print advertising!).  Or the other one was when I was quite new to recruitment and did a reference check and asked (just as a by the way) how the person I was speaking to recruited and ended up placing large numbers with this start up software firm for the next 2 years.

Q. What will your cover at RHUB?
I would like to talk about the challenges of attracting people to difficult and potentially dangerous jobs and then selecting the people with the ‘right stuff’.  So our challenge is to work out how to sell our brand that is not immediately attractive to most people and then design selection processes that uncover candidate’s core values, key personality traits and behaviours, as well as their potential de-railers.  We need 100 Corrections Officer applicants to find one to hire – how do we do it?  We’re in the process of updating our brand and it’s going to be all about ‘telling stories’ with the objective of getting potential candidates to relate to our staff members’ individual stories.