Read Laura's story of her career so far and how she has carved out a career in recruitment in a short time. Using her drive and determination to become Recruitment Consultant of the Year 2015 and fast tracked her way to her latest appointment of Director of eCommerce.
After 10 years working for the same company, it was a huge step for me to start my job hunt back in 2014. I had reached a point where I no longer felt that I was learning and I could no longer see a route for my career progression, this is what led me to look for a new opportunity within the Manchester digital landscape. I had worked for the my previous employer since I had graduated and moved to Manchester as a 21 year old and so to change not only the company I worked for, but also the sector, was a massive jump into the unknown.
But my word - it was worth it!
My decision to join The Candidate was based upon a real gut feeling, I met Brian to discuss opportunities within digital sales or an advertising agency and I instantly thought - I want to work for this guy! With such a huge amount of energy and passion for his business and a real desire to make a difference in the world of recruitment, I was hooked to The Candidate from the off! When there was a suggestion to join the team - I jumped at the chance! Something new, something exciting, a fresh challenge. A few days later I met with Colin, we had a lot to discuss as he also came from a media and marketing background and it was at this point that I realised that The Candidate really wanted to do things differently and be considered part of the digital marketing scene. With no recruitment experience whatsoever, it was considered by some of my friends and family as a very strange move after a digital sales role however it was the right move for me and I am so immensely proud of what I have achieved over the last 18 months.
The purpose of my blog is not only to share my journey but also to open the eyes of those who feel trapped in a role that no longer offers them what they are looking for. It is a case of saying to yourself 'why not try something new?' rather than the view of 'I don't have the right experience' or 'I don't want to work in recruitment'. Ok …. I do understand that I work in recruitment however I truly feel that here at The Candidate, we do things differently. I feel as much a part of the digital community now as I did during the days of digital agency sales!
The Candidate have offered me a place to grow, when I look back to my first day, I can hardly believe that it was less than 2 years ago that I started this journey! I can also honestly say that I have had more fun during this time than I have had throughout my entire career and I have built some amazing friendships along the way. The eCommerce and Agency team work extremely closely together and Simon has taught me so much, not only about recruitment but how to manage a team, how to understand the workings of such a unique business and how to really, really party! Paintballing, horseracing, cocktail making, and meals out at the best restaurants in Manchester are all part and parcel of the reward based structure that we operate. Working at The Candidate means that you work as part of a team - there is no place in this company for those individuals who are solely out for themselves. We pull each other along and pick one another up - it is the most incredible team and environment to be part of. I genuinely love going to work and I feel lucky to be able to say that.
The Candidate team have built my confidence up so much that I feel like a different person to when I joined. In this business, everyone has a voice and an opportunity to not only make a difference but also build upon their personal brand with full support and backing from The Candidate team. It is such a supportive and rewarding environment - both financially and personally. In November of last year I won Recruitment Consultant of the Year at the MADRAs, not bad for a media sales girl with less than 2 years recruitment experience! I could hardly believe it because I was up against some tough competition throughout the UK but I felt so proud of what we, as a team, have achieved to be recognised in this sector. Although this is a personal achievement, it really has been a team effort.
I believe that the key to my success in recruitment has been down to hard work, tenacity, a reassuring team (by this I really do mean the whole team from interns to the owners of the business) and a very supportive husband! Recruitment never stops, not for your wedding anniversary nor at a weekend, you really do have to give it your all! Recruitment has now become a hobby to me as well as a job, I genuinely do love what I do.
The development of the eCommerce side of the business has been both fast paced, exciting and at times, a little crazy! When I joined The Candidate, the eCommerce department was in its infancy, there was no eCommerce team and so there was a lot to do to build up a strong division. We are always really keen to speak to lively, bubbly individuals who have a passion for digital, want to succeed and who genuinely care. Here at The Candidate you have the opportunity to work with some inspiring start-ups and some impressive multinational, household brands right from day one in the business. You also get to work with some incredible candidates and the feeling of knowing that you have placed someone in their dream job and really improved their career can be quite special! People often contact me some months after they start their new role to say just how grateful they are that The Candidate have improved their working life - that really is rewarding and it is even better when they contact you as a client looking to work with you on the other side of the fence!
Having said all of this, recruitment is not easy. I have touched on the fact that this is not a 9-5 industry ….. 7-11 more like! There is also the fact that you are working with people, and people change their minds! Recruiters have a bad reputation, the industry as a whole is often frowned upon and it is quite a challenge at times to get people to trust you and understand what you do. You can't help everybody, you can only do what you can to the best of your ability and really put your all into it. You have to be resilient and keep going, the cliché that recruitment is like a rollercoaster is true. The highs are high, the lows are low and it is very fast paced!
The key attributes to succeed in this market are honesty, you need to care about what you do and the people that you are dealing with, determination, an outgoing personality, being quick to respond and to have a natural competitive streak that makes you want your team to be the best in the marketplace! Speaking of my team …. That is next on the agenda! With a team that I couldn't be more proud of, we are almost stretched to capacity and we really need a couple more outstanding individuals to join us. If you, or someone you know, would be interested in an informal chat, please contact me … I can often be found on LinkedIn and you can also contact me on email [email protected] please put #workforus in the subject line - that will really catch my attention!
I can honestly say that moving to The Candidate was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I have never looked back. I learn something new each week, whether it be about recruitment, digital, eCommerce or on a more personal level about myself or my team. It is a special place here at The Candidate - a mix of very different personalities all striving for a common goal - success. Get in touch - that call might just be the start of something new!