I have been speaking to some of our managing consultants first-hand about their journeys, what it takes to be a successful recruiter, and much more. Whether you are looking to get into recruitment, management, or just generally interested in what our managers have to say then this is certainly the read for you. An inspiring and motivational story that is not one to miss!
The challenging nature of the recruitment industry is well known, but how did our managing consultants get to where they are?
Focusing on consistency is key. "By focusing on my job, new clients, and hitting targets. If you are good at your job the rest will come. I wanted to make sure that I was consistently billing, consistently hitting my targets, and performing. Then it got noticed and one by one I got my team and they started consistently billing. That's all I focused on."
Build from the ground up. "I went from trainee through to principal consultant at a different firm and mentored several people. I then moved and managed a team of people and then I helped build ITECCO to what it is today".
Keep cool, calm, collected, and positive. "You've got to be able to speak to people and deal with situations and pressure well. Being positive is key."
Be motivated. "Motivation has always been the one thing that I will always be good at." There is not a secret remedy! "I got where I was through billing".
So, what rewards do recruiters reap?
It is not just financial. "I feel an emotional reward, especially with COVID going on. Every person I have placed since COVID has been from redundancies. You feel emotional because they're so grateful to you for helping them."
It is more emotional than you think! "I feel very proud of the people I've trained. I like to try and have a laugh and stay grounded no matter how successful I become."
There is freedom to it also! "As you get higher up, you have that freedom to manage your own time which is so rewarding. KPI's are not pushed on us, it's your business and you do it how you want as long as you hit that target."
Recognised success. "Knowing I'm doing well, and my success is being recognised is rewarding for me."
Recruitment is a life-changing career. "I like seeing their lives getting transformed by this job because it is life-changing."
Challenges along the road.
Let us not forget the challenges that recruitment can present consultants with.
Develop a sense of urgency and control. "You constantly have to be working hard otherwise you lose it all." People are not products. "Our products are people and there is a chance they could change their minds."
Be direct. "You have to control both sides and that's what I struggled with at the start, you need to pick up the phone and be straight to the point."
Adapting to people. "Managing people, everyone is different. What works for one person might not work for another. You have to work out how to get the best out of someone."
You may get thrown in the deep end. "The most challenging thing I found was being a manager before I was ready to be one early in my career. I got promoted very quickly so I almost didn't really do the managerial training route at the start and I had to learn as I went along".
The long working hours required to succeed in recruitment are well known. So, how do our recruiters find balancing work and life?
Managing your time. "For me, it's not a problem. I have got hobbies and other things that I fit around this. I can understand for some people it might not be the best but there are different points in your career when it'll be harder than others."
Happiness is key. "I've always known that work in the week is work rather than having more time in the week and earning a lot less money. I work harder in the week and then get to do nicer things at the weekend and go on nicer holidays. It's not about money at all, it's about being happy, and I am happy with what I do and not many people can say that."
Management and responsibility.
So how do consultants find having the responsibility of managing people?
A diverse experience. "I love it. Everyone is different and it gives you variety in your role."
Second nature. "I don't feel the strain of managing people. It is just part of my job. I think I have a very motivated team so once I got the knowledge it was easy to manage that team. It's good."
Training and coaching.
The key lessons to take to from the training and coaching experience that our Managing Consultants have.
An organic method of learning, coaching, and growing. "I was trained by an external trainer who came in initially and by the time I became a manager I got to do the training instead. You go off what you know. When you get a trainee they just shadow you every day and you coach them through and then slowly you let them go more and introduce them to new stuff so it's done organically rather than following a strict structure they're learning on the job every day."
Take initiative in learning on and off the job. "I mainly pick things up on the job, learning from the people around me, and watching how people deal with things. I read outside of work as well. It's important to take initiative."
Relay from the strong foundations you build. "I went through a training academy and was lucky enough to be on a really good training platform when I started. I have done a lot of managerial training courses and principle consultancy courses more focused on consistency. I had done all my formal training before I came here. Now I relay all that from a good foundation I have built. Here we work very much the same as I was taught when I first started, so this model is me to a T."
It is important to acknowledge the emotional responsibility that comes with being a manager. So, how do our managing consultants manage this responsibility?
Disregarding the hierarchy to be empathetic and supportive. "My managers have been so supportive to me emotionally when I've had things going on in my personal life so I try and use that as a manager people come to me and I just say whatever you need we're here for. They are not just your colleagues; they are your mates as well. Sometimes it is that blurred line but that means they can open with you, so I do not find it challenging at all. Everyone in this room I would class as a friend and that makes it easier when people come to you with a problem because you can be empathetic and support them."
Prioritising supporting your team's emotional wellbeing. "It's the biggest part of the job. That comes first. As a manager I am always there, call me whenever meet me whenever. The job is so important but supporting my team is one of my priorities. You have no idea how someone is feeling so just making sure you are sensitive to people and their feelings. I learn from it all the time."
Be open and aid people's mindsets. "I am always an open book with my staff, and they know that. If they have got a problem outside of work, they can come and tell me about it and quite regularly that happens. Recruitment is about the mindset so if I can aid that mindset then usually my team performs better."
Keeping the team motivated.
Managerial approaches to inspiring teams to excel.
Celebrate the wins and do not take things too seriously. "Humour. I think that is so important. Reward them when they do well. I like taking them out for a nice meal to motivate them and showing them what they can have when they work hard."
Creating a support system. "Just laugh with them and make sure everyone knows they've got a bit of support. You're never going to please everyone so it's just a case of trying to be a supportive as I can."
What do our Managers plan for them and their team's future?
Growth, consistency, and happiness. "Consistently bill and the rest will come. I would like a few more team members but the team that I have got I want to make sure they are the best they can be. I want them to enjoy their job and be happy in their jobs."
Progression. "I've got to keep that close to my chest. But obviously, it is to climb as high as possible and progress. I don't want to say too much, just to smash it."
Exciting possibilities. "Just expanding out into different markets and moving up the ladder and going into different specialist sectors and growing teams. It's exciting for us to open up new markets."
There you have it, The Journey to Success, our first ITECCO blog post. We have given you an insight into our managers' journeys, what it is like to be a Recruitment Manager for ITECCO and what it is like to work in the industry. Let us know what you think, we would love to hear some feedback! The takeover is just beginning.