Interview with Luke Armstrong of the Client Services team.
Joined La Fosse June 2016 as an associate consultant on the client services team.
Good recruiters need a lot of core skills
A key one is resilience; connecting with senior figures in global companies can be intimidating. I vividly remember the first time I had a knock to my confidence when making a call. It was quite early in my career, and I reached out to a senior contact at a blue-chip firm. The exec was short on time, and let me know quite quickly that he didn't have bandwidth to speak with me.
But a steep learning curve fast-tracks your development
However, if you're not being challenged, you're not being developed. Being comfortable speaking to senior people is a key part of most roles in the business world, and working in this industry really does fast-track your skillset, because you learn a lot in a short space of time – and most of this is through hands-on practice. However, it's important to find a company with a brilliant L&D practice and supporting infrastructure which will help you through the setbacks, and make sure that your development is always the priority.
Remember 'No' isn't forever
I had a prime example of this early on in my career: I pitched for a campaign at a Travel agency, after having only been in the business for three months. It was exciting and unexpected that early in my career - and indeed we lost the pitch. However I kept in contact and continued to build a relationship with them - and ten months later we started working with them.
It's not just resilience - we also need emotional intelligence
To demonstrate your value to clients, you need to work out the interests of the people you’re speaking to. Don’t talk numbers with a blue-sky thinker who wants to discuss transforming humanity. Don’t talk saving the world with a busy senior executive who is only interested in how you can help save money.
My next challenge is to become an industry expert in my field
One of our major USPs at La Fosse is that we're a team of industry experts – every individual is aligned to a vertical specialism. I look up to the likes of Chris Chandler who's seen as an expert in his field and is often asked to speak at conferences. I want to be that well-known in my field - if you are seen as a respected figure within the industry, it's a huge personal-brand builder. So my next challenge is to build deeper knowledge and respect within my industry – this is how to improve the value you add
What advice would you give anyone who is starting out?
My biggest learning was to not give up. And remember that a “No” at one point isn't a "No" forever. It’s about building long-term relationships, and making sure that you are there to help businesses when they need you. I’m still in touch with that senior exec who initially wasn't able to speak with me.
If you're interested in joining a high growth business with an award-winning learning and development team, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org, or call on 02079322083.
Where to next?
Are you a graduate, already working in recruitment or are you thinking about coming into recruitment from a different industry? Check out our pages just for you, or find out what makes La Fosse different.
Read the next article in this series here.