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#YourHaysStory

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. #YourHaysStory looks at the unique journeys of some of our 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.

 

Be inspired!

Sarah Laidler

Sarah Laidler

Principal Consultant


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From fashion to front end development: how I changed career path to further my ambitions

For me, joining the world of recruitment was a huge career change. Following my graduation from De Montfort University I worked in the fashion industry for a number of years, before joining Hays. Not only was the earning potential a strong draw, but as I am an ambitious person a clear career path to the top appealed to me.


It was suggested early on that despite my lack of experience in digital or information technology, I had the right temperament to recruit for this sector.


I enjoy learning about all the latest technology trends, as these affect the entire world of work. Whether they are looking to increase efficiencies by automating processes, engage with customers by having a better digital presence, or protect sensitive data against malware attacks by boosting their cyber security, all progressive organisations today are invested in improving their technology.


Furthermore, my competitive nature means I consistently want to make a difference to businesses and people. Placing highly skilled, senior technology candidates in some of the best known brand names across a range of industries is greatly rewarding, as I know I have helped fulfil their professional goals, and that they will go on to drive exciting changes in their new roles. Thanks to Hays’ partnerships with key tech communities like Github and Stack Overflow, we have been able to interact with even more top digital talent than ever before.


Of course like any new job, my first few months at Hays had its challenges. My advice to anyone who wants to join Hays as a digital technology recruiter would be:

1. Build your expertise

Our clients and candidates are all experts in their fields. In order to earn their confidence, build good relationships and win new business, you need to be an expert too. There are a wealth of external courses, conferences and meetups that Hays gives you access to which will allow you to quickly learn more about the technology sector. However, your learning needs to be continuous. This is an exciting, dynamic and rapidly evolving landscape, with disruptive and new technologies emerging all the time. You need to stay on top of these and keep your finger on the pulse in order to remain adequately knowledgeable.

2. Take advantage of internal opportunities

Hays is an organisation which encourages you to push yourself forward and upwards. On top of your unlimited potential to earn, there are plenty of incentives for hard work, from exclusive dinners to fully-funded holidays. However, there many other opportunities to carve out a niche for yourself and grow your career, such working in a different location like I have during my recent move from Cardiff to Manchester. At Hays, your career is in your hands, so go for it.

Technology recruitment is a very competitive market. Just like the best candidates, in order to succeed you need be a specialist and not a generalist. However, this makes it all the more gratifying when you succeed in it.


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

Lee Hewett

Lee Hewett

Lee Hewett

Business Director


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Do you want to run your own office? 3 lessons to learn now.

In 2008, I changed careers to join the world of recruitment. I knew that in the right organisation recruitment could offer me a positive, friendly and fast-paced workplace culture. I liked that I would be able to regularly meet clients, and get under the skin of businesses, work out their unique needs and place a candidate who would make a real difference to their operations.

However, I also wanted a clear and defined progression path. I was looking for a long-term career, and not simply a job.

Hays was therefore the obvious choice for me, as I knew it offered a proven track-record of nurturing employees to achieve their professional goals, through world-class training and a transparent promotion structure. I wanted to work somewhere which promoted from within, and I knew that most of the senior management at Hays started their careers as consultants with the company. However, what I hadn’t realised was how much fun it would be and how much ownership I would have to take control of my career.

Six months after joining, I was tasked with coaching another employee which set me on the route to management. Only seven years later, and I now run my own office. I manage my own business within a large corporate so enjoy the best of both worlds. I have the autonomy to run the office my way, with the support of a large corporate that allows me to grow the business and continue to develop. The role has not been without its challenges, but the opportunities to grow both professionally and personally have been well worth any early trials I faced.

To anyone who is tempted by the idea of running their own business within a corporate, I would offer 3 pieces of advice:

1. Remember the basics

During the first few months of my job, I encountered ‘information overload’. I knew I needed to become an expert in my field in order to better understand my clients’ needs. Through in-house training and direction from my colleagues and directors, I learned a lot, quickly.

However, two of the most vital lessons needed to succeed in recruitment are soft skills. First, time management is crucial. Recruitment is fast-paced, and this only increases as you become more senior. Therefore, have a routine structure to your day is vital to accomplish everything you need to. Second, it is important to remember that this is an industry which about building and creating good relationships. Regularly meeting with clients and candidates face-to-face is the key to developing these.

2. Come prepared to work hard

Your first year is a building block to the rest of your career. Push yourself above and beyond your expectations in this time, and you will have laid an excellent foundation for your future.

However, just like in any job, your first year can also be hard at times, as success doesn’t always come immediately, but with experience. Don’t be disheartened in these moments, such as when you get a ‘no’ from a client. Instead, be resolved to keep trying, and proactive enough to speak to top billers and learn what strategies they have in place that you can utilise.

3. Confidence is king

Being confident will help you win business, and it will help you grow your career. Express what you know about the market to clients, as this will help them trust you. Pick up the phone and try again, even in the face of rejection. And don’t be afraid to have ambitious aspirations. If you have your sights set on the top, be confident that you can achieve your goals if you put in the work.


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

Amy McCusker

Amy McCusker

Associate Consultant for Procurement and Supply Chain


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Why I am glad I chose to build a career in recruitment.

Like many of my colleagues, I joined Hays straight after my graduation as an associate. I had previously completed some work experience in recruitment, and the dynamism and excitement of the environment convinced me to try to build a career in recruitment.


Like any job, mine has its challenges. Establishing new client relationships can be difficult, especially in the first few months. However, Hays has extensive and thorough training in place to support you from your first day. Shortly after joining, I went to London for a week of training sessions, joining new starters from across the country. Not only did it help me feel both prepared and excited to take on all the challenges of my new role, but it was encouraging to meet so many others in the same position as myself.


Having now been working at Hays for just over a year, I can confidently say that there are more reasons to enjoy this career than there are challenges:

1. Something new every day

The variety of my role means I always find my work interesting. I enjoy the fact that I am not doing the same, repetitive tasks every day. Instead, I spend a lot of time meeting with new people. These interactions range from meeting clients to understand their unique business needs, to getting to know the skillsets and goals of candidates to ensure they are a good fit for an organisation.

These personal interactions are not only stimulating, but it also makes matching the a professional to the right role even more rewarding as I know first-hand the positive impact this will have upon both a business and a candidate’s life.

2. Continual development is prioritised

Working in such a dynamic role, it is impossible not to learn new things every day. With each new client meeting, I am able to develop my commercial acumen. Complementing this on-the-job learning is the formal training on offer at Hays. From cultivating technical skills to teaching us how to handle difficult situations such as receiving a ‘no’ from a client, these training courses not only make you more capable, but also significantly more confident.

The environment at Hays is one which prioritises professional growth. From colleagues to managers, everyone wants you to do well and progress, which means they are always on hand to offer advice on how to hit your targets. If you put the work in you will get the results, and your upward progression will happen quickly.

3. Working at a global brand brings many benefits

Working in a global brand not only means that you have world-class training programmes and well-established career trajectories. It also means that building good client relationships is easier – Hays is a market leader, with a long, successful and trustworthy track-record. Organisations know that when they work with Hays, they work with the best.

Furthermore, being part of a large organisation with a global footprint means that there are many opportunities to take your career in new and exciting directions; from working across different industries and on different projects, to working in a different office overseas.

Whilst for many, the unlimited earning potential is the main draw of working in recruitment, personally, I really value my professional progression and have always wanted a meaningful long-term career with room to develop and grow. Luckily, my current role offers me both.


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

Richard Eardley

Richard Eardley

Managing Director, Hays Ireland


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How to build an exciting and diverse career in recruitment.

I joined Hays in 1988 as a Recruitment Consultant with no previous industry experience. In that time I’ve taken advantage of countless opportunities to grow my role in a number of different directions. Today, the diversity of my job is easily my favourite aspect of working at Hays.

Although I have followed a traditional route through operational management, I have always been interested in all aspects of our business. By demonstrating a willingness to get involved in any new challenge I have gained a wide range of experience – from working with the support functions of marketing and IT, through to being the business lead for our new Digital Technology specialism. Despite wearing a number of hats at Hays, I have always maintained a very hands-on approach, which is essential in order to understand exactly what our consultants need to do their jobs better.

I have also been lucky enough to work in a number of locations. To date, I have been based in our Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Dublin offices. One of the many benefits of working for a company with such a large global footprint is the chance to move. If you have the ability to be mobile, the professional and personal benefits of working in different locations are many, not least the knowledge you garner working with different people and overcoming unique regional challenges.

My advice for anyone working in recruitment is to always be aware of the opportunities available to you. Put your hand up and offer to get involved, even if a task falls outside your existing remit. By seeking out new chances to learn, you will be able to grow your career in exciting and often unexpected directions.

1. Take positives from the negatives

After the Celtic Tiger years, the global financial crisis hit the Irish economy hard. However, whilst this was an unprecedented challenge, it was also an opportunity for Hays in Ireland to take a closer look at our processes and see where we could make significant improvements. The changes implemented during that time have contributed to an Irish business which is stronger than ever today.

2. Never stop listening

From your first day, it is important to take stock of what your colleagues are doing. It is likely they will know how best to navigate an array of challenges you may face. However, this remains an important lesson even as you climb the career ladder. Be it someone on your team or in another Hays office overseas, there is always a chance someone knows how to do something better or is implementing a new standard of best practice. You're never too senior to learn from others.

3. Step outside the office and get involved

There are a host of initiatives outside work which will allow you to learn and grow. It is through the personal interest of individuals that Hays is now involved in many, such as CoderDojo, for which we encourage IT candidates to attend events and volunteer to teach code to young people. We are also supporting Teen-Turn, which helps secure internships with technology organisations for teenage girls. These initiatives are worthwhile ventures in their own right, but they also provide a fantastic networking opportunity.


At Hays, it is you who has the most impact on your own success: work hard, push yourself out of your comfort zone and take the initiative. The career prospects at Hays are open-ended, so keep a long-term view and boldly put yourself forward for every opportunity to develop your career in the direction you want.


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

Angus Rochford

Angus Rochford

Intern


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Don’t get stuck making the coffee: how I have made my recruitment internship count.

When I first began considering internships, I wasn’t sure what type of organisation I should work for. However, I knew what I didn’t want: an internship which consisted only of making coffee, taking minutes in meetings and filing documents. Many of my friends had experienced this, and I was eager to work somewhere which would challenge me, test my abilities and truly prepare me for the world of work.


I joined Hays after attending a placement fair at my university, where I spoke to someone who was interning at that time. Her experiences convinced me that if I was accepted on the Hays internship programme, I would be expected to operate at the same level as consultants and would be given real responsibilities from the outset. I knew this would allow me to build my professional experiences in a way that many of my peers haven’t been able to.


From my first week on the job, I was given challenging work to do – calling candidates, arranging interviews and speaking to clients. Whilst this could have been daunting, I received the same comprehensive, highly-structured training as all new consultants, which taught me all the skills I needed and crucially gave me the confidence to hit the ground running.


Furthermore, all my colleagues – from recruitment consultants to senior managers – have always been on-hand to answer any of my questions. Some of the most important lessons I have learned, especially those which taught me how to build better relationships with clients, has been through this kind of ‘on-the-job’ learning.


As my time draws to a close, I have been made a ‘talent scout’ for Hays, meaning that I am looking out for new interns and associates to join the business. This has allowed me to reflect on how others can get the most out of their recruitment internships:

1. Start with confidence

Credibility comes with experience, but of course when you join as an intern you may not have any commercial experience at all. You need to have confidence to pick up the phone, call clients, and even to accept the occasional rejection without taking it personally in order to win new business.

2. Credibility is key

Our business is about building genuine and meaningful relationships with people. This means that being honest and transparent is vital. When you don’t know the answer to something it is always best to get back to them after doing the appropriate research or asking someone for help. Our clients know and expect Hays to be industry experts. As such, never offer any information or insight that you aren’t sure is 100% accurate.

3. Organisation is an essential, but learnable skill

One skill that is non-negotiable is being organised. You need to know exactly who your best candidates are, what jobs are available, and have each and every day planned out. However, I have found that learning to be organised comes naturally with this role – you quickly learn that if you are not, you may lose out on valuable business and simply won’t be effective.


By being treated as a Hays employee from the first day, I have learned more during my year as an intern than I ever expected I would. Whilst I’m sad that my time here is coming to an end, I will leave feeling confident and excited to rejoin the world of work once my studies are finished.


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

Alex Cordery

Alex Cordery

Recruitment Consultant


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Why I switched careers into recruitment, and why I stayed.

Prior to joining Hays, I was in a very different role. I had some insight into the world of recruitment as friends of mine worked in the industry. For example, I knew that it offered good career progression, which has always been important to me, and that it was a fast-paced, exciting environment. Of course, I was also aware that it offered the potential to earn an uncapped amount, with the only limitation being how much work you were willing to put in.

I was referred to Hays by a friend and from the very first interview I could see that they deal with candidates differently. It was not a case of simply turning up for an interview. Instead, there was a very thorough assessment to ensure that I would be a good fit for the role and the workplace culture.

This personal interest in how we can develop continued once I joined, with comprehensive training opportunities from day one. These start from the very basics, and ensure all new starters are ready to do the job and hit the ground running.

All the reasons I joined Hays came to fruition. However, today I appreciate my job for entirely different reasons than I had initially thought:

1. Satisfaction in being a consultant

I take a huge amount of pride in building genuinely meaningful connections with clients. It isn’t transactional and I choose not to contact clients solely regarding placements. Instead, I operate as a partner, advising them on attraction and retention best practices, how to benchmark their salaries and providing information on the latest legislative changes which may affect them.

2. Knowledge is power

As part of this, it is hugely gratifying to become an expert in your field. Understanding your industry and applying the trends taking place in it to the individual needs of a business will ensure that you find the right match for a client.

3. A business is as good as its people

More than anyone, a recruiter knows that an organisation is defined by the quality of its people. At Hays, you are surrounded by amazing people with a similar drive to work smarter and achieve more, and a similar passion for being the best.

To anyone considering a recruitment role, I would say: keep an open mind. Whilst it is a sales-driven role, the best asset you can possess is to be a quality customer service provider. In fact, this will also be one of the most rewarding elements of your role.


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

Hollie Wildman

Hollie Wildman

Manager


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New to recruitment? Earn more today.

Like many of my colleagues I had no prior recruitment experience before I joined Hays. However, I’ve always been a ‘people person’, and I knew I wanted to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment with high earning potential.


It was clear from my very first interview that the ‘work hard, play hard’ culture at Hays would be an excellent fit for me. A strong support network and an outstanding internal mentor helped me develop my skills and before long I was earning significantly more than I expected on a graduate scheme. Fast forward four years and today I am a manager heading up my own team.


However, sales can be a challenging line of work, especially when you first start. So what should an ambitious new recruiter at Hays do to overcome these challenges and boost their earnings?

1. In the face of a negative, stay positive

Being sociable, friendly and upbeat is a pre-requisite for recruiters – but when a client says ‘no’ to a business proposal even the most positive amongst us can feel downcast. It is important to remember that a ‘no’ is a response, and therefore dialogue is still open. Don’t give up. Go back with a clearer proposition, explain how you will add tangible value. Stay committed to building relationships with your clients. The more resilient you are, the quicker you will bounce back from a negative response and get back to winning new business.

2. Expertise = a stronger reputation

You must aim to become an expert about the industry you are recruiting in, as this will garner you a stronger reputation in the market. However, when you are just starting out, this can be a daunting prospect. I would advise a practical approach: pick a relevant, specific focus area to become more knowledgeable about rather than overwhelming yourself. Similarly, be sensible and schedule what you need to know and for when. Finally, whilst you will soon be able to confidently say you are an expert recruiter, during these early stages of your career, don’t be afraid to say: “I don’t know – but I know who does!”

3. Lean on me

You should never lose your drive to do better and earn more. The beauty of a job in recruitment is that it is all in your control. With uncapped earning potential, it is unlikely that you will lose motivation to work hard. However, everyone can feel overwhelmed during the beginning of their career, and recruiters are no different. During these times, it’s good to turn to others for support and motivation. It goes without saying that at Hays you will be surrounded by like-minded people. Supporting, helping and pushing each other to do better comes naturally to us, and nothing will get you back on your feet faster.


Whilst I have been advising on how to boost your earnings, you should always remember the true value of our work. Only this week I placed someone who had been struggling for quite some time to find a role elsewhere. Their happiness when I broke the news of an offer was a reminder that every placement is about more than just hitting a target: it is about making a real difference to people’s lives.


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

Maruf Ibrahim

Maruf Ibrahim

Principal Consultant


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What does it take to be a rising star at Hays? Four top tips.

I joined Hays in 2014, without any prior commercial experience. However, I was willing to learn, and I’ve always been absolutely determined to build a successful career for myself. I was promoted twice within 18 months of working in recruitment. Here are my tips for a successful career at Hays, the number one recruiter.

1. Take advantage of training

Despite my lack of industry knowledge, I was able to develop my skills and progress quickly thanks to the exceptional, world-class training on offer. I was part of the Hays Rising Stars programme, where I was able to regularly meet with senior figures from throughout the organisation and learn more about the wider business strategy. I’ve found that understanding the bigger picture and what is happening across Hays is critical in developing my own career and getting great results.

2. Deal with rejection head on

Despite the promotions I’ve enjoyed, my career has still had its challenges. It goes without saying that effectively dealing with rejection is something all recruiters have to learn. In the aftermath of a client turning down your call, a potential client opting to work with a different recruiter or a candidate taking another job, being truly tenacious is vital. Having a clear vision and a strategy, and continuing to believe in this even when you have a few knocks will be instrumental to your success.

3. Put yourself in their shoes

In my opinion, a more frequently overlooked skillset that every recruiter also needs in order to be successful is being empathetic. I’ve learned to be understanding of how my clients work, and sympathetic to any previous experience they have had working with recruiters. It is equally important to be supportive of candidates, and considerate of their ambitions and concerns. I may be in a sales role, but I never forget that I am dealing with people’s businesses and lives.

4. Draw on team support

The support at Hays goes well beyond formal training, and some of the valuable pieces of advice have come from my colleagues, both those senior to me as well as my juniors. I wake up each morning excited to go to work: not just because of what I do, but because of who I do it with. We are all focused on our individual sales, but we want to be a success for our team too. There is a real community spirit here at Hays, and we all aspire to be encouraging and helpful from day one, no matter how busy we are – even the Directors here have time for you!


My success wouldn’t have been possible without the training, mentoring and support I received at Hays. For anyone who is prepared to work hard and takes up the training on offer career success could be just around the corner.


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

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