Aug 22, 2022 4:14:47 PM

Why leaving agency recruitment was the best decision I've ever made


For over 3 years I worked as an Agency Recruiter, and I thought I was really enjoying it until one day I decided to leave. Since then, I have never looked back and I have built an amazing career at an Embedded Consultancy as part of an Internal team. But why did I decide to make the change?...


My time at University.

Let’s start right at the beginning which was when I had just come out of university, and I had literally no idea what to do with myself. I had studied a degree in Acting (random I know) but I knew that I didn’t want to just be sat waiting for the phone to ring, I wanted to make money quick as I had some serious life goals. First, I started looking for jobs in an office in London, mainly because that’s what a couple of my friends were doing, and it just seemed really cool. When I was scrolling, I came across Recruitment and honestly didn’t even think that was a job – I thought it was just what companies did. Upon further inspection I found that it is one of the best ways for graduates to earn money quickly with hard work, sounded ideal for me!


My First Job (and Recruitment role!).

The first role I applied to called me back same day and before I knew it, I was in for interview then had a new job all within about a week. Looking back on the interviews I was asked a lot of things about what I wanted to achieve and where I wanted to be, and I really had some high expectations back then! But those high expectations sound great in a sales setting as it means you are going to work as hard as possible to achieve them. After getting the hang of the role I was off to a pretty good start seeing as I had never done it before. I loved working and going out in London, the people I worked with were a really good time and the team I was in were a really tight knit bunch. I used to work the Contract market almost exclusively placing JavaScript developers across big name clients in London. This was an interesting market as I joined around the time that React really started becoming the tech to be working in.

After around a year I started getting more into the business development side of recruitment (speaking with clients and hiring managers to get new business) and I never really appreciated how difficult this was. I kept managing to get loads of permanent work but due to my vertical I stuck to only contract business which really was a challenge. Finding candidates by that point had become a breeze for me and I had started branching out a lot from JavaScript to working all kinds of different technologies.


Developing my Career.

I was doing better with the business development side and things were definitely on the up at work and in personal life. I had just had a brilliant week in Vegas but a week after I returned… Lockdown hit! Going from 5 days a week in the office to fully remote was a serious pace change and I found it very difficult to adjust to the new way of working. A big part of the reason I liked my job was client/candidate meetings and also getting to see my colleagues every day, that all just stopped really suddenly for everyone.

I was then furloughed, like lots of people. By the time it came to working remotely again, I had fallen out of love with it. So, I thought “right, its now 2021 January let’s try something new!”, so I went hunting for a job where I could be in the office every day.

I ended up joining a small company where I drove to work each day and it was perfect for what I needed at the time. I was again working the Contract market which was fine (as it was what I was used to) but now I was working the German and Dutch markets which was an interesting change. It was all going well and again was finding candidates extremely easily which was great. The Client side again was difficult in the Contract market and once again, I was kept finding Permanent Vacancies (rather than the Contract vacancies I needed) which just made me very frustrated. I then had a big life change as my Mum and Dad made the decision to move to Scotland by the year 2023 which meant that either I need to buy somewhere, rent or go with them. I made the decision to buy but I really needed to work remotely so I could go and see them and work from Scotland when I wanted to, so I again moved on.


Moving to Talent Point.

I found myself not really knowing what to do with myself next career wise, I just knew it needed to be flexible with working. I thought about agency again but ended up taking the plunge and applying to internal roles and embedded consultancies. I had a LOT of interviews because I wasn’t just going to take the first thing that came along, I wanted this next one to be more like a forever job. I could not tell you how lucky I was to find Talent Point, really changed my perspective on the recruitment industry as a whole.

Talent Point is an Embedded Consultancy. Embedded Consultancies, in simple terms, support start-up and scale-up companies looking to scale quickly with an internal team. This was such an appealing concept to me as I could really use my Contract recruitment mentality to get things done fast. Even after the 1st interview with James Shelley (one of the co-founders) I was absolutely hooked on the idea and where the business was going. Getting the offer and joining remains one of the best decisions I ever made, and it is important to explain why.

From early on I was put on KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) that helped me to manage my time and also put an extremely strong work ethic in me. Learning from many different people who all have varying styles allowed me to work out a method that worked for me. Working the contract market gave me the skills and drive to get things done very quickly whilst maintaining efficiency. All of this coupled with stakeholder management skills I was refining shaped me into the recruiter I am today.


Final words...

Yes, any job move is a scary time as you are going into the unknown but from every move, I have made I have become a better recruiter and employee. It is all a journey that we are on, you will learn so many things in this job but make sure you retain as much as possible because you never know when you might need.

The move to Talent Point was the perfect move for me, people are top notch, training is unrivalled and our mentality to succeed keeps us going. My recommendation – go internal/embedded if you are a good agency recruiter you will smash it!

Well, I hope this has helped shed a bit more light on my move, if you would like to know anymore about my journey please feel free to reach me on LinkedIn. If I have convinced, you Talent Point could be the move for you also hit me up and I will put you in touch with the right people.

By James Walker


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