What we think

This is where you can peer into our minds and learn a bit more about us as recruiters, consultants and humans. Expect plenty of insight into Consumer, Retail, Recruitment, and life in our Leeds and London spaces. Some tips from the top and the odd guest appearance. Enjoy and please feel free to leave us a comment!

What do you do? Part 2

28th January 2020

Part 2 of our peek into the faces behind Seven and today we have some words from Toby Williams, Consultant in our London office. 


“What did you want to do when you were growing up?”

It’s an age-old question that we’ve all been asked but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who wholeheartedly set their sights on a career in recruitment from a young age. So why is that?


Like many I have always been interested in people’s drivers and motivations, and what leads them to make the decisions or life-changes that they do. I was also interested in how this applies in a business context and knew that I wanted to do something where I could pursue this interest in a professional sense. I took my degree in Psychology for this very reason, and when I graduated and thought about what to do with myself, I knew I wanted a job where I could meet a range of people and get involved with solution-focused projects, yet recruitment was not something I was looking into at all. Luckily, someone close to me who had a good experience was able to tell me about it and just how good it can be if done right, so off I went researching and applying for recruitment jobs.


The thing is, recruitment unfortunately has a bit of a reputation. Anyone in the industry will no doubt have received a negative reaction to telling someone what they do because people have a certain image of what it’s like: Wolf of Wallstreet-esque boiler rooms filled with money-hungry smooth-talkers giving false hope to unwary people and out only for themselves (and their commission). This is exactly the reason I had overlooked recruitment initially, and when I began meeting with businesses regarding entry-level roles, I quickly realised that many of these stereotypes seemed to be all too accurate.


But then I came across Seven – a business with values aligned to my own and a mission statement that I believed in. Suddenly all trepidation was gone, as here was a business that proudly swept away all of the negative stereotypes of what recruitment can be. Meeting my manager and the wider team made me realise that things don’t have to be that way, that recruitment can be done professionally and effectively but more importantly, can be done well. Here was a team of people that worked collaboratively not competitively, and demonstrably stood by their core values.


As a foundation and learning experience there really is nothing like it. In the last 18 months I have built relationships with people from many walks of life, from grads looking for their first career step to business owners looking to achieve their vision. I have learned how businesses really work; how each function contributes and fits into the overall machine; and the nuances of each individual role and level within a business (which can also make for deep and interesting conversations when socialising). I have also learned how things like company restructures and redundancies can dramatically affect people’s lives beyond a surface level, and I now know the importance of strategic thinking and bringing in the right people, and the potential repercussions if you get it wrong.


Of course it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows, and as with anything there are challenges. Recruitment isn’t an easy ride and it can be tough seeing your hard work go nowhere when a role is filled or a project cancelled. Tougher still is letting people down – we’re only human after all and sometimes things can get missed or lost, but if you can hold your head up high and come back to face the day stronger, it can be exceptionally rewarding when it pays off, and being able to own up to your mistakes and keep striving for better is what life’s about right?


Ultimately this industry is all about people; their stories; their aspirations; their futures; and whilst I love what I do in helping people realise their visions, the most surprising aspect of starting this journey is how much I have helped realise my own. When I think back to what was important to me when looking for a career-path to follow, and compare it to what I’m doing now, it’s really a no-brainer.


So now when people ask me “what did you want to do when you were growing up?” although I didn’t realise it at the time, I can say proudly that the answer has always been this.


(You can learn a bit more about Toby, and find his contact details by clicking here.)


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