In the first of a series of interviews with the 2012 IRP Awards winners, we meet Recruiter of the Year and Permanent Consultant of the Year Christopher Clark and Jeff Brooks who picked up the Lifetime Achievement honour.
What’s the best thing about being an IRP award winner?
Feeling proud of the recognition I received for all the hard work I’ve put in.
Top tip to anyone hoping to get on next year’s shortlist for this award? Do the best job you can for candidates and clients – and remember to ask for recommendations when you have to.
Has winning boosted your business? Yes, we received calls from clients that we’ve never dealt with asking us to work with them exclusively – it couldn’t get better than that.
What makes recruitment one of the best industries to work in? It is completely meritocratic. If you work hard consistently you will do well. That’s the beauty of it. What reputation does the industry have and does it need to change? The industry is still seen as being slightly unprofessional, without a thought to long term careers. The REC/IRP is helping to change this.
What do your colleagues not know about you?
I used to race 100cc go-karts in the British University Karting Championships Where do you keep your Awards? On my desk so they motivate me.
Which one person do you believe has made the biggest positive impact on the recruitment industry? James Caan on Dragon’s Den. His input has resulted in good publicity for the industry.
Jeff Brooks from Primesourcing Ltd has 28 years’ experience in recruitment, is heavily involved in the REC and has been an IRP member since 2004. His specialism is IT.
How surprised were you to be honoured?
I had an inkling but I didn’t dwell on it – it was nice to think I might receive an award.
What are the biggest changes you have seen in the industry?
The internet was a game changer – the speed of communication and therefore recruitment increased dramatically but we lost something of the personal touch. People still buy from people and I encourage recruiters to meet their candidates and develop relationships.
What qualities do you need to be recognised in this way? You need staying power and an ability to adapt to new technologies and ways of working. You also need to develop relationships and networks. I am friendly with very many recruiters who I do not see just as competitors.
What does being a member of the REC/IRP mean to you? Sharing ideas and tips with your peers helps you grow as a recruiter and a rounded business person.
What makes recruitment one of the best industries to work in? It is pretty uncomplicated – you find a role, understand it properly and find suitable candidates – it’s all about communication and relationships and is immensely satisfying.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing recruiters?
You must provide a personal service within the social media “noise”, find great candidates from hundreds available and build enduring relationships rather than CV posting.
What reputation does the industry have and does it need to change?
There will always be those that think they can make a fast buck, but the agencies that think they can cut corners will be quickly be found out.
What’s your career highlight so far?
Well this award is right up there plus some significant contract wins over the years. If you had not been a recruiter what would you have been? I wanted to be an actor and I should have given that a go.
Who is your business role model and why? When I was in my early twenties a terrific manager called Don Mitchell taught me to be calm and organised . In the public eye I can’t look past Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Talk about strive for perfection – fantastic.
Source: RM Magazine – January 2013