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Fireside chat with CJ van der Westhuizen

Who is CJ?

I’m the Co-Founder and Director of WG Recruitment, a boutique recruitment agency supporting Scale-up Technology companies recruit high-performing teams globally. I have been in the recruitment industry since graduating from Loughborough University in 2006 and have worked in agency as well as in-house for Dell and Google prior to setting up WG Recruitment. In my spare time I spend valuable time raising my two children with my partner, support a number of charities and for the past 2,5 years been renovating my family home.

Tell us more about your role in WG Recruitment.

I run all day-to-day operational aspects of the business from finance, marketing, sales and management. Our model is to support C-Level execs recruit horizontally across their business, this requires a particular skill-set in recruitment which you mostly find once you’ve achieved the 5+ year tenure within the industry.

What is the most difficult part of your job? But the most rewarding one?

Simple. Making a placement. Recruitment is the hardest “sales” job there is because your product has a mind of its’ own. On the other hand, playing a significant part in securing the right job for a candidate is one of the best feelings in the world, especially if you consider that most people spend more time on their job/career than they do anything else.

Is there anything that you would change about your professional path?

Many things:

  • Abolish the word and practice around “Preferred Supplier Lists”
  • Improve the red tape and bureaucracy that exists in the UK Tech space in regards to recruitment; we have the best recruiters in the world, many of whom do not serve the UK market.

What’s your key strategy for the development of your company?

Focus on Service and Delivery.

What do you think about the next period of time, keeping in mind the pandemic and the new business climate? How will your industry be affected?

  • Remote and Hybrid working has extended the “location” filter for finding candidates, requiring more resources, energy and effort into each recruitment campaign.
  • Switch to retained and subscription recruitment models will become more and more common practice as “exclusive” business cannot be guaranteed any other way.
  • Salaries will be “levelled” more across country and between rural and cities, city-based candidates will suffer more.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

  • Linkedin
  • Lusha
  • Google Meet

What books do you have on your nightstand?

  • Beyond Order (Jordan Peterson)
  • The Savage Truth (Greg Savage)
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