Digital Recruitment and me.

Keith Potts

Understanding your role in the recruitment value chain


Whatever I do, I always like to remind myself of the fundamentals. That is my way of making sure that I focus on the most important items and it really served me well when running Jobsite and developing it from a tiny startup to a world beating force.

The first thing everybody needs to understand are the drivers of recruitment and how they apply to both job seekers and recruiters. A job board (and it is the same for aggregators and CV sources) is a two-sided market place and they only thrive when there are benefits for everybody involved (more about this in a blog post at a later stage).

Recruitment and job seeking (and finding) is driven by speed and relevance. Job seeking is – for most parts and for most people – a stressful and confidence-zapping experience, as there is limited control over the process and outcome and maximum impact on self-esteem through rejection and probing. A job seeker therefore wants to get over it as fast as possible and this can be done by finding jobs that are relevant on skills, experience and culture.

This in turn is also beneficial for the recruiter as they receive more relevant candidates, therefore need to spend less time filtering and screening irrelevant ones and through the higher probability of success fill the job faster. Time to hire and cost to hire are two performance indicators used to assess the recruitment process.

So relevance aids speed. Speed on its own can also be enhanced by giving recruiters priority access to candidates, through easy and automatic integration with multi-posters and other point solutions in the recruitment and screening process.  Vito Lomele, my good friend and founder of Jobrapido described them very fittingly as “productivity engines”.

For some aggregators, relevance is often a hindrance to revenue growth: If they would show only the most relevant organic jobs and a tight search, then they’d receive less sponsored clicks hence less revenue. That’s why you will find that sponsored results are often so much more accurate than organic inclusions – after all the candidate is supposed to click on the job that earns money. A couple of years ago it reached a climax when, especially in the USA, aggregator linked to aggregator linked to aggregator and it took up to four steps before a candidate reached the destination of the job. A rather awful user experience, driven by short term gains.

This will change over time; the more job boards and aggregators will expand and include recruitment agency services into their offering (see this article aboutIndeed) the likelier that the performance model will mirror that of recruitment agencies. Additionally, job seekers are not as loyal as one might presume and will move on to the one source that gives the freshest and most relevant jobs, hence make job seeking as speedy and smooth as possible.

And – this has often been said and still holds true – without job seekers there is no business. This can be refined further, without giving recruiters relevant candidates that they can’t get anywhere else (increased value) and/or you are better integrated into the recruiter workflow (decreased cost), there is no business.

The recruitment workflow is best understood in the four stage model:

  • Stage 1: Sources candidates by advertising and other methods
  • Stage 2: Screening of potential candidates through tests and/or interviews
  • Stage 3: Selecting the deserving candidate based on the test and/or interviews
  • Stage 4: On-boarding and training – equipping the new employee with the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to become effective organisational members.

(Source: Koncept)

Job boards and aggregators generally sit in stage 1, but as mentioned above with Indeed, plus increased focus on automating stages 2 and 3, they will delve deeper into the value chain. Obviously any job board owner can also expect that some of their recruitment clients will increasingly compete directly with them on stage 1.

Success is mainly measured at stage 3. Keep this in mind and act accordingly. The size of your user base isn’t important, but can you find relevant jobs for those users and therefore make the recruiter happy.

Reminding myself and my team about this was the cornerstone of our success at Jobsite and Evenbase and continues to be at the heart of all our developments now at Talenetic.

Next week’s blog will be about understanding the world we operate in – this backdrop is crucial for understanding the audience, developing the right tech and choosing the right messaging.

Talenetic attracts prominent investors from the recruitment industry


July 2015 London/Chichester – Talenetic (, the latest start-up of Keith, Graham and Eric Potts (the founders of, has received early stage investment from a consortium of prominent individuals in the recruitment industry. The consortium is headed up by Miles Hunt, a serial Recruitment Entrepreneur, Chairman of APSCo (Association of Professional Staffing Companies) and Chairman of several recruitment companies around the world. It also includes Simon Lawton (Director of Benula Capital), Paul Huntingdon (founder of Serocor) and the Serocor Group.


Keith Potts, CEO of Talenetic, states: “We weren’t looking for investment at this stage, as Talenetic was developing according to plan with strong partnerships and client interest, but when Miles and his team came knocking, we didn’t have to think twice. Their industry knowledge will make our product suite even stronger and their contacts will speed up Talenetic’s growth far beyond our current trajectory. We are absolutely excited to be working together.”

Miles Hunt comments: “It is an absolute privilege to be invited by the Potts brothers to invest into their company. As an investor, it is ideal to work with people who are absolute experts in their field and have a proven track record. We are looking forward tohelp accelerate growth into other areas of the recruitment industry and to support Keith and his team in building a world class talent acquisition platform that really addresses the needs and desires of the recruiters around the world.”

Talenetic ( is the new venture of the Jobsite founders Keith, Eric and Graham Potts together with Parthasarathy R. Talenetic focuses on three areas: job board technology and talent acquisition platforms for media, recruitment agencies, corporate recruiters and job boards; their own niche aggregator (; strategic consultancy for job boards and recruiters. Talenetic launched in July 2014 and since then has been chosen by numerous companies in the UK, the US and India.

Jan 2015: Talentic signs deal with Indeed


26th January, 2015 London/New York – Talenetic, the new venture of Jobsite Founders Keith, Eric and Graham Potts , has today announced a global partnership with, the world’s largest job site.   The agreement will provide Talenetic’s clients with the world’s most comprehensive jobs search powered by Indeed and position Talenetic as a leading global job board technology. Additionally, employers will enjoy the freedom to advertise their vacancies on a Talenetic job site and Indeed through a seamless integration.

Keith Potts, CEO and Founder of Talenetic states: “I am thrilled about working with the global leader in digital recruitment. This partnership will position Talenetic as the leading player on a global scale. We have poured all our knowledge of job boards, candidate attraction, recruiter workflows and technology solutions into Talenetic and it shows  – by the client take-up we have experienced so far, the feedback we have received and by partnering with Indeed to provide job seekers and employers alike the best possible recruitment experience.”

“Working with Indeed”, Potts continues, “this deal fits perfectly with our approach of integrating with the best players across the world, so that our clients not only benefit from our expertise but also from the strengths of our partnerships.  By building an ecosystem that includes best of breed companies we will deliver outstanding results for all of our clients, be it job boards, recruitment agencies or corporate recruiters.”

Indeed’s VP of Business Development, Matt Molinari, said: “Indeed’s mission is to help people get jobs and this partnership is a perfect fit for us.  Talenetic provides an exceptional job board technology that will help people all over the globe find jobs.  Their talented leadership team possesses a deep understanding of the online recruitment industry and their software is truly world class. We are excited to be working with Keith and his team and are confident of providing Talenetic’s clients with the most comprehensive  job search experience.”

Recruitment Magazine July 2014: The Potts boys look to the Future with Talenetic







Cloudbusting at Goodwood Revival

NCS – Dramatic elephant rescue

Yesterday a dramatic Elephant rescue happened right in front of the deck at our Zambian Safari Lodge “Kapani Lodge” ( in front of the very eyes of our staff and guests. I’m a trustee of Wildlife Aid ( in the UK, which is dedicated to saving animals so was thrilled to see this story. Our management quickly sprung into action but I’ll leave it to our Christina to explain what happened….

Most conservationists believe that man should not meddle with the natural order and that we should allow nature to run her course however cruel or grim it seems to be. We agree on the whole, unless a wildlife problem has been created by man (for instance in the case of snaring or being trapped in a fence, in which case it’s justifiable to intervene) then nature should be left to her own devices. She has a plan.

However – every rule has an exception and the dreadful plight of a baby elephant trapped in the mud of the Kapani Lagoon and her mother, who had also got stuck trying to save her yesterday had us all in a frenzy of activity. We simply could not stand by and watch them struggle and slowly die. South Luangwa Conservation Society together with our neighbours – ZAWA – the wildlife authority – agreed with us and we all joined forces to try and save the mum and baby. I usually try to keep the newsletters short, but I hope you’ll forgive me for making an exception with this one and agree that this story is worth a little extra time and attention.

Abraham got these great photos of the unfolding drama……




The family herd desperately trying to help the screaming Mum and baby escape but they were completely stuck in the deep, rapidly drying mud with no chance of getting out



The brave and skilled SLCS team manages to slip a rope under the baby, narrowly avoiding mums thrashing trunk – and starts to haul her out …..



Nearly there – the whole team is hauling as hard as they can….. But the baby is terribly frightened and won’t leave mum’s side


Again – she’s out and we think we’re almost there…… But despite my frantic waving and shouting – she won’t leave her mum



One more try – the team pull her further away from mum this time….. They unwrap the ropes and help her to her feet




This time – thanks to a young herd cousin calling her to safety….. she makes a dash for it as the rest of the herd scream for her to come to them



Now back to mum who is dehydrated and exhausted – we’ve been pouring water over her to try to protect her from the scorching midday sun. SLCS staff carefully slip a rope under her….



and the tractor starts to pull and pull – inching her out of what would have been a muddy grave – she seems to sense that there’s a chance of escape and begins to struggle for her life…



With us all shouting encouragment and just willing her to keep going “come on Mama, come on Mama”……. to the delight of us all – she makes it! Weak and wobbly she drags herself out



and runs to find her baby and the rest of
her waiting herd! The happiest possible ending! The SLCS team all share a celebratory drink on the Kapani deck with our relieved guests!

This is all in a day’s work for the amazing Rachel McRobb and her outstanding team at The South Luangwa Conservation Society. Go to – it’s a fantastic site and well worth a visit. You will be amazed at what this relatively small group can achieve – their dedication and commitment to wildlife is inspiring.

Together with our local wildlife authority – the South Luangwa Area Management Unit of the Zambia Wildlife Authority, they are extremely effective at anti-poaching activities including anti-snaring and patrolling in vulnerable areas of the National Park. Rachel and her team are also skilled at darting snared animals, removing the snares and treating the horrific wounds they cause.

Their awareness raising activities and work with other local conservation groups are incredibly effective. Of course – this all takes money so please consider becoming a regular supporter.

Our MD Dave Wilson and NCS Director Adrian Carr are both active trustees in SLCS.

It was extremely heartening for us all to see how many local people joined in the efforts to free these two elephants – the cheers of joy, first when the baby ran to his cousin and then when Mum was finally released from the jaws of the sticky, cloying mud were wonderful! Everyone seemed to identify with the mum’s plight – we all saw the incredible emotional bond between the worried herd members and mum and baby.

Thank you SLCS and ZAWA and also all the NCS staff who bravely fought to make this a happy ending!

Christina (Gid)

Norman Carr Safaris.

Jobsite TV Adverts

October is nearly upon us and we kick off with some of the new ads we shot in November. This is my favourite

A morning appearance on the BBC

James Caan Guest Blog – Investing in Entrepreneurs


As part of my “Angel” series I asked my friend, James Caan to be my guest blogger. He explains what he looks for in Entrepreneurs and how he helps them. Enjoy. Keith

Many people dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Watching my father build his businesses I realised early on that I wanted to follow in his footsteps and build my own company. Although there are no predetermined rules for success, I do believe that it takes a certain type of person to succeed in business. So when I am investing, I invest in people rather than the product or service offered. A successful entrepreneur is not someone who is looking to take the effortless route and be part of the crowd, but alternately, it’s the individuals who are willing to stand out and swim against the tide in order to get ahead.  

From the moment I made my first investment to the present day one thing that really motivates me is working as part of a strong team of people who share your enthusiasm and drive. I think this is paramount to success. Also, I’ve always practiced my father’s ‘win-win’ formula. To really succeed in the long term, you need to make sure people around you win too. Relationships are crucial in business, so always considering the needs and desires of others will encourage them to work with you to build success together.

Also, many people think that being in business you have to come from a privileged background with a great degree and money to make it work. Yes of course an education is important in business and any financial backing will give you the head start you need, but for me the key factor I believe can make you successful – is your drive and passion.

After the sale of Alexander Mann I had a lot of time on my hands and money to invest. But it wasn’t always like that. My first investment was funded by 3 credit cards and the desire to impress my future wife.

After my ‘gap year’ I spent weeks watching private equity investor presentations and pitches on why I should invest my money into their clients. Although there were some attractive propositions I realised that I could probably do what those guys did – so I decided to start my own private equity firm; Hamilton Bradshaw.

The early days were rocky, I had yet to learn the basics on how to run a private equity firm, but I knew what my strengths were, and that; motivating people, making deals, and growing businesses.

We started out in a small shared office with three people, one of which was part-time. The beginning of HB reminded me of the early days of Alexander Mann. From meetings with prospective clients to making new deals – it was fun, dynamic and exciting, things were happening. I was setting the foundations for the business.

The next stage was growing the business. For any business to develop you need to have a vision. I decided that whilst a small office was great for communication between the team members, the portfolio was expanding fast – so it was time to move. I found a property in Mayfair and within no time at all I bought the building.

Finding good talent for my business was a difficult task. I had two key investment managers but we had up to six companies to manage. Then came the recession. It can throw up many challenges but it presented opportunities and led the way for us to find some excellent talent. I hired another four employees and within 6 months another four after that. Along with the investment managers we eventually built a finance and a marketing team. The company now occupies five floors of the building in Mayfair and weare still growing.

Today, Hamilton Bradshaw boasts an investment portfolio of more than 40 companies. When we are looking at any businesses to invest in we have key criteria. We have invested in a broad range of businesses in the past but our strategy this year is to focus on investing in recruitment companies. Fundamentally, recruitment is my background, it’s what I know, it’s what I love.

We work with the companies in the portfolio on a daily basis identifying how we can add value, overcome challenges and make the businesses work more effectively. They all have their own USPs and with the help of my investment team we work with them to come up with innovative business models. One of the companies in our portfolio has saved their SME customers approximately £6 million and creating a sustainable business model.  

In the first meeting with any entrepreneur, I quickly pick up on their appetite for success. The entrepreneurs I invest in always have passion. This may be demonstrated through the relationships in the management team, their sheer dedication, or their ability to motivate others. It’s refreshing to meet teams that are determined to shake up their industry and use technology to push the boundaries.

of the companies in the portfolio that is surging forward is Exsurgo, but like any new venture it wasn’t an easy start. We faced interesting challenges setting up Exsurgo; an international recruitment agency. The management team was extremely passionate. The managing director, David Jenkins, is the sort of person you want to be running your business. He is very savvy, energetic and always ‘switched-on’ when it comes to outlining goals. Besides the usual start-up risks, the fact that the company was to be launched during the recession, when more people are being fired than hired was also a concern. After we set up the company, the expertise of my recruitment team and myself went to work. In the second year of operations Exsurgo generated pretty impressive profits, especially for a start-up company during a downturn.

Everyday I get many questions about starting a company. What is the first thing to do? How do I find investors? What is the criteria for your deals?

Setting up your own company can be difficult if you don’t know where to begin. I have found there is an increasing appetite amongst entrepreneurs for advice about running a business. This is what led me to launch my new ‘Business Secrets App’. Interestingly, the most popular sections have been “Hiring” and “Raising Finance”. The latter has always been a very important issue for entrepreneurs and is now a big part of the government agenda. I’m currently involved in the Entrepreneur’s Forum and meet regularly with Vince Cable and other business people. It’s great to debate and discuss issues with them. I get to find out what other business people want and also report back the challenges I see everyday in my own job.

I love building businesses and thrive on the challenge. I am passionate about each and every business, from Dragons’ Den to the companies in the Hamilton Bradshaw portfolio. Like every entrepreneur I have faced ups and downs, but, one thing I do believe in, is that ideas alone will not make you successful, it is how you execute them that sets you apart. If you are going to do something don’t just talk about it – actually get out there, do your research, work out the numbers, look at your competitors, work out what you can do better. Starting a business isn’t easy but if you are determined and you have unquestioning belief in what you are doing then you can make your dream come true.

If you are looking for more advice and tips on starting a business go to iTunes store and download ‘James Caan Business Secrets’


Two days with the Royal Navy & RNRMC


As you may have seen from previous blogs, Jobsite has a very strong relationship with both the Royal Navy and RNRMC (Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity) and this week our Chairman, Felix and I were lucky enough to be invited to Devonport to witness a mock battle at sea called “Thursday War”.

We arrived at Devonport Heliport on Wednesday to be greeted by officers of “FOST”, (Flag Officer Sea Training)  where we were driven to the FOST HQ. After a safety briefing on how to escape from an inverted sea helicopter we went to Admiralty House where we enjoyed the excellent hospitality of Admiral Chris Stone CBE and his lovely wife, Helen. Over a fantastic dinner we chatted with distinguished Navy guests about the dangers of tackling Somali pirates, protecting our waters and maintaining safe shipping routes, subjects which we only really see through TV. My room in the 18th Century Admiralty house overlooked the garden, the end of which towered a huge ancient wall topped with rolls of barbed wire. I couldn’t help romantically thinking about all the famous Admirals who probably have stayed there over the 100’s of years….quite probably in my own room. 

We received a naval wake up call at 5:30AM for a 6AM breakfast and were aboard a Royal Navy transport vessel by  6:30 travelling out to HMS Argyll, a warship. En route, we passed many warships docked and couldn’t help noticing the very smart alignment of crew standing to attention on each ship (or submarine) saluting the Admiral who was chatting with us and interrupting the conversation with a return salute. The Admiral followed each salute with a huge shout of “Good Morning Cumberland” or whatever vessel name we were passing.

We arrived at HMS Argyll and walked on board via a huge gangway being careful to jump the last foot to make sure we didn’t fall between the vessels. I always thought the longjump practice at school would come in handy one day and following a successful leap we were welcomed aboard the warship by the Captain.

The Captain had a small but very nice cabin where we all sat down and chatted over a cup of tea and a bacon roll. I was later to discover that the Captains cabin was enormous in comparison to anyone else (including officers).  We didn’t have much time though as “Thursday War” was about to start and we were told that anything could happen.

We joined the FOST team for an Admiral’s briefing where the language became totally complex as almost every other word seemed to be an acronym. The Admiral certainly knew what the team were saying as he was asking questions which appeared even more full of acronyms than those of the FOST team. Back at the Captains quarters, the Admiral tried to fill us in with a few of the coded messages and it appeared a little less confusing but the top and bottom of it was that there was about to be a huge amount of attacks and incidents on the ship we were sailing in. The ships company were going to be put under huge pressure and we were there to witness it.

Almost immediately, Torpedoes and Missiles were on course for collision with HMS Argyll. We were under attack by a hugely agile military boat which zig zagged around us simulating a Somali Pirate attack. Following warnings, the boat continued to approach and we witnessed machine gunners stationed down the side of Argyll firing at the boat with 50 rounds per second. I think we won that battle and it left me thinking that I really need to keep out of the way of these warships when I’m doing my own pleasure sailing. To get on the wrong side of one would be a truly horrible experience!!

We were later subjected to a fire on the bridge which became totally abandoned. Little did we realise at the time but the ship can be controlled outside the bridge as a backup which was very reassuring considering the speed we were going. As I stood there in a total blanket of smoke, I couldn’t help notice that whilst under attack, Argyll was zigzagging with incredible agility which was more reminiscent of a powerboat than a huge warship.

Cameras were put away when we went to the ops room which is where the battle is being controlled from. It was like a scene from “Red October” with radar screens and flashing buttons controlled by a crowded team of the top brass. Everyone wore white masks and gloves to prevent skin burn from explosive flashes and it was kind of scary to see them all in action with all this hi-tech gear. “Torpedo coming in from 170 degrees” one person shouted at the top of their voice. The Admiral pointed out that these guys were having three conversations at any one time, an earpiece for two remote inputs plus the people around them in the ops room. Everything looked totally confusing but as far as I had witnessed, they were in the right educational hands with the FOST team doing the one-to-one training and observation.

The battle ceased after several hours as we put on our “dry” suits to board the Royal Navy Helicopter. Taking off from the back of a warship was a surreal experience and pretty frightening to say the least. The Admiral had mentioned that the YouTube video with the Heli falling off the back of a warship ended up with several drownings and forms part of their training video collection on how “not” to “kit up”.

The afternoon was equally fascinating and included a tour of HMS Tireless, a nuclear sub which had recently returned from a 10.5 month deployment. The cramped space of the sub was difficult enough for an hour or so but we just imagined what it would be like to stay underwater for months with 130 other men!!

Our final tour of the day following a sandwich lunch in the Admirals office was a walkabout with Hasler Company. The work these guys do to help injured Marines is staggering and we were proud to take a good look around at all the equipment and facilities that Help for Heroes and RNRMC had provided them. It was clear to me that Hasler Company were doing a very important and fine job for our wounded Marines.

It would be difficult to put all the detail of our day into my blog but to say that we had an excellent day with a fascinating insight of what our forces do would be an understatement. We are proud to be working
with the RN, RM and RNRMC and look forward to helping them with their difficult recruitment challenges of the future. When I next hear news of our military in action on TV, I’m sure it will remind me of the privileged day we spent meeting our heroes and from what we saw, heroes they are.

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