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We know that our greatest asset is our people and that’s why the careers of our employees are our priority. Every one of their personal successes is a success for our whole business and we want to celebrate these. #HerHaysStory looks at the unique journeys of some of our inspiring female employees, what they’ve learned, why they love what they do and how they have progressed their careers. Their stories are an insight into the fast-paced, motivating and rewarding world of Hays and in support of International Women’s Day, they show how some of the women at Hays press for progress.

Roop Bhumbra

Roop Bhumbra


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How to be proactive and drive change

I began my career at Hays in 2000 as a Trainee Consultant. I had previously worked as a qualified teacher, heading up an economics faculty. After 5 years in the education sector, I decided that rather than teaching business and economics, I wanted to make my own mark in industry.

Before joining Hays, I had little knowledge of recruitment. However, I quickly realised the importance of the work we do. We work extremely hard to provide employers with great candidates who will make a real difference to an organisation, and help people find fulfilling and rewarding careers. Coming from a background in teaching, working for a progressive and ethical organisation and feeling like I am making a real difference to people’s lives, is incredibly important to me.

I would say that at Hays, we are all proud to #PressforProgress. For me, diversity and inclusion is not simply a ‘box-ticking’ exercise. It’s about ensuring that these values form an inherent part of our company-wide culture and how we operate as a business, which I feel has been evidenced by our recent NES accreditation.

Pressing for progress is the responsibility of individuals too and it is important to be proactive. Throughout my career, I’ve been able to #PressforProgress by putting myself forward for any and all opportunities with self-confidence, conviction and the knowledge that Hays would support me on my career journey.

Here are some of the ways I have been proactive, and how it has benefitted my career:

1. Seek out new opportunities, and don’t be afraid to volunteer yourself

I have been afforded many exceptional opportunities to progress. I moved up the ranks at Hays where I started by running my own desk, before becoming a regional and then national business director at Hays Education. After a short career break supported through Hays, I went on to set up Hays India as its Country Director. After a couple of years in that exciting environment, I returned to the UK, and since coming back from maternity leave I am now Specialism Director for Hays Social Care.

However, these promotions wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t always been on the lookout for new opportunities and then seizing them when they came along. Hays has always supported my ambitions, but it was up to me to be proactive and put in the hard work required to make a success of each new role.

2. Learn how to listen, not just respond

In order to have good client relationships, you need to stand in their shoes at all times. But to understand their unique challenges and objectives, you need to ask the right questions and listen to their answers. What concerns do you have? What are you working towards? What is the ethos and aim of your organisation? Only when you know all of this can you provide the right solution.

You should also practice the art of listening in your relationships with colleagues. Throughout my career, I have proactively mentored other women. At Hays, there are many successful and talented women who achieve excellent results and we want to ensure they are encouraged and confident enough to have their own voice and ideas heard. But mentoring goes both ways: ‘reverse mentoring’ is also an important part of what I do at Hays and encourage from others. This means senior professionals listening to more junior colleagues who may have ideas for change, innovation and improvements.

3. Hard work, ambition and resilience are the keys to success

Three attributes that I think are vital for all recruitment professionals are: being hard-working, ambitious and resilient. Like all jobs, recruitment can have its challenges. In those moments when you receive a ‘no’ from a client, you have to learn how to be resilient, pick yourself up, and keep going.

If you are finding that a struggle, reach out to someone who has been through this themselves, and seek their advice. Like all other the senior leaders in Hays, I strive to ensure that I do what I ask of others, and am available to offer help and advice when needed. Whether this is developing my own client and candidate network, winning business, or working one-to-one with individuals in the social care team, it’s important to me that I press to get the best consistently, and that my colleagues do too.

Hays is pleased to have achieved the National Equality Standard (NES), one of the UK’s most rigorous and prestigious accreditations for equality, diversity and inclusion. Our reports are designed to help other organisations achieve their diversity goals.

To take part in our next round of research into diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and add your voice to our next report, take our short survey.

Find out more about the opportunities available and start your Hays story today.

Lucy Palmer

Lucy Palmer


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Five tips for women who want to progress in recruitment

Nine years ago I joined leading recruiter Hays, an exciting and forward-thinking organisation that could support me in my professional development and ultimately provide the opportunity to reach my full career potential. I started as a recruitment consultant and after grasping several opportunities head-on and receiving seven promotions, I am now Head of UK Client Engagement.

Throughout my time at Hays I have learnt that in order to build relationships with clients you need to demonstrate a deep desire to understand their organisation and really get to know them. Hays recently achieved the (National Equality Standard) NES, which is an important independent recognition of our commitment to building a culture of diversity and inclusion. This has helped me #PressforProgress in my role by leading by example: discussing our diversity and inclusion best practice with my clients, and connecting them with other organisations who are on a similar journey, allowing them to share their learns and experiences.

Within my personal career, I am highly ambitious and for me pressing for progress and leading by example is absolutely key to success. It has allowed me to push forward in my own career, support other women on my team succeed in theirs, and ultimately help Hays become even more successful through winning new business.

So, if you want to progress in recruitment, these top five tips are for you.

1. Deliver customer service

Winning business is all about delivering exceptional customer service, building a rapport with clients and creating relationships that will last. A passion to win and the desire to learn from the outstanding colleagues you work with, combined with support from your employer to advance and hone your business skills, will help you to achieve great success within a recruiting career. If you want to win you have to prove it, you have to work hard and be bold.

2. Be creative

I believe you have to be creative in your approach to recruitment, which means you can’t be afraid to be different. Once, while pitching to be on the preferred suppliers list to a well-known retail brand, I sent them a USB of the presentation on one of their own necklaces in a gift wrapped box. Although a small gesture, this helped us stand out from our competitors and secured us a place on the preferred supplier list. During another pitch we were asked to demonstrate cultural understanding of our client – my team and I created a huge flower arrangement representing their logo, the seasonal nature of their business and using their company colours and values. The idea was that we could demonstrate brand understanding whilst grabbing their attention. By thinking outside of the box we were able to secure another opportunity.

3. Accept new challenges

You have to be prepared to accept a new challenge when it arises, it could be the opportunity that sees your career take the next step up the ladder. Your manager could ask you to set up a new division within your sector or you could spot an opportunity to create a new position within the organisation that will add to the business’s competitive advantage. Being bold and taking on challenges head first gives you the opportunity to shine by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, while building upon the support provided by your employer.

4. Learn and improve

Recruitment offers the opportunity to continuously learn and improve. Whether you are dealing with clients or candidates, managing a team or influencing more senior colleagues, make sure you are open to new ideas and that you learn from those around you. I have been fortunate to work with colleagues, clients and candidates from all walks of life, always making time to meet with as many people as possible, whether interviewing, pitching for business or providing advice to add value to the client’s own recruitment process. Every meeting and interaction offers an opportunity to up skill yourself and learn new ways of working. You gain a wealth of knowledge by communicating with others that naturally you may not acquire and it’s this knowledge that can set you apart.

5. Be innovative

The world of recruitment continues to evolve at a rapid pace and it is important to be innovative if you want to succeed. You should never be afraid of standing out, as long as it is for the right reasons! It’s an industry that actively welcomes people with ideas and you should never be afraid to put forward thoughts that can make the way you work more effective and put you and your colleagues in a better position to win business.

My career so far at Hays has been exciting and I look forward to writing the next chapters in my Hays story. Bring on the next nine years of pressing for progress!

Hays is pleased to have achieved the National Equality Standard (NES), one of the UK’s most rigorous and prestigious accreditations for equality, diversity and inclusion. Our reports are designed to help other organisations achieve their diversity goals.

To take part in our next round of research into diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and add your voice to our next report, take our short survey.

Find out more about the opportunities available and start your Hays story today.

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