The best there is – Recruiter of the Year Andy Cox

He generates £40k in revenue each month, starts his day at 4:20am, and is the best recruiter in the United Kingdom. Recruitment Matters meets Recruiter of the Year Andy Cox of Rethink Group.

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Congratulations on winning Recruiter of the Year at the IRP Awards. Has it sunk in?

It took a few days to – it was unexpected. When you attend awards, you hope to do well, but it’s very difficult to know how successful you will be because it’s extremely competitive and you’re up against the best in the industry. It was a huge privilege since the IRP Awards are very prestigious.

How’d you get into the industry?

A friend of mine from uni was working for a successful recruitment company and that got me interested. After graduating, I thought sales might be best suited to me because of my drive, determination and enthusiasm. I like knowing the better you do, the more successful you can become. But the reason I’ve enjoyed so much success in recruitment is because of the people I work with. My approach is about relationship building, both with candidates and clients alike.

You see the big picture?

I think my approach is holistic in nature, and I appreciate that a candidate can become your next client and vice-versa. I treat everyone I come across with the utmost care and attention, treating them the way I would like to be treated myself. I share my values – honesty, integrity and trust – with each candidate or client at the start of any relationship and look to build on it from there. That tends to be greatly appreciated.

How big was 2016 for you?

Really big. In two months, I delivered close to £100,000 worth of business, which is unusual in the industry. I’ve always got an eye on my business pipeline, which is crucial in being a consistent performer. I’m always looking ahead to what’s coming next month and the month after that so I continually deliver a high level of performance.

You were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 13 years ago – has that amplified your drive?

I would say it has. When I was younger I was a promising sportsman in both rugby and football and I had that taken away from me. I had a lot of natural ability and was capable of being very successful, so I channelled that into work instead. It’s harnessed and galvanised that desire to want to do really well and to be defined by my success, not by something that’s happened to me.

I understand you have a daily routine?

I start the day at 4:20am with a freezing shower as it’s the only thing that frees up my legs for a few hours. It usually means I’m at my desk between half six and seven, so I’ve done a couple of hours of work ahead of everyone else. It sounds daft, but does give me an advantage. I do work very hard and I often find myself working into the evening as well. All the people I work with have my mobile number, so anyone can call me on weekends and late at night, because that’s my life and my business.

And it’s working out for you?

This year, I managed to buy an eight bedroom house in Wales that sleeps 14 people. It needs a lot of work to it which is more expensive than I thought, but it focuses the mind. I’ve already put plans in place to buy the next one. I think it’s really important to have a goal and something to aim for – you need that drive and determination each year. When I’m in the shower at 4:20am being blasted by cold water, it’s important to have something to focus on.

Drive and determination forms only part of the equation – what else do you attribute your success to?

I would say I’ve managed to develop good people skills. I take a genuine interest in the people I meet, from a graduate looking for their first job to a senior person who has struggled to get through the recession and needs that next role, I show them both the same level of interest. They can see I’m not in recruitment for a quick buck, I’m in it for the long game. My approach is do best by your candidates, bend over backwards for everybody, and treat others the way you’d like to be treated. I have a candidate pack I give to each candidate with documents and advice on writing CVs, interview techniques and tips on networking. You just see them leave my office with a spring in their step and a smile on their face.

It’s important to see things from their perspective.

Yes – it’s about putting yourself in their shoes and thinking what it would be like if I couldn’t find a job. I make sure all my candidate meetings aren’t one-offs, but the start of a lasting relationship. I make sure to keep in touch with my candidates, even after they’ve found work.

What does the future hold?

I want to build on my current business levels and set the bar higher. I’m considering an MBA because I’m keen to improve my business knowledge and to underpin that with a formal qualification. I think it would be stimulating, challenging and rewarding – plus, it would be a great networking opportunity!

Are you this year’s Andy Cox? There’s only one way to find out. Enter the IRP Awards now – remember IRP members can enter any of the seven individual categories free of charge.

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