Academies are a great way to grow your own talent.

I design and build academies that provide you with the roadmap to hire, develop and retain people with a proven wireframe that create consistent contribution in short timescales.

It seems every recruitment business with ambitions to grow has selected to follow an academy style offering.

Academies are a great way to grow your own talent. Everyone learns how to succeed in your business from the very beginning.


It’s competitive to secure the top trainees. You will stand out with a well structured, documented learning journey. Everyone claims to have a leading academy. Few do.


I can help you build something that will help you engage, develop and retain good people.

Training is something that happens to you.


Learning is a personal choice that requires inspiration and purpose.


Here at ZEN we are led by our seven rules which have become our guiding principles.

They are the bedrock of the success of our Academy programmes.

Without them, we lose the essence of learning.



We find ourselves in an attention deficit economy. To maintain the attention and interest of our learners we must focus on making it engaging, interesting and meaningful.
Purpose for the learner not the business.


Spaced repetition cycles are the key to remembering.
If you don’t put something into practice immediately, the chances are you will forget it.
Content delivery requires immediate purposeful practice.


Feed the curious mind. Encourage creativity. Give people discovery missions and the breathing space to dig deep and ask questions.
We need to show people how to rekindle their natural childlike curiosity


Stimulate the visual cortex. No powerpoint – trainers don’t kill people’s learning, bulletpoints do. Infographics, video and showing people is the way.
Show, don’t tell.


The shortest route to mediocrity is to be worried about failure - about standing out and being ridiculed. Sociophobia is the number one fear in western society. No one likes to be laughed at and ridiculed.
There is no failure, simply learning opportunities.


The journey to getting good is linked to how long you are willing to be shit at something.
Amazing recruiters don’t hatch out of eggs.
Learning is a journey of incremental improvement


Despite popular opinion (even amongst trainers) a steep learning curve is good. It means high levels of learning happens very quickly. Let’s make it easy to learn. Coaching on the job speeds up habit development.




To help new delivery consultants get up to speed quickly and to contribute to the placements within the business, it is important to make sure training is being put into practice immediately. Training delivered as “little and often” is more impactful than front loaded content that needs to be absorbed and remembered before being put into practice.


Each session in the Delivery Consultant Academy is designed to last 60 minutes and is delivered via Zoom so your new hires can quickly put their new found skills into practice.

70% of our learning in recruitment takes place whilst doing the job. 

The academies I design are intended to create a structured approach to learning on the job. Whilst contributing to the business through meaningful activity.

  • What does it take to succeed – attitude, skills and behaviour
  • How to get good quickly – the link between effort and reward
  • Building a personal plan for success
  • The importance of doing
  • The lifecycle of a candidate and the mindset of active, tip toe and passive candidates
  • What candidates really want from a recruitment professional
  • How to stand out and engage with people
  • Communication loops and keeping people informed
  • Structure of a call and building rapport
  • Asking open questions to understand candidates’ current situation and goals
  • Positioning your business as the partner of choice
  • Closing calls with agreed actions
  • Voicemail and email strategies to increase meaningful conversations
  • Sources for candidates and how to use them
  • Effective Boolean search to create prospect candidates to call
  • How to build a talent pool and hotlists of good candidates
  • What your candidate database will look like in 13 weeks
  • The importance of assessment and qualification to placement success
  • Digging deeper to understand how people do their job
  • Assessing capability of technical specialists
  • Qualifying motivations and key drivers to predict future behaviour
  • How to engage and disengage candidates appropriately
  • How to take a brief from a colleague to find suitable candidates
  • How to develop a proposition to take to market
  • The impact of qualification on search, engagement and ultimate placement of candidates
  • How to build a search and track progress to create longlists
  • Finding CVs and interpreting suitability
  • The importance of talking to candidates and not making assumptions
  • Defining what closing is and how to do it
  • Matching client need to candidate expectations
  • How to deal with salary and rate conversations
  • Testing candidate commitment
  • Discovering threats to placement – other interviews, jobs, internal positions and promotions that also create leads
  • Definition of a hot lead and why it is of value
  • How to dig deeper to explore more about the candidate’s current employer
  • Securing referrals to other candidates
  • Identifying High Value Candidates
  • The power of effective copy to attract talent
  • Using Linkedin – updates, messaging and personal brand
  • Writing a compelling job advert
  • Crafting a mailshot to send to prospect candidates
  • How to create a deadline driven resourcing plan
  • Where to start and how to get the most out of the first 24 hours
  • Using the database, job boards and Linkedin effectively
  • What to do when you feel “stuck”
  • Keeping a Boolean library
  • How to identify evidence for suitability and present to Account Managers clearly
  • The importance of matching capability and skill
  • How motivation to move impacts on suitability (it’s 50/50)
  • How to present a longlist to agree shortlist contenders
  • The entire process from job on to placement completed
  • The importance of control through the process
  • Killer control moments and how to deal with them proactively
  • Dealing with challenges and maintaining discipline as a recruiter
  • When to pull candidates out of the process
  • Revisiting qualification and the importance of understanding true motives and goals
  • Investing time with candidates to build trust and loyalty
  • Recognising the early warning signs of a candidate going out of control
  • Delivering feedback to candidates
  • Protecting the brand of clients and your business
  • Old school headhunting with a modern twist
  • How to convert “I’m not looking” into “put me forward”
  • Dealing with the common objections as tapes
  • Thinking like a talent centric headhunter
  • Control issues to deal with and prepare for
  • How to deal with multiple jobs and ensure priorities are applied to the right roles
  • Time management and getting to grips with personal behaviour
  • The power of proactivity and applying foresight
  • Increasing deal velocity with good consultancy skills

Support and coaching brings to life the contextual application of content. Many experienced recruiters would score highly in the theoretical exam of how to do the job. It’s the classic KNOW | DO gap that exists in every profession.


Performance development is where the rubber meets the road. Where content and context meet. At this time supportive coaching, contextual learning and reflection increase performance considerably.


The ZEN academies are not designed to make people more knowledgeable. They are designed to create productive, high performing recruiters. Only through close collaboration can we achieve this, together.




Transitioning from a Delivery Consultant to 360 Consultant role can be challenging. When you are established as a resourcing specialist, the step to 360 is attractive. The reality is that you are going back to being a rookie again. Learning new skills and starting at zero to build you customer base.


In addition to this, the need to deliver is still present. Allocating protected time for sales and business development time is critical. Waiting until you have enough time will create inconsistency at best.

The wireframe structure for the 360 Consultant programme I’ve created gives participants access to high quality tactics and strategies and then the breathing space to be able to put it into practice, whilst also delivering against live roles. Working with the group on a step by step process, together we can build a route to market and follow a sales plan to help them win high quality, committed business.

This session sets a project for everyone to pull together a prospect list of potential customers so each participant has identified a minimum of 100 businesses that can then be fed into their sales plan. This session will ensure that everyone has enough data to feed their weekly sales activity. This exercise, should be completed 2-4 weeks prior to starting the main programme.

The session itself will cover:

  • Maximising relationships developed as a delivery consultant
  • Finding hot prospects through candidate conversations
  • Finding your advocates – placed and candidates who’ve been out on interview
  • Researching businesses to identifying decision makers
  • What is the goal of sales activity for recruitment professionals?
  • What does good business look like?
  • How do we succeed as sales professionals – competence and skills
  • How do we find business opportunities?
  • Lead generation – creating immediate business


Participants will be set lead generation goals and homework to define what good business looks like for their market and the work they want to win.

  • Building a touch plan – the conversion journey from prospect to customer
  • Structuring a call to capture attention and build trust
  • The power of two way conversation that can only be achieved on the phone or face to face
  • Using email and digital communication to increase the number of sales conversations per week
  • Applying tenacity to get hold of more decision makers
  • Why objections are an important part of the sales process
  • Reducing objection severity with meaningful purpose
  • How to deal with the most common auto-responses & objections
  • Dealing with challenges with resilience and tenacity


Participants will be encouraged to build their own objection handling playbook – to help them deal with objections professionally in real time. This will give them confidence to know what they are going to say and enough choices to apply flexibility to the situation.

  • Triage and planning approaches to converting leads
  • The lifecycle of a lead and why most recruiters fail to convert leads into jobs
  • Identifying the right decision maker
  • The first call and establishing credibility
  • How to get people to answer the phone
  • Email follow up to generate response

It is important that everyone knows how to qualify a new job before they start to work their lead list. This session is delivered alongside lead nurture so everyone is prepared and ready for the inevitable – picking up a new job with a new client at full fee.


  • The goal of qualification and the impact on outcome
  • The 8 key areas to qualify
  • How to take control from the outset
  • Securing commitment and agreeing timelines
  • Terms discussions and getting agreement on price
  • Modern speccing – packaging candidates based upon market knowledge and candidate capability
  • How to select a candidate to package
  • Building an engaging pitch – verbal and written
  • Creating the right list of prospects
  • Running a campaign – building a three touch plan
  • How Linkedin can help you build your brand and make it easier to get hold of people on the phone
  • Increasing your visibility and being known as a subject matter expert
  • Building your network to create an engaged audience
  • Using inMail and messaging to nurture relationships and create good sales conversations
  • Setting a content sharing strategy


Everyone will be given a self diagnostic tool to audit their linkedin profile, sharing strategy and marketplace to help them to build a relevant, engaged audience.

  • How to write good sales copy
  • Writing for your audience and only your audience
  • The 4 golden rules for sales emails
  • Using a proven structure to capture attention, engage and create action
  • Building a sequence of emails to nurture relationships and increase enquiry rates
  • Staying focused on the goal of sales
  • Building a committed client base of customers who regularly recruit with you as their exclusive partner
  • Wowing customers to get referred to other decision makers
  • Time management to ensure sales is a daily activity

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Our online training platform Rookie2Recruiter gives your new team members access to high impact, no nonsense training videos combined with weekly live coaching clinics.