Onward and Upward…with Cameron Scott and Conor Sloan

Saragossa

Onward and Upward…with Cameron Scott and Conor Sloan

How have you developed your own specific style of working or unique client base?

Cameron: You can’t overstate the importance of a decent conversation. Understanding whether a candidate is right for a role means understanding their technical skills, yes, but you also need to have a good idea of what their personality is like and whether they’d be a good fit with the team. Those aren’t things you can learn just from reading a CV, so making time to have good in-depth conversations with candidates so I can learn as much about them as possible has become a real priority for me.

I have found myself working predominantly within the change function, helping clients to source Business Analysts, Project/Programme Managers and other change professionals. I’d like to think that I have the ability to engage with most types of people, and I’m a naturally curious person, so working within a domain where technologies and topics are constantly changing suits me.

Conor: My background is slightly unusual for a recruiter – I haven’t met many others with technical degrees, and I’ve met even fewer with experience as a System Administrator. I see this as a great advantage, as it allows me to communicate on a more technical level than other recruiters might be able to. Even a basic knowledge and understanding of tools, languages and terminology can go a long way when working in technical roles, as it makes it easier for me to understand the client’s brief and then to relay the correct information about the role to the candidate.

 

What was the jump from Associate to regular Consultant like?

Cameron: It’s more of a gradual process than a sudden leap. Obviously with more seniority comes more responsibility, with your own accounts and all the problems and trials associated with that. Also, once you’re no longer an associate you’ll find that more junior consultants start looking to you for advice. I’ve tried my best to take the time to share my experiences with them, just like people did for me when I was starting.

Conor: I agree, it’s much more of a transition than a jump. Most of the things that were expected of me as a full Consultant, I was already doing as an Associate. I suppose the biggest change is having to take a lot more responsibility for yourself – this is great in terms of giving you more freedom to do things in your own way, but it does mean that if you mess up there’s no-one else at fault but you, and that can take some getting used to at first.

 

What advice would you give to yourself back when you were first starting out in recruitment?

Cameron: Don’t be afraid to get things wrong – everyone makes mistakes along the way, just dive straight in and learn from your mistakes as you make them.

Conor: The difference between knowing how to do the job and actually doing it is bigger than you expect. Constantly asking yourself questions such as ‘have I genuinely prepared that person as well as I can’ or ‘have I actually listened to what that person is looking for’ – and being honest with yourself when answering – is important to make sure you’re doing the best job you can.

 

What do you love most about recruitment?

Cameron: I like seeing all of the different parts of the process come together. Like all jobs, although the basic process of recruitment – finding candidates and arranging interviews – may seem  simple, a lot of work goes into making those things happen. So it’s a great feeling when all that juggling finally pays off.

Conor: Recruitment is challenging and it can be really rough when things aren’t going your way. But it’s also a fun job where you get to be surrounded by and have conversations with intelligent, motivated people every single day, and I consider myself lucky to be in an environment where even at the lowest moments, I’m still getting up on a Monday and looking forward to coming in – odds are that at the very least I will have a laugh once a day and more often than not go home with a smile.

 

What are some future challenges you foresee now that you’re a Senior, and how do you plan to address them?

Cameron: As a Senior, it’s now very much assumed that you’re able stand on your own two feet. This doesn’t really bother me – I like to think I’m very independent, so I prefer to try and find the solution myself before asking for help. As with all things though, occasionally, there will come times when I may just need to ask someone higher up for guidance, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Finding the line between taking responsibility for my own work and knowing when something is just beyond my capabilities is something I imagine I’ll have to continue to wrestle with moving forwards.

Conor: The biggest challenge I’m going to have is managing the increased responsibility while maintaining the level I’ve already set for myself. Obviously I’m looking forward to taking more things on, but I need to make sure that juggling more doesn’t mean I slip backwards. It’s a well-known fact that recruiters are often stretched pretty thin, so by not being as organised as I could or should be, I run the risk of running into the time that I do have and missing out on what’s important.

 

How does Saragossa’s approach differ from that used by other recruiters?

Cameron: Being a good consultant isn’t about saying yes to every client and every opportunity you can find, it’s about building strong relationships and a sense of trust with the clients you do have. Once that trust and that relationship is there, it’s easier to do a good job.

Conor: We are a group of very different people, who all have different strengths and weaknesses, and our company respects that. There isn’t anybody telling me you have to work this way, call this many candidates, make this many cold calls, etc. We obviously have a framework which provides a great initial learning structure, but once you’ve proven you understand how things work, you can then go and handle things in your own way and play to your own strengths. In my case this has allowed me to accelerate much faster than I may have been able to elsewhere.

Saragossa are a talent provider specialising in the Financial Technology, Financial Operations and Data Science sectors. Our role is to match clients with high calibre candidates. Our work encompasses filling temporary contracts along with building permanent teams and resourcing projects. To find out more, please contact enquiries@saragossa.co.uk or call 020 7871 3666.

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