I think I’ve always been a fairly positive person. Or at least a get-up-and-keep-going kind of person. Since I joined Kea I think that’s been reinforced as I’ve learnt more about taking knocks and accepting what you can’t always control, but making sure you nail what’s within your power.
I’ve always liked to read and learn new things.
Coming into Kea I knew nothing about finance. That desire to learn more and willingness to ask what feel like stupid questions has been a big help along the way.
What success means to meA client coming back to you again for their next placement. It’s easy to fumble your way to a placement, but hiring effectively and bringing a client with you on that journey, even if it’s a difficult one, and building trust with them is where real success is demonstrated.
I started right out of university as a Junior Researcher. Through this route my focus at a high level hasn’t changed. I’m still learning about the world of finance and making placements.
Along the way though I’ve developed management and training skills, I’ve become more confident and patient and now I’m not just in the room, but I’m leading conversations and trying my best to advise clients.
What fills your diary on a day-to-day basis?
Mostly tea. I’m largely useless without a warm mug on my desk so it accompanies me when I’m making my way through the day’s meetings. My role is the obvious part of Kea - executing searches, but behind all that there are a lot of things you wouldn’t necessarily see: meeting new candidates and catching up with old ones; trying to understand the market and stay abreast of hiring trends and difficulties; working with Researchers to find the right person for my clients, and discussing opportunities with those target candidates. Most importantly though is supporting candidates through the hiring process and getting them comfortable with the jump they are about to take.
Drive to ImproveI can be a competitive person, and especially as a junior, working hard and putting in hours was a way to get good at the job quickly. Over time, I’ve come to focus less on the word “drive” and instead try to reflect more on how to actually improve and be more thoughtful in what I’m doing.
The key to success
So many things could apply here – drive, teamwork, empathy, decisiveness.
For me though I think it has to be a willingness to ask difficult questions. Whether it’s to a client to understand their needs or where I might be falling short, or to a candidate to better understand them. Asking the question another headhunter won’t or didn’t bother to can make a big difference.
I love the camaraderie.When your product is people and their careers it can be hard to predict everything. Surprises happen, for good or ill, but it’s always the team who pitch in together and offer ideas or jokes to get you out of a rut and back on track.
Why did I join?
The team, and the culture. What struck me when I interviewed, and continues to strike me as others join the team is the quality of the people. Not only are they driven and enthusiastic, but they’re also friendly and always happy to lend a hand.
My edgeThe people I’ve learnt from. It’s hard to point to one thing that’s made me a good headhunter. Instead, I’d point to the people I learnt from who built Kea in the early days, they’ve given me lessons that they had to learn the hard way in a very short time frame. This has helped me come up the curve quickly and has been invaluable, not just in terms of knowing what to do, but also in preparing me to deal with new situations comfortably.