My journey from retail to recruitment - An interview with a Senior Recruitment Consultant image

Have you ever considered a career in recruitment? It might seem like a different world to what you’re doing now. But at PageGroup, we have a huge range of recruitment experts that have come from various walks of life. From ex-teachers to veterinary superstars, there’s no one size fits all when it comes to becoming a recruiter. It’s this level of diversity that helps us build amazing teams that can really learn from one another.

In a recent interview, we sat down with Sophie Herring, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Michael Page Finance, to find out more about her journey from retail to recruitment, and what drew her to a career at PageGroup.

What did you do before your time at PageGroup?

Before PageGroup, I was selected to join the Graduate Area Manager Programme at Aldi. I was there for about 2 years, and my day-to-day consisted mostly of running the operations of all those stores including the staff.

After those two years, what made you consider a career move into recruitment?

I hadn't considered recruitment specifically. I just knew that I wanted to do something a bit different.

Then I received a message from someone at PageGroup asking if I would be interested in having a conversation to learn more about recruitment. That call helped me understand what a role as recruitment consultant would look like. It was the first time I started to realise that recruitment could be a good move for me.

I was looking for a company with both a strong culture and transparency in terms of promotions and long-term career planning. After having conversations with some of PageGroup’s internal recruiters, it seemed like exactly what I was looking for. The more I learnt about how things worked at PageGroup, the more I knew it would be a great fit, since it involved working with people and building relationships.

One of my favourite things about Aldi had been how fast paced it was - and I didn’t want to lose that. Working in recruitment is also fast paced. Although it’s more desk-based, I still go out to meet candidates and clients. There's never a dull moment!

How did you find the hiring process at PageGroup?

PageGroup were great! The hiring manager at the time also used to work at Aldi, so she had a great understanding of what my role was like and appreciated that it wasn’t the most flexible of jobs. I worked 8am till 6pm and there was no time in between to go off for an interview.

PageGroup were so accommodating and arranged interviews outside of my working hours. I was given loads of detail on the role, plus I got to meet some great people who talked a lot about their experience in recruitment, so it wasn’t just about me.

Once you knew you wanted to work in recruitment, what made you choose PageGroup?

I didn't really look at loads of other options or weigh up the pros and cons of different agencies. I didn't realise how lucky I was to be joining PageGroup until I started my new role and was speaking with people who did have experience working in other agencies.

One thing I really like about PageGroup is how much effort they put into the training and development of their people – you don’t get that everywhere. I came here with zero recruitment experience, but the training that I received from day one was second to none. Although it’s a very structured training programme, it’s also very flexible and you can really tailor it to you and your needs.

So yes, I don't think I chose PageGroup because I knew it was the best agency to go to, but in hindsight it definitely is! I feel very lucky that I choose a recruitment role here rather than going somewhere else.

What do you love most about working in recruitment?

If I had to pick one thing, I would say that I just love speaking to people. Whether candidates or a clients, you're meeting new people every day, with different experiences and interests. You’re also constantly learning about how different businesses work, so you have great exposure to various industries.

Were there any transferable skills that you brought across from your role as an area manager at Aldi?

I think there are a few transferable skills which I bought across from my previous role that really helped me get started. Firstly, being able to drive my own learning and having the confidence to ask questions when needed was a big one. At Aldi, they really encourage you to use the team around you to develop your own learning and get to that next step, which I think is really important in any role. The mentality is the same at PageGroup: if you want to learn, then you've got the training there to help, but also a great team that you can utilise. There are so many people here with experience that you just need to use to your advantage.

I think another great transferable skill was knowing how to be adaptable in a fast-paced environment. I think my last role being in retail was very fast-paced and that really helps you build good resilience. It’s the same at PageGroup. There might be days here where it's a bit of a slow day, but then the next day is really good and it's just managing that. It’s a bit of a roller coaster really that I'd kind of already been used to as well.

What’s next?

If you’re thinking of making your next career move and recruitment sounds of interest, then get in touch with the team today to find out more about the benefits of working at PageGroup.

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