A quick coffee and a catch up with Graham McKernon, Talent Acquisition at Meet.

A quick coffee and a catch up with Graham McKernon, Talent Acquisition at Meet.

Comments 0 comments

Graham, the Senior Manager of Global Talent Acquisition here at Meet visited the London office last week to meet with some experienced recruiters and host a graduate open day – we managed to squeeze in a quick coffee to catch up about the internal hiring at Meet!

It’s always the first question you ask your candidates - can you tell us about your background? 

I studied medicinal chemistry at university but quickly realised I didn’t want to spend my life in a lab. So, after university and sometime travelling around South America I started looking into my career options. With 4 years sales experience, I’d gathered working part-time through university, I knew I was drawn to commission or target-based positions. After doing some research I stumbled across Life Sciences recruitment and was attracted to this market because of how lucrative it is compared to other sectors - 5 years later I’m still in the industry.

Glasgow has a glass ceiling for these types of jobs, so London seemed the obvious next choice. Basically, I wanted to make as much money as possible and enjoy all the additional perks of living in London. I started working for a direct competitor of Meet in life sciences recruitment but wasn’t content with the progression. So, when I heard Meet were launching an office in New York, I was interested in the international opportunity and got in touch!

Obviously, it worked out! What was it about Meet that attracted you?

I was attracted to the atmosphere as well as the scope of opportunity - It’s the type of environment you are encouraged to think creatively and be an active part of shaping the company growth. I met with Hannah and Paul, as everyone does, and I knew it was the right fit. Their passion, drive and vision - it’s contagious! I couldn’t help buying into that.

I originally joined the business to build out the life sciences division in New York along with one of the founders Ali. I don’t think anyone expected such tremendous traction in New York. The success quickly escalated, and we needed to grow the head count to keep up with our clients and candidates but there was no one doing an internal recruitment role in the US. I saw the opportunity to play a mission critical role by filling this gap, contributing to the success of the business from an internal stand point and I get the benefit of seeing the candidates I place flourish in the business!

I know you’re currently recruiting for various levels, can someone get a job at Meet if they've never worked in the industry?

We are a really agile agency. That is what sets us apart. So many agencies work exclusively to a job description, but we don’t believe that’s how you find the best talent. At Meet our hiring is much more about the individual. There are areas that some will enjoy more than others – for example we have consultants who focus solely on business development or just candidate sourcing because that’s what they love.

Currently we are hiring across all levels. Anyone thinking about a change should definitely get in touch. If we can support what you personally enjoy about recruitment, we will. You don’t need to be experienced though; some of the top billers in the business have no previous experience. In that case we’re looking for someone who is highly ambitious, an over achiever. You may not know what you want to do but you know you’re going to be good at whatever you do. That means having clear goals, being resilient and tenacious.

We are really proud of our training and development scheme; The Meet Academy. We believe we can give you the skills to be an excellent recruiter, but we can’t teach those personal traits essential to be a success.

Are there any common characteristics of candidates that succeed at Meet?

Clearly everyone is competitive, not always with each other but self-critical with a drive to constantly improve. In recruitment it’s not uncommon to have wobble – you’re dealing with people and people can be challenging – but if you have strong motivations as to why you’re doing the job you will get through it.

the common characteristics are naturally inquisitive people, who are continually asking why and digging to find out about their candidate's motivations. Fundamentally, they are good people: bright, emotionally intelligent and really enjoy what they’re doing.

What sets Meet apart from other agencies?

We are unique for several reasons. Firstly, the level of investment we have in our employees is incomparable; just look at the gold award we’ve received from Investors in People, that puts us in the top 2% of businesses. The learning and development is outstanding. We have a dedicated and robust training system, from graduates right up to senior team leaders. In addition, the rapid growth creates opportunities internally that you just don’t get in other businesses.

It’s no secret there are numerous recruitment companies out there, but the company culture at Meet is exceptional. Our founders have created an autonomous environment based on trust, you won’t find any micromanagement or anyone checking your call time. It’s a space where you’re empowered.

Paul and Hannah (the owners) and the senior team aren’t superior to anyone, we all sit in an open plan office, everyone's opinion is valued and we are all continually learning from one another (no matter how new you are). That attitude has created a great balance of high performing ambitious people who are also collaborative and supportive of one another. A team that genuinely gets along; at the end of the day we’ll go to the pub together or get involved in events like ‘Tough Mudder’.

Finally, not only are you rewarded with uncapped commission, but we also offer holiday incentives, lunch clubs and other fantastic perks just for doing your job!

Interested in having a coffee with Graham and discussing what your career at Meet could look like? Get in touch with careers@peoplewithchemistry.com

Leave a Comment

* Indicates a required field