A couple of months ago I worked on an Operations Manager role for a market-leading organisation, in the South West, that I've been working with for a number of years. This was a important hire, and one that would support their impressive growth plans and contribute to their future success.
The successful candidate shares their experience of working with me and Chase Executive.
Earlier this year, I started my search for a new senior, executive-level Operations Manager role in the South West. Before I could go full steam ahead to identify potentially suitable opportunities, Sarah was already a few steps ahead of me, with her headhunting for a role that would potentially be a good fit, and got in touch to see if I’d be interested in finding out more.
From our very first conversation, I was impressed with Sarah’s approach. Whilst she told me a little about the role she on, our first conversation was much more focused on me, my previous experience and what my priorities were. Only once we’d explored that thoroughly, and Sarah was confident that the role and organisation would be a good fit to me, did we talk about the opportunity in more detail.
Sarah talked knowledgeably, confidently and at length about the opportunity and her client. The real difference however was her ability to bring both to life for me – positioning why the role was being created, the direction the company was going in and what the future looked like for them, stats around their performance, as well as some real honesty around some of the issues there. By the end of our chat, I was completely assured that this was exactly what I was looking for and I was really excited about being put forward – and so grateful she’d found me!
From thereon in, I cannot fault the process, which is testament to the planning and preparation both Sarah and the hiring organisation did before embarking on the search. As soon as I agreed to be put forward, I knew what the process would be, together with the timescales.
Sarah was on hand before each interview for a ‘team talk’ to go through what it would entail and to give me some insight in to those who were going to be involved too. Everything was spot on, highlighted by the fact that the answers I got from the interviewers to questions I had, matched perfectly with the information I’d had from Sarah. Which demonstrates how well she knows her clients.
And after each stage feedback was detailed, constructive and prompt too.
More than a business transaction
While I was excited by the prospect of a new senior level role, I was also suffering with some ‘imposter syndrome’ between interviews, which Sarah soon nipped in the bud. In short, my confidence had taken a bit of a knock and that’s something Sarah quickly saw and understood. When I had a wobble of confidence she was always brilliant at picking up on how I was feeling and saying just the right thing to get me back on track. Infact Sarah was on hand to deliver one of her exceptional ‘pep talks’ whenever I needed it, reminding me that I had all the qualities the organisation was looking for, reminding me of the feedback from the interviewers and all I’d achieved in my career (I was amazed how much she’d remembered from our interview when I’d talked about previous roles!). And above all to keep looking forward, to stay positive and to be myself. Her parting words before my final interview were “You CAN do the job, just go and get it” – her support made such a difference. If you’re fortunate enough to work with Sarah, you’ll quickly realise she’s nothing but a straight-talker, so when she tells you something, you tend to listen!
Before working with Sarah, I expected an Executive Search agency’s involvement to be far less ‘hands on’ and far less personal. My expectation was that I’d be dealing with someone who would tell me what they thought I wanted to hear or might be more focused on the Hiring Manager/Hiring Business. This couldn’t have been further from the truth. Sarah couldn’t have been more supportive or genuine throughout the process, right up to the moment I started the role.
We didn’t know each other at the start of this journey (I was thrilled with how well we gelled, and how quickly) but Sarah’s somebody I now class as a friend and I never once felt that our relationship was just a business transaction.
And more than anything, I’m looking forward to working with Sarah again, this time as a client, as I start to build my new team.