Duncan Cheatle runs entrepreneur networking firm The Supper Club. With 200 full-time members and 320 events a month, he’s a veritable treasure trove of entrepreneurial knowledge.
Cheatle’s £1.3m-turnover firm puts on a host of events, forums, speakers and of course suppers throughout the year; primarily in London. His members include some of the cream of the entrepreneurial set.
Chatham House rules apply at all Cheatle’s events, so names and circumstances behind his stories remain shrouded in mystery – unless the entrepreneur gives his express permission. But here’s a real gem.
At a recent event, the subject of recruitment was aired around the table. One diner posed a question, which drew an unusual response.
”Does anyone know where I can hire good telesales staff?” he said.
“I always use actors,” came the response from across the table. “They learn the script easily. They take rejection well. And above all, they’re cheap!”
Then an entrepreneur behind a successful provate member's club piped up: “I was so sick of recruitment agents calling me up and offering me staff,” he said. “I don’t want the kind of people who have been trained up at serviced offices.
“But then I had a brainwave. Where do you get the most courteous, well trained staff? In high class hotels! Plus, they’re on crap pay, antisocial hours. They’d probably jump at the chance of a 9-5 with a decent wage!”
This guy visited a whole range of premium hotels, eyeing up staff. When he saw a particularly talented individual, he poached them! Now that’s lateral thinking.
Have you used any unusual methods to recruit staff? Tell us about it here.