The European Recruitment Innovation Event 2018 – Talent Pipelines & Talent Communities with Nick Eaton from Specsavers

Adam Gordon

CEO, Candidate.ID

Specsavers have been using Candidate.ID since early 2017 for a number of different talent engagement initiatives. In the UK, they’ve been using it for ‘talent demand generation’; that is, to convert every optometrist in the country into an enthusiastic applicant. Earlier this year I spoke on stage with Director of Specsavers Recruitment Services, Rob Mould, about this.

In Northern Europe however, they’ve been taking a slightly different tack and Nick Eaton, Head of Recruitment for the region and I talked about it on stage at the brilliant European Recruitment Innovation Event in Amsterdam in September.

Nick talked about the moment of truth he experienced when one of his recruiters in Denmark told him he had been through the list of qualified optometrists supplied by the country’s governing body and called them all. He had talked to every single person. You see there is a gross under-supply of optometrists across the world and they all have multiple career options open to them. In short, competition is fierce. Nick knew then that the one-off contact approach was not the way to create a sustainable optometry recruiting strategy under these conditions.

So, upon reflection, Nick decided that one way to tackle the challenge was to create a talent community and when we first met at Unleash in Paris in 2016 we had plenty to talk about; I’d spent several years working with companies to help them generate communities. Here’s a 6-minute video from 2014 where I set out the main things you need to address when creating talent communities.

2 years later and Green Club is the result of Nick and his team’s hard work. It’s an on and offline resource for optometrists in the northern European countries in which Specsavers is present. Originally called Specsavers Green Club, they dropped the company name from the initiative to make it less brand-focused and more inclusive.

The main focus for Green Club is touring bi-monthly events which feature guest speakers, technical presentations, vendors and networking and the highlight is the Clinical Conference which is in October, happening right now at the time of typing. It’s nothing, whatsoever to do with recruitment as far as Green Club members. It’s purely about learning and development; enhancing skills within the optical profession.

I’ve said this so many times, but there are 1,000 ways to get talent communities wrong. Nick and Specsavers however, have got it really right.

Let me know if you’d like to take a look at our slides from the event, which include some of Nick’s really interesting stats about Green Club.

Check out their new careers site here.

Click here to request a conversation about how Candidate.ID can help you to create genuine talent pipelines and talent communities.

Written by Adam Gordon, CEO & Co-founder of Candidate.ID


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Adam Gordon

CEO, Candidate.ID