This much I know...
I’ve never been shy of stealing a format. Game shows have done it for years.
Clearly, not the content of other people’s work but a format that works. I saw this the other day in a glossy sunday magazine and I liked it. Naturally, it wasn’t exactly like this as it was an interview with a famous actress and I’m neither an actress or famous... Although with your help….
Recruitment was the only thing I ever wanted to do… Only I didn’t always know that. My career started in IT Hardware, driving around West London in a beaten up van with a toolbox full of screwdrivers, current testers and circuit boards. On occasion I would be able to get the soldering iron out and look like a ‘real’ engineer. I once caused a small fire in a DIY Store in Slough so that had to stop. It wasn’t exactly a direct route to recruitment, but hiring people into my team, managing a diverse set of people and having to sell services taught me an awful lot about the process before I got going.
Working for myself was a highlight of my life… In the main, I have loved it. The challenges still come when you are working flat out for a client and you need that sanity check that the path you are taking them is the best one - less about confidence more that you can get too close that you get blinkered and miss something along the way that would work really well but you are too busy executing the plan. I have been privileged in that my clients have 99% of the time been great and all of them have taught me business and life lessons.
I grew up in a very middle-class life… I’m grateful for it… If you meet me you know I have a ‘generic’ southern accent that can spike with some poshness and drop to ‘mockney' when needed. My childhood was good, it was stable and being an only child I was given high levels of independence, which has seen me through the tougher times in life and business.
Nothing ever felt like a sacrifice at the time… although hindsight is a wonderful thing. I have spent many many hours, days, weeks sat on a train, in an airport or some rubbish cheap and nasty hotel in Reading or worse. Friends and family have definitely seen less of me as a result , it has broken relationships, put stress into planning simple things that didn’t need to be there. If I had my time again I would definitely do some of it differently.
I spend a lot more time on other people’s business than mine… which is great as it helps pay the bills but I have started to get frustrated that the business plan I have in my pocket is still in my pocket and being executed day to day. That said there is a great satisfaction in helping another organisation grow, getting that pat on the back or high five for finding great people. I know if that ever stopped I would miss it.
You can’t take things personally… In recruitment, we all have that chip on our shoulders that we are what we do for a living. It means that on occasion we take things very personally, that you didn’t like my candidate means you don’t like me or think I have done a rubbish job for you. It is a weakness I still have, I do take it personally but maybe that is why I still do it, to prove to you that I am great at finding people that are going to do well with your business. I don’t remember feeling that way when I was selling I.T.
I haven’t watched mad men for a long time… Despite my constant references to Don Draper, the fact I am the Don Draper of Recruitment I haven’t actually watched it for a while. Naturally, it is my belief that the recruitment industry c2016 is remarkably similar to the advertising business of 1960’s America - it’s all about the brand, about what a new job might bring. It feels that finally recruitment is growing up.
I have a background in executive search and selection, headhunting and senior level recruitment combined with people and business management experiences. My focus has always been on the IT services, technology and management consultancy sectors on a permanent and interim basis where I have developed a personal portfolio that covers areas such as EVP, social recruitment and the successful creation of talent pools as well the management and leadership of corporate talent acquisition teams.
Currently working across Europe with high growth, high tech organisations to develop effective blended onshore/offshore recruitment models, covering full commercial engagement, transition and ongoing delivery management.
I am an avid blogger, writer, public speaker and traveller of trains across the UK.