Today I want to introduce you to the wonderful Jakk Pursey.
Jakk joined our London office back in May 2022 as a Senior Client Partner, and quickly proved himself as one to watch, bagging himself
multiple internal awards in the process!
With over three years of Private Medical recruitment
experience already, he now specialises in Clinical Operations, working
alongside our European-based Partners to find specialist Life Sciences talent
to help them in Phase I – Phase III of their clinical trials (before treatments
are EMA/MRHA-approved and go to market).
As we kick off the new year with new opportunities, I got
the chance to ask Jakk about his journey into recruitment, his thoughts on the
Life Sciences industry, and what he hopes to achieve here at Meet.
Hi Jakk! Let’s dive straight in… What compelled you to
apply for a job at Meet?
There were a couple of reasons, but mainly, I wanted to
I felt like I’d become a little too comfortable in my
previous role, and I wanted to develop who I am as a person. I think change and
moving out of your comfort urges you to look deeper at who you are and see what
you’re really capable of.
When I came across Meet, I could tell straight away that the
company culture was great, and as soon as I got chatting to people in the
business, I felt a real supportive and inclusive atmosphere. Plus, with the
pace everyone was working at; I wanted to get involved!
And how would you describe your time at Meet since you
It’s been amazing!
In the last couple of months, I think everyone will agree,
there’s been a bit of a market shift, and it’s been difficult in terms of deal
numbers for myself. But, before then, I’m really happy and proud of where I’ve
managed to get to, and I’m confident that I can continue that for the
Overall, I’m really happy, and it’s been a great eight
months. Our senior leadership is great, and Jack Lynch, my manager, is an
absolute pleasure to work with.
Any highlights in particular?
Lunch Club was really fun!
Having prior experience as a Senior Consultant, how does
your role at Meet differ from your previous role in recruitment?
Previously I worked within Private Medical, which meant I
mainly worked with private hospitals recruiting nurses for temporary shift work
rather than permanent roles.
Being within the healthcare realm, you’d expect it to be
similar to Life Sciences, and while there are some similarities, it’s also
What I love about my role now on Partnerships is that you
have to be much more precise, examining and analysing every step of the
In my previous role, it was really fast-paced – almost too
fast-paced – where you didn’t really have much time to think and just had to
react to the circumstances. Now, my job is much more proactive because I have
to find and source candidates, which I think I’m much more suited to.
What also differentiates Meet is the training and
development. I’ve found there are lots of opportunities to develop quickly
here, and our leadership team champions each individual’s growth, which makes
Meet such a nice place to be.
With Partnerships, you work as an extension of our
clients' internal recruitment teams, meaning you’re dedicated to a set group of
companies. Do you prefer that way of working?
I do, and I think it’s just what I’m used to because it’s
how I worked previously too. It suits my skillset, and I know there are tons of
opportunities for growth within 180 recruitment.
It’s a great team with great people, and I work with
fantastic clients who’re always working on interesting things and are always
looking to expand their teams. It’s a really good place to be in, and I’m
thoroughly enjoying it.
Coming from a Medical background, what experience have
you brought with you to Meet and Life Sciences?
I think just my knowledge of recruitment as an overall
process – once you understand how recruiting works, those skills are absolutely
transferable to a completely different market and completely different roles.
Of course, I had to learn the market and how pharma
companies and CROs work, but you can pick that up quite quickly – that’s just
market knowledge, and you can do that in your own time.
I think the fundamentals of recruitment are about knowing how
to speak to people, how to communicate, how to listen, how to be someone who
can guide someone else through the process, and how to be persuasive. They’re
all skills I learnt in my previous role that I was able to transfer into this
Speaking of those fundamentals, do you feel like
recruiters have to be a certain type of person? What I mean by that is, when I
look at everyone at Meet, each team member is so unique, but they all share
similar traits in that they’re quite outgoing and conversationalists.
I know what you mean, but I think it’s more about emotional
intelligence. I think that’s a massive part of recruitment.
Personally, I wouldn’t say I’m an extremely extroverted
person, but I wouldn’t say I’m extremely introverted either; I fall bang in the
middle. And I’ve found that neither one is more beneficial.
From an outsider’s point of view, you might think being
extroverted, confident, and loud would be better in sales, but I generally
don’t think that is the case. Introverts tend to be better listeners that
process things before reacting, and that’s a huge part of the role too as
you’re better able to deal with all kinds of situations.
When you speak to anyone from Meet outside of a working
environment, you can tell everyone is pretty like-minded in the sense that
they’re emotionally intelligent and have great social skills.
That’s a great way to put it. What would say is your
favourite aspect of working at Meet?
What I really like and what I think I thrive off is the
flexibility, the autonomy over my work, and the fact that when you are in the
office, it doesn’t necessarily feel like a typical sales environment.
Obviously, there is some sales pressure, which is always
going to be there, but in comparison to where I was before, it’s totally
different. I feel like I can truly be myself at Meet, whereas, in other
workplaces, I’ve felt I’ve had to sort of suppress parts of myself to become my
While there’s a mutual understanding between everyone that
we all work hard and do well, there’s also that level of openness where I feel
like I’m allowed to be fully who I am, and I love that. It’s a really great
working environment to be in.
Moving as a Senior Consultant must have given you a lot
to think about. Did you have any concerns?
I did, yeah. I guess they were fears that probably anyone
would have after being at the same company for a substantial amount of time – I
was comfortable and had good money coming in, so there was a niggling feeling
of doubt, but I am really glad I chose to move.
It really came down to if I wanted to remain comfortable and
stay where I am or do I want to move and grow and challenge myself. I think when
you put it like that, the question answers itself, really.
Don’t get me wrong; it is daunting to leave behind a
business and a network you’ve spent so long building. But I wanted to go and
experience something new, so even though there was a little doubt, I had the self-belief
that I was able to go and do this, and that was enough for me.
How do you feel about those concerns now?
I’m glad I trusted my gut. I think this was the best
decision I’ve made. It’s allowed me to grow, step out of my comfort zone, and
experience so many new things!
What is it about Life Sciences that attracted you to
recruit for that industry?
A key part of it came from how relevant it is in the real
world, which means it’s a market that’s never going to stop developing.
Especially with new discoveries and technological advancements, it’s only going
to keep growing, and I think the bigger it gets, the more people are going to
come into the industry and more jobs are going to be available.
This was something I thought a lot about before moving into
the industry. I wanted to go into a market that wasn’t going to dry up or
wasn’t over-saturated, and because of my interest in it, I felt like I could do
When it came down to it, it was either Medical or Life
Sciences, and I’d already recruited for Medical, so I gave Life Sciences a go,
and I couldn’t be happier that I made that move.
What was the biggest lesson you learnt in your last role
that you’ve brought along with you to Meet?
Definitely resilience. Being in recruitment is tough, and
it’s not just a cliché; to be successful at it, you have to be resilient. You
can’t take anything personally in this line of work – it’s the nature of the
role and the nature of business in general.
There are months when everything’s running smoothly, and
then there are the tougher months. You have to be strong-minded to move with
the ebbs and flows of recruiting. Plus, you have to realise that if you’re
putting in the work, and you’re doing the same thing week in week out, then
nine times out of ten you’re going to be efficient and successful at what
So yeah, I’d say resilience is
definitely key in this industry, and in all aspects of life. It’s something
that came over time for me. In the beginning, I was quite young and naïve to
recruitment, and I didn’t have that mindset. I’d have struggles and take things
to heart. It’s only over time as I understand the industry better and have
honed my skills that I’ve come to realise that’s the nature of recruitment.
If I’m completely honest, even
since being here at Meet there have been some struggles. The only difference is
I now know how to deal with them in a healthy way and understand that those
moments don’t last forever.
All of your reviews are glowing, with candidates speaking
to your thoughtfulness and honesty. How do you strike a balance between finding
the right fit for both the individual and the company?
My approach is to steer away from being a typical
salesperson who doesn’t listen to the needs of their candidates or clients. I
try to put myself in their shoes because I’ve been through the recruitment
process myself. I’ve taken what I liked in those situations and tried to embody
it and be that for others.
Being honest is important, as is being able to relate to
people’s everyday needs. People can tell when you’re not being genuine or true
to your word (in terms of if you’re going to call them back with an update) –
they’re not stupid, and they have a lot of options on the table.
Even if the decision doesn’t fall in their favour after an interview,
I’m going to call them and have that conversation – it’s the least we can do as
recruiters. Plus, building those relationships is essential because you never
know; they might end up giving you a referral, or you could end up working with
them again down the line.
Thinking back to when you first joined Meet, how did you
find the onboarding process?
It was great, really great.
Even though I was a senior hire, I did a lot of the same
training as new associates, which was actually really valuable because I learnt
a lot about Life Sciences as well as recruitment. It was nice to go in and pick
a few things up while also being able to help others who were less experienced.
Even if you are senior, I’d definitely recommend doing all,
or most of, the training. You’re only going to learn more about recruitment and
see things from a different perspective as well as learn much more about the
Plus, it gives you a chance to meet people who are starting
at the same time as you, and that’s always nice as you’re all in the same boat.
Looking forward, do you feel like you have a lot of
autonomy over how your career’s going to develop?
Definitely. In recruitment you do have control over your
development anyway because if you really want it and you put the work in,
you’re going to find success.
At the moment, I’m mentoring a few of the Junior Associates
and am working with Jack Lynch, my manager, to set my targets for the next year
and work on some activities and exercises to help me reach those.
It feels like I’m in control because there are targets to
achieve, and I believe everything is in my control to achieve those. And that’s
what’s so nice about Meet: they’re always looking to push you to reach your
So how do you hope your career will grow at Meet?
I want to be Division Manager by this time next year. That’s
my goal. I can’t think too far ahead in the future, but that would be a great
Once I get there, I’ll reset, re-evaluate the situation and
adjust my goals.
Do you feel like you’ve had enough support within your
100%. I really feel supported across the board, but
specifically by Jack, my manager, and Ali, Senior Director and Head of
Even at the moment, when things aren’t going as great for me
as they were, I’ve been sent so many encouraging and reassuring messages from
the team, which has been lovely. So yeah, the support has been beyond measure.
Is there any advice you’d give to those considering
applying for a senior role at Meet?
I’d say if you’re feeling a little too comfortable where you
are at the moment, or you’re unhappy or bored, and you want to grow, Meet is
definitely a place to fulfil those needs.
In terms of the work, Meet’s a great place to develop as a
person, and the leadership team genuinely cares about everyone here. If you’re
a hard worker, that’s recognised really quickly, and they only want to offer
you support and guidance to become even better than you already are.
I think Meet is a genuinely great company to be a part of –
and I’m not just saying that because I’m on the record!
Haha! On that note, let’s wrap this up. Thanks so much
for sitting down with me, Jakk.
Are you an experienced consultant looking for an exciting new challenge? We’d love to talk to you!
Reach out to Eve Coxeter at email@example.com or drop her a message on LinkedIn.