Our most experienced consultant, Linda Ford, has been recruiting across a variety of roles and industries since 2002. she has witnessed the change from newspaper advertisements and thick folders of CVs, to global online job boards and impressive applicant tracking systems. She has a whopping 18 years’ experience and it really shows in her ability to adapt to the changes and thrive in her job.
Linda shares some reflections on her time in this dynamic and fast-paced industry:
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Linda: I’m a people person! I also enjoy going to the gym or for a walk, and whenever possible getting outside, maybe to enjoy a wine with a picnic.
Have you always been in recruitment?
Linda: No, I haven’t. I used to be a sales representative and relationship manager. I worked with a diverse range of products, including electronics, print, and real estate.
Why did you make the change to recruitment?
Linda: My good friend was already in recruitment; she owned her own business, and thought I’d like it, and that it’d be a good fit for me.
What were the biggest challenges for you when you first started?
Linda: My perception of what recruitment would be was different to what it was. There is a lot of back end processing and admin. It also took quite a bit of skill and time to learn to be able to match the right candidate with the right role.
What has changed the most since you started in recruitment?
Linda: It has become more depersonalised. Many candidates don’t get time in front of a consultant to share who they are as a person, and to share what type of company and culture suits them. Also, online [job] advertising was a lot less common – there was less competition from the internet. ‘Spray-and-pray’ firms have more power than they did previously.
What is easier now compared to when you started?
Linda: Probably the technology. Things like Skype, specialised databases, and customised recruitment software. There is less processing time, and you can organise candidates quicker, respond faster, all those things.
And what was easier then?
Linda: Back then it was easier to build relationships. There was more opening for a face-to-face appointment. There seemed to be more loyalty [from clients]; you would make a placement and then by developing the relationship, progress to be able to work across all levels of the same business. These relationships are fantastic, and you can enjoy being part of their growth.
Any insights for the future of recruitment?
Linda: As tech develops further, hopefully more candidates can be reached at a more personalised level. Hopefully tech will drive forward in a way which allows regular contact with candidates. On the other hand, it is an industry which has become more commoditised in areas, and unique values are often talked about but not delivered by some organisations.
In the wake of the current global health crisis, we can expect some major economic disruption. Do you have insights from being in recruitment during previous economic downturns?
One of the things that starts to happen is that organisations start doing their own recruitment. If you can manage to hang on to the firms you have a good relationship with, and look after all of your clients really well, that is how you stay afloat. Look for the low hanging fruit!
What is a piece of advice for people thinking about recruitment as a potential career path? Or to those just starting out?
Linda: I think they should really gain an understanding about what the overall role entails. The common perception of recruitment isn’t often accurate. Are you a people person? Do you enjoy sales? Can you handle time pressure? It is a big basket of skills that is required to be effective.
What is one of the more challenging things about recruitment?
Linda: Having clients that regularly change the scope of the role, or maybe when you find who you believe is the right candidate, but you can’t get them over the line.
What about recruitment is most enjoyable for you?
Linda: Marketing a candidate to a client who is really the ideal fit, and you just know that the offer is on its way after the first interview. What I’ve really enjoyed about recruitment is getting people a job that is the right fit for both them and client. When you make an amazing match and you know you’ve changed somebody’s life for the better. You’ve given someone the break they’ve been dreaming about. You have brought someone’s dream into reality.
What do you love about working with Scitex?
Linda: Our values, ethics, and morals, and that we are true to who we say we are. We work with our candidates, and our clients with equal passion to do our absolute best at all times. We walk the talk, and we genuinely care.
Linda specialises in recruiting across the chemical, engineering and manufacturing sectors where she is competent and successful in recruiting senior level management, sales & marketing, business development, product management, supply chain, production, and specialist technical positions.
Get in touch with Linda today to enquire about finding an employee, or employment!
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 09 525 5520