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Kicking off 2024 in style, last month, our Berlin team proudly welcomed a valuable new addit...
Kicking off 2024 in style, last month, our Berlin team proudly welcomed a valuable new addition to our ranks: Christian Bulz, our newly appointed Division Director.
Bringing over a decade of recruitment expertise, Christian specialises in Contract and Interim solutions across the buzzing DACH region. As you’ll find out in our Q&A, his recruitment journey is one marked by resilience, a commitment to relationship-building, and a leadership approach centred on influence and support.
Today, in order to introduce Christian to the wider Meet community, we sit down to pick his brain about his remarkable career, his vision for our Berlin business, his core principles as a leader and his aspirations for the future.
Hi Christian! Let’s start from the very beginning; how did you first get into recruitment?
My journey into recruitment began with a unique blend of skills, initially stemming from a background in process engineering after completing my diploma. Back then, 11 or 12 years ago, joining a business with a technical degree was not very easy.
Then fate intervened when a friend of mine suggested I explore recruitment. She took my CV (resume for our American counterparts), and, as you know, the recruitment business moves quickly, so it took around two weeks from our initial conversation to me kickstarting my career.
One of Meet’s mottos is ‘good people know good people’ because recruitment is so people-oriented that a personal recommendation can carry a lot of weight.
Absolutely! After my first-stage interview, my journey into recruitment happened really quickly. Initially, I envisioned a short stint of 6-9 months – a mere stepping stone to make some money after finishing my studies before moving on to something else. Yet, here I am, over 11 years later, more passionate about recruitment than ever!
Throughout the last 11 years, I’ve been fortunate to delve into various divisions and markets, with each year offering a completely different experience from the last, which is what’s made it incredibly enjoyable.
That’s also why I’m so excited about my new role at Meet – it’s an opportunity to embrace something entirely different. I can apply my expertise in Contract recruitment to the Life Sciences sector, stepping into a fresh environment that embraces an international mindset, led by a female CEO. It’s all unchartered territory for me, and the prospect is both interesting and exciting.
Like you said, you’ve got over a decade of experience in recruitment. What attracts you most to the industry?
The people. Whether that’s interacting with clients, candidates or my colleagues, that human connection is what makes each day different.
For me, I’m fuelled by the idea that any day could turn into the best day of my career, all while enjoying the camaraderie with my colleagues and the companies we collaborate with. It’s when these elements align that true success is achieved.
Throughout your career, you’ve primarily focused on Contract and Interim services. What’s your biggest goal for Meet in Berlin?
First and foremost, I’m excited to get to know the team better. They’re a great group, hailing from diverse international backgrounds and cultures, so I’m excited to learn from each of them.
Until now, my professional journey has been deeply rooted in German culture. Even though I was with an international business, the predominant language and how the business operated was German-centric. And you know, I’m a guy from a tiny village near the Baltic Sea, so my upbringing starkly contrasts with many of the Berlin team. In that sense, I only see this as an opportunity for mutual learning and growth.
In terms of business, my vision is to expand Meet’s presence and reputation in the German market and across the broader DACH region, driving the team to even greater success. For me, it’s not just about individual success; I want the whole team to thrive and make significant strides in energizing the Life Sciences sector this side of the world.
The potential in this market is immense, and I’m committed to supporting more of their projects and helping further their innovations through our services and support. In a nutshell, I want to lead the team in breathing new life into the Life Sciences landscape, with Meet contributing to driving impactful advancements in the region.
Across the DACH region, cultivating strong relationships with clients and candidates is key to success, and I know you’re very relationship-led in the way you work. Why are these connections so important to you?
It all boils down to the power of your network. Relationships are the cornerstone, and trust within those relationships is crucial. And authenticity is key, both with clients and candidates, as it allows us to understand their needs and deliver what they require. I thrive on nurturing those long-term partnerships, where everyone involved finds what they’re looking for.
In the business world, the temptation for quick wins is always present. In my early days of recruitment, every success felt like a hard-fought victory. However, it became very clear very quickly that sustainable success was rooted in fostering mutual trust and support among clients and candidates. It’s the most effective way to find solutions together, and that’s a key driver for me because I’m invested in the success of my clients and candidates and when they thrive, so do I. It’s a symbiotic relationship where mutual benefit is the ultimate reward.
Beyond recruitment, how does relationship-building contribute to success within Life Sciences?
Relationship-building is integral in every aspect. For example, having great relationships with candidates not only helps us better serve our clients, but it positions us to be there for them when they need us most.
In fact, knowing the candidate before the client can often be the key to success. That’s because you learn invaluable insights into their professions, industry dynamics, and experience across different parts of the industry. With this kind of knowledge, we can effectively advocate for our candidates and tailor our services to meet our clients’ needs.
Plus, each interaction with a candidate serves to expand our network, opening doors to new recommendations and contacts. Ultimately, a larger candidate network translates to a broader client base.
In Life Sciences specifically, the industry is super interconnected, and a vast candidate network equates to stronger industry connections. These relationships not only enhance our external reach but also foster deeper internal relationships between clients and talent, which ultimately helps drive success.
Dealing with the highs and lows is an inevitable part of the recruitment journey. How have you managed to maintain a positive outlook amidst setbacks and challenges throughout your career?
This is a question that resonates with many experienced salespeople. With 11 years of experience under my belt, I’ve come to accept that there’s always going to be ups and downs. You have to go through that because just like in life, not every moment is going to be sunshine and rainbows.
I will say, persevering through the tougher times builds resilience and makes you stronger. That’s what we need to remember and what I consistently tell my team: after every storm, there’s a ray of sunshine waiting. Challenges are a daily occurrence, and there are instances where deals may not go as planned, not today, not tomorrow. However, it’s our mindset that keeps us focused and moving forward.
When I reflect on my career, I’ve encountered three significant transformations over the past 11 years, and each one of them has required me to start again from ground zero. But amidst the uncertainties, I’ve always found opportunities for success in various forms, and it’s believing in these possibilities that’s kept me pushing forward.
When you’re facing tough times, how crucial is it to have a strong network around you, be it within your team, office, or company, including managers and mentors?
It’s absolutely paramount. Cultivating solid relationships with mentors and teammates is essential because it creates a safe space to openly discuss challenges and find support.
These individuals can empathise with your struggles because chances are, they’ve walked a similar path. Establishing this culture of openness, trust and mutual support within your team fosters an environment where everyone feels empowered to voice their concerns and you can work together to solve them, meaning you all can find silver linings in more challenging times.
This works both ways too. While much of the focus is often on how leaders support their teams, it's equally vital for leaders to receive feedback and support from their team members. This not only helps leaders navigate challenges but also fuels their growth and development as effective leaders.
Has this perspective influenced your approach to leadership?
Without a doubt. Leading by influence is one of my main priorities. I uphold my values by treating everyone with the same respect and consideration that I like to receive. This means actively listening to others and demonstrating care and empathy, principles that hold true not only in business but in every aspect of life.
In the workplace, I consciously offer support to my teammates whenever they need it. Over the last 11 years, I’ve experienced first-hand how genuine friendships can blossom from professional relationships, and this extends beyond the team to include clients and candidates too.
How important is feedback in your role as a leader?
Everyone needs feedback to improve. All feedback is good feedback when it’s delivered constructively. Then it serves as a catalyst for progress, benefiting not only the individual but the entire team and our partners as well.
I’m grateful that both the team and the wider business consistently provide me with feedback. While it can sometimes stir up internal insecurities, in the long run, I’ve found it contributes massively to my development as a leader, making me more resilient and better equipped to lead effectively.
What’s your top tip for someone aiming to advance in recruitment right now?
Be determined and remain laser-focused, even when faced with challenges. It’s crucial not to abandon ship and the first sign of trouble. Instead, stay positive and proactively seek solutions. This is key to overcoming obstacles and navigating through the rough patches.
We’ve all experienced those periods where deals seem elusive, or quiet months leave us feeling disheartened. Whether you’re riding the wave of success or weathering a dry spell, it's essential to stay resilient. I’ve experienced these things first-hand, but it's these experiences that have contributed to my success.
In these moments, I encourage you to reach out for support from those around you, whether that’s your colleagues, mentor, or even CEO. Seek their perspectives, after all, they might pick up on something you haven’t considered. In my experience, people are more than willing to lend a helping hand when asked, so remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
And lastly, if you could describe Meet in three words what would they be?
People-centric. Honest. Positive. That’s been my experience of Meet so far.
Want to join Christian in taking Meet to the next level? We want to hear from you! Reach out to us at email@example.com today.