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James is part of the contract team in Meet’s London HQ. Last year he won ‘The one to watch in 2018’ award, an award voted for by his peers. As one of the hardest working people in the office and by far the friendliest - it was well deserved! Here he shares the key skills he learnt from his first career in Hospitality and how they’ve shaped his move into recruitment…
“From hospitality to Recruitment - the importance of customer service”
After finishing my degree in business commerce and hotel management, like many, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. My early career saw me work across a number of 5-star hotels across London, achieving numerous awards, promotions and meeting people from every corner of the globe. It was exciting, but I always had a nagging voice in my head telling me I could do more.
Hospitality gave me a foundation of skills and qualities which will stand the test of time. And I’ve now learnt are invaluable in recruitment too.
I backed myself that with the skills I’d learned I could determine my own ceiling. So, I stepped away from a secure career which I was good at and into a career where I would be starting again. It was a risk, but it could give me a life that previously I could have only dreamed of. My motto was ‘I can always go back to it’. It is worse to regret not trying something new; If it doesn't work out at least you can hold your head high and say you tried.
I was very lucky to find Meet. From the outside people have their views on recruitment, if you are a local to LinkedIn you many not have seen the most glowing reports of recruiters. But the moment I set foot in the office, I knew this was for me. All I had to do was not blow the interview - no pressure James!
Meet IS different. Not in the fundamental aspects of the job; we work hard, you get knock backs, you power through. However, we work with a grace and a care to our candidates and clients that is unique to our culture, and has driven our growth across the UK, Europe and the US. We place a huge value on creating meaningful relationships internally and externally.
One valuable lesson learned from hospitality is you will never build relationships from one interaction. It is about listening and anticipating. People give you so much information, perhaps they mention their favourite food or bottle of wine. You listen, you make a note and on their next visit when they turn the key to their room they are greeted by their favourite bottle of red.
This concept is exactly the same in recruitment, the first time you speak to a candidate or a client they may not be looking for support or a new opportunity. However, you listen to their motivations and take the time to understand what they want. They may not be looking the second or the third time you speak either but, you stay in contact continually develop that relationship. Then one day you’ll present them with an opportunity they just can’t say no too.
Essential to both careers is good customer service. If this an attribute which you bring to your daily working life, then you can do recruitment. If the price of a £400 hotel room is justified by the engagement and service you receive then think about how much your customer service skills are worth. Don’t undervalue them.
Do not limit yourself you can do anything.
My career to date is not for everyone but it could be for you?