"Most people give up early. If you keep trying and trying, every day your competition is less!"
I had a few questions to ask Mark Thomas, partner and director of our technology division in the UK, and he shared his advice for someone just getting into recruitment and what has kept him in the recruitment industry.
1. How did you get into recruitment?
Straight from university! I did a marketing degree and was actually looking for marketing based jobs and after a number of interviews and continuously getting feedback saying I was too sales focused, I was put through to four recruitment jobs by a rec2rec. I was offered all 4 and away I went.
2. What is your advice for someone just getting into recruitment?
Everybody sees the rewards that you can get from recruitment, but most people aren’t aware of how much hard work it is, especially at the start. There is absolutely no substitute for hard graft in this job in the early days, that mixed with the ability to be a sponge, listen and be tenacious and it’s a good recipe for a long career in recruitment.
3. What is it about recruitment that has kept you in the industry?
I have always liked the fact that you get out what you put in, the harder you work the more money and reward you get. The is no ceiling because of your age or experience.
4. What is your proudest moment in your career to date?
My proudest moment is probably being made Managing Director of my last firm. I was there for 11 years and in the final two, I was asked by the board to run the office after the initial owners exited.
5. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far and how have you overcome that?
In about my 4th year in recruitment I was a successful biller and was asked to start a new desk and went from billing high to a considerably lower amount the next year, I thought I’d lost it. But the next year I went on to bill more than I did prior to starting a new desk. That year actually taught me quite a lot about not giving up and being persistent.
6. What is your number 1 secret to success?
Hard work. Plain and simple it’s the most desirable trait in any recruiter.
7. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Most people give up early. If you keep trying and trying, every day your competition is less!
8. What are you driven by and how do you stay motivated?
Of course, financial reward is a key motivator but ultimately, I still love making deals and winning business, that’s a big motivator for me. Alongside my 6 month old baby.
9. What do you think you would have been had you not gone into recruitment?
I always wanted to be a chef when I was younger but didn’t like the unsociable hours. If I was to change jobs now, I’d love to sell luxury yachts.
10. How do you keep a work / life balance?
To be honest I’m not very good at this. I kind of think that if you enjoy what you do, work and everyday life shouldn’t be much different.