The Recruiters Network has drawn me to London every few months since 2003. Based, as I am, 400 miles away from the epicentre of the UK online recruitment industry, I found it to be an invaluable way to network with the very people I needed to see most. Remember, this was before Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, when Friendsreunited was the most advanced form of social media. You may think that the current flurry of meetups, conferences, tweetups and unconferences are a valuable extension to social networking, but The Recruiters Network was way ahead of the game. Louise Triance recognised long ago that this fast growing industry needed an event like this, where traditional and online recruiters could meet, socialise, and maybe do a little business.

Now up to issue 444 of her fortnightly UKRecruiter newsletter, Louise has kept pace with this burgeoning, and sometimes receding industry every step of the way. Her blog is now universally agreed to be the first one anyone should add to their blogroll; so much so, that it’s Louise who organises the annual recruiting blog of the year poll.

This is me (on the left) with Don McIntosh and someone looking suspiciously like Lisa Scales (correction: Lisa tells me it’s definitely not her). If you look closely, you can actaually see a fag being smoked INSIDE! The young fella in the next picture is a very fresh faced Dan McGuire, erstwhile MD of Broadbean.

Since 2003, Louise has also been a judge in the National Online Recruitment Awards, and we have combined resources to host the NORAs from 2008 on.

In summation, I’d like to offer a very big thanks to Louise Triance, as the driving force behind UKRecruiter, and the without which the network of individuals currently buzzing around Twitter simply wouldn’t exist in it’s current form. Tonight, I’ll be there again, working the room, meeting old friends, making new ones, and latterly propping up the bar. Please don’t mind me if I sidle into your group and join in, as if we’ve always known each other; It’s what I do. We may end up doing business, comparing notes, or sharing knowledge. All of these are good things, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity.

What are your memories of The Recruiters Network, and have you any stories you’d like to share. (Mine often involve being led to the oddest of places through the night by a certain Dan McGuire, of this parish)

Stephen O'Donnell is a lifelong recruiter, internet enthusiast, fadgadget and peripatetic writer.

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