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Scaling Up with Definia with Lorraine Johnson

​How did partnering with The IN Group’s consultancy offering Definia, change your approach to contract recruitment for Investigo?

A Q&A with Lorraine Johnson, Associate Director, Technology and Transformation, Contract, Investigo

As a contract recruiter at Investigo, what opportunity does partnering with Definia offer you?

I actually joined Investigo because of the Definia consultancy offering. I was at a stage where I wanted to move away from a purely transactional relationship and into a role that allowed me to be more strategic for my clients. Our Definia offering allows me to do that. My approach with my clients at Investigo is to look holistically at what are the challenges they are facing and what is the best solution from across The IN Group. I can be part of the client's talent solution lifecycle and that is so much more interesting to me, it’s where the real job satisfaction lies.

What does Definia add to your client service?

Definia is the consulting arm of The IN Group, offering technology and transformation services to clients under a statement of work. This hybrid approach brings together a traditional consulting approach and contingent workers, under a statement of work engagement which has a defined outcome. Definia works to understand the outcomes your client is driving and align contingent worker engagements with those outcomes.

How is this different from other recruitment businesses?

Before joining Investigo it had felt disingenuous to offer ‘consultancy-based solutions’ because the businesses were just not set up to do it. They did not have the subject matter experts or delivery teams in place. As such it tended to be very sales-focused, driven by the need to provide IR35 friendly contingent solutions and not a true consultative approach. For me partnering with Defina allows me to present an authentic solution.

What is your role in the partnership with your client and Definia?

In short, I am an introducer. Don’t worry you are not expected to deliver an end-to-end solution. My role is to listen to my clients for opportunities, what are their challenges, what are the risks, and what to do they need to achieve? Where appropriate, I introduce them to our experts at Definia. I put the right people in front of them to find a solution for my client. For me this extends my personal reach into that client, positioning myself and Investigo as the expert talent partners they need.

Do you introduce all your clients to Definia?

No, Defina is complementary to a more traditional contingent recruitment model and not always appropriate. There have been occasions where I have introduced Definia and the consultancy process has discovered that contingent staffing is the best solution. Recruitment has its place, and I would never be dismissive of that because that is what I do and I do it really well. Where the opportunity and excitement are for me, is the chance to be part of something bigger.

What are the benefits to you of partnering with Definia?

So many but my three main benefits would be:

  1. Career development. Working with your clients as a recruitment partner, you’ll have fewer interactions with your clients but the ones you do have will be at C-suite. Your professional credibility, your depth of knowledge, and your reputation as a recruitment professional are all elevated. You move from a transactional provider to a valued partner.

  2. Job satisfaction. This consultative approach focuses your attention, expertise, and delivery on customer service. Good customer service gets great feedback and for me the increased satisfaction I get from being able to offer a genuine solution to my clients is brilliant.

  3. Better returns. Naturally, your returns are better when delivering contingent workers under a statement of work. You’re often placing teams of over 10 people and the contract length is also longer. It is a differentiator, you’re creating a solution not submitting a shortlist so the risks are minimised, and you know where your next placements are coming from.

What would you say to contract recruiters looking for more from their everyday roles?

I’d say this is an opportunity for those looking to take the step from transactional recruiter to valued partner. You’ll be working at a much more senior level and competing against businesses that only offer consulting. It’s a different proposition for a contract recruiter and it is really exciting.