This week we interviewed Stewart Smith the head of HPC & European Recruitment team at Berkeley Square IT. Find out more about him and the work he has been doing in the European market.
How did you get started in recruitment?
I seem to be a rarity in that I specifically chose a career in recruitment! After Uni I used recruitment agencies to help me get my first few jobs, I realised they were providing a really valuable service to candidates and employers and so decide to cross the desk and become a Recruitment Consultant.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
My children get me up at 6 am and so after a couple of hours of CBeebies, I’m then chomping at the bit to start speaking to candidates and clients about something other than kids TV characters. I then split my time between speaking with employers in the European HPC marketplace and networking with candidates, discussing live opportunities or potential career development paths. By 8 pm the kids are in bed and I take a bath in a large glass of wine and occasionally even find time to speak with my wife!
Can you tell us about a bit about the work you’re doing with the BSQIT European division?
Over the last few years, my own client base has shifted to be more focused within the European mainland whilst one of our other Consultants being Greek decided to concentrate on the Greek and Cypriot marketplace. This has proven to be extremely successful and so we decided to establish our European (non-UK) team to expand our activities further. We’re currently growing our client base throughout Scandinavia, France, Italy, Spain and Germany but are also in discussions with employers in Belgium, Netherlands and Slovakia.
How do you stay motivated to work during the lockdown and this pandemic?
To be honest that’s been very easy. Firstly I love my job and so the opportunity to speak with and help people all over Europe motivates me anyway. Whilst in lockdown and not seeing family and friends this interaction actually helps me feel more connected to the outside world. Secondly, the benefit of running the European team means we can focus our business development efforts in countries and places that are more active in the recruitment space, so we’re constantly busy. Plus, with candidates working from home they’re easier to contact than they would normally be sat next to their boss in their office!
What are the plans for the BSQIT European team in 2021?
We’re currently a team of four and in 2021 I’d really like to see this grow by 50 – 100%. When our boss reads this he may initially have a heart attack, but the reality is we have a great service to offer and are working with lots of clients with big hiring plans and catching up to do, so I think the business levels warrant a significantly bigger team. I’m also keen for us to get back out and meet our clients in person; it always helps us when we’re recruiting for an employer if we’ve seen their offices and learned a bit more about their business in person. Once we’re all vaccinated then we’ll be grabbing our passports and getting out there!
What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in recruitment or tech?
Get into recruitment for the right reasons – because you want to help people. There are too many recruiters out there who are just pushy salespeople and who plainly only have their own interests at heart. Have integrity, be honest and accept that the job you’re looking to fill might not always be the best option for the candidate you are speaking with, so respect their right to turn down a role. If you focus on doing the best possible job for the candidates and the clients then the rest will just slot into place.
Lastly, if you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
If I could only eat Thai food for the rest of my life I’d die a happy man!