Michaela joined the Vibe team in August as a Senior Recruitment Consultant based in our Swansea branch. For some, embarking on a new role in the midst of a global pandemic might have been too much, but not for Michaela. She’s already made an impact during her short time at Vibe, so we caught up with her to find out how she’s been getting on.
You’ve been with Vibe for 3 months now, how are you finding things?
Really good thank you, the team have been so welcoming and the support from management has been second to none.
How was it starting a new job during a global pandemic?
I was definitely a little scared, changing jobs can be nerve wracking at the best of times but there was also a lot of uncertainty within the industry. On the whole however, the pandemic didn't have a major influence on my decision to change job. I had my reasons for wanting a change and it only took one discussion with Vibe to realise that was where I wanted to be. Regardless of there being a pandemic or not, I would have always chosen to join the business.
The fact that Vibe chose to employ me during a pandemic also spoke volumes about them as a company. Both sides could see the benefits and potential for growth with our ideals being so closely aligned, so I was just thankful that they would take the risk and invest in growth despite the pandemic. I always tell my candidates to remember the reasons they started to look for new roles and I just had to take my own advice. I asked myself would those reasons still be there when the COVID storm settled? The answer was yes.
You’ve already made an impact on our permanent division, what’s your approach to recruitment?
I’m a very honest person and I have a very honest approach as a recruitment consultant. I think clients and candidates appreciate that I’ll always give my honest advice – even though I have been known to talk myself out of fees sometimes!
I have built so many good relationships with clients and candidates over the years and that’s how I’ve progressed and strengthened in my career. I have had the pleasure of working with and being trained by excellent consultants, some with over 20 years of experience in the industry and it’s been ingrained in me since my first training day at the recruitment academy that long standing relationships are built on honesty and trust.
What are your thoughts on the current job climate, are there still permanent positions out there?
In the last 3 months I’ve made 10 permanent placements so yes, businesses are still hiring.
However, there is still uncertainty and there has been a change in the market because of this. That being said, I do think that we are very lucky here in South West Wales. The area is very manufacturing heavy, supporting a lot of key industries and so there is still a lot of movement.
I see this year as just another shift in the market. After the recession there was an abundance of candidates looking for work, but not as many jobs available which meant that there was a shift in control in favour of the employer. Then, over the last few years there was another switch, unemployment was at its lowest, candidates weren’t moving as much, clients understood the value of retention and invested in methods to retain their staff. There were more jobs than candidates and the candidate really had control. We are now seeing another shift, where there’s more candidates available again.
My point is, it’s all swings and roundabouts and it just means that as a consultant you have to adapt your approach to fit the market.
What’s been your biggest challenge in the last few months and how have you overcome it?
There have been a few challenges over the last few months. Being at home and not thriving on energy and team spirit that comes from being together in the office has been a factor.
In terms of my role I’d say the biggest challenge has been reassuring candidates and clients and supporting people who are struggling with the uncertainty. I've had clients with roles that desperately needed filling, those roles being vacant was causing a detriment to the business but equally, they were wondering if employing people in the current climate was right for business. In these situations I've tried to advise my clients what other businesses have been doing or give them some alternative ideas to help them overcome their struggles.
What’s been your highlight so far?
My highlight so far has been being welcomed to the team; it already feels like I’ve been here for ages! And of course, making an impact on the permanent division already is something to be proud of.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a permanent position now?
I would tell them to stay positive. A positive mindset is so important not only for yourself, but it will come across when you’re interviewing and will help you to make a great impression. Don’t be afraid or nervous, if you’re thinking of moving but the uncertainty of the pandemic is worrying you, my best advice would be to reach out to a recruitment consultant that you trust and just have a conversation. You’re not tied into anything and who knows what doors it might open for you.
It’s been a challenging year but what’s your favourite part about working in recruitment?
There are so many things I love about my job but I’m all about growth, so for me, that’s what I love about being in this industry. You get to follow people progressing through their careers and growing as people. For example: placing them as a junior to then in a few years having them return to you because they’re now responsible for hiring a team of their own. Also seeing businesses grow, I’ve worked with companies when they are just starting out and then revisited them a few years later and they have a whole team of people. I find it so inspiring and I’m especially passionate and proud to be working with such incredible businesses based in South West Wales.
Some fantastic insight from Michaela, thank you for taking the time out to catch up with us. We look forward to seeing you grow further in the new year.
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