A: I have been in recruitment for 20 years, and have done pretty much every role, from administrator through to Board Director. I did start out my career as a trainee accountant, but realised that the phrase "round peg in a square hole" fitted! (I was working in British Rail! A train spotting accountant! It doesn't get more rock and roll than that!) I threw caution to the wind, left my spreadsheets behind and walked into an agency to see if they could find me something more exciting. The phrase that many recruiters then hear was uttered... "Have you ever considered recruitment" and then I was hooked!
Q: What qualities do you look for in your team and why?
A: I always look for honesty and a sense of humour. We work hard and you have to be able to enjoy the highs and lows by not getting stressed. Humour always helps. Sales ability, resilience etc are a given, as if you don't have this then you are soon found out! I was told the phrase a long time ago, "you are only as good as last weeks sales figures" and this has really stuck with me.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in your career to date and why?
A: I started my career in a recession and have seen several since, but the 2008 crash was unprecedented. I learnt a lot through that and believe put this to good use when I joined Tate. My challenge was to get the company back into growth and to invest whilst competitors were unsure of the economic signs. If you organise in the right way you can then ride multiple benefits of the up turn. Committing to spend millions of pounds to deliver a significant return to the board and shareholders does give you a few butterflies, but if you believe in what you are doing then you can overcome most challenges.
Q: What advice would you give to a younger 'you' starting out in your career?
A: I would say don't leave it too late to start running! I loved sports at school and Uni, and I gave it up when I started work. Re-finding something I could combine with work, life and the family to fit in has been a very good way to maintain health and mental strength. Getting up early in all weathers to fit in a run when it's dark and raining gives you stamina to push through most situations.
Q: What motivates you and why? What gets you up in the morning?
A: I love what I do! I know it sounds cheesy, but I really do. As soon as I fell into recruitment I knew I had found what I had been looking for. Every day is a challenge and you never know what is round the corner. I still get a massive thrill from hearing about placements, client wins, growing temp desks and satisfied candidates. I am driven to be the best I can, and being competitive I always want to beat the competition. I am driven to make Tate the number one office specialist in the UK!
Q: What is your most memorable career moment?
A: Being at the Times Top 100 this year and seeing Tate move into the Top 20 was a really proud moment. We certainly celebrated that night!
Q: What are your interests and hobbies outside of work?
A: I have 3 teenage children and like most parents feel like I have a second job as a taxi driver. I try to immerse in all of their interests, whether it is being a roadie for my sons band, taking my daughter to athletics matches, skateboarding with my youngest, or just walking the dog and going to historic country houses (always followed by a country pub!) I like running and this year completed Tough Mudder which was one of my biggest personal challenges.
Q: What is your favourite film?
A: That's got to be the good, the bad and the ugly
Q: Best book you've read?
A: I am not a great personal reader as I tend to fall asleep after one page! I did read most nights to the kids when they were growing up, so Harry Potter featured heavily in my life. We are big fans and although not literary classics really did fire their imagination.