#7 Be a control freak – with Ann Swain

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With over 30 years’ experience in the recruitment sector, Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo (The Association of Professional Staffing Companies in London) is a well-respected authority in our global industry, a hugely popular international speaker, and a passionate advocate for the UK Staffing Sector. She is also the author of the Professional Recruiter’s Handbook. Prior to Ann’s role at APSCo, she was the founder, in 1988 of Learning Curve, the specialist recruitment training company which was acquired by the Delphi Group in 1997. 

Click to tweet: Ann Swain shares her incredible journey on Recruiters Live Lounge today!

Favourite success quote

  • Ann’s favourite success quote is ‘If you’re going to work on your character or reputation, don’t worry about reputation, work on your character because your character is really who you are, and your reputation is just who people think you are’.

Biggest failure faced in recruitment

  •  Being quite extrovert, Ann thought she would naturally be fantastic on the phone, but her very first recruitment cold call crashed and burned and the embarrassment still sticks in her memory. Watch the video now to find out what happened.

Recruitment ‘eureka’ moment

  • Ann’s light bulb moment came when she was able to spot problem with the some roles for a very big client she was working for, and brought it to their attention. It was then that she realised she ‘really knew her stuff’ and didn’t have to feel she was bluffing any more.

The crystal ball

  • Over the next five years Ann thinks that the biggest change coming is about the customer expectations of whether its worth them spending money with us. That buying has become more sophisticated and therefore dictates that we are more sophisticated in what we provide in order for organisations to make god decisions.

Best piece of business advice

  • “Be a control freak”

Business resource


Best business book

Consigliere, Leading from the Shadows‘ by Richard Hytner.

Ann’s final piece of advice – ‘Value what we do in our profession. I think we should take the recruitment profession really seriously. I think we should charge good money for the work that we do and give a services that is fantastic and worth that good money, because we change people’s lives.’  

Interview Links

Find out more about Anna via her LinkedIn profile  and contact her via info@apsco.org

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In need of some FREE resources?

1) Click here to download Roy’s free eBook ’39 Must-read Books to Ignite You and Your Recruitment Business’

2) Click here to watch Roy’s free 3-part video series for recruitment business owners

3) Click here to watch free recruitment training videos on Roy’s YouTube channel