Tom L.

Global Managing Director
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Tom L.
Politics & Philosophy
United Kingdom

My employment

Global Managing Director
Reed Specialist Recruitment
United Kingdom
HR, recruitment and training
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Global Managing Director in the United Kingdom

I often ask people whether they found recruitment, or recruitment found them. I am in the latter group, having originally started at Reed in the charitable foundation, running a charity called Ethiopiaid

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

Reed - Specialist Recruitment Business

What do you do?

Global Managing Director, Reed Specialist Recruitment. Responsibility for a business with 2,000+ people in 9 countries, matching thousands of people with jobs

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I often ask people whether they found recruitment, or recruitment found them. I am in the latter group, having originally started at Reed in the charitable foundation, running a charity called Ethiopiaid. When I moved into the core recruitment business, I found that I was good at it and that it could offer great personal satisfaction, helping people find jobs, and organisations find good people.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Absolutely, I would never have thought of recruitment as a career when I graduated from university

Describe your most memorable day at work

I have had many memorable days at work, but a couple stand out;
a second visit to a hospital in Addis Ababa that we supported which had been completely transformed by the support we were able to provide;
making my first placement as a recruiter - this took much longer than for most who start in the industry but I'd worked really hard to get to that point, and it was the first of many. That placement was made way back in 1996 but I still remember his name - Kevin Rodrigues, placed with Otis Elevators in an IT Support role

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Leading the business through the financial crisis was extremely challenging, requiring extremely difficult decisions to be made which had an impact on the lives of many people I'd worked with for years. I'm pleased to say that many of those people moved on to new opportunities, and/or set up their own businesses, and that the business came out of that particular recession stranger than we went in.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

The culture at Reed is very supportive and friendly. It's well known for the great training offered to people starting out in their careers. People generally work in small teams, serving candidates and clients in a specific geography and market sector. There are lots of highs and lows, so you need to be resilient and have a positive mindset to be successful.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I played for the university rugby team, and subsequently for my local team where I became Club Captain, this definitely helped me develop leadership skills. I also made good friends through my course who have been really useful to share and compare work experience with, to get ideas about what's happening in the world of work and to create networks which can be incredibly important in your career.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I want to continue to build my knowledge and expertise across the broad HR and Staffing sector, and in particular helping organisations plan the workforce of the future. There's a huge amount of change happening, digital transformation, Covid-19, a move to greater role specialisation, with an increasingly task based jobs market. Successfully matching the requirements of organisations with the wants and needs of individuals will continue to be my focus.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Whilst some people have a clear direction and destination in mind post graduation, for many this is not the case. In my experience, progressing in your career will depend on;
a. Your soft, transferable, behavioural skills
b. Harder, technical and knowledge based skills
c. How you deploy these skills in work
d. How you represent these to the market when seeking new opportunities
The last of these is not as straightforward as you may think; consider networking (family, friends), recruitment agencies, social media (e.g. linkedin), job boards, company websites, direct applications ... etc. As and when you get interviews, make sure you prepare, there is lots of good advice out there and I would recommend reviewing the 'Fateful 15' top interview questions by James Reed

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Recruitment and career development

Next steps...

If you like the look of Tom’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Tom a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Tom to be your mentor.

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