Hannah is in the middle of a group women who are all laughing at something she’s just said. Your eye is always drawn to Hannah because she’s without a doubt, the best dressed person in the room. Rivaled only by Jer Langhans who strives (and fails) to out-dress her every day.

We lead into a conversation about nieces and nephews as we coo over pictures for some time. That’s one of the things I love about being here with all these people. You don’t see their business side, you see them as a whole person, with all their quirks, intricacies, loves and hates. You see the beating hearts beneath the boardroom tables

How are you finding your first Top Recruiter experience?

Interesting! Yesterday I was a little unsure as to what my role was, and it was a little daunting being filmed.  I’m not the kind of person who does well with being put on the spot and like to have thought the answers through so that was quite a challenge. But today I’m relaxing into it and its fun!

It was a very full day yesterday.

Yeah it was insane. Now we’re all up and running, I can really see the purpose of it all, as it comes together. I understand why we’re here and what the show is all about.

What is Top Recruiter all about?

It’s about everyone coming together, whether that’s the contestants, the advisors or the bosses, and coming up with ideas that can change the recruitment industry for the better. I think everyone is going to come back from this with their own version of how to better shape the recruitment landscape. I don’t think it’s about coming up with just one idea, but everyone taking something back to their businesses that will spark numerous ideas.

Things can get stale when it’s just you and your business.

Exactly! You can get so entrenched in what you do, but when you take part in Top Recruiter and meet the incredible people involved in the show, you realise there’s so much opportunity to evolve our industry.

Would you do Top Recruiter again?

100%.

Would you encourage others to do it?

Definitely, I know a lot of people who have good, innovative ideas. People that would be great as contestants, Top Recruiters gives them the perfect platform to share and develop ideas.  It’s been an amazing opportunity to meet some incredibly talented people in our industry, we have had some great discussions over large quantities of champagne and its given me a new perspective on my own business.

Who are you excited about so far?

Stefanie stands out for me. This isn’t just about how great your pitch is. It’s about how you conduct yourself every day, even when the cameras aren’t rolling. Stefanie has been very open to feedback, whereas Adam, for example, has been slightly less receptive.

Is that a guy/girl thing?

I think some people are less open to feedback, which is a shame as its a critical part of the process and essential for the development of ideas.

How have you been working with the candidates so far?

I’ve been helping them develop their ideas so that they can come up with a commercially viable product to take to market. The pressure is really on now and everyone is feeling it. In a few days they will be standing in front of James Caan and Karen Brady, hugely successful and influential business leaders. It’s time to step it up.

What do you think is the biggest problem in recruitment today?

I think it can be very transactional and reactive. It’s got a bad reputation because it’s such a competitive industry, naturally there are some really good people, and some really bad people. People tend to focus on the negatives unfortunately.

In the UK we don’t respect sales or recruitment as a profession, which is incredibly frustrating.  However the Americans are the complete opposite and we can really learn from them. We need to change the perception in the UK so we can continue to attract and retain brilliant talent so our industry is one we can continue to develop and feel proud of.

Does Top Recruiter help?

I think it does. It shows that there’s a lot of highly intelligent, successful people that are in the recruitment industry.

What have you thought about the calibre of people on the show?

Oh my god it’s incredible. You’ve got industry leaders right here in one place. People with huge fun personalities but most importantly they are authentic. There’s no huge egos here.

Which is a surprise given our industry…

Exactly, which is why I think it will do so much for our profession.

What are you going to take away from this?

A different way of looking at things. I’ve been challenged, and my mind has been opened.

What is The Movement to you now that you’ve been here?

I think it’s business leaders getting together to come up with a better way of doing things.

Is that limited to industry leaders, or can anyone be a part of The Movement?

I think at the moment it’s the leaders, because that’s where it starts, but we need to move it across the entire profession.

Who have you met here that you didn’t know previously, that you really like?

Randy. I love him!

Yeah everyone falls in love with that man.

He’s just amazing. So passionate and he knows his stuff. He’s smart, and everything a business leader should be.

At that moment Adam, our incredible on-site photographer, brings us both a plate of desert and sits with us. Before you know it we’re all talking, laughing and eating cake as the sun sets in front of us. Slowly more people join us in the dusk and as our circle widens, some of us sprawled on the stone steps, some leaning against tables and chairs, I’m reminded once again of the beating hearts that I’m surrounded by.