After 10 years in recruitment and a year of having my own company I thought it might be a nice idea to share my story, whether you agree or not we will only know at the end….
When I meet new people and they ask what I do, I can see them backing away when I say the dreaded word….recruitment. I completely understand why this is but at the same time I can’t help feeling a little hurt. Yes I work in recruitment but I’m still a nice person and I’m actually pretty damn good at recruiting (in an ethical way!)
I think my story should start part way through my time at Liverpool University when I was studying for a Spanish and Business Management degree. In my third year we had to go to a Spanish speaking country to obviously speak Spanish and get better at it. I didn’t want to go as at that time in my life I didn’t want to have to leave my friends, family and new boyfriend for a year….
Barcelona won over Madrid in the end as it had a beach, little did we know that they don’t speak Castilian (normal Spanish) and they actually have their own language, Catalan! (which is totally different!) so that was a bit of a shock to the system! But we went (kicking and screaming) and we got jobs and had a great time.
The point to me telling you this part of my story is that during the 10 months I was in Barca we had a fire in our apartment, were mugged 3 times (once at knifepoint) and my friend drank so much Martini before a night out that she collapsed outside our apartment and hit her head on a wall; whilst dressed as a cat because it was Halloween. When the ambulance men arrived they must have thought “What the ****” (obviously in Catalan) at the sight of two drenched witches and two drenched cats (as it was raining).
Basically at the age of 20 I had to deal with all 3 emergency services in a strange country, speaking a language I didn’t really understand during the first time I had really lived away from home (if you don’t count university halls of residence) and I think this set me on a path to becoming independent and certainly strengthened my character!
Once we got back from Barcelona, I finished my degree and started looking for a job. I had a couple of roles locally in the Bolton area within the IT sector, selling various pieces of kit to businesses but I didn’t really enjoy them and I kept on looking for something else, although I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for.
Like most people I “fell” into recruitment, I was told by another recruiter that my personality would fit recruitment well and off I went to some interviews….I secured my first job in Manchester and actually started to enjoy it. Yes it was challenging and at times very stressful. One particularly stressful time that I remember was during my first year as a trainee when my boss told me that if I didn’t make a placement over the following month then I would lose my job. I’d just bought a house at the time and so this news hit me quite hard. I managed it though and surprised myself at what I could do when I needed to. I kept my job but fell out of love with the company and started looking for another job and on my last day with them my boss actually told me that I’d never make anything of myself in the recruitment industry and that I actually wasn’t very good at it. I think it’s safe to say that he was wrong as 10 years down the line I’m still here and I’ve successfully run my own business for one whole year, go me J
During my first 6 years in the recruitment industry I moved jobs 7 times. I loved recruitment; helping someone find their next job and helping a company solve a problem with the solution of a person but I never felt happy with the companies for any length of time. I just didn’t like working for agencies nor did I like all of the recruiters that I worked alongside. Don’t get me wrong, I worked with and know of some amazing recruiters who genuinely care about candidates and clients, want to do a good job and deliver a quality service but for the most part I came across recruiters that only really cared about money and themselves and seemed to forget that candidates are actually humans, with lives, families, hopes and dreams. Unfortunately, there are more bad ones than good ones and so we are all tarred with the same brush.
I started to think that maybe I should get out of recruitment and do something else, I went and got my Prince2 qualification and started looking at a career in project management. I asked a couple of clients and candidates what they thought of my chances and one of my clients rang me a week later to explain that they were wanting to bring recruitment in-house and would I be interested in interviewing. I saw this as the lifeline it was and jumped at the chance to interview. I got the job and started in August 2013 and LOVED it.
I created a recruitment function, new processes, built a team of competent recruiters and rolled it out across the business. During the 3 years I was there as their Internal Recruitment Manager the company doubled in size and we saved over £1.5m in agency placement fees by doing the recruitment directly ourselves. I felt like I was making a positive impact, I was part of a team and I was respected as a specialist within my field. It was ace. My favourite part was attending the Christmas party each year and seeing how many more people were there than the previous year. It was a little moment that I had to myself before joining the party as that was my contribution to the company and I was proud of it.
It wasn’t all fun and positivity for me though as in June 2014 my marriage broke down because of my husband’s infidelity and I was left in a very difficult financial situation. It was a troubling and distressing time for me, which pulled my focus during the first year in my new job, which in itself was worrying as I didn’t want to lose my job. I got on with it though and managed to turn things around at work and life went on.
After this, I decided to refuse to allow my life to be impacted by others and decided that I needed to do something about it and take control of things.
So, being the ambitious person that I am I decided that I wanted more from work but unfortunately there wasn’t anywhere for me to progress to within that business, my boss also told me that I would never earn more money there and so I felt as though it was time to move on. I didn’t want to go back to the agency world as being on the other side of the fence had really opened my eyes to recruiters, how bad some of them can be and how annoying and pushy! Haha. I also wasn’t sure I wanted to go to another company and do something similar, I’d always fancied having my own business but didn’t want to own an agency for all the reasons above!
It literally was a lightbulb moment.
I suddenly thought to myself that I could do what I did at Edenhouse but for a number of other companies and bring a fresh perspective to the recruitment industry. And so my company was born on the 4th May 2016, with the help of a small number of special and dear friends.
We partner up with companies and go in as their internal recruitment team as an alternative to agencies. We help with things from direct recruitment, employer branding to candidate attraction, job description & advert creation, and anything else recruitment related. We can also simply assist existing recruitment teams by providing additional support to cover maternity/sick leave or busy periods. We save our customers at least 50% on their recruitment costs whilst raising their profile within the marketplace.
We offer flexible recruitment support whether on an ongoing retained or ad hoc basis and when a client needs us they just switch us on and off we go.
It’s been an amazing year, full of ups and downs, laughter and tears but we are still here and I would say we are a success. I could go into more detail, but that’s another story….
Lots of love, Laura.
If you would like a chat then message me on LinkedIn, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07825 661 237 so that we can start discussing how I can help you.