You can just tell that Matt Sauri was one of the popular kids back in school. He carries himself easily, and is easily one of the best dressed men around here. Impeccably eccentric suits, he floats around set stealing just about everyone’s heart. He’s got that old school, Great Gatsby charm about him, and it’s easy to see how he’s built a business full of people willing to follow him anywhere. You also literally have to follow him because he does not stop. Our conversation is conducted at an almost jog like pace around the Painted Hall that leaves me longing for a bench.
You’ve been the hardest guy to get hold of this week.
I like chatting to everyone.
I know, and they love chatting to you. How have you found this last week?
A whole lot of fun. It’s been great getting to know each other and learn about everyone.
Did you have any expectations coming in to it?
I didn’t understand the structure at first, but now it makes a lot of sense.
Who have you gotten on with?
Really enjoyed making friends on the European team. Darren Ryemill and Tom Glanfield. Really enjoyed them. And Ann Swain. Legitamelty I’m a huge fan. She’s so much fun, doesn’t take herself too seriously, and she’s a force to be reckoned with.
I like to think you’ve led the charge when it comes to the socializing.
You think so?
Ermm yes! Every time I walk into a room in the evening you’re in the middle of it dancing.
We’ve got good people around us. Chris is brilliant at picking the right people. It’s almost like he sees through dimensional objects into 3D.
How many years have you been in the business?
What’s Top Recruiter doing for the industry?
I think it’s great. I think it’s just getting started. I’m excited to think about how I could help promote it. It’s a show highlighting best practice and innovate ideas. There’s all these people here sharing their ideas and opening up.
How’s the cultural divide between the Americans and the Brits?
I think there’s good natured appreciation, mutual respect and support. I think there are competitive differences, but there’s been a real appreciation. To really understand someone, you have to walk in their shoes, so I’m glad it was in Europe. I fully believe that I’m going to come away from here with long lasting relationships with these people.
What do you think is the biggest problem we’re currently facing in recruitment?
I think we’ve got a lot of problems caused by the ebb and flow of the ecosystem. There’s always more good candidates than jobs. I think the biggest opportunity we have is to involve people in social responsibility and community responsibility. I’ve found in my own business that there’s nothing that makes people more loyal and makes them more grounded and better employees, than giving them a window to corporate responsibility. Getting them out to be a part of their community.
What do you do in your business to promote that?
We promote skills based volunteering. Nothing is more exciting, or more rewarding, than watching people being empowered to use their skill set for a bigger purpose. It’s very empowering.
Not enough businesses do that.
And you know what, the ones that do are going to come out ahead. They’re going to have people who are engaged, who believe in you and who fight for your business. It takes everything to a whole new level. Promoting giving.
What’s kept you in recruitment so long?
I have no other skills.
That’s not even slightly true.
I think it’s great to be able to help shape people’s careers. It’s the most amazing gift you can give. The big events we celebrate are your first home, getting married, and child birth. If you’re helping people with their careers, you’re giving them a platform to achieve those things.
What’s been your favorite moment so far?
I would say right now.
You’re a charmer Matt Sauri.
I like to be present. I’m really looking forward to the finale tonight. That will be a great moment. Some of the times sitting with Jack Felice have been great too. The guy is incredible. Hearing him tell the story of the first guy he put to work, that was amazing.
If you ask recruiters to tell you that, and they don’t remember, forget about them. Because I’ll never forget mine. It was a guy called Joel. And it launched a whole new part of his career and I was fortunate enough to be the person who identified him, interviewed him and placed him. And he probably doesn’t even remember me, but that was my first one twenty-two years ago.
At that moment in time Ann Swain sweeps past and takes Matt with her. He wasn’t joking when he said he was a huge fan, I think he would follow her anywhere. The two have become inseparable friends over the last week, and heads bowed together, they’re already lost deep in conversation. As I watch them go I appreciate how wonderful it is to see two business leaders, from opposite ends of the world, sharing, collaborating, and enjoying time with one another. It’s magical to watch.