Life as a Recruitment Consultant at Change Recruitment Group

Kirsty Strachan joined Change in April 2015 as receptionist. In October 2015 she became a Resourcer and from May 2016, has been a Trainee Consultant.

Why Change?

Q. How did you find out about Change?

I initially applied for a position with a bank through Change. Previously I had worked for a supermarket, throughout school and throughout college and university, and was there for eleven years. I had recently thought that it was time to move on and find a new position. When I turned up for the registration, I met Mariessa (Mariessa Lyall, Senior Consultant in Business Services). We got on very well and she phoned me immediately after the registration to say she was happy to put me forward for the role with the bank, but also, should I be interested, there was the possibility of an opportunity with Change in the reception/admin role. Needless to say, I’ve kept pretty close to Mariessa ever since! It was quite funny because I applied for the role with the bank, and then within six months, I was interviewing people for that role!

Q. What made you take up the reception position with Change?

I was immediately attracted to working at Change and straight away, I loved it, I absolutely loved it! What attracted me to working with Change, was that when I came in, it was a really welcoming atmosphere. Gillian was on reception when I came in and she was lovely. It can be quite intimidating coming into a big office, so that played a large part in my decision. Coming from a retail customer service background, I think that having that positive atmosphere was really important to me and I got that sense of happy employees very quickly. Having never worked in an office before, I didn’t find the atmosphere intimidating and that was important to me. In fact, I’d hardly been in an office before, and certainly never been to a recruitment agency before! But having made the move now, I can safely say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

Q. What was your experience like on joining Change?

From the moment I stepped in the door, I absolutely loved it. I really do mean this. I love this business. I would say that the biggest challenge I faced was just getting to know who everybody was. I was looking for something long term, but as soon as I started at Change I realised I had an interest in recruitment. So I started off in reception in Glasgow, then within a short time into resourcing and from May this year as a trainee recruitment consultant.

Career Progression

Q. What do you think the key to your progression within Change has been?

I think that obviously anyone can have the right skills for sales, whether they’re graduates or have never done it before. I had a little bit of experience in previous roles but that was more about active selling rather than sales, so all this has been completely new to me. Honestly, I think that starting at the bottom on reception was the best way to do it. It has allowed me to learn about the business and the people within it and take things from there. It has also allowed me the experience to interact with candidates and clients before moving into resourcing and now, as a trainee. Then having met all these candidates when in reception, when I moved into resourcing I had the advantage of knowing what sort of candidates would be ideal for the positions we had. Getting to know what our clients want and expect and then interviewing candidates for those roles has been great. Basically, I look to build up one step at a time, every day I look to learn something new. I’m aware now that I still have a lot of learning to do, but I’m confident that I’ll get there. I do think for me that it was the right way to do it. Everything was new to me when I started here; I mean, I’m not sure I’d ever answered a phone before!

Q. What aspects of your work do you particularly enjoy?

It won’t be a surprise to hear that my favourite part is when I get to phone a candidate with an offer. I love it nearly as much as the candidate! One candidate was in tears of joy when I phoned them with an offer and that satisfaction is fantastic! It has happened before that a candidate has turned down a job placement before, but that is part and parcel of the role. As long as I can learn every time about why it might have happened then it’s OK. But the vast majority of the time they are ecstatic, and that is the buzz, really!

Q. How have you found the support mechanisms in place?

The support functions in place have been really, really good. For instance, when I’ve been looking to place HR candidates, I’ve had a bit of a chat with our HR manager Deborah. She was able to give me some really good pointers. My line manager Lynn though, is amazing (Lynn Fairservice, Director of Business Services). I was on reception when Lynn started and it’s nice to think that I was the first person that she spoke to in the company. I literally could not ask for a better mentor at all, she really is fantastic. You know when you’ve done something wrong, she’ll tell you, but more importantly, when something good happens then she’ll be full of praise. Nothing she says is false and I know that she has so much experience that I’ll be able to learn from her. She has so much knowledge in the industry as well.

Aspirations and Benefits

Q. What are your aspirations for the future?

I’d like to go as far as I can in the company. I knew when I came into reception, and after learning about the industry, that I would be confident as a recruiter. At the moment I am more than content with my role and am learning every day, but in the future, who knows…

Q. Would you recommend working at Change to others?

I would absolutely recommend working at Change to others. We’re not regimented here at Change, we’re free to manage our own desks and make our own decisions, but as I’ve said, the support is there if you ask for it. We hit our productivity levels here, but we do it without being forced to. Whenever we pick up the phone it’s because we want to. The working environment and the atmosphere within the offices are great also.

Q. What advice would you give to others working at Change?

The great thing about Change is that the amount of support that we give to anyone new coming into the company, it’s really great. Whether they have twenty years of experience in recruiting, or if they are brand new to it, they get a really high level of support. I think that for new consultants coming into the company, you need to keep yourself visible and show your willingness to interact with others and with candidates. Particularly in my type of role you need to put yourself out there a little bit, more because if you’re quiet people might think that you don’t need the support that you actually might. Mariessa has been a massive support for me to be honest, and within my team particularly, I feel like I have actual friends. Asking for support has definitely been the thing that has helped me the most.

Q. Recruitment has a reputation of being demanding and working long hours. Would you agree with this?

Yes, recruitment does have a reputation for that, and at times, we do work late. When we do, it’s not because we’re being forced to but rather when you’re in the zone slightly, placing candidates and having a good time with them, then sometimes it’s more because you don’t want to stop. Ultimately we do it because we want to and because it will help us reach and surpass our targets. Sometimes it’s more than just the candidates, we take pride in our work and we want to get things finished before leaving our desks. We’re absolutely not forced to do anything, we absolutely do it because we want to.

Q. What does a typical day look like?

My typical day is a bit of a mixed bag at the moment. I’m still adding different elements to my role, and every day I’m learning something new. Needless to say, most of my day is taken up with candidates, either speaking to them on the phone or interviewing them in person. I’m slowly adding more client work into my role and it won’t be long before I can source roles, and then place the right candidate into it as well.

Thanks for joining us Kirsty!

If you are interested in working at Change Recruitment Group please follow this link to our internal jobs board. For an informal discussion about working at Change, please contact HR Manager, Deborah Gillespie

This article initially appeared on the Change Recruitment Group website