Upon accepting my job offer with the team at Lead Candidate, I knew I had a lot to learn. This was a whole new world for me in a sector I’d previously only been in academically (and briefly at that). In my first 6 months I’ve learnt countless skills, built some really meaningful relationships, and learnt that the best way to make someone feel their age is to remind them that you probably weren’t born when they’re referencing some pre-1999 pop culture moment.
One of the things that struck me the most was the genuine excitement some people feel for the roles they work in. I feel I’m from a fairly cynical and cut-and-dry generation of graduates who mostly view working as a means to an end (i.e. £££). Thus, to have had some really eye-opening conversations with individuals who have such a refreshing view on how they navigate their career has really impacted the way I communicate with other people and myself.
Thankfully, I am beyond lucky that I’ve joined perhaps the best team I’ve worked with since I started working at 17. I joined Lead Candidate to make a team of 4, and consequently reduced the average office age by 3, (down to 32) and also doubled the number of women in the office (to 2). Our Head of Client Services , Tom, has continued to be ‘super mentor-y’ in providing his Recruitment 101 training sessions and when answering every single question I’ve ever had. These sessions were often followed by quizzes that reflected the ‘mind, body, and soul’ of recruitment. On a side note, if anyone can tell me what Tom might’ve meant by that I’d be grateful- I’m still at a loss.
Among all of the really positive experiences I’ve had so far, I’ve faced some obvious challenges. One of the more difficult things to get my head around was that each company looks for certain qualities that align with their specific culture and community. I’ve really tried to learn the niche method associated with doing this (and doing it well). I think it’ll be something that I pick up more as I go along, but I’ve found that having significant conversations with the hiring teams to really understand who they are looking for is key.
The Learning Curve
It’s no secret that traditional recruitment has got a bad rep. Like most recent graduates, I’ve had my fair share of contact with recruiters and I’ll admit I was happy to ghost them. When talking to my friends about recruiters, the common theme seemed to be that they consistently didn’t listen to what we were saying regarding career goals, no matter how much we were contacted (which was a lot)! So, when I came into contact with Lead Candidate the main thing I picked up on was the power of building positive, mutually-beneficial relationships.
During my first 6 months I have endeavored to practice what I preach, and fingers crossed, the people I’ve been talking to can vouch for that. I recently placed my first three candidates in a great company in roles that really allowed them to use their niche skill sets. On the back of making these placements, I received some really encouraging feedback from my clients emphasising how they really felt I was on their side during the whole process. I really hope to continue forming this sort of relationship with the people that I speak to.
My goal for my first 6 months was to place my first person within one of our brilliant partnership companies, which I did- times three. My next goal is to really start to build my own network of valuable contacts, and continue to make worthwhile connections with both clients and the team I’m so happy to be a part of. I’m getting better at truly trusting my gut- something that has been emphasised as invaluable during my time so far, and I’m actively working at finding my voice within this vast industry.