“Relationships are Integral to Recruitment”

With 8000 recruitment businesses operating in the UK and a 7.3% growth expected in 2015, the industry is thriving more than ever.
Chris Bradberry, Associate Director for the Talent Acquisition Team for PageGroup, and former RAF pilot Tom Jeffreys-Jones, who’s now Associate Director for Michael Page Finance, discuss why this is an opportune time to be working in the sector and why PageGroup continues to offer fantastic career progression.

As a FTSE 250 global organisation operating in 35 countries, PageGroup is more buoyant than ever. This looks set to continue as businesses move toward increasing their headcount.

[Watch our Recruitment as a Real Career Webinar featuring Chris and Tom from PageGroup]

What is PageGroup looking for?

There are five core competencies the organisation looks for when screening potential candidates, whether or not they’re ex-military.

  • Initiative
  • Drive
  • Influencing
  • Resilience
  • Teamwork

Chris says: “Relationships are integral to recruitment, as is entrepreneurial flair, tenacity and drive. These are attributes and skills that make ex-military a very attractive prospect to PageGroup, and we’re able to utilise them in many different areas of the organisation.”

Tom says: “I think the ability to influence is core. Persuading is key when talking to candidates or negotiating with clients, as well as managing expectations when meeting all parties involved. All this contributes to generating margin.”

He adds: “Resilience is inherent in the officer lifestyle. Coping with pressure and never revealing your frustration is paramount. Clients will push back and candidates won’t make the decisions you expect but it’s important to keep the relationship reputable for the future, as your candidates can also yield future business.”

Core Values and Team Work

Both Tom and Chris are keen to emphasise that PageGroup takes great pride in its work and passionately believes in delivering the best it can for clients and candidates. Tom says: “The crucial point is that we’re an extension of HR and must believe we can help and find the best person.”

He adds: “We value working in a team, a key ethos reflected in the military. Although we work long hours there are many incentives that reward employees for hard work and there is strong emphasis on creating an inclusive and fun atmosphere.”


Your potential success at PageGroup is based only on your capabilities. Chris says: “You are rewarded for what you deliver, not how long you’ve been with the company. We can also fast track those with a military background.”

Do you need previous experience?

No prior experience is needed to be successful. Former and current officers are normally employed because of their ‘high calibre and leadership qualities’. As PageGroup has a target to improve headcount dramatically, decent leadership is an essential part of achieving that.

Page is committed to developing anyone who wants to further their career in the industry. This is reflected in the high number of consultants who become managers – at least 85% – demonstrating there is scope in creating a career with longevity. At Page there have been 130 promotions, this year alone.

After starting as a recruitment consultant in 2007, Tom progressed on to Senior Consultant, then Manger, on to Regional Manager before becoming Associate Director for Michael Page Finance – he has continually been given the opportunity to grow his own business and be responsible for marketing and hiring. He says: “It’s your natural capability and raw skill set PageGroup is interested in.”

Other examples of progressions:

David Eyre who graduated in Engineering spent seven years in the Army and joined Page Group in 2013.

  • Career path so far – Consultant, Senior Consultant to Managing Consultant. He manages Engineering in Weybridge.

Tom Leaman was in the Royal Navy for more than eight years, finishing as a Submarine Warfare Officer. He joined Page Group in 2012.

  • Career path so far – Consultant, Senior Consultant to Managing Consultant. In October 2014 he moved to Dubai and now manages engineering in the Middle East.

A broad range across the Page Group

Chris says: “The national remit has no effect on capability, in fact in a regional office you may even be fast tracked sooner. We are very happy to mobilise people.”

He adds: “If we concentrated everyone in London, we wouldn’t have a global business. Moves are encouraged and you can grow a career from any office.”

Different specialist offerings

From HR to sales, to engineering to consultancy, there are 25 areas you can become an expert in at PageGroup. “We don’t grow through merges and acquisitions. It’s important we maintain our own brand.”

Watch our Recruitment as a Real Career Webinar featuring Chris and Tom from PageGroup