1. What does joining Gravitas mean to you?
It means a lot. Gravitas is a company I have long admired from afar. It has such an amazing environment and having the opportunity to work alongside such a talented team of people, who have built a successful business, is brilliant.
For me, I feel I can bring a lot of value to the growth plans of Gravitas, I think it feels so right as it’s such a great opportunity on both sides. I am looking forward to bringing insight and sharing the skills that I have built over my career and I can’t wait to be in a company that is at such a pivotal point in its history.
2. Why and how did you make this decision?
After 23 years at SThree, I felt that due to strategic differences it was time to move on. It has been a privilege to have been part of their growth journey. I joined as employee number 6 outside the UK and left a company where I was responsible for 1,200 employees and 10 countries, now I’m excited for what’s next. I feel that Gravitas has similar ambitions to how I see the recruitment industry evolving and the environment, the people and the vision all just felt right.
3. In your eyes, what will this expansion mean for Gravitas as a whole?
It will be a super exciting journey for the next 10 years. Everyone at every level has a part to play and everyone has an incredible opportunity for their future and their career, it’s an exciting time for all. Even those who have just joined us, or are thinking about joining, will be able to play a huge part in this journey. I am excited to see our newest recruits have the opportunity to become managers in the next 5 years as we’re ready to scale.
4. What makes you passionate about recruitment?
I’ve spent a long time in the industry and I’ve seen how recruitment can change people’s lives. If you are out of a job, we can find you an opportunity that makes all the difference. If you’re unhappy in your current role, we’ll find you an opportunity that’s right for you.
I believe the job we do can be so rewarding.When it’s done right, we can fundamentally impact both individuals and their families; I still find it so satisfying to know the positive effect we have on people’s lives.
It doesn’t just stop there though, we also help build companies too -by bringing in the right people we are helping to build their future. If a company has a strong 5 year plan, but doesn't have the staff to back that up, then they won’t succeed but we can help them find the right people to take them on a journey of growth.
It’s a win-win-win, and I think it’s a unique opportunity to make that much impact, and it’s not celebrated enough.
5. What have been your biggest learnings in the sector according to your experience?
As a recruiter there are both good and bad times. Sometimes a candidate doesn’t accept the role you think is perfect for them, and the other way around, sometimes you find just the right candidate, but the client doesn’t take them on. You have to work out what could go wrong, and really be resilient, sometimes things just don’t work out even if you did nothing wrong.
So, learning how to take the lows with the highs, and being resilient has been key.
Then looking as a manager the biggest thing you have to learn is that it’s not about you, it’s about those around you and it’s only by building and growing the individuals, that you and your team will be able to thrive. Because if they do well, that’s when it will reflect well on your leadership. It’s certainly something I had to learn on the job whilst becoming a manager. We celebrate our successes together, not as individuals.
6. What has been your biggest achievement?
Being based in Belgium, at Sthree, when I was asked to help turn around a business in the UK, I felt incredibly proud that, despite not being from the UK, I was still seen as the best fit for the business.
Being responsible for a UK company felt like an opportunity for everything that I learnt to be given back, it was a real moment of knowing that I was doing something right.
7. What do you think are the main gaps and opportunities in the market at the moment?
In general, the biggest issue is retention. Retaining our talent is the best opportunity for a company to succeed. Companies which can get that right will win.
8. What do you think are the largest challenges in the current market?
There's been a lot of talk about tech taking over and changing the whole industry - putting people out of jobs. But all the top listed companies are currently seeing their best performance in history, so it’s clear it’s not happening soon.
For instance, we’ve seen over the last 6 years numerous insights about block chain - but we’ve not actually seen it take hold in practice. In reality, tech is an enabler, things like machine learning can accelerate growth plans, and businesses who harness that can do great things.
9. What kind of challenge are you expecting to see in this role?
It’s a war for good talent at the moment. I know it’s going to be challenging finding the right consultants that have the same ambition and drive, but I believe we can achieve this.
10. Where would you like to see Gravitas going next?
I want to see continual expansion internationally, and I want to continue to see the company go from strength to strength.
11. What drives you?
I was proud to see that when I left my last business, the leadership could step up. They were seeing their highest performance ever, and I knew I could leave a successful business behind, without a negative impact on performance or churn. Knowing that you’ve built a team that can sustain itself even once you leave is the real goal. I want to be able to truly be able to look back and say I brought something to the table when I look back on my career.
12. What do you personally want to achieve in the future?
Achieving the same as above, but for Gravitas.
13. When you’re not at Gravitas, what drives you?
I am just a normal guy who loves to be surrounded by my friends and family, loves good food and a glass of wine, and tries to get out and do sports - like cycling and tennis. I also like to travel and listen to music.
14. What's one thing in the sector you wish more people were talking about? (What do you think the rest of the industry is missing out on?)
I don’t think people talk enough about bringing value into people’s lives. Recruiters and the recruitment market often have a negative reputation and that shouldn’t be the case. There are real misconceptions, and I think recruiters deserve more respect. They are making a positive impact on people’s lives and this is incredibly fulfilling.
15. With Gravitas continuing to expand in an international market that's seen a lot of disruption over the past few years, why is now the right time?
Gravitas has a brilliant platform, it’s well established in the UK and in Asia and I believe with these strengths, the infrastructure and leadership it’s the perfect time to be expanding even further into the International market. I am also bringing my experience and knowledge from the European side of things which will help to accelerate our growth.
16. The first ten years of Gravitas have been a phenomenal ride for those involved and we know that now is the time to take the business to the next level.
The culture, business ethic and unrelenting energy from the whole team is what makes Gravitas so successful and I believe that this will be the driving force behind the company's future success.
17. What would you say to anyone thinking about applying for a role at Gravitas?
It’s a very special time at Gravitas. We are going through an incredible period of growth and expansion and I am personally so excited to be part of this journey.
It really feels like a unique moment in the history of Gravitas and I would encourage anyone in the industry that wants to be part of something unique and exciting to get in touch.
18. If there was one piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in the same industry as you, what would it be and why?
I would say be a sponge, make sure you are learning from all angles, all people, soak up everything around you. Learn what’s good and what’s bad, but keep in mind whilst doing this to not lose sight of the real you. Take all of these learnings and feed them into who you are, still be your own personality, Don't be afraid to be the authentic you.