Christopher Bradberry is the Talent Acquisition Associate Director for the Talent Team at PageGroup, a worldwide leader in specialist recruitment. He is responsible for finding and sourcing talent to join PageGroup businesses across the UK.
PageGroup is an international FTSE 250 business that operates 164 offices across 34 countries. They have several specialist divisions that look to place candidates into jobs of all levels of skill and expertise across a number of sectors including finance, HR and engineering.
In the UK specifically, Christopher looks for recruitment consultants to join PageGroup and has placed a number of ex-forces personnel into recruitment positions over recent years. Here he provides an overview of the process you could expect to go through when applying for a job together with details of a typical ‘Day in the Life’ as a PageGroup recruitment consultant.
“The typical application process begins with an ‘on-location’ assessment. In London we cover all market sectors so candidates could be placed into a variety of industries however in certain places, such as Sheffield for example, it would be more finance and engineering focused.
We then need to prioritise our needs as to where we have a shortfall in consultants across the business. Once we have determined where our requirements are, it is the responsibility of me and my team to speak with candidates looking to make a career transition and see whether recruitment is right for them, whether their personality and background are the right fit and where their natural interests lie. It’s very important for candidates to be interested in the sector they work in and we much prefer it when consultants are placed into a sector that they feel more aligned to. The beauty of our diversity is that it’s very likely a potential candidate will find an area of our business that they are interested in.
The training and development programme within PageGroup has been designed specifically to build on people’s natural drive and abilities. It’s called Sales Academy and is an intensive 18 month programme which everyone has to go through. We focus on traits such as strong communication skills and networking experience, which a lot of ex-forces personnel excel in. We’re not only interested in people with recruitment experience as it’s about harnessing people’s raw capabilities and helping them to apply them in a more commercial environment, such as developing their sales skills and teaching them how to manage a recruitment campaign from start to finish.
After the initial 18 month training period there are no limits to how fast you can progress; we’re not bound by legacies that say you have to have worked for 5 years in one position before you can progress to the next. Our global diversity initiatives focus on ensuring that there are no barriers to an individual’s progression at PageGroup and our gender split, 51% female and 49% male, and our recent award victories for our work on diversity and inclusion demonstrates that it’s all about you and how you want to succeed. ”
Christopher explains: “Every day in recruitment is different; you can make the best laid plans about what you want to achieve each day but it regularly goes out the window when something reactive comes in that needs addressing. However, it’s this variety that I love. I find that the need to think on your feet and use your initiative keeps you motivated and engaged.
We work Monday to Friday and the hours are typically longer during the first half of the week. Monday is probably one of your longer days, starting at 8am and finishing at 6:30pm. This slides downwards as the week progresses, with everyone finishing at 5:30pm on a Friday afternoon.
Whilst it’s not easy to outline a typical day, here is an overview of the kinds of tasks you might find yourself doing.”
8:00am Quick team meeting to recap on last week’s activities and set the agenda for this week. What are the hot jobs? Who are the key candidates?
8:30am Catch up on emails and prioritise tasks based on outcomes of earlier meeting.
9:00am Time to focus on candidate work – this can include seeking out people who would be potential fits for the jobs you need to fill, speaking with them to assess their suitability, booking promising candidates into your diary for a face to face meeting later in the week and advertising new positions on the PageGroup websites.
10:00am With approximately 40% of our work coming from existing clients, it’s important to keep in regular contact with them to check they are happy with existing service levels and to see if they have any new recruitment requirements. There is also a need to drive new business and make contact with potential new clients. This is both interesting and challenging. The best way to do this is to go out and spend time with people face to face, developing relationships and explaining why PageGroup is the brand of choice. Time spent on the phone approaching people will always ideally result in a meeting later in the week to take things further.
12:00pm Time to work some of the vacancies that you’ve currently got available. The likelihood is that new jobs will come in on a daily basis so it’s all about the speed in which you react as this will ensure you have access to the best talent pool for each position. You may spend time looking at applications that have come in from the website and assessing which of these candidates you would like to invite in for an interview.
13:00pm Time for some lunch and maybe another look at emails.
14:00pm Leave the office to go and meet potential clients – networking is so important as it’s the only way to let people know who you are and to establish your credibility in what is a very saturated market. Ex-forces personnel are really good at this as they are used to dealing with people in senior positions. Also, by meeting at a client’s office, you can get a feel for the workplace and the types of candidates that would fit well into their corporate culture.
16:00pm Ideally your afternoon meetings will have resulted in some new positions that need filling which brings you back to the start of the recruitment cycle again – advertising the role, contacting potential candidates and making time to meet suitable prospects later in the week. The sooner you start the process, the better results you will likely have.
17:00pm With up to 30 positions to fill at any one time, each at a different stage of the recruitment process, it’s vital to keep on top of where each one is. Does it need advertising on the website? Which candidates do I need to contact? How did that first or second stage interview go? Multi-tasking is a key part of this job, something which ex-forces people are very capable of.
18:00pm Time to go home and spend time doing whatever it is that you enjoy doing!
Christopher adds: “One of the plus points of recruitment is that when you leave the office, that’s it. Your time is your own. Having a young family myself, I find that very important. Working in recruitment creates a competitive environment and we have many people who like playing sport so, for example, people might leave earlier one day to go and do that and then work later another to ensure you can meet your deadlines. Your desk is your business; if the work is there to be done e.g. you need to contact a candidate later on in the day or have a client meeting, then you stay as long as is required. Conversely, this gives the flexibility to take time out on other days, allowing you to pop to the gym, attend a weekly training session or spend time with your family.”
If you would like to speak to Christopher about potential roles within the Page Group, please contact him on 01932 264 040 or visit the PageGroup website at http://www.page.com/work-for-us/our-careers.aspx