We have been lucky to have had our Candidate Manager – Oliver Saltmarsh – with us for a year now! He has been an incredible asset to our community. To celebrate his one year anniversary, we interviewed him so we could shed more light on who the man is and what makes him tick. If you haven’t met Oli, or want to join our talent pool, reach out to him today.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I love being active and getting outside, whether that is a weeknight walk along my local beach or an adventure somewhere a bit further afield on the weekend. I also love getting in the kitchen, making (hopefully) tasty food for friends and family and baking bread!
You started working in recruitment last year, what were you doing previously?
I was luckily enough to have spent most of 2019 overseas travelling – mostly through Europe – which was such an incredible experience. Prior to that I was a student, studying psychology and working part-time at The Warehouse.
What was your ever first job?
I dipped my fingers in a few pots early on; I used to do a bit of construction and labouring during the school holidays, some guitar and biology tutoring, and I worked in customer service at a local take-away pizza place too.
What were your motivations for getting into the recruitment agency industry?
I’m a real people person, and I’m passionate about helping others and seeing them succeed and be happy. Recruitment was an opportunity to be in a people-focused role, where I could meet individuals from all sorts of backgrounds, on all sorts of paths, and help them find work in which they can really thrive.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining the recruitment consulting industry?
I would suggest that you do your research – into recruitment in general, but also into the different firms. I think a lot of people may not understand what a recruitment consultant actually does, which is further complicated by the fact that it can vary quite a bit from one agency to another.
Reach out to someone in the industry. Most of us (me included) will be more than happy to have a chat and answer any questions you may have.
What do you enjoy about recruitment? What’s been your recruitment highlight of 2020?
Oh, where do I start! I have a plenty of variety, but one of the best aspects of my recruitment is speaking with people and trying to understand who they are, what they are good at, and where they want to go.
A real highlight of 2020 would have been completing my first permanent placement – a senior microbiologist. I had done a bit of temp work previously and had been involved in some other roles, but owning and placing my first perm role was great.
What have been the biggest challenges for you since starting in recruitment?
This year has been tough for the recruitment industry as a whole. As someone new to recruitment, a big challenge was spending so much time working away from the team when we were in lockdown, and therefore missing out on some mentoring and learning opportunities that I might have had if we were busy in the office.
Has your past experience helped you in recruitment? How?
I think so, yeah. My background in psychology likely helps when it comes to understanding other people, and their motivations and behaviours. I also have a lot of experience in customer service, and so much of our job is about providing great service to our clients and candidates, which you need the right mindset for.
What’s the one piece of advice you wish all candidates embraced?
I think a lot of candidates could do better on the phone. A candidate might have a super CV, but if they don’t sound very good when we call them, chances are we will move on to another applicant.
Answer the phone enthusiastically, do your best to sound engaging and friendly, and genuinely interested in speaking to us. Essentially, show off your excellent communication skills, which are always important, regardless of your occupation.
You recently held a CV writing workshop. What inspired this and what were some top tips or insights which may have surprised the audience?
I really enjoy teaching and training people, so running a CV workshop was a way to share some knowledge and hopefully provide some insights to job seekers. Unfortunately, we can’t match every candidate with a role, so I try to add value in other ways where I can.
Also, the ability to produce a strong CV does not represent one’s ability to do a job well. I don’t like the idea of the best person for a job not getting through the process because they aren’t so good at selling themselves with a CV.
What is a philosophy you live by?
Woah, that is a huge question. I suppose the one that comes to mind first is to be grateful of, well, everything really. For my possessions, my job, my friends and family. I live a pretty fantastic life, which I don’t necessarily deserve more than the next person – sure I’ve worked hard, but I was lucky enough to be born with the disposition to do so. Reframe seemingly negative situations in a more positive light – next time you’re grumpy sitting in traffic, reflect on how lucky you are to own a car instead!
What are you most looking forward to this summer?
I’m finally getting around to doing the Tongariro Crossing so I’m super pumped for that. I have a few other things in the pipeline, but mostly I’m looking forward to warmer weather and evenings spent at the beach.
Name three people (alive or not) you’d love to host for dinner?
Donald Glover – aka Childish Gambino; a creative genius across so many different mediums
Peter Singer – an Australian philosopher and one of the pioneers of the modern animal rights movement
Leonardo da Vinci – I’d love to know what his mind could do with some modern knowledge.
What is something you aspire to do in 2021?
I’d like to do one of the Great Walks in the South Island – probably the Heaphy or Kepler Track. Also, I’ve been teaching myself Spanish over the last few years, and I’d love to be able to hold a relatively normal conversation with someone in Spanish. ¡Que sería increíble!
You can read more about Oli here or reach out to him on firstname.lastname@example.org