Spotlight on contract recruiters

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The UK is one of the three most successful countries for contract (i.e. people who are not permanently employed by a company) recruitment, alongside the US and Japan. According to OnRec, an astonishing 86% of British recruitment industry turnover in 2019 is covered by contract placements. Additionally, 43% of the candidate market comprises highly skilled professionals, meaning higher margins are available for recruiters. Combine these two facts and it’s clear that there are many exciting opportunities in this area for recruiters.

With that being the case, we interviewed some of ARM’s contract recruitment consultants to find out how they feel about their careers and to give you an idea of what it’s like working in one of the busiest and most fast-paced areas of recruitment.

A supportive environment

Our contract recruiters come from various backgrounds. Some have previous experience, others had transferable skills; but all demonstrated great team fit. We spoke to Lisa Hawes and Cherry Wilson, both of whom have worked in recruitment previously, about what they particularly like about ARM.

“After a successful interview with the Manufacturing team, I was offered an opportunity to use my previous experience to start a new division,” Lisa says. “ARM encourages autonomy in many ways and I feel lucky to have received the support in setting up my own procurement and supply chain department.”

Cherry, who is in our Maritime team, adds: “I particularly appreciate the freedom to expand my area and the support in gaining the MLC accreditation.”

New to the recruitment industry was Kit Conrad - he worked in the phone network sector for 12 years before wanting a new challenge to reach his full potential – and is a great example of using transferable skills to get that dream job:

“At the time, the interview appeared to be quite daunting – I’d never been in the office environment before,” he said. “But within a week I had a feeling like being here for years - it was mainly to do with my team, they made me feel welcome, reassured me that no question was a stupid one and gave me any and all support I needed.”

Whether you are experienced or not, contract recruitment is a very competitive and reactive environment, as Cherry explains: “A lot of my desk is contract, as ships need extra crew or cover when crew members are on study leave or sick cover. Ships can't sail without a full crew, so a lot of the work I do is quite last minute.”

Lisa adds: “The market I work in is very competitive- most candidates have three or four other offers on the table at the time.”

The recruiters agree that one of the greatest benefits of working at ARM is the supportive, approachable senior management team, as well as a knowledgeable back office which offers compliance and contractor support. It’s one big family; you will often see our CEO, Mike Gawthorne, sitting in the office at a hot desk, remembering not only your name, but what’s going on in your life, really caring. Having a friendly team with hands-on approach and positive work environment definitely helps overcome any challenges.

The chance to grow

Everyone agrees that ARM offers real opportunities to grow within the company. Lisa is a great example of this.

“While working for ARM, I have been promoted twice - from Consultant to Senior Consultant, to now Principal Consultant,” she says. “On top of that, I am covering maternity leave for my manager. A lot of companies out there promise and never deliver, but my experience with ARM has been very rewarding.”

Meanwhile, team growth is helping Cherry her achieve career goals. “We are looking to expand the seagoing team in UK and USA, so my manager has put me on management training and is coaching me on how to lead the team.”

And as for Kit: “I started as a junior consultant and was put through the apprenticeship scheme. ARM always offered great support- whether it’s the opportunity to get REC Level 3 in Recruitment Practice, or answering all of the questions I had. It could have been a very tough position otherwise.” He’s since been hand-picked to work on ARM’s Gaming division, in which he sees great potential for his future.

Career progression, training and nice teammates aside, the one thing everyone agreed was the best about their job is being able to help people. Kit sums the feeling up nicely: “I found people who have been unemployed for years and I have managed to get them a placement! The fact I can benefit someone else’s life is why I come to work!”. 

If you'd like to be part of our team, check out our latest vacancies or get in touch with our internal recruiter jack.simmons@serocorsolutions.com.

Top benefits of working at ARM, as suggested by our contract recruiters:

  • Uncapped commission scheme
  • Encouragement and freedom to go out and meet with clients
  • Experienced tender team for bidding for new work so you don’t have to do it all alone
  • Employee focus group
  • Flexible working for all – not just childcare, but for gym, walking the dog, getting to football, etc so it’s ‘something for everyone’
  • Positive attitude to mental health and well-being
  • Wellness initiatives
  • Birthday off
  • Amazing kitchen / break-out area
  • Free fruit, tea, etc
  • Amazing office.