Freshly graduated from Kedge business school in France, I decided to take the opportunity to start my career in recruitment abroad, and with the UK labour market being such an interesting one it seemed like a natural choice.
Why recruitment? Simply because I had the feeling that it was made for me. It is the perfect combination between the commercial field and human interaction which fits with my personal characteristics: I am a good listener, I love building rapport and I like helping people. And as the old adage goes, people buy from people, which is something that is certainly true and I certainly would agree with!
Where? I decided to focus my research in London because it’s a multicultural city were people are open-minded. I already had an experience in this city and my aim was to spend more time living there.
The real challenge was to find a company which has the same values as I do.
When? I applied for SEC the week after graduating and I received a call from Shefika who is part of the Talent Team. We had a really constructive conversation about my expectations, what SEC was like to work in as a company, the culture of the organisation and the values that SEC hold important to them.
It seemed that this company was perfect for what I was looking for. The recruitment process was professional and efficient and my expectations were managed throughout. In two weeks I had one interview on the phone, one face-to-face and a skype interview. It was clear that SEC really was a company that does exactly what it says. I was told about the multicultural nature of the business; something that I have learned well enough now being not the only French person here, but also part of a team that collectively speaks over 20 languages. The interview process was great and welcoming and if I was to give anybody advice if they were applying for a role here at SEC, it would be to be yourself. Don’t be afraid about what you should say or not. SEC likes different people and everyone is unique. But they also have a transparent approach to their interview process and for that I was really grateful. It doesn’t take long before you learn that the values of trust, honesty, integrity and commitment really are adhered to throughout the organisation. If you hold those values dear, then you will fit right in at SEC, that’s for sure.
So I had the job offer confirmed, my travel booked, so adventure could really start…
I arrived in London one day before I joined SEC. I knew that I had training for four weeks with the new SEC academy process and I was excited. I arrived at the same time as four others colleagues and that was nice as I didn’t feel like I was the only new person. That certainly makes you feel more at ease. The academy was really useful for me for many reasons: I got really good tips from experienced people in the company, I learnt how to deal with candidates and clients, I learnt how to perform business development and how to get results and I realised what are the main difficulties of my market. Almost immediately I gained valuable skills and couldn’t wait to get started.
We also had some team time to develop our own market knowledge and get used to work with our team, which I thought was an invaluable experience and one that I wouldn’t have changed at all.
In a few words: The academy is – for me – the best way to join a company.
After four weeks of training I officially joined my desk and my team to apply the knowledge I gained during training. Every market has his own challenges, but joining in the contract team I had a team leader in Ollie – who had great experience and has supported me throughout my time. My main challenge was to develop the European market for contract regulatory affairs positions and armed with all of the skills to be a good recruiter thanks to the academy, it was now just down to getting to grips with the market.
How? By expanding my network, spending time to create relationships with candidates, as well as building rapport with clients. My challenge was to understand where the needs come from and ensure use of the internal database to track everything.
The best way to learn is by asking questions to your manager and candidates. You learn so much quicker that way. Your manager will help you to grow up in the company and you need to be able to rely on them and support them in every possible way and in return, you get the same support back, which is great.
I would also say that being proactive is one of the secrets to success. I find it’s better to ask questions rather than hesitating.
I learnt a lot since I joined my team from every conversation and every call. I try to make sure that every call makes me progress to the next step and has a positive effect. I keep learning every day. It’s important to be perseverant and keep your long term objectives in mind.
SEC is a European company with employees from different countries. I was and I am still impressed by the openness of people in the company. It reflects perfectly the mentality I loved when I first came in London. They are all happy to share tips and willing to give advice at any time. If you want to work in recruitment, I would highly recommend SEC.