The learning never stops...
Even for the experienced recruiter.
Did you know, 85% consultants at Investigo are experienced hires? But even for experienced consultants the opportunities for learning and development do not stop. But don’t just take our word for it. Principal Consultant for the Pricing sector, Eren Alan is one such experienced hire who joined us in 2016 with two years’ recruitment experience. Eren was keen to tell us about how his career has gone from strength to strength (including being promoted twice) since he joined:
Tell me about your career before Investigo.
My career actually began in advertising. I studied anthropology at UCL as I was interested in human interactions and cultural differences – I loved it – and advertising allowed me to continue my curiosity by exploring how marketing plays a part in influencing human culture.
So why did you make the change from advertising to recruitment?
There was something missing in my role, I had met some great and inspirational people, and was involved in some amazing creative work, but advertising just wasn’t my passion. I stepped away to reflect and then realised recruitment ticked every box; it’s entrepreneurial and autonomous, you’re responsible for growing your own business within a business.
Why did you decide to join Investigo in particular?
Investigo is a very entrepreneurial firm and a huge platform for you to leverage, but it is also down to the individual to be successful. Consultants operate as their own business within Investigo’s support structure, and this was particularly attractive to me. I was also personally very interested in the pricing market, having both covered value-based pricing partially in my Strategy role in advertising as well as also reading around/studying the topic while at University.
You joined Investigo as an experienced hire, but how were the first six months of a new desk? What was your approach?
Anything new is a challenge, but I was prepared for it. I set about learning everything about the sector, the company, the candidates and the clients.
You were then soon promoted from Senior Consultant to Principal Consultant, what was the key to achieve this progression?
I’m ambitious and I’m not afraid to work hard. I saw other people progressing and I wanted to be one of them. But I couldn’t rely on my work ethic and ambition alone to get there. I knew I needed to work smarter. Investigo have a dedicated Learning and Development department, so I spoke with Graham Peck about how I could accelerate my learning.
Graham created a tailored strategy and framework for me on how best to approach my market. It was the tailored support, individual assessment of capabilities and the market, and one-to-one approach of the L&D programme that was the key. Graham is a big believer in marginal gains so all of the small changes started to make a massive difference.
How has Investigo’s Learning and Development department helped you?
The L&D support I received in managing an incredibly busy sector, developing my client and candidate base, and prioritising and identifying new opportunities was invaluable. When I first started, Graham and I met on a weekly basis to establish a clear business plan with set targets on what I needed to do to deliver.
It was invaluable to have a list of key priorities to focus on and ensure we created a market-leading pricing recruitment team, with manageable and achievable steps to get there! The training also helped me to realise I needed support to develop my own personal approach to recruitment, and Graham was instrumental in assisting my success and growth in these areas.
Once I started applying the new skills and approach I had learnt, I was able to work more efficiently – increasing the amount of meaningful work I could do in much less time, while providing a greater level of service to clients. It was a win-win.
There’s a reason Investigo has a reputation as market-leading and trusted recruitment agency – because it invests in its people. I remember a chat I had with Nick [Investigo CEO] when I first joined about “what good looks like” for the company, clients and candidates.
What I now see first-hand is, recruitment isn’t just a box-ticking exercise. It is about understanding what clients and candidates want, what good looks like to them, and then delivering. As recruiters, we are responsible for providing talent for critical roles in business – it’s important!
What advice would you have for experienced hires looking for a new opportunity?
Hard work underpins everything. Also, for me, recruitment is an advisory role – it’s a mindset. We are supporting clients and fulfilling their needs; we know what good looks like but also guide them to what they need when they are unsure. Once you have developed those relationships and have a belief in your experience as a market specialist, you’ll become integral to clients’ decision-making processes and an expert in your market.
It is also important to always keep learning, asking for help and improving. Typically, the recruitment industry tends to offer good training programmes for people who are new to the profession and experienced consultants are left to their own devices. So, if you’re looking for your next career move, make sure you ask about what support and development you will get from your future employer – it really does make all the difference.