16 Mar Ryan’s Three Years at AKA
Senior Recruitment Consultant Ryan has been with us for three whole years! We caught up with him to find out how his time at AKA has been:
Congratulations on your three years at AKA!
Thank you! It’s actually three years continuous but I worked at AKA for a year in 2019 before going away and coming back so it’s four years in total.
How have you found your time at AKA?
It’s been brilliant! It’s absolutely flown which just proves I was enjoying myself. It’s strange looking back at how far I’ve come and seeing how much I’ve developed. Overall it’s been a really positive time, a great journey and I’m looking forward to it continuing.
What are some highlights?
I’d probably say it’s signing good clients, ones you’ve built a great relationship with, ones that you can trust and still get a buzz from signing them. It’s happened with several clients and it gives the opportunity to understand the business and learn more about the trade, which is always a highlight.
What was your biggest challenge?
I think adapting to the change in the times. Prior to the Pandemic, recruitment was a much simpler process whereas now it’s not only a case of understanding what clients are looking for but also keeping on top of candidates and the process is a lot more detailed.
What’s the most interesting job you had before working at AKA?
I was an assistant manager at a brewery. That was my first management role and I worked with a really good team. I enjoyed managing different aspects of the business like wages and hours, it was a challenge but I still loved it.
How did you come to work at AKA? What drew you to recruitment?
It came about from connections, I knew someone who worked at AKA and I initially reached out to look for a job with the agency. We had a face-to-face interview and it was at that point that they discussed recruitment and joining AKA. I was offered the role of Recruitment Consultant. It was a nice surprise; I didn’t realise my skills could transfer over to recruitment but the Managing Director explained how my personality and customer service experience could cross over and I’d be surprised as to what I could achieve.
Is it how you expected it to be, working at AKA?
No but in a good way! It was a completely different environment for me given my background in hospitality but it was better than expected with the team, the environment and the role. I didn’t know what it would be like moving from face-to-face customer service to an online presence and being predominantly phone-based but there’s still variety in my day-to-day, I’m always kept on my toes and deal with different people daily – that’s what I love!
What makes working at AKA special?
We’ve always said it before but it’s the culture and the team. It’s everything really, the directors, the flexibility and the environment; there’s an understanding from everyone and a balance between work and the social side. It’s just a good surrounding to cement yourself in, which is important for the job we do. In recruitment, you need that support from your directors and your colleagues. When you’re having a bad day you need people to notice you’re being quiet and to invite an open conversation and offer that support and pick you up, even if it’s just an ear to listen or an impartial person to vent to, you need that.
How do you balance your career and home life?
I just try my best to plan and be organised. It can be difficult to not let home and work cross over, if something is going on in one it can impact the other but I try to leave whatever it is behind and not let that happen.
What advice would you give someone facing challenges in recruitment?
Take every day as it comes! I am a positive thinker and I always look for the silver lining; even on down days there’s something to take from the day that you can build upon and then tomorrow is a fresh start.
What skills have you gained in the last three years?
Definitely negotiation skills with clients and the terms of business. I think I’ve learned how to adapt on a phonecall if it’s a difficult phonecall, I can keep that professionalism and I know how to divert and turn things around. That’s definitely been key with both clients and candidates. I’ve also developed just general organisation – how to plan a diary, know where I am and who I need to touch base with. That’s really important to.
What are you excited to develop/learn in the future?
The trade is changing so much at the minute, I’d like to learn more about the EV side of the trade and understand the training that businesses are driving. I’m also interested in how businesses are adapting to the change in the market from face-to-face to digital.