Like many of our team, Jelmar’s route to Michael Bailey Associates is an unconventional one – his previous job was as a professional break dancer, and he’s even published a book on the Hip Hop scene in Holland
How, then, did he end up working in a professional services environment for a multi-national consultancy?
“I’ve always been an entrepreneur, and believe that you have to go out and get things in life. I had some business experience, but what I think really got the Sales Manager interested in my first interview was that I demonstrated initiative, tenacity and resilience, and I think these qualities are exactly what’s needed in my new role.”
Our business is about people, and Jelmar’s ability to connect with people at all levels from all walks of life is essential to the role. We look for confidence and resilience; there are rejections in the role, and our Resourcers need to be able to take these in their stride and bounce back.
I asked Jelmar what has stood out for him in his career with us to date:
In the last six months, I have managed to hit our quarterly target and have qualified for our summer incentive trip to New York and I’ve almost made it onto the Dubai trip with 3 months to go. It’s been a great start!
“I really enjoyed the training in London, I learnt so much and had fun as well. The internal and external trainers we have are excellent, really inspirational and motivating. I met people from the other offices, from Eindhoven and Germany, we got on really well and spend a bit of time together exploring London too. The New York incentive trip was just amazing. I organised a tour for the teams visiting iconic places that were instrumental in the development of the hip hop scene. “
How did Jelmar manage the transition from such a radically different profession to his current one?
“Michael Bailey Associates has a great working culture, particularly for me coming from a background that was the complete opposite to a professional office!”
“I work with a great group of people, and really enjoy meeting interesting people on a daily basis. I like to be in an environment where I can still be myself, feel appreciated and not have to be too formal. Every day is different, which is good as I don’t like to get stuck in a routine.”
Senior Account Manager, London
David is well known throughout the Michael Bailey Group as one of the longest serving and most successful of our Senior Consultants. He started in 1998 after a stint at a theatrical agency in London.
“Although it was great fun working with some of the biggest names in British TV and theatre, I needed to move into a career that would offer me greater stability and the opportunity to increase my earnings.”
He began as a Consultant and within a year was promoted to Team Leader, working in a vertical market structure on the Market Data and Trading Technologies desk. He gradually built up and expanded the desk through focusing on clients, developing close partnerships with key contacts and a full understanding of their requirements. David now works on the London office’s major accounts and has earned Top Biller status across the Group for “as long as I can remember!”
So, what is the secret to his success?
“I am very transparent and honest when dealing with clients and candidates. Recruitment is fairly straightforward – it’s all about managing expectations of candidate and client, and delivering consistently. When tricky situations arise I deal with it immediately and honestly, tackling issues before they escalate. By acting swiftly and effectively, it’s possible to turn a negative situation into another opportunity.”
“It’s hard work – I get home early enough to spend some quality time with my family, but after that I often get back on the laptop, sourcing new candidates for my clients. I’m always available to clients, in touch with what’s going on and networking to get ahead of the game; this is the level of service that my clients expect.”
However, this level of dedication and commitment brings excellent rewards through the commission and benefits structure as well as events like the annual Awards night and Christmas party, which offer the chance to mix with colleagues from across the Group.
“We have a fantastic group of people in the London office, and are well rewarded for our hard work and achievements. As a regular Top Biller, I’ve won a place on virtually all of the high achievers incentive trips – I’ve been to Valencia, Barcelona, New York, Rome, Madrid and Lisbon, and skiing on the winter incentive. The trips are a real highlight of the year; a great chance to get together with the top performers in Europe on a social level.”
David believes Michael Bailey Associates offers everything that is needed for a successful and rewarding career.
“Our CEO Mike has established a fantastic culture, and has an ambitious but realistic vision for the future. There is a balance of experienced people coupled with a good supply of new talent into the business. Mike remains very hands on and the new opportunities he develops across the Group makes working here varied and interesting.”
Throughout his 15 year career at Michael Bailey Associates, David has seen many changes and developments, but the ethos and values on which the company was established remain as strong today as they were when he started.
“You have the opportunity to make your own successes here. From the outset, new starters receive excellent training and the opportunity to progress, particularly with the expansion of the Group into different locations and sectors. Most importantly, you are given the freedom to make decisions and expand your client accounts.”
Senior Recruiter, Sydney
Cath is one of our senior recruiters based in the Sydney office, working within IT, specifically Project Services.
Originally from the UK, she emigrated to Australia some ten years ago, and after almost accidentally falling into it, has carved out a successful recruitment career.
In my very first recruitment job with a small IT recruitment company, I was thrown in at the deep end. The only knowledge I had about either IT or recruitment was what I’d gleaned from Google.'
Cath’s strengths lie in building relationships with people from all walks of life, and in her extremely competitive nature. Her first recruitment company had offered to sponsor her if she hit her targets, so a lot was riding on doing well – including her future in Australia.
At that first company, before I joined Michael Bailey, the first two weeks were horrible, I had no training and lots of issues. I got through it and not only smashed my targets, but within a year, I was one of the most successful Resourcers there.’
After a couple of successful years, Cath wanted to move into a more client facing role to develop further, something that her first company couldn’t offer. She decided to leave, and took a consultant role with Apex Resource Solutions, which Michael Bailey Associates took over in 2012.
The existing Apex team really felt the benefit of joining Michael Bailey Associates, becoming part of a larger organisation with a dedicated administration and centralised finance function. Rather than spending lots of time chasing payments for my contractors, the central office dealt with the admin side so I could spend more time doing what I do best – building relationships with my communities of IT Project Services people.
She’s now been with us for almost 6 years, around double the industry average length of service. So, what’s made her stay?
'I still get a buzz from placing candidates; it’s a real sense of achievement. I am extremely competitive, and there is always a target to beat and an improvement to be made.
As a team, we focus more on client and candidate outcomes rather than having lots of other KPIs, and I think this helps us to do our jobs better. We have more freedom to try new ideas and really own our area of the business, becoming experts in our particular vertical market.
And at the end of the day, what I earn is linked to my performance, so of course, that’s a constant motivation.’
The company culture and senior management style also suit Cath’s preferred way of working.
‘Our Sales Director Phil is great. If you work hard and do well, you are trusted to run your own area, almost as if it’s your own business. It’s about empowering and trusting us to do the best we can for candidates, clients and the company, and the rewards are there if you step up to that challenge.’
Team camaraderie is an essential part of the Sydney office culture, and one that Cath enthuses about.
‘We support each other every day, helping chivvy someone up after a knock, or celebrating a good result. We share ideas and advice, and share networks, something that many self-interested recruitment consultants out there just don’t do. We have been together as a team for a long time, and our trips and days out have helped us bond even more.