The Marketing Rules In Writing: Building Talent Communities With Dualta Doherty

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The need to find and engage with the right talent at the right time for the right role is the forefront of most recruiters minds right now. Driven by a shortage of candidates and passive candidates only willing to change jobs in the right circumstances.

One method to keep you and your company at the forefront of the minds of your audiences is to build communities.

Join me this week to discuss community building in recruitment is Dualta Doherty. Dualta has successfully built communities for candidates, clients and now runs a peer to peer community called RecWired.

The Episode Transcript:

00:01.43
thinkincircles
So welcome back. Everybody to the marketing rules podcast and today I am joined by Duelta Doherty from RecWidred and all kinds of other places as well. Um, it is an absolute pleasure to have you on the podcast today. Um. Usually we ask kind of our guests to say give us a little bit of kind of bet about our background if they don’t if people if our listeners and our audience don’t know anything much about you but I would imagine most people listening would know who you are so just Gunna give us ah a brief kind of recap of kind of you know. Of yourself and and the businesses you’re involved with and and little bit about your background.

00:37.84
Dualta Doherty
Yeah we’re probably guilty of shouting a bit loudly over the years um so I’ve been in recruitment for about 1112 years now um the last two years bit of a blur for for a lot of us started in Australia one of the big businesses and then. I got a taste of entrepreneurship on the way to Canada with my wife and we set up a resume writing business and went to Canada the market crashed and before we knew it we were in central America looking to launch a recruitment business and. Just so happened that she’d been dealing with some rector as an internal recruiter so we both said we’d jump into that. Um I always thought I’d like set up a ah tech recruitment firm because that was my was my background and it’s what I was really into and. But we’d moved around so much that joining those dots with my experience level at the time just wasn’t right? So we we had a good time in central America we made some money we moved back to Europe and Charlotte fell pregnant. So then I had to explore this whole. Way of replacing her in the business and that led us to the 4 hour workweek and looking at compartmentalising different elements of the recruitment process and early stage outsourcing in 2016? Um, and that got us our first hire and then we just kind of. Went from there. Um I suppose the last few years Charlotte’s been in and out of the business and we’ve had kids but house did all that grown up stuff back in the Uk. So really only been back in the UK ecosystem 5 years not and. During that time started start at the podcast which kind of led to a community which kind of led to an advisory practice which led to me speaking to here today.

02:42.62
thinkincircles
That that’s pretty succinct. Um, so I tell ah we we’ll get on to kind of what we’re going to talk about tonight today around kind of community building. But what? what was it? Um, why did you kind of keep on moving was it just a kind of ah just travel bug. You just. Kind of what was it that kind of because central America right? seems like an odd place to kind of and to end up and start kind of and and doing recruitment. Um, so so cool. How did you get there.

03:10.10
Dualta Doherty
So I’m obsessed with the digital nomad movement I listen to like podcasts on it I was I was always always interested in location independent entrepreneurism I just think that. Why would you like if you can and you don’t have kids and you’re young and all of this. Why would you not take advantage of living in a cheaper place learn but learn different cultures see different things yet make New York money and I suppose it’s just the gamification of life isn’t it and. I I just I suppose if it take a step back. My parents left Donny Gale when I was just finishing my degree so from regional Ireland and you know that’s 10 generations of the Daharde family from that tide and when they went to Brussels. Then kind of did part part time post-grad in marketing. Um, which kind of led to a doctoral and working in a pub for a period of time. Um, or so i. I suppose I had already moved from the home base and then I was kind of still figuring myself out I went to Australia and then I’m just in the travel boat like this new world like pick beans on a farm and do all that great stuff and then I end in Perth with a bunch of other Irish guys in their twenty s and we’re all in recruitment together Irish and english. And you know just getting a taste of that expat life but from more of a professional standpoint than I had in Brussels and yeah, just it just seemed like okay well worse the next boom and you’ll find that with a lot of recruiters who move abroad. They’ll do a few years in Dubai and then they might go to oz and they might go to us and. Like I suppose with us I really wanted to test her like these different places and just just experience something different I love it though. A lot love travel.

05:07.50
thinkincircles
Um, ah how easy is it to set up a business in in Central America

05:11.91
Dualta Doherty
We didn’t um so we had a Canadian registered business at the time we found this wonderful tax loop at the time that if you’re out state of Canada and you had of a business and you’re non-resident so we kind of ran that for a bit until we had to set up a grownup company in the Uk um.

05:16.19
thinkincircles
Right.

05:31.79
Dualta Doherty
But I think if you wanted to live maybe tax free in central America you can set up offshore corporations. There’s digital noman visas now available for the Caribbean for for lots of other entities as well. The problem is it where you’re banking. So if you. If you do that there you really need to be earning serious money and not the itty bitty placement here and placement there that we started off um because the banking charges would be too hard so the Taxman will always get you unless you can have it fixed. You know.

05:58.52
thinkincircles
Either.

06:04.59
thinkincircles
Ah, there’s no, there’s no getting away from it. Um, and were you were you recruiting in central America were you recruiting back in for for Canada.

06:12.50
Dualta Doherty
No, we were just doing what we like still what a large part of our 1 of our practices is is like moving u k recruiters around the world and and Australian Recruiters and irish recruiters around the world. So we just kind of find this little gap back then and we just kind of steered into it and. Because we’d worked in North America and Canada it just was something we were passionate about and so we were in central America and at the time I remember I was like this is a great story. We should tell it and Charlotte was like well nobody else is doing anything like this. So let’s just let’s just keep our location as Canada and. And I was like oh think we’re missing a trick. Um I know it’s the thing to do you know but like then it was I suppose people people say in 2006 lot a lot has changed since 2016 in terms of how you present yourself you like personal branding versus company branding and all all these things that didn’t really exist.

06:53.20
thinkincircles
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

07:09.11
Dualta Doherty
The recruitment world back there.

07:09.57
thinkincircles
Um, and so did you did you have a plan at that point did you know where the trajectory was or was it just kind of right? We’re gonna gonna try here for a little while we’re gonna see how it goes we’re gonna move here because ah leading into kind of the topic for today around community building. You know where where did. That vision star or was did it did it happen once you kind of got back to the u k.

07:34.90
Dualta Doherty
It’s a really good question. Um, and it kind of happened along the way it. It definitely wasn’t a strategic plan. Um I I think once we got to the u k. I was like okay how do I get out of this sector act stuff like I’ve fallen into this I I mean I’ve automated 80% of it I was bored. It doesn’t scale. The conversations are the same. Just wasn’t my wife’s pulling money out of the business to buy a house to have children to do all of it like I I was completely unfulfilled um and then it started doing really well like once she kind of came back into the business. She’s real talented it and it started like doing really well and it was great. But. At the same time I was still really really unfulfilled. Um and I had Andy Hallard come in and have a chat with me and as in an advisory capacity. He he came as a candidate actually and then I was like hey you should set up your advisory practice and he was like. Okay, well maybe I’ll start with you and then we kind of got talking and I went through a bit of a process with that. Um and whatever plan we came up with did Mark famously and but I did enjoy working with him and we got talking more and more and. I think he had 20 years of brand equity in large farms and I had I had a I had built a different community than the one I set out to build so I thought I’m gonna have a recruitment podcast I’m gonna make loads of money of all the twenty five year olds who’s going to listen to this podcast and then. They’re gonna use me and I’m gonna make and that’s gonna be it but that didn’t happen. It was 35 to 55 year olds listen the podcast who are recruiting entrepreneurs who either want to set up scale or find out what their competitors are doing so then we were in another. Membership network briefly like and I remember just going like so I could do this better I could do this way better and I used to study people like David Stephen Patterson in the UK in the US and I was watching what he was doing on Facebook. He was engaging people and all the rest and I thought wow that’s interesting. But I’d like to do a bit of that but I’d also like to do for further up the food chain as well bigger companies that are scaling like our client list so we had a client list the listenership and we then decided just over a couple of.

10:11.84
Dualta Doherty
But the red wine to set up a WhatsApp group and then that became 4 different WhatsApp groups and a vendor group and it just went from there and then we I had ah a virtual team I so I still do so and he was able to like like jump in and use all our resources. And then we worked out what he was good at what Charlotte was good at what I was good at and then we figured out where the gaps were between the finders, the vendors. Um and then it just so happened that like and it is the advisory for bigger companies.

10:40.60
thinkincircles
Yeah.

10:49.57
Dualta Doherty
And we kind of find our place doing advisory for startups and and and so five billers who want to have a profit centric boutique and I’m really passionate about it and we we find ourselves in that world. Um. So it’s it’s it’s ah it’s a work in progress. It’s definitely not the finished article but we we got strategic absolutely from that moment of those 2 bottles are red wine. Yeah to to this point there’s been a lot of work and I have a very talented team that worked for me. Um. My marketing manager is brilliant at Georgiana she’s trained in somebody who we’ve got as community manager and she’s brilliant as well and then we’ve just basically managed to build up this really strong operational framework and Charlotte and Andy are both quite strong operationally Charlotte more so than Andy. Um. And he has his own strengths as well. So it’s kind of just it’s evolved and we’re at a good space with it all now and kind of can see the trajectory of where it’s going to go.

11:54.59
thinkincircles
Um, and it’s Interesting. You manage that kind of you You mentioned that that strategic kind of aspect and I suppose anyone who’s kind of wanted to go down this route potentially themselves is that something you would have referred to have maybe done earlier so you had much more kind of. A vision or do you think it’s something that was that naturally was just going to come ah come at a certain point when you hit critical mass.

12:20.52
Dualta Doherty
That’s a really good question. Um I wasn’t ready to do it earlier. Um I think without Andy at that moment I would have had so too much imposter syndrome to do it and I think getting like. Getting to work with him over a period of time and I learned a lot just in terms of like he would have managed a lot of vendor relationships with ah with s 3 and and I got to see that and how that worked I got to see. The advisory stuff and how that worked and I got to put my own spin on it and make it better and it getting getting access to that over a period of time I was like okay now actually the stuff I know it is really good. He give me that validation. Maybe. Because he’d been at the at the higher level with those organizations because essentially I was a I was a senior con with a load of ideas and I never had the patience to go. Okay I’m going to work up this corporate ladder I was like ah this this stuff’s great for all you lot. But. I’m wanted I’m on a different journey I just didn’t know what that was.

13:36.13
thinkincircles
Um, and if you have the taken all that into consideration if you had the opportunity to do it Again. Knowing what you know now knowing the kind of experience you’ve gone. Where would you do it differently or is that is the is the route that you took to kind of build in this community. Perfect for you? yeah.

13:55.75
Dualta Doherty
Um, so if I had a done it differently. The the community wouldn’t be a recruitment centric community. It would have been whatever niche vertical I I would have went into within technology. Um, the tricky piece. There is I wouldn’t have had an advisory practice because I’m not one of them I haven’t done all those steps. So. It’s actually probably worked out for for the best you know at this stage. But. For a long long part. It was just like a bit directionless and I didn’t have anybody to bounce things off my wife’s quite headstrong so we would have thank god she’s not on this call I would have had an id and she would have said no and I would say like no I have an idea she says no I say to Andy and Andy’s like I’ve got a bag of cash here to want to join a flash that one evening and then she goes go away I’ll do it and then like so it’s think yeah, just it just business changes and the the world has changed as well. You know like it. Before everybody was much more like precious on their on their process and like I have the secret sauce but you don’t really like I mean a process is a process and you know it’s I think you know Gary Vee does it very well in terms of like he gives it all away for free. Um. Um, we’ve always tried to do that you know because even if you do give it away for free people won’t be able to do it.

15:35.50
thinkincircles
And well yeah I mean speaking from our own kind of perspective is exactly what we we do at our business is is you? You can tell me how to do everything we do to the nth degree. In fact, you can probably Google everything that we would do to the nth degree and and read about but most most customers aren’t. To be in a position to be able to do it themselves anyway. So you know that? um that work will eventually kind of roll in. Um so that’s kind of how you got started with the community. How do you How do you keep it going. How do you keep growing your community now.

16:08.40
Dualta Doherty
Yeah, it I suppose they there’s there’s a couple of all all always so like I would study what the TR and do and what the pirates do and I would see the gaps that we have compared to what.

16:11.50
thinkincircles
So do you want to grow it I suppose the other question is you know.

16:26.96
Dualta Doherty
They have and and also see some things I think we do better than them. But when you look I always would look at like who’s the market leader. What do they have? What do we need to do to get to that point and what value can we give them for free and you know then. How do you turn that into a revenue source now the the tricky piece is we used it as a top of top of the funnel exercise as opposed to paying members so there’s a there’s a gap there because. It’s top of the funnel people aren’t taking at a series is if they’ve paid a paid member. So your influence to be able to sell whatever you need to sell isn’t the same as I’m on your board and I’m doing this and so I think that’s definitely Lesson. Lesson learned now that the way around that is is peerto peer learning and advisory and that is the direction that we’re going in the dary group and then andy’ have his has his own advisory practice as well. So yeah, it’s ah it’s just by studying. What people are doing well and what they’re not doing well I think you know with regards the vendor side. We were always very like we I mean we can move the needle for you and we’ll prove it with data. Um, and then you can and and you’ll want to. You’ll want to do more with us because you’ll see that the data there proves that every time you do do something you’re making more and that took a like we had to learn all of that and we had to put all that into practice and then once we had it all on practice then we had to manage it all and then we had to. Automate as much of it as possible and then we had to get and get our virtual team in place and just make sure it all runs smoothly and but it’s it’s not a I think that the loop has to be you know like it without getting too technical on it but they.

18:36.56
thinkincircles
I don’ forget, go bit. Yeah.

18:38.66
Dualta Doherty
To drive to drive more people to the community. So then they can get the value for free and then decide what which one of our programs is most suitable to them whether that’s like our mastermind program or how to how to you know, put vas in your business or if it’s. If. It’s Charlotte Ronin their operational mentoring their operations people or whatever solution. It is or if it’s they need a um ah trainer with with some great great like partners in there like Dan Alexander and Richard Gibbard and different accountancy and different finance people and. We’ve we’ve managed to test and partner with the best people in the market who we enjoy working with and who we trust that do a good job and you know the community tells us if they don’t and then if they don’t if somebody else will come in and do it so it’s.

19:33.70
thinkincircles
Yeah, um, and it’s interesting and it’s interesting. You kind of you picking up again. What you mentioned before around you’ve now got you’ve got a marketing manager and put and bring on a community manager. Um, you know you’ve got now got to a stage where the community obviously needs managing and it needs.

19:35.50
Dualta Doherty
Mean fast.

19:51.12
thinkincircles
It needs nurturing and it needs continual kind of engagement. Um, ah, kind of what point again. Did you see that is it was it a situation of this you were You weren’t able to kind of handle it yourself or did you see was there a call from the membership that they wanted more things from you and so you needed to someone else to to.

19:52.15
Dualta Doherty
Yeah.

20:10.82
Dualta Doherty
Um, um, not that that was looking at best practice so like in in terms of what people other people do well and events virtual events peer-to-peer learning and.

20:11.70
thinkincircles
So manage that so.

20:30.72
Dualta Doherty
Treating the partners like they’re not just there to buy the drinks so we studied we spent ours and ours and ours have meetings with partners and we we quick a laundry list of what they didn’t like and what they did like and know everybody wants something for free. That’s not going to cost them anymore right. So but usually it came down to that. There was no data provided. They were treated just like they were there to buy the drinks and we wanted to create something where they felt more part of it. But at the same stage we didn’t want them in the chat on whatsapp. If possible to sometimes we make an exception for a brief moment but mostly because we don’t want one of the members. We don’t want to be tagging the same person every time and forcing people on people like it has to be they we want to do that through media through like results. To to tell people what like what’s working what’s not working so it’s definitely more of a strategic plan to to figure out all of that and what we’re halfway there you know like it’s we all have our own our own businesses our own consultancies. So I didn’t. Any type of business that I have I come up with a process or I come up with the idea Charlotte does the process and then we get somebody else to do it and I see and that’s exactly what we do with this so um charlotte run manages the operations and he manages the partners and. I do I do the media and engage the groups as much as possible.

22:09.33
thinkincircles
Um, but again, that’s one of those things you’ve had to learn right? You know you’ve kind of come to that kind of to to to that kind of strategy and that process um over time and through obviously you know making mistakes or kind of just. From from data-driven kind of responses so which kind of brings me on to you know what are things to avoid right? What what’s going to really kind of like you know make it into a complete car crash or kind of that or totally turn off and disengage with your with your community.

22:42.72
Dualta Doherty
Well,, but there’s lot there. There’s there’s that there’s so much. But I mean let’s let’s talk about it Maybe from the perspective of a tech recruiter who’s set up their community. So suppose you want to work out what the purpose is So is it. Is It is it to sell up like a mentorship program where you can be the bridgeway between you know, a client and senior candidate and you can come across more consulting than just selling them something. Um is it is it as place. Strictly for cios of of in the yeah Uk or within a certain segment and okay, well what? what other communities do they have right Now. What are they interested in how much stuff do you want to do are you prepared to do the peer-to-peer learning because that’s the key right. Because if if you have peer-to-peer learning you get grouped think and there’s more like there’s more common commonality of interest as opposed to it just being random. So it’s it’s It’s absolutely one of the most important thing. Um. And then I think you know you need to be engaging the community through media where they’re the celebrity as much as anything else. Um, and then it’s just just by figuring out. What do they want from it. What what do other people like we didn’t invent it in the recruitment space. There’s there’s there’s there’s Lows. We Just. Just know that there’s It’s a multi-billion dollar industry and there’s a few people dominating it. So How can we put our own spin on it.

24:23.26
thinkincircles
Um, and what’s the future for for the community that you’ve kind of built up where where does it go from here.

24:31.36
Dualta Doherty
Um, I think we will probably divide up the regions a bit more. We have an australian arm. We really want to steer into the us piece I think we want to bring like we’re brilliant in the startup space and we’ve got some really good connections. In the boot in this scalable boutique and in the enterprise space. But we really want to bring them to life more. We’ve brought the startup space to life. So um I think the peer-to-peer learning for the the bigger companies and those people um is definitely. Something that we want to do more. We have our Christmas party already scheduled. It’s booked out and we’ve so want to do more of those type of type of events. Um I guess.

25:20.50
thinkincircles
So that’s kind of like events that you’re kind of almost kind of going a different direction. You’re taking the kind of online back onto face-to-face in that in that sense.

25:28.44
Dualta Doherty
Yeah, like so it’s we we do the online stuff because look the the important thing is if you’re if you’re doing on the online stuff you can. You can obviously track the data and you know, ah all of that stuff’s really important and the the partners need need value they need Facetime they need promo and you know you like our our community needs good services but sometimes you just need a bit of a laugh to and like it we had grateful in our last event.

25:58.78
thinkincircles
That’s true.

26:03.40
Dualta Doherty
And we’re we’re actually having a mini one next week in London um, for for the startup community for for the people who are on our mastermind and people who potentially are looking at at that and it’s you know you just get you get 50 recruiters on the bear in a.

26:21.27
thinkincircles
Sounds messy.

26:22.43
Dualta Doherty
And a room that’s great, but that I mean because it’s all right? You know when you’re when you’re a senior con and all they’re asked you you can do that all the time and you’re out and you’re young and all their s but Founders. Don’t get the chance to do that as much and they don’t so it’s. Nice to be in a room full of other people different levels your different challenges. Sometimes you know you might think oh Wow I’m further ahead than I thought or well there’s a guy over there is real successful. Must go speak to him and see if I can if find get a bit of inspiration and just put putting people together isn’t it. That’s what we do.

26:53.74
thinkincircles
So brilliant dual. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the podcast. It’s been great to hear about you and your community and a little bit about your background. But for now thank you very much. Thanks.

27:05.46
Dualta Doherty
All right? Thank you.

 

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