You started out in agency and then moved to in-house recruitment, before returning to agency! It is rare to go back after moving in-house. Why did you decide to do that?
As a wide eyed, ambitious, yet terribly naïve Graduate in the City, I went in to Recruitment a little blind. Very quickly I realised it was fate, and could not think of a better career for me. I love people! I enjoy Client relationships and Candidates and I love having to adapt my style with every phone call and meeting, in order to deliver the service my Clients and Candidates expect of a Consultant. My first job was fabulous, and my only reason for moving on was because the Law firm were a huge Client of mine, who I respected very much and loved recruiting for. I saw it as a really exciting opportunity to be on the Client side and support their strategy and recruitment. Whilst that was a fantastic role, I was surprised and disappointed by the service Candidates were getting from Consultants. There were a lot of instances where I felt that, interviews would have gone so much better had Candidates been better prepared, guided and supported.
In my opinion, as a Consultant, the proof is in the title, you are not simply there to match a CV to a job spec, you are there to educate the Client, advise, be the expert, and the same for the Candidate. I really was not seeing that. I missed agency recruitment because on this side ‘of the fence’ you can present a whole range of Clients to your Candidates. I like learning about lots of different industries and meeting people from all different background and walks of life. My challenge was finding the right Consultancy! Which is explained in the next question!
There are a lot of secretarial agencies in London, why did you choose Tiger?
I explored a number of different Consultancies, but being the Client I was able to see how they performed, rather than just having to make a judgment in interview. Nothing ever felt quite right, and I would not describe myself as a risk taker! However, the Tiger opportunity was presented to me and I did not hesitate. For me, the most important thing is working with credible Consultants. Branding is excellent, but it can only carry you so far, it is down to the people that really make a business. I love working around people who inspire me, people I can learn from, look up to and people I think are so fantastic at their job, and I got all of that with Tiger.
We have the autonomy to work however we think is best for our Clients, as opposed to following some regimented process and KPI’s. I believe this allows us to be the best Consultants we can be. Just to make things even better, not only are the Consultants amazing, but the branding and database is a dream! In my whole recruitment career, I have never seen such excellent responses to job advertisements, and so many fantastic Candidates and Clients approaching us. So for me it was the full package, people, branding, and a great system which allows to you deliver to your Clients, every time.
Why do you choose to specialise in PA and executive support recruitment?
I love the fact that so many individuals and companies, whatever their level or sector, could not survive without excellent support. As Anthony D’Angelo once said ‘always be nice to secretaries, they are the real gate keepers of this world.’ I love that specialising in business support allows you to work with so many different industries, rather than focusing on just one. It helps you sell a Client better to have a wider view of other industries as well as their competitors. With technology getting better every day, the role of business support is so transferable these days. It is no longer a case of moving someone from one bank to another, or one law firm to another. Candidates want more, and a reason to leave their current role, so taking their skills from one industry and adapting it to another is a great thing to both allow them to do and support them in doing that.
What advice would you give to a Client working with recruitment agencies?
Build fantastic relationships with your Consultants, and don’t see them as the enemy! We are here to work in Partnership with you, and if you allow us to do our job well, then we can have such a positive impact on your business!
That is the ultimate goal. Allow us a little bit of your time at the beginning of the relationship, and a little time when briefing on a role, and in the long term we will be able to save you so much time!
And when recruiting in to business services, I would encourage Clients to be open minded, as I have mentioned before it is easy to match a job spec to a CV, but it’s much harder to get the right person for your organisation.
Someone very wise once said to me 'will and desire can’t be taught, everything else can'. To get someone in your organisation who is passionate about it, hardworking, credible and able, who takes a couple of months to train, can add so much more value than someone who is simply moving from a comparable industry simply for a bit more money.