"My Brilliant Recruitment Career"

By rotide
Created 02/11/2023 - 16:34
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What was your earliest dream job?

Representing Ireland's national rugby union team was something I always aspired to growing up. I was a big lad and had the makings of a prop, but unfortunately my ambitions weren't anchored in reality. It was never going to happen as my skill level was just above average at best and I was a little too bolshy for my own good. That didn't stop me dreaming about it though, and I continued to play up until around four years ago. I stopped because you can't run a business, battered, bruised, and blacked eyed. If Andy Farrell ever needs me though, I stand ready to come out of retirement for Ireland!

What was your first job in recruitment and how did you come into it?

I applied for a graduate trainee scheme at the Ford Motor Company in Dagenham. It was a great job for a young, slightly naïve, young man, taking his first tentative steps in the world. The training I received there was first class, and it was also where I first realised the importance of employee relations for staff wellbeing and company culture. Something which has become a specialist subject of mine and which I've built my whole career around. Did I also mention that I was allowed a 25% discount on Ford cars, which allowed me to buy my first one. A very smart Fiesta, which was a bit of a tight fit for a rugby prop on reflection...

Who is your role model - in life or in recruitment?

Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's brilliant novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". A conscientious man, with a dry sense of humour, who is ruled by principles of fairness and justice. He sees the best in people and has a genuine interest in them. Atticus is fictional but what he represents is worth emulating.

What do you love most about your current role

I love the daily challenge and variety of my work. Whether that's exceeding client expectations, succeeding with my fantastic colleagues, or growing Clover HR as a business. I feel fulfilled with life and that is something I never expected when I look back on my career.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career?

When Clover HR achieved a million-pound turnover I was elated. It justified all the blood, sweat and tears that went into it. Before I launched it, I had a good, steady, respected job, so some people couldn't understand why I would risk that. Sometimes in life though you have to think "What next?" and that might mean taking a chance in order to fulfil yourself. If you find it happening to you, then please take the opportunity. It will likely be the best thing you ever do.

Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why?

After weeks of trying to fill a particularly difficult position, I found and hired a brilliantly qualified sales manager, who two days before he was meant to start work, revealed he had lost his driving licence a while before applying. He told me he never mentioned it because I didn't ask! I can laugh about it now, but it definitely felt like a "crying" moment at the time. The experience taught me the value of asking questions rather than simply making assumptions.

What would you regard as your signature tune?

"Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis. My daughters were big fans of the group and would insist that I play their music whenever we were in the car. By the end of a journey I would be belting out the lyrics with them. I have fond memories of that song because of that.

What was your sanity go-to during Covid-19 and various lockdowns?

I hate being cooped up all day so whenever I got the opportunity I would take out "Denis" my Golden Retriever for a long walk.

What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic?

The importance of resilience and routine in my life. 

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