02 Mar A Day in the Life of Jamie-Leigh, Our Graduate Recruitment Consultant
We spoke to Graduate Recruitment Consultant, Jamie about a day in her life at AKA Recruitment.
What is a Graduate Recruitment Consultant?
A Graduate Recruitment Consultant can be someone who comes into the sector with little direct experience in recruitment. Although I had a degree in Accounting and Finance, what was more important was my people skills and I’ve been able to train in the role.
How did you come to be a Graduate Recruitment Consultant at AKA Recruitment?
After graduating from my degree in Accounting and Finance, I began to apply for jobs related to this field. I actually interviewed for a risk analysis job but I disliked the rigid, corporate element.
When I saw the position at AKA Recruitment I was attracted by the people-facing component of the role as I am definitely a people person. I thought “I might not have a lot of experience but I’ll give it a go and see what happens.”
While the recruitment interview appeared to be more daunting than the risk analysis one (as it included a presentation about an unfamiliar industry), I actually felt a lot more comfortable. The interview for AKA was more personable and welcoming and it was made clear that the company would be very supportive of my family arrangements.
What advice would you give someone interested in a career in recruitment?
It’s difficult because it’s so varied. I would say make sure you pick the right company for you – do you think you would thrive in a structured, corporate organisation or do you want a flexible but supportive environment?
It’s important to have resilience and not let setbacks get you down when you’re trying to build up a client and candidate base as the successes and highs definitely outweigh the lows. Don’t be so harsh with yourself; if you think positive, you attract the positive. This is something I’m still working on myself.
A down to earth people person would really thrive in this role. Being friendly goes a long way – especially in Yorkshire! It can be really fun speaking to people everyday and there is so much job satisfaction. I feel like I’m really helping people when I find them the perfect role; just think of the difference it makes when you go to work and it’s actually a job that you want to do!
What advice would you give someone interested in a career in the Automotive industry?
Be honest about what you want from a job and consider using a recruiter to find jobs that match your requirements.
Listen to your gut – how do you feel about this company in this role? Remember money is not everything in finding your dream job.
Don’t flood your CV or application with information. Stick to what is relevant for the position you are interested in and what showcases your abilities and experiences that make you good for the role.
How have you developed in the role?
A big part of developing in the role is building a desk. I started with no clients or candidates and I now have emerging great client and candidate bases. I hadn’t covered much of the North West before but now I have candidates coming back to me when they are seeking a new job.
Generally, I’m a lot more confident and positive. The directors, Josh and Seon have really encouraged me to focus on the positives and celebrate successes.
I’ve also developed my knowledge of the industry. In particular, I now understand a lot more about progression routes and what qualifications and experience are needed.
What key skills are essential in your position?
Organisation is the key to this job. So much happens at one time and everything can change so it’s important to be able to prioritise and adapt and plan your week accordingly.
You have to be driven too. You could just meet the targets set for you or you could completely change your approach and set your own goals to improve beyond your targets
Being a people person makes the job a lot easier because not only will you enjoy it but you’ll do better. When you care about people, your passion to help them drives you to succeed for them.
It’s important to set boundaries with yourself to maintain a work life balance. It’s not expected but it’s tempting to push yourself and keep working when everyone has left the office to get ahead. If you do this though, you’ll burn out and actually end up performing worse.
What makes AKA Recruitment a great place to work? Why is it different?
When other recruiters have approached me to move companies and I’ve explained the culture here and my relationship with the team they haven’t even tried to match it.
Management trust you to succeed without micromanaging but also push and encourage you. They’re so supportive even if it doesn’t benefit them. They treat you as a person not a number and it makes you work harder for them.
My team are all genuinely friends. It’s not just like you’re coming to work and going home. Everyone encourages and supports each other.
Can you describe a typical day in the office?
No I couldn’t! It’s so vastly different everyday. That goes back to what I was saying about how important organisation is though.
Monday is always a bit of a mad rush with weekend messages to follow up. That’s what I do most mornings to catch up with the previous evening. Then I’ll plan the priorities for the day ahead before checking in with candidates.
Around lunchtime there’s a lot of admin. For example, it’s important to record conversations with candidates so we don’t duplicate work in the office and candidates aren’t badgered by the same phone calls. It also helps me to remember our conversations so I can personalise my future dialogue with candidates and offer that personability that’s so important by asking “How’s that house move going?”
In the afternoon I reach out to clients and check in with their changing needs. Then I go to pick up my kids from school and finish my day chasing up candidate calls at home. It’s so flexible and works perfectly for me.
The thing is with recruitment is there’s always something to do. You need to have that drive to chase improvement, you should never be sat with nothing to do.
What projects are you most proud of?
I think building up my client base – I love speaking to clients; I find it really satisfying when a client thinks they don’t need you and then you impress them with your service and they change their mind about working with you.
Also, this is my first job in my career since graduating and I’m quite proud of myself as a young professional and mum too.
What does the future hold for the world of Automotive recruitment?
There will be lots of changes, I think, particularly with the growth of electric vehicles. For example, it’s important for technicians to keep up with changing technology so they remain fully trained and don’t get left behind. I think changing technology impacts every industry and sector.
After the pandemic, we’ve seen changes in working packages.Whilst on furlough, people spent a lot more time with their families and are reluctant to go back to working 6 days a week. Recruitment is competitive and there are a lot more jobs than there are candidates right now. Many companies are offering more flexible working packages.
What exciting things are on the horizon for AKA Recruitment?
Expansion. Previously, we’ve been predominantly Yorkshire based but I’ve been branching out into the North West. We’ve even had people reach out to us from the midlands. I think it’s exciting to see how much we can grow as a company.