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Life at Hays

Life at Hays

Hays operates a high performance environment and our internal company culture is fast-paced and constantly evolving. We describe our culture as a meritocracy; a culture that promotes and rewards based on the merit of your personal performance, because you are our greatest asset.


We hire based on potential, we train skill. Potential is displayed through our brand values –  These are the attitudes, skills and qualities we look for in our people. The same  qualities that make us successful as individuals and as a leading team in the world of work:


Excelling in recruitment is all about being curious about people and about the worlds in which they work.


We are a results-orientated business, which means we're incredibly driven. We have energy and dynamism and we're ambitious for clients, candidates and our team.


As experts across 20 different industry sectors, we have a deep and broad understanding of our markets and the people within them. Everyone at Hays shares their knowledge with clients and candidates across our expanding network.

Passionate about people

Recruitment is a people business and we put the creation of valuable, lasting relationships at the top of our priorities. We want to help people fulfil their potential and be all that they can be.

Meet our people


Our greatest asset is our people and the careers of our employees are our priority. Everyone at Hays has their own story of their journey since joining our teams.


Find out more about our people and their Hays story.

Elisabeth Toomast

Senior Manager

Maruf Ibrahim

Principal Consultant

Despina Solomou


Graeme McCormick

Managing Consultant

George England

Senior Recruitment Consultant

Elisabeth Toomast

Senior Manager

I joined Hays in 2012 as a Senior Consultant and now manage two teams within the Legal recruitment team.

Before joining Hays I studied Company Law at the LSE to undergraduate level and Corporate Governance at postgraduate level. I was looking for a role that would combine my academic background with a challenging sales driven role and Hays provided exactly that.

Five years on and I regularly run industry networking events and breakfast seminars on current and upcoming subject matter areas governance and have built a strong network of clients and candidates whilst at Hays.

I believe that if you want to be a good recruiter at Hays, you need to work hard and demonstrate ambition, tenaciousness and competitiveness. What sets Hays apart from other employers is the genuine career progression opportunities and global mobility

"Business Development is not just a cold call, the way you would sell a magazine subscription; it is building a long term relationship."

Carolyn Dickason


I first joined Hays in 2002, starting as a trainee recruitment consultant within the Accountancy & Finance team in the UK. I did not have previous recruitment or finance experience however with the support of Hays I developed my skills in recruiting part qualified finance professionals within the commercial sector. After early success in developing and servicing key clients and candidates, I progressed to a management role and furthered my development by taking responsibility for mentoring and developing a region of offices. After five years combining these responsibilities, an opportunity arose to lead Hays’ tax business. I was lucky enough to work with an excellent group of people, growing the business and the capabilities of our team by always focusing on the client and candidate experience.

In 2009 I took advantage of Hays’ global footprint and transferred to Australia. This was an amazing experience and the support I gained in my relocation was fantastic. In Australia I lead Hays’ specialist business units incorporating our Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, Retail, Legal, Contact Centres, Office Support, Procurement and Life Sciences. My focus was developing the businesses into a cohesive unit that continues to deliver a high quality service to Hays clients and candidates alike.

After six successful years in Australia I returned to the UK in 2016 and now head up our Finance Technology and Financial Markets division based in the our flagship office in London.

I’m naturally inquisitive and place very high expectations on myself which is why Hays is the perfect place for me. I work hard and have an incredibly rewarding international career to show for it.

"I’m naturally inquisitive and place very high expectations on myself which is why Hays is the perfect place for me"

Despina Solomou


I am a senior consultant managing a team of 5 finance consultants.

I completed a BSc in Psychology at Brunel University and I wanted to secure a role where I was interacting with different types of people on a daily basis. A month after graduating I interviewed with the Hays Finance team and secured a role recruiting for credit control roles within Media and Leisure industries.

Only 3 years later and I am managing a team of 5 consultants whose success I am responsible for.

I believe that you get out what you put in to the role. It’s a career where hard work is really important but well recognised. A positive attitude and taking every opportunity that is offered to you has also helped me get to where I am.

"The culture at Hays is fantastic. There's a lot of energy in the office. There's lots going on, from the moment you walk in it's non-stop."

Antonia Basile

Recruitment Consultant

I joined Hays in London two years ago as an Associate Consultant within the Sales team. I had just moved to the UK from New Zealand and it was my first recruitment role, having come from a sales and retail background. I was excited about the opportunity to work for the #1 recruitment company where I knew I would be offered on-going training and career development opportunities.

I now work as a Recruitment Consultant in the Marketing team where I am responsible for building strong, lucrative relationships with our Key Account clients. My role includes extensive relationship management, project management and working on high volume recruitment projects as required by my key clients. I love that my job is fast-paced and dynamic, and no two days are ever the same. The time flies and there’s always plenty to do so I’m always kept busy.

I’m also involved in coaching and developing new starters across my office which has given me a taste for people management – I’d love to pursue a career in training, learning and development at Hays and know that this is definitely a possibility and one of the advantages of working for such a large organisation.

“I love working for a company where I can create my own career path and where hard work is rewarded.”

Chantelle Kemp

Senior Systems Trainer

Having been in recruitment already for three years, I joined Hays Sydney, Australia in 2011 as an Associate Recruitment Consultant. I managed volume recruitment campaigns for global brands including Coca Cola, Reckitt Benckiser and DHL across the logistics and supply chain division. I’d worked for a large agency before but coming to Hays was definitely the right choice and a much better fit for me.

In 2014 I took advantage of Hays’ global presence and transferred to the UK to join the national Training, Learning and Development team as a Systems Trainer. After just three years, I got promoted to become a Senior Systems Trainer and I know there is plenty more ahead for me if I continue to work hard.

I love working at Hays and I love my job - every single day I train our consultants to become experts at searching and sourcing for talent using Hays’ industry leading database, OneTouch, and social media. I work alongside our global IT Development & Training teams influencing the way our technology is built, ensuring our people’s success and helping Hays stay number one.

Starting as a Recruitment Consultant and moving internationally into Training has shown me how Hays supports you in recognising your talents and developing your potential, offering you career advancement and professional development.

“Success is earnt through hard work, determination and having a management team that believes in your ability to succeed. Some of the best memories, friendships and successes I have had are from my time spent at Hays. They really do power your world of work.”

Maruf Ibrahim

Principal Consultant

I joined the Accountancy and Finance division of Hays with a degree in Business Management from Kingston University and a year of previous sales experience. I wanted to secure a role where I was interacting with different types of people on a daily basis and would have the opportunity to progress and develop.

From my time as an Associate Consultant through to now, I have always been supported and mentored by senior members of the team, many of which are now good friends, and world-class training. Couple this with a lot of hard work and endless amounts of determination, I am constantly able to reach my set targets – which, with the help of Hays’ generous commission scheme and knowing I am actively making a difference to someone’s career, makes all the effort worthwhile.

I’ve worked for Hays now for three and a half years, I’ve had three promotions and helped to grow my team from 2 to 5 consultants – I’m excited to see what the future holds.

“No two days are the same in recruitment. This job is perfect if you love working with people and making a real impact on people’s lives. Hard work and integrity will get you far within this industry.”

Graeme McCormick

Managing Consultant

Upon graduating in 2013 I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I went travelling for 9 months and when I returned a friend of mine that worked for Hays suggested I consider a career in recruitment. The brand values at Hays aligned closely with my personality – I am very inquisitive, ambitious and passionate about people.

I joined as an Associate Consultant and during my time with Hays so far, I have been lucky enough to have worked in 2 offices, starting in Edinburgh before moving across to Glasgow. After just six months in the role I was selected to head up our new Architecture business in Glasgow and today I am now a Manager in the Construction and Property division.

My Hays Story shows why this is such a great place to work - through hard work and dedication, you can go from being an Associate Consultant to a Manager within just 3 years. Hays develops talent and doesn’t just promote on length of service – this meritocratic culture can be seen right across the business.

Recruitment is challenging and it’s definitely not for everyone. The first year in particular is probably the toughest but you really do get back what you put in, the training is outstanding and I am proud to work for the UK and Ireland’s largest and most successful specialist recruitment business.

"Hays doesn’t just offer a job, it’s a career. I take inspiration from the fact that our UK MD himself was once a consultant just like me. The sky is the limit and I’m excited where my Hays career will take me next!"

George England

Senior Recruitment Consultant

Before working at Hays I was a plumber and even though I enjoyed my job I really struggled to see a long-term future in it. I decided to change my career path and find a job where I could have a rewarding career and receive lots of personal and professional development. Upon doing my research it seemed that becoming a recruiting expert at Hays would give me all of that and it was really encouraging to see that it didn’t matter to Hays that I didn’t have a degree or previous sales experience.

My Hays story began in January 2016 when I joined the Bristol office and began working in the Construction and Property specialism on a Maintenance Trades desk. I was really pleased that Hays matched me to that team as it gave me an opportunity to use my industry knowledge and key contacts and meant that I could present as an expert from the beginning.

I knew straightaway that I made the right decision joining Hays. On my first day I was calling candidates and clients and was immediately given full responsibility over my own business. Getting stuck straight into the job helped build my confidence and made me feel like a valued member of the team. In my first month I was sent to London to complete four days of training with other Associates and, before I knew it, got my first promotion at nine months to become a Recruitment Consultant. I’ve just celebrated my second promotion to Senior Consultant and look forward to many more.

At Hays I’m surrounded by so many inspirational people who truly are the best at what they do and everyone is so supportive and eager to share their expertise with you. My manager is one of the highest billing consultants in the country and one of my colleagues recently got awarded Intern of the Year so it’s really motivating. It’s fantastic to work with such amazing people and it’s easy to see why Hays has won so many awards for its people and culture.

"I’m happy that I made the decision to start a career as a recruiting expert at Hays. I’ve enjoyed career progression and personal development from day one and I know that this will continue if I work hard and deliver results."

A day in the life

Senior Consultant
Business Leader
People Leader
  • 8:15am

    I arrive at the office, check emails and respond where necessary ahead of meeting my manager to discuss my progress, areas of strengths & improvement and plan activities for the day ahead. I attend a team meeting to share successes, outline challenges and action plan to hit and exceed team targets. We’re hoping to do a glory goal this month so it’s all hands on deck.

  • I make several calls to both target clients and existing clients. One of my phone calls is with a primary school’s head teacher to discuss a role I took in last week. The school is wanting to recruit a deputy head teacher so this phone call is to find out more about what skills the school is looking for and ideal culture fit. After finding out more about what the school wants, I manage expectations in terms of time lines and dates to interview the candidates.

  • 12pm

    I interview two deputy head teachers who expressed interest in my jobs, namely the one I qualified this morning. I carry out a candidate registration and discuss next steps to help them find that dream job.

  • I break for half an hour for lunch and take time to access the Intranet to undertake online learning modules and brush up on candidate management. I use a range of leading edge technology to source the right talent for my deputy head teacher role. If I feel the candidates have the right skills, I arrange to meet them later this week and register them exclusively.

  • 2pm

    I ask to speak to my manager and mentor about the deputy head teacher role I qualified this morning to see if there’s anything else they might suggest I do to source candidates. Both give me some sound advice before I spend some time making business development calls. During business development, not only am I looking to register their jobs, I am also making the schools aware of the service we offer by discussing the Hays USPs (unique selling points) and EVP (employer value proposition).

  • I call the head teacher I spoke to this morning and brief them on the candidates I have registered that are suitable for their roles. The head teacher is happy with the candidate brief I give and would like to interview my candidates. I gain access to the head teachers diary and call my deputy head teacher candidates to arrange formal interviews.

  • 5:30pm

    Before the end of the day I like to ensure all my administration is done so I can spend more time on the phones tomorrow. I make sure my compliance is 100% and any missing paperwork is dealt with as a matter of priority.

  • My office has a social club and tonight we’re all going to a trivia night after exceeding target last month. Game on. I know I’m in the winning team both inside and outside of the office!

  • 8:30am

    I’ve been in the office for about half an hour preparing for my day. At 8.30 I attend a team meeting to discuss market trends, new opportunities and stand out candidates to encourage collaboration on challenging roles. I see as an excellent opportunity to seek advice from my experienced colleagues and management.

  • Energised from my meeting, I review applications received overnight and telephone interview what I feel are suitable candidates for the organisations I am recruiting. During this time I scheduling five office interviews to further assess candidates’ suitability to relevant jobs.

  • 10am

    This is my hour of power! It’s time to get on the phones to grow my business. I contact clients I am currently working with, as well as following up on some hot leads. Speaking to potential clients is very important. I’m not only selling the Hays brand but also my personal brand too. The conversations are not only about candidates, recruiting and market changes; it’s also an opportunity to invite key contacts to upcoming seminars Hays is hosting to support industry networking. I ask questions about their business, discuss their recruitment needs and ideally arrange to meet face to face to discuss their business and where I could add value.

  • I take time to have a sandwich and coffee with colleagues before returning to the office to join an internal conference call discussing new features of the database. I get some great tips on how to utilise these shortcuts in my daily activity, learning what clients and candidates have to gain from our software developments.

  • 1pm

    I have a client meeting with an Account Manager to discuss a HR Manager vacancy that has arisen within a ‘magic circle’ law firm. We discuss prospective professional requirements for the vacancy and narrow down what skills the client is looking for. I also develop my understanding of the clients businesses’ culture and the type of candidate who would be the best cultural fit.

  • I return to the office to interview candidates for a new HR Advisor position for a pioneering accounting firm. After determining their suitability for roles I am recruiting, I discuss opportunities I or my team are currently handling, establish a clear action plan for proactively reverse marketing their skill set within the industry. I get back on the phones and call clients to discuss candidates I have interviewed.

  • 4pm

    I spend the first part of my ‘non-core hours’ writing and posting job profiles, sourcing new candidates for current opportunities, speaking with client contacts regarding these roles and taking referrals for suitable professionals within the industry.

  • I complete and finalise the details of an offer and ensure both client and candidate are happy to go ahead. I make sure all hiring processes are underway and that relevant Hays departments are updated on the acceptance of the offer. I also ring the bell and celebrate my success with my team. We do that every time someone makes a fee regardless of how big or small the amount is.

  • 6pm

    I attend team wrap up at the end of the day and each of us highlight our successes of the week before going out for a team social.

  • 8am

    I arrive in the office, log in and prioritise any unread emails/job applications received over night. I prep for my day by considering who I need to contact, what outcome I am looking to gain and how best to prioritise my busy day. I review job boards to see what companies are recruiting. I print the positions that are relevant to my desk and flag others to colleagues in my team. I notice an advert for a Personal Assistant and I challenge myself to fill that job today.

  • I review job boards to see what companies are recruiting. I print the positions that are relevant to my desk and flag others to colleagues in my team. I notice an advert for a Personal Assistant to Managing Director in Sheffield City Centre and I target myself to fill that job.

  • 9am

    I call the four candidates that are due to interview for my Sales Administrator role this afternoon to ensure that they are all set for the interview and to wish them the best of luck. I speak to an existing candidate who I feel would suit the PA role I saw advertised and after discussing the role the candidate is happy for me to represent them to the hiring manager. In preparation I write an brief summary about the candidates with the view to send it to the hiring manager of the Personal Assistant position after I have called them.

  • It’s core hours now which means Business Development time. I call the hiring manager of the PA role and discuss the details of my candidate. After 10 minutes of discussing the role and determining my candidates suitability, the client agrees to see the candidates CV. Because I was organised earlier, I can react quickly and send the CV and summary instantly. I move onto other business development calls as I always aim to reach at least 10 business development calls within my ‘core hours’.

  • 12pm

    I have had a response to my email sent to the hiring manager this morning and they are interested in my candidate. This is great news as I know this particular hiring manager has an exclusive relationship with my main competitor and this could help me take further market share! I call the candidate and share the great news. My candidate is very excited at the prospect of interviewing with this company. I gain information on my candidate’s availability and match it to the hiring managers. The interview is set for 2 days’ time which gives me more than enough time to send through two references on my candidate.

  • After eating some lunch I run a search on the database for other available PA candidates in the area and begin to create a shortlist of candidates to call based on their experience and the hiring manager’s requirements. I phone the candidates that appear to be relevant to the PA vacancy and assess their suitability in line with the hiring managers requirements. Three candidates tell me about interviews they have attended via other agencies, so I add these to my targets list of clients – we commonly refer to these as ‘hot leads’.

  • 2pm

    I follow up on those hot leads as it’s the afternoon slot of core hours. I take this opportunity to contact all the business’s my 3 candidates are interviewing with via my competitors and explain the value add when using Hays. Two of the three companies have agreed to meet with me tomorrow so I can brief them on suitable candidates for their roles.

  • I leave the office to attend a client meeting. My meeting is with the hiring manager I spoke to this morning. Amongst other things we discuss the history of the company; their brand values, business objectives, financial worth, size and structure. We also go into detail about the live PA vacancy, in line with the agenda I set at the start of the meeting. We speak about their relationship with my competitor and the unique selling points of Hays and what we can offer above our competitors. I discuss the candidates I had spoken to this morning, providing my expert opinion on each candidate. After an hour of discussion, I leave the meeting with a full understanding of her organisation, agreed terms of business, 2 additional interviews booked in the diary and a commitment from the HR Manager to use Hays in the future.

  • 5.30pm

    Back at the office to check my e-mails and create a ‘to do’ list for the next day.

  • 8:30am

    I sit down with my team to review their plans for the day, their live jobs and where they will be focussing their activity. I coach my newest associate consultant through their activity sharing my approach when engaging with clients to point her in the right direction.
    I then spend a bit of time on jobs boards picking up any leads through job adverts that have been posted overnight. This prepares me for my ‘core hours’, business development. Just before that I share an interesting article about my market on LinkedIn to help build my personal brand.

  • I review and call any new applicants to my live job adverts, booking good candidates in to meet with me in the office and gain any new information on the market, such as where they are interviewing.
    I run through CVs with my shortlisted candidates to make sure they’re updated before submitting them to my clients.

  • 10am

    Core hours = business development time! I spend the next 2 hours calling through my clients to update with any new developments in the job market, following up on the leads from the morning and selling in my best candidates. I also discuss the DNA of a Marketing Leader report Hays have produced and book visits to meet any new potential clients.
    I use this time to update clients I am working with, seeking feedback from interviews or sending new applications I prepared in the morning.

  • I usually grab a quick lunch before attending a candidate interview. Lunch is a great time to meet with local candidates and we go through their CV in detail making sure I understand their skills and gain insight into their current employer, who they report to and who would recruit their job when they leave for a new position.

  • 12:45pm

    I check in with my team on how their morning went; any successes, any challenges they faced and if they are on track with what they wanted to achieve today.

  • I prepare for my afternoon client meeting, printing all CVs, running through the presentation on my iPad, and doing some research on the company. I meet my client and discuss the details of the position they are looking to recruit. I run through some example CVs to demonstrate the quality of candidates I represent, and use the iPad to pitch for a Digital Solutions campaign. A Digitial Solutions campaign includes creating a recruitment microsite, which is a great way to promote themselves in the market as an employer of choice. The site will get great visibility on LinkedIn and other specialist job boards. We discuss fees, agree a proposition and set a timeline for shortlisting, interviewing and having the successful candidate in post.

  • 3pm

    I’m back in the office and focus on my live jobs and sourcing for candidates by responding to any new applications I’ve received and utilising our database and LinkedIn to reach out to candidates that may fit my role profiles.

  • I make sure I am engaging with my clients, by sending a relevant CV or piece of market information via email. I make sure my approach is targeted and relevant to ensure a good response!

  • 4:30pm

    I write up my notes from my client meeting and make sure I have taken the relevant action to promote the candidate I met with earlier in the day. I post their profile on our website, write up interview notes and put together a list of companies the candidate would like to work for. I will call those companies tomorrow on the candidate’s behalf – this is called reverse marketing.

  • I call my best candidates to prepare them for interviews, giving advice and talking them through how best to approach the questions. I also update candidates who have interviewed to get their feedback, or feed-back to those whose CVs I have shared with my clients.
    I have a lot of live jobs so I send a market update to my active candidates and non-active candidates who have recently applied. The replies will give me a list of candidates to call back in the morning to discuss the jobs I am recruiting for.

  • 5:45pm

    I catch up with my team to share our successes for the day, give advice and suggest any actions that need to be followed up on tomorrow. We will all individually spend some time writing our plans for tomorrow and I will respond to any outstanding emails so my inbox is clear for the morning.

  • I usually log into LinkedIn before going home to review who has viewed my profile or connected with me. I’ll also reach out and connect with what I consider strong potential to facilitate future conversations.

  • 8am

    I work in the Education sector and start the day by filling jobs called in from my schools, using my available teachers. I call through schools to obtain information on any required work for any teachers that have not yet been assigned. I work through my placements for the day and send important Education information to my schools which verifies the teachers have been fully vetted and are safe to be working in the school.

  • I meet with the wider Education team to talk through our successes from the previous week and what we are aiming for this week. We discuss any challenges they may be facing in the Education sector arrange focus sessions in the afternoon so I can support them more as they learn about our industry. I speak to my schools to check what cover they will need for next week and carry out essential aftercare checks on how my teachers are performing in any existing placements. I make sure all the information I have for my current and any new school contacts are correct and update any changes to the staffing which may result in me providing more candidates to the schools I work with.

  • 12pm

    I quickly get some lunch and then head back to my desk to read through the Education section of the BBC website to check for latest updates or discussion ideas in the sector. I need to keep up to date on all the latest news of our sector so I can relay it back to the greater team as and when required. I write adverts for a new role I have secured and post it to I review and screen candidates’ applications for teaching roles I am currently working on for my clients.

  • I have a lunch and learn session with Associates in the Education and this session is to support them writing briefs on candidates and job adverts for client’s positions. At the end of the lunch and learn training session I proof read the adverts and provide feedback.

  • 2pm

    I interview a new teacher who is looking to register with us as a candidate. I need to get to know them by asking them questions about the experience they have, what sort of work they are looking for and let them know about any suitable positions I currently have that may suit them. I take copies of their identification documentation and help them fill in the necessary compliance paperwork so I can get them ‘cleared’ for work.

  • I attend a Business Lead meeting to discuss the month ahead ensuring we all have clear, achievable goals in mind and a strategic plan of action. We discuss any successes, any future opportunities and any challenges to ensure we’re sharing our expertise across the Education sector.

  • 5pm

    I call through my pool of teachers to double check availability for the next day. I also make some calls to prospective teachers to discuss our career opportunities and current vacancies that may suit them.

  • It is end of period today and we’ve had a very good month so after the Regional Managing Director presents our stats, awards & action plans moving forward, we all have a celebratory hour in the office before heading home to enjoy the weekend.

  • 8am

    I review our team performance from the previous day, across my teams and region. I consider which consultant was most successful and if anyone may need my support today? I look at how many candidates have we secured a client interview for and how many clients we’ve been able to support.

  • I observe some daily meetings within the office and help managers plan consultant’s daily activities to ensure we’re prepped for a productive day. I conduct a Manager’s monthly review and we discuss the fantastic result from the previous period. We also cover what training we need to organise for the teams and what are our targets and key focus areas this billing period before moving onto preparing a tender and presentation for a key client we are looking to work with on an exciting recruitment project next month.

  • 12pm

    Over a sandwich, I review the applications of candidates applying to be the next high performing Associate Consultant with the aim of screening them into our Internal Recruitment process.

    I briefly sit in on an Induction for a new starter and introduce them to their Associate training programme and action plan.

  • I attend a client meeting with a Senior Consultant and complete a service review of the last 6 months of business and any future recruitment needs the client may have. On returning to the office I debrief with the Senior Consultant and assist them in rolling out feedback to the team.

  • 2pm

    I shadow a Team Manager who is conducting a monthly sales plan meeting with an Associate to coach them on their development areas moving forward as it is my primary job function to develop future people leaders at Hays.

  • I sit in on a 9 month promotion review and presentation meeting with an Associate and their Manager. Following a successful start to their career and exams passed, we promote the Associate to Recruitment Consultant. What an excellent result for both the Associate and their Manager.

  • 5pm

    I review what jobs we have registered and ensure we have quality candidates ready to provide for interviews. These candidates CVs should be sent to the clients as a matter of urgency.

  • The team take out the newly promoted Consultant for a celebration drink while I finish planning for tomorrow's business development blitz day but I have every intention of joining them in an hour or so.

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