What I learned from Steve Jobs

Mike Walmsley
Recruitment Training

What I learned from Steve Jobs

One of the presenters we filmed at my Pinnacle Club for recruitment directors shared an incredible experience of when he had a private audience with Steve Jobs. When I say ‘private’, there were 20 people in the private audience (!) but in view of the impact Steve Jobs has had upon the world few would argue that meeting him would have been a pretty special experience.

What did Steve Jobs teach my friend? And how has that impacted upon me?

My friend, Sir Eric Peacock, is one of the very best business gurus that I have ever met. He gets straight to the heart of the matter from a recruitment perspective and when he had an opportunity to ask Steve Jobs a question it was this:

“How does Apple attract world-class talent?”

Steve Jobs’ answer enabled Sir Eric to take a much more proactive approach to sourcing top talent. I also adopted this into my methodology and it’s now one of 20 ways that I advise recruitment directors to attract top talent. Without going into fine detail in this article, you can access all 20 of those ideas for free by messaging me on LinkedIn.

Whilst that was extremely valuable, I personally took away something even more valuable for my business. Steve Jobs’ working month was split up roughly as follows:

40% of his time spent with customers

30% of his time spent with his people

30% of his time spent on product development

"How does Apple attract world-class talent?"

So, as founder and CEO of a massive corporation Steve was still very close to his customers. He was a salesperson, helping new customers to understand how to get best value from Apple products and learning in real time what prospective customers want and need.

I’ve worked in business now for over 30 years and as a big billing recruiter I had a very proactive approach to meeting existing and prospect customers. In fact, I routinely met 20 clients a month. As I climbed up the corporate ladder and then ended up running my own businesses, RecruitmentTraining.com and FutureRecruiters.com however, I found myself meeting fewer customers face-to-face.

Steve Jobs helped me to change that and I once again now routinely meet 20 existing/prospect customers, month. The results have been phenomenal. Not only have I been able to incorporate good ideas from customers into RecruitmentTraining.com and FutureRecruiters.com but I have also been able to improve the sales process in a practical way, which has directly benefited sales and customer service staff who work for my businesses.

If you are a recruitment CEO and you find yourself ‘too busy’ in recent times to meet as many customers as you used to, I’d wholeheartedly recommend ‘getting back on the road’. It put a new spring in my step and I’d be very surprised if it were not to do the same for you.

Incidentally, Sir Eric also shared another wonderful story of what he learned when he met Nelson Mandela. If you are intrigued about what Sir Eric learned from Jobs and Mandela, I will happily give you complimentary access to RecruitmentTraining.com to see those videos – once again, please just message me on LinkedIn.