By Julia White – Manager
Jules compares her time as recruiter within a large firm to her time with IAC…
The biggest difference is the amount of value you can add on a daily basis. In a larger agency, the decisions are made by people you will never speak to or meet; with layers of management in between. At IAC, we sit next to our founder and MD every day; as such, any new idea or new perspective is automatically listened to.
Less infrastructure means more opportunity in the future, and more ability to have your opinions heard. If you’re creatively minded, it’s a great chance to exercise this.
The culture at IAC is unbeatable from my perspective; unlike the larger agencies where there can be pockets of different cultures and friendship groups, here at IAC we have a united culture. Before recruiting a new member, we all have a say on whether the person is going to fit into the culture; this ensures the 0% staff turnover – we all like the people we recruit!
Another stand out quality of our culture is the extent to which we support and congratulate each other; we announce our placements on a whatsapp group – what follows the post is a stream of emojis and hilarious GIFs! No dreaded white boards here! There is no internal competitiveness which is very rare in the world of recruitment. We are competitive individuals of course (we are recruiters after all!), however we focus on our competitors being our competition, not our colleagues!
When our founder created IAC, he wanted to dispel the theory that recruiters had to work 8-7 everyday and be literally connected to their headset and landline. And so we have true flexibility; working from home and flexible working hours. Due to this, stress levels are lowered, you become more efficient with your day, you can flex more to meet a client or candidates needs, and you get to spend more time with your partner, friends, children, or simply yourself!
Pre IAC, when I thought about a boutique I thought “fewer consultants, fewer candidates”… how wrong was I?! At a larger agency, there may be more consultants, but there are usually fewer consultants working in your market. The wonderful surprise I got on joining IAC was that 4 other people were looking for candidates in my market. When I get a new role on, I don’t just rely on my memory or the database, I rely on my colleague’s knowledge – they are always more than happy to shout out a few names of people they think will be a good match!
We also have a superb researcher who spends all day, every day, mapping out the markets on LinkedIn so that you can access more candidates – she is a life saver!
Progression differs greatly at IAC to in the more established agencies. As opposed to being promoted on company-wide set figures and numbers (often dictated by the market you’re put in on the day you start), we promote based on a number of factors; work ethic, improvement, adhoc projects you may have done; just a few factors. Billings are taken into consideration but there are a host of other elements. Progression is also changing as the business grows – this is the exciting part! There is no set route as to where you can develop. As the business grows, the opportunities for progression and career changes will increase.
The main challenge was the change in structure and environment; I didn’t have to do calls from 10-12 or take every call at the desk. The decrease in enforced structure to my day tested my self-motivation; this was one of the most rewarding things. I was trusted to try new things and work in a way that I felt suited me better. Personally, I am more motivated and can focus better in the morning; as such I tried to get the bulk of my work done in intensive morning sessions, leaving my afternoon to do my admin or catch up calls!
I also have a business mobile phone which means I can wander while I do BD – walking and talking seems to work best for me! However, at first it felt strange not to have my desktop and landline.
What surprised me most? Being at a small agency feels more secure than being at a larger one; you have more contact and a better relationship with the management. “Big fish in a small pond” really does come to mind!
The value you can add on a daily basis is so rewarding, and not only are you growing your desk, you’re also watching first-hand the growth of the business.