Congratulations to Tom Hoult on his promotion to Senior Principal Consultant in the Public Sector Legal Division.
We spoke to Tom about this excellent achievement.
I joined Venn Group after having studied Law at university. I’d been involved in sales before, and I enjoy working with different people, so I thought recruitment would suit my experience. I was also drawn by the combination of Venn Group’s team ethos and the opportunity to work independently.
Some people are brilliant from day one, other people take a bit longer to get going; I was definitely the latter. It took a while to even build up the confidence to speak freely on the phone when I knew other people could be listening. A lot of people think that to do well in recruitment you’ve got to be a brash, outgoing, confident person. I don’t think that’s the case; recruitment can be for everyone.
I’d always been driven by momentum: when things went well, they would keep going well; when things went badly, I would struggle to turn that around. I had to learn that if something went wrong, I should pause, consider what I could have done better, learn from it, and move on. When I began, I would be impatient to see immediate progress in different areas, but I’ve since developed the ability to see the bigger picture and take a long-term view before jumping to decisions.
These changes have come about in part through growing in maturity, but also through the support I received from my team and from management who have always helped me to put things in perspective. Pip and Emma consistently taught me that persistence pays off; keep going, and if you’re doing the right things, the results will eventually come.
Investing in people
I’ve had the opportunity to help candidates at the beginning of their careers who hadn’t had a legal job before, or others who had taken time out for illness or to support their family and hadn’t worked for several years. Some recruiters would see those CVs and say, ‘We’re not going to work with that person because it’s not an easy placement.’ But we’re lucky to be in a position where we have a genuine opportunity to make an impact on people’s lives. Investing in those candidates and placing them in the right roles has been incredibly rewarding,
It sounds counter-intuitive, but as a recruitment consultant, you are the least important person in that process. We work for the clients and candidates, not the other way around. Once you understand that, you don’t take personally any decisions that don’t go your way, because ultimately the clients and candidates need to do what’s best for them, and you’re just the person trying to put the pieces together.
You need empathy as a recruiter; it’s crucial to understand the reasons your candidates feel a certain way or why your clients are looking for something in particular. If you can truly understand people and their motivations, a crucial part of the job is done for you.
Delivering the best solutions
There’s a lot of variety in the legal market. There isn’t a one-size-lawyer-fits all, but various areas have different quirks and niches. Governance is particularly interesting; it’s all about how a council operates, and it makes real, everyday differences to people’s lives without them realising. I also enjoy recruiting for Director of Legal roles as they link up with all the other remits and play a part in everything that happens in the community.
Within recruitment you’re presented with unique situations every week, so there are always lessons to be learned, and there is a lot of change in Local Government with the continuous challenge to keep up to date. There are websites such as Local Government Lawyer which lawyers in that sector will read to get the latest information; if I can read that as a recruiter, it allows me to relate to the candidates, the clients, and understand the problems they’re experiencing. If I understand the problems, then I can offer the best solutions.
Wanting to do the best for the people I work with is the best motivation. If someone has put their trust in me – whether that be candidates to find them a job, clients to find the right candidate, or people I work with every day on the team that trust me to do the job well – I feel duty bound to do the best I can. As long as people keep putting their trust in me, I’ll keep doing my best for them.
We also heard from Tom’s team who have supported him over his career:
“This is an exceptional achievement and I am extremely proud of Tom. He has worked hard over the years and this has seen him progress up the ladder to reach this milestone. Congratulations Tom, well deserved! A pleasure to work with and a pleasure to manage.”
Philippa Stoate, Manager
“Anyone who works closely with Tom will know just how hard he works – he has become an expert in his field, which has led to him forging and maintaining a host of brilliant relationships with both clients and candidates. He gets on with the job with a quiet and understated efficiency and does everything he can to keep his candidates, clients and colleagues happy. Tom is a brilliant role model and a perfect example of what hard work can achieve. Congratulations Tom, this is very much deserved.”
Emma Walker, Director