Congratulations to Mike Range on his promotion to Associate Director.
Mike has been integral in developing our Healthcare and Education teams, and most recently enhancing our national position as a complete recruitment solutions provider to the public sector.
We spoke to Mike about his career with us.
Always looking to learn
I’m often asked what differentiates a great recruiter, and my response is those who strive for excellence, who really want to understand their market and develop their candidate base to become an absolute go-to. Somebody who understands their industry and roles inside out and knows what great people look like, rather than just being transactional, will see the greatest success; the extra mile is a lonely place.
Recruitment can be a complex process, so people who identify opportunity and mitigate risk are crucial. It’s a highly competitive market in general, so I really believe that those who are motivated, do the basics well, ask the difficult questions and take responsibility for the end-to-end process have most success. A candidate may have a skillset more suited to a role which they didn’t apply for, and it takes initiative to see that opportunity and make that match. A small issue or concern that is not resolved early can become a deal breaker later in the process. I believe that’s what makes really good recruiters: people who know their stuff, who really want to strive for excellence, and then can manage the end-to-end process.
I look back on myself on a quarterly and annual basis and consider, do I know more than I did this time last year? I’m generally quite inquisitive, so if I don’t know how to do something I’ll try to figure it out, or I’ll find whoever I think is the best in the company or my network to help with it and try to grab a bit of their time. The internet is an amazing resource, I had to learn how to use Microsoft Visio last year and I just did it on YouTube! I also do a lot of self-study, at the moment I’m about to sit the exams for my Prince2 qualifications, and I’m also enrolled on Six Sigma training.
Not a one-size-fits-all
I’ve grateful to have worked with several Directors throughout my career, and they all bring different skillsets and approaches which I try to learn from. Most recently I’ve worked a lot with Robert, Philip and Paul; Robert has been a great mentor and sounding board when looking at things from a national and strategic point of view, from Philip I’ve learned a lot about commerciality and business-to-business operations, and working with Paul has taught me a lot about complex project management.
Every single person brings something different, and management is not trying to find a one-size-fits-all. People may have the same job title and responsibilities, but they can have a different skillset, approach and outlook and shouldn’t be managed the same way. It’s good to have that diversity, and acceptance of differences, because people bring different views and ideas.
As a Manager, making sure you treat people well and look after them is central, it’s about listening to people, feeding back, and working out strategies and development plans for each individual. Sometimes new Managers can be hesitant to stick their neck out and say if they think something is wrong or should be done in a certain way, but I believe that ninety-five times out of a hundred, your gut is right. Most of the people that I’ve managed or taken on as new Consultants are now Managers or Senior Managers, that’s always something I look back on with quite a bit of pride.
Adding value to our partners
Whenever I start anything I have two basic questions that I attach to it: will it work and do what it needs to do? and does it add value? They’re the two criteria by which I measure success and they both need to be achieved to ensure we get great outcomes. The value outcome is particularly important, whether that’s changing a process for the better or seeing a positive trajectory in growth.
As we look ahead, my focus is the ongoing development of our public sector arm in health, government and education, looking at national and local strategies so we can continue to enhance our position in those markets. We recently brought Tom onto the team, which is great, I’m looking forward to seeing him grow his portfolio and bring his skillset to the table. We’re also continuing to grow our projects and services arm alongside our temporary and permanent recruitment offering, so we’re able to continually develop our range of solutions.
Great relationships between recruiters and clients form when people invest time and energy to move beyond the transactional. If we appreciate how our client’s business works, what their intricacies and challenges are and understand their policies and processes in depth, then we’re not just “providing a CV”, we can start to add real value. This develops over time and we become less of a general supplier and more of a trusted partner and a solutions provider, mutually improving and helping each other out as we go. From this you see the best outcomes for Venn Group, our clients, and our candidates.