5 Questions with… Lisa McGhee
April 10, 2013
For today’s blog, Lisa McGhee (Recruitment Consultant in the Contracts team) answers a few questions on what it’s like to work for Head, and offers advice to IT candidates looking for their next contract, as well as those interested in working in the recruitment industry.
So why did you get into recruitment?
I did a degree in hospitality, and I’d set myself a goal that by the time I finished my degree I’d give myself two years to learn how to run large scale events, but during my placement at university I got a job at The Hub, and for some reason the manager took a real shine to me and taught me loads about large scale events, so before I even graduated I was running events for over 300 people. When I graduated I got a job in The Dome, but then realised that I had done everything already that I was hoping to learn, so I felt that it probably wasn’t the right move for my career and I essentially didn’t want to waste their time. I left that job and at the time I knew a girl who worked for a recruitment agency and they needed a receptionist, so I started working there as a temp. Within a month I was made a resourcing consultant and that was pretty much how I fell into it. I went travelling to Australia for a bit and then came back and worked another temp job for the same company doing their vetting. I was thinking about going back to Australia but then decided not to, and I knew I enjoyed recruitment, and it was something I wanted to do, so I thought I’ll keep looking at it long term. I really wanted to get into IT recruitment because I knew it would be a challenge – I’m not technically minded in any shape or form, and I wanted to work with more senior level roles and more experienced candidates who would help me learn more about those types of jobs. I managed to get a job as a resourcer at Head and four years later I’m still here.
What’s the best thing about being a recruitment consultant?
As a contract recruiter, you’re really busy all the time, and it’s good for me because I like to keep things fast paced. Even when you’re quiet you’re still really busy. I like that I get to speak to so many different types of people every day. It’s a really big part of my job – we’re paid to talk and I like to talk. There’s also a real mix in my job as I work with two types of clients; one that is a massive mechanism with lots of recruitment suppliers, and much smaller businesses that you get to be more personable with. This really tests my skills to be able to deliver to both of them.
What’s the worst thing about being a recruitment consultant?
I would say that the worst things are the same as the best things; that you speak to candidates every day; that a lot of candidates don’t necessarily want to speak to you every day and sometimes can be very rude even when we’re trying to help them find a job. We try to represent the best people to our clients so why would I choose to represent someone who was rude to me especially when there are others with similar skills that would have a better “cultural” fit for our clients.
Even end companies sometimes present challenges with various processes and procedures that give us a lot of hoops to jump through, but at the end of the day when everything comes together it’s really rewarding, and it’s not to say that the bad things outweigh the good things. I’m still here and I still love my job, and I get to work with a great team.
What would you say is your ‘golden tip’ for candidates’?
Believing in your own skills is really important. Some peoples CVs may say they’ve worked on this project or that project, but they don’t actually say what they personally were responsible for. They may sell themselves short by focusing on the company or the team’s goals and successes but it’s really important to talk about what they did and what they delivered. If you get to an interview and the interviewer has to ask what you actually did, it’s essentially wasting time where you could dive into more detail about what you’ve done – they should know this already from your CV. Be clear and honest on the CV and back up any claims with tangible examples that you were responsible for and not the team or company.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to break into the world of recruitment?
It’s difficult because I didn’t know what a recruitment consultant did before I worked for an agency, but if you are interested, find out. You have to be prepared to learn, you have to be positive in the face of difficult customers, be humble when we don’t know about a particular topic and always do what we say we’re going to. It doesn’t suit everybody and you have to work really hard to be successful, but if you do then it’s really satisfying.
Take me back.