From hospitality to recruitment: Why I chose a people-focused career

Written by Robert Gould  •  Recruitment  •  3 February 2022

After a brief stint as a pub manager, Matthew Simms decided to take on a three-month temp role that turned into a nine-year career in recruitment. We asked Matthew what it’s like to be a direct recruiter at Resource Solutions in Manchester, what he finds satisfying about the role, and how his background in hospitality helped prepare him for such a people-focused industry.

How did you get started in recruitment?

When I finished university, I worked in a pub and became the bar manager there. Eventually, I thought, “Right, I need to get out of hospitality and into an office.” But working in hospitality certainly sets you up for people-focused roles, such as recruiting, due to the huge variety of people you get to meet and interact with. It really helped in that aspect.

I originally came to a company to apply for an HR admin job. However, the hiring manager mentioned that their recruitment teams were in high demand and asked if I would like to try resourcing for the company instead. What was initially a three-month opportunity turned into six months, which turned into 12 months – and now I’m celebrating my ninth year in recruitment.

What does a regular day look like for you?

Resource Solutions have on-site teams who provide recruitment services for all the different clients. They’ll sit on an account, such as one of our many professional services clients, and direct recruiters are ultimately an extension of that team. When they need additional sourcing, we’ll go out and find candidates, screen them, and share cover letters and CVs with the on-site team, who will pass them on to the hiring manager.

We also assist with arranging interviews, providing feedback to candidates, and offer management – essentially supporting the candidates right up to the first day at their new job. We work very closely with the on-site team because we have insights that they don’t have and vice versa. It’s a good way of working, and we get to work with different accounts as opposed to just one.

How has remote working impacted your role?

For the way I work, I personally prefer working remotely. I’m able to accomplish a lot in a short space of time. I don’t get caught up in the early morning office conversations about the football or Love Island.

I prefer to speak to people in person rather than over the phone. However, working remotely I have a lot of video calls, which are much better than a voice at the end of the phone. That’s another plus of the virtual side of things.

How would you describe the culture at Resource Solutions?

It’s a very friendly environment. There’s no one you couldn’t approach and have a conversation with. I don’t think anyone would join and feel out of place or overwhelmed. Even though we’re on different teams, everyone feels like they’re on the same team. I enjoy the social media side of things, especially our internal communication tool Workplace. It helps keep us all connected.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in recruitment?

Recruitment is people focused, which is why I love it. It’s all about working with people, and hopefully enjoying the satisfaction of helping them land their new job. My advice would be to nurture your existing people skills, work on being a better listener and communicator. A lot of your conversations will take place over the phone or over video calls – not in person – so it helps to develop a warm, approachable demeanour that translates even when communicating virtually.

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