Not many people can say they got their job through sliding into the DMs of a stranger on Twitter, but hey, I aim to be different.
It turns out the said stranger I’d messaged after stalking the ‘recruitment’ hashtag on Twitter was a pretty big deal. In fact, he was the European-Division Director of one of the most successful Life Science recruitment firms in the world (I’ve always had a good sixth sense).
Thankfully, Chris King also has a good sixth sense and took a punt on this random Devonian country bumpkin – clearly the stalking thing was what he looked for in his TA team. After a few VERY long commutes to the office for interviews (5 hours each way. No candidate ever gets away with being late when they’re commuting from Brighton) I was sold on the company and planned our relocation. A few frantic weeks followed: my partner and I quit our jobs & found a flat in a town we’d never visited before, my dad got diagnosed with cancer, I had a creepy incident involving a strange man on a train and a pursuing court case… it was safe to say the team knew I was pretty committed when I still turned up on my first day.
The learning curve in my first year was steep and full of extreme highs and lows. I had a lot of early success formulated by long days and an extreme thirst for achievement. But, like most people, I was petrified of failure and the unavoidable candidate drop-outs and failed interviews were difficult to overcome. Thankfully, I was surrounded by a resilient and determined team and had a great manager who taught me to develop a thick skin. I learned to focus on increasing the wins and maintaining a constant pipeline, which meant the low points soon became things to learn from rather than pits to get stuck in.
My second year saw a secondment to the European Strategy Consulting division. It was incredible to work alongside consultants I’d recently hired into the firm and I built some of my strongest friendships whilst in this team. I also developed an entirely new perspective of the job my hires were brought in to do… and learned just how hard it is. This helped me become a much stronger (and more respected) TA consultant. I understand and relate to recruiters’ prior experiences and discuss Barrington James on their level, confidently answering questions about our recruitment processes around the world.
I was promoted to senior consultant at the end of 2019 and started working on strategic hires whilst training and developing the wider TA team. We are constantly evolving and adapting to both retain the brilliant team we already have and continue to attract the best in the industry to work alongside us, which of course has its challenges, but not once have I felt like I need to tackle a problem alone – in fact challenges are faced with a collaborative mindset to change for the better. In 2019 alone I was rewarded with numerous Barrington Brunches, Directors’ Lunches and a ‘Team of the Quarter’ event and celebrated earning my first £6k pay cheque.
And then, 2020 happened, which I’m sure needs no introduction…
I feel incredibly fortunate to have continued to work through the pandemic. It was a great feeling to provide light at the end of the tunnel for job-seekers who we hired to support Life Science clients working on Covid trials and vaccines. Internally, a lot of solidarity was shown and employee/employer loyalty was clear. On reflection, it made a lot of sense to stay working due to the sheer number of new and old candidates that reached out because they’d heard and seen what we’ve achieved this year.
Actions really do speak louder than words and no matter how much I talk about earning potential, meritocratic progression and an office bar, people want to see the truth behind the pitch: Not only did we continue working but we also broke records through lockdown. We continued to fill high-fee vacancies around the world and still hired internally every month – and this was the proof candidates needed to see. The whole team adapted to each challenge thrown at them with such strength and so far, nothing has held us back.
We’ve achieved unprecedented things in 2020: moved to bigger and better global offices, opened two additional branches, had incredible headcount growth and numerous record-breaking billing months on both personal and branch levels. We’ve promoted over 25% of the team and continuously add new opportunities for our consultants to better themselves not just professionally, but personally too. The TA team goes from strength-to-strength and I’m extremely lucky to have a fantastic team of motivated and hard-working consultants around me. A year after my first promotion, I was promoted to Head of TA and am thrilled to take my role to the next level, focusing on improving what we offer to our consultants, and creating new methods of attracting and hiring talent. Personally, my partner and I bought our first house and I started the fifth year of my psychology degree. Never a dull moment around here!
2021 brings even bigger developments and new heights to reach. Our Chelmsford office, specialising in AI/Tech recruitment within Life Sciences, is a big focus area with a whole new candidate pool (and lots of new Directors’ Lunch locations) to source. We’re seeking senior hires to manage teams across both Perm and Contract, and are also hiring into our Exec Search division. I’m looking forward to seeing the company break more records, open new offices and get one step closer to our overall vision: to be the biggest, and most successful, Life Science recruitment consultancy in the world.