Name: Sarah Hadj
Job title: Recruitment Consultant
Time in current role: 2 Years
Sarah Hadj is a Recruitment Consultant at Hanson Search.
How did you land your current job?
I had just moved to London from Australia after travelling the world for a year. Being a recent graduate who’d completed a bachelor’s degree in International Relations I wanted to get stuck into full-time work and someone suggested I get into recruitment.
Besides a university degree there are some key characteristics needed for the role. You must be resilient, hard-working, ambitious and have a high level of emotional intelligence and empathy. The interview process is thorough and explores all aspects of your personality to ensure that you have the right characteristics to succeed in such a challenging industry.
What are the key functions of your role?
I head up Technology PR practice and have 360 responsibilities [involved in the recruitment process from start to finish with both candidates and clients], usually managing 14 active roles at any one time. As an executive search firm we are expected to be experts in our industry and be able to consultant accordingly with both clients and candidates. This means I need to attend networking events most evenings.
I’m responsible for winning new business and negotiating fees with potential clients and on average I meet two people a day over a coffee to expand my network or have discussions about new positions. I also help mentor and assist with training researchers in my team.
Talk us through your typical day at work
At 8am I usually have an early morning coffee meeting with a candidate. If not I’ll get to the office for 8am to prepare for my day. This often means eating breakfast at my desk, checking emails and having a read through PR Week, The Drum or any other publications that have industry updates. Then I start making headhunting calls and sending emails.
Lunch is usually spent at another meeting with a candidate or at my desk in-between qualifying calls. A qualifying call is a follow up from a morning call where I can have a proper conversation with the candidate once they’re out of the office. This is a chance for me to find out more about them and if necessary arrange a time for us to meet.
Afternoons are spent headhunting, prepping candidates for upcoming interviews and gathering their feedback. From 2pm-3pm every day I spend time working on my business development. I’m usually in the office until about 6pm and then I’m out again, either taking a candidate out for a drink, meeting clients or going to networking events. I get home at about 10pm, go to bed and then do it all over again.
How would your colleagues describe you in three words?
Resilient, quirky, hardworking.
Your favourite part of the job?
I have two main loves. The first is meeting people, listening to what their needs are and learning about their ideal role. Converting a suitable candidate to meet the needs of my client brings a real sense of achievement.
The second is the thank you I get at the end when someone is truly grateful and excited that they’ve been offered the job they wanted. It makes all the hardships worth it!
…and the part you could do without?
When you put all the work in and people don’t appreciate it or they use you for their own benefit, such as a counter offer with their current employer. Or when someone declines an offer right at the end of the process when everything seemed to be going well, it can be really disheartening.
Plans for the future?
I’d like to start my own recruitment business in the near future. I often get involved with ‘Women in PR’ which is an independent networking organisation that encourages women to stay in work and develop a balance between family and work. I’d like to step away from the day-to-day aspects of the role and help guide others.
Do you have any advice for others aspiring to break into your field?
If you are ambitious and motivated recruitment can be so rewarding. It’s not an industry built for people who don’t have resilience or who can’t work autonomously, so if you’re hoping to hide under the radar this isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a role where you can really understand the psyche of people, learn about business and create change, this is it. As I said, it’s not always easy, but the rewards always make it worth it. LLY