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Mike Newman joined Meet in March 2011 with two and half year’s pharmaceutical recruitment experience under his belt, 7 years later Mike is the Vice President of Meet’s San Francisco office. In honour of his anniversary we’ve asked him 7 questions about his 7 years - Happy Anniversary Mike!
- What do you think of when you think of Meet?
I think about success, doing something I enjoy and people I like working with.
- What made you join Meet in the first place?
Around 6 months’ after Meet launched I started to hear a buzz about them from my candidates. A few months later, I started actively looking for a new position and a rec-to-rec organised for me to meet Hannah, our COO and later Paul, the CEO. Paul sold the Meet dream. So, I swapped a job where I was doing well and lived a 5-minute drive from the office for a commute where I had to get up at 5am and wasn’t getting home until 8/9pm at night.
Simply, the opportunity at Meet was bigger and culturally it was a better fit. Not having to wear a suit to a meeting with a medical communications agency was a big plus. The offices were in Soho at this point, a really trendy area in London. It was a cool company to be joining. Most importantly, I could see Paul and Hannah’s vision and the personal progression that vision offered me.
- How has Meet changed over the last 7 years?
The obvious and biggest change is the scale. When I started there were just 8 people in the business – I now have more people in the San Francisco office! 7 years’ ago, we only had a London office and now we work internationally, that’s a huge change.
Yet, at the core, everything remains the same. I still report into Hannah. Even as we’ve grown globally it hasn’t changed anyone’s progression, everyone who joins the business has the same opportunities available to them as I had when I first joined.
The vision remains the same too. Things have obviously developed, #purpleblood for example is now an integral part of the culture. But that’s just a reflection of the culture that already exists.
- What has changed for you personally?
So much. Since starting at Meet I’ve got engaged, married, had a son and relocated to California. I’ve grown up with this business and it’s intrinsically linked to my personal life. When we moved to San Francisco, my son, Freddie was just 4 months old and Sian, my wife, left a great job as paediatric nurse. We moved for my career. To make such a significant move for our family, it had to be with a company I completely trust.
- What has been your biggest accomplishment since starting?
There are a few achievements I’m proud of; shortly after I joined I took over the healthcare communications team from Hannah as she took on a bigger role. These were big shoes to fill but the team maintained a consistent performance. Then I was tasked with growing the contract team. I had little to no previous contract recruitment experience, so this was a challenge. However, I ran both teams successfully for over 2 years before launching San Francisco.
When the San Fran office first launched it was just me in the office for a week, then Hannah came out for a few days. We were starting from scratch, we had no clients and no database. By the end of the first month there were 3 people in the office and now we’re a team of 9!
- What’s a highlight from your time at Meet?
The company trip to Barcelona is a real highlight, it was my first taste of an incentive trip and I can still remember one of my senior colleagues (you know who you are), dancing in a fountain on their own for a dare – incredible. I’ve also been to Ibiza a couple of times. And I’ve been on some seriously good lunch clubs; Berners Tavern is probably my favourite, you can’t beat the mac and cheese there. Or Pollen Street Social, I went with Laith and Hannah and we polished off a huge joint of beef.
- Where do you see yourself in the next 7 years?
There’s a running joke that I want to retire, or be in the position to retire, by the time I’m 40. Obviously, if Meet still need me I will still be here!
In that case, here’s a more sensible answer – I’d like to be heading up a bigger region in the US. Perhaps managing multiple offices, as we grow across California I imagine the next office would be in San Diego. Meet is growing globally, so who knows?
Working in recruitment you speak to a lot of people who are only in a job for a year or two. Whereas, I’ve been here for 7 years, that’s a long time to be part of one company. What Meet does so well is reward and incentivise people. There is open communication and transparency across the business and fundamentally they treat people well.
A lot of Meet’s success comes from having leaders you can believe in. Having Hannah and Paul driving the business forward makes it easy to trust in my career progression and in the future of Meet.