Jav Ahmed, a Consultant on our London Legal team, combines his recruitment career with his volunteering work at The Listening Place, a charity providing face-to-face support for those who feel life is no longer worth living.
At Venn Group, we celebrate and support the careers of our employees along with their interests and passions. #peopleonpurpose defines this celebration; our teams work with collective intent and individuals are encouraged to explore their own purpose both within and beyond the office. It’s the combination and recognition of these differences that creates our effective and market-leading teams.
His passion for people and communication brought Jav to Venn Group back in 2019; he had achieved a law degree but felt more suited to recruiting for the legal sector than working within it: ‘It matched my personality well; I like to chat to people and working in a team environment towards a goal.’ These same passions drew him to his volunteering work.
‘Mental health issues have been present around me to some extent for as long as I can remember and raising awareness of this has been a big passion of mine. It became really acute with Covid as I started to see friends and family going on downwards spirals without knowing who they could turn to, so I would often be there to help. It was a humbling experience and I saw how important it was to support people in that way. I’m a big believer in direct action; if you see an issue, take it on as your own and look to make a difference, because you will have something to contribute.’
Jav began volunteering at The Listening Place in July 2021, and has been regularly meeting with visitors for fifty-minute sessions to hear their experiences and provide a space to process them. ‘We’re not therapists, we’re not qualified to give advice, but it’s about truly listening to somebody. A lot of our visitors keep up a front because they have kids, they have families, they’re managers, they’re bosses; we’re often the one person they can truly be vulnerable around in a non-judgmental environment. It can take a very uncomfortable conversation to understand where someone is coming from, but I would hope if I was in that situation, no one would ever give up on me, regardless of how difficult I might be.’
While working within a very different context, Jav explained how his experience at Venn Group had prepared him for his volunteering work: ‘A big part of recruitment is listening to people. If a candidate is stressed about an aspect of their placement, I’ve got to be all ears; I need to understand why they feel that way and how we can help to resolve it. Even though I can’t provide a resolution at The Listening Place, it’s important to encourage communication from the visitors so they know they can open up to me.’
The ability to really hear people is a skill Jav continues to refine through his volunteering. ‘Prior to The Listening Place, when I was listening to someone I was always trying to think of my next response to what they were saying. I was never truly just taking it in. It’s often said that people don’t really listen, they just wait for their turn to speak. I’ve now learned to better process what I’m hearing. What I hear while working at Venn Group might not be as heavy as what visitors share with me at The Listening Place, but I have to know the details I’m taking in and make sure I’ve processed them correctly and ensure the person I’m speaking with feels heard.’
Good communication is at the heart of recruitment; candidates and clients must be heard to bring about the best solutions. Through his work at Venn Group and The Listening Place, Jav has demonstrated the importance of truly listening instead of simply waiting for a turn to speak.
We are proud of the work Jav does and the positive impact of his skills and character, exemplifying why our recruiters are more than just recruiters #peopleonpurpose.