26 Jun 15 Staff corner
Welcome to our “staff corner”, where we introduce you to members of the Burns Sheehan team.
It’s a really exciting time to be working for Burns Sheehan as we are in a high growth phase and and are always looking for great people to join us. If you are looking for a new opportunity at a fast growing recruitment team, then please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jay Despojo joined Burns Sheehan 6 months ago as a Testing & QA specialist.
Everyone knows Jay as the "testing guy," but this doesn't give him credit he deserves. Jay has literally superhuman levels of knowledge about the Testing and QA markets that he can wax poetic on any topic you throw his way. There's so much more to Jay than his market knowledge, however. Jay may be one of the more introverted chaps in the room - and he's happy to admit that - but he's also one of the kindest and most genuine. He has an inspiring no fuss attitude towards work and one of the strongest work ethics I've ever seen - he is on the phones almost all day long and then heads to industry events and meetups after work too.
The 'superhero' pose for our Meet The Team page now seems rather apt.
Apart from being a talented guitarist, I didn't know that much about Jay. I decided it was time to find out....
So Jay, remind me, how did you come to work for Burns Sheehan?
I was at my previous company for around 4 and a half years, specialising in testing. I wasn’t the only person specialising in recruiting testing specialists there – there were around 5 of us – and I thought it’d be a good step up for my career to work for a company where I could be the only testing specialist. I’d heard great things about Burns Sheehan, especially the environment and how they were partners with a number of leading tech-led businesses in London, and when I heard that I’d have ownership of the contract testing market - working alongside Tyler who specialising in mobile & testing - and would have a pretty hot desk from the beginning I was really attracted to the opportunity.
Sounds like it was quite a straightforward decision! What do you enjoy about recruiting in the Testing and QA market?
Well, it’s the first and only market I’ve ever worked in so it’s where my value really lies. I know that market inside-out, especially with tech-led companies. I’ve met a lot of people in the testing market through testing events, so when I go to monthly meetups I usually see a lot of familiar faces. To be honest, I love it now because I’ve been doing it for a long time and have built up a strong network and all of this knowledge. I’m able to speak at a very technical level about how the market operates now, and I get a buzz from that. I’m able to explain how things work to people and feel confident that I know what I’m talking about, rather than blagging it, which is what a lot of recruiters do. So I guess I liked it when I started, but I’m getting real enjoyment from working in this space now that I’ve established myself in the area.
What’s the best thing about working in recruitment?
The fact that it is so multi-faceted: you have to be analytical, creative and commercially-minded, and then you have to build relationships from almost nothing, just from a single conversation. I think those real life experiences you gain from recruitment can be applied to any walks of life. I really think recruitment is all about relationships, and for example if you move jobs you have all these experiences to help you: you’ll know how to meet people, understand the structure of the business, how to go through the interview process, how to negotiate…I think it’s definitely the best first job you could have.
What’s the worst thing about working in recruitment?
Sometimes it can be a high-pressure job, and when the pressure is on it usually gets more KPI- or numbers-driven. Usually the more success a company has the more freedom you get, but when there is more pressure to bill it can get more restrictive. In these situations it can be easy to reduce quality as you’re focusing more on getting CVs out the door. Obviously at Burns Sheehan we’ll do everything we can to stick to the ‘quality over quantity’ approach, but it can be difficult to do this when the pressure is on.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Ahh…well I did work at Burger King just before going to university. I only worked there for one month so I’d have some more money for fresher’s. It was a tough job. There were tough customers and I’m an introvert, so it felt like I was thrown in the deep end. It was my first job, too.
Oh wow, where you just at the front?
No, I rotated around.... I really saw it all!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
At first I wanted to be a pilot, than an engineer. I was graduating into the recession, and being quite introverted I chose to avoid the third year placement. Retrospectively I think that was probably a mistake as I think that would’ve helped me pursue a career in engineering, but I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it anyway. And of course, I did end up in recruitment and I love my job now so it all worked out in the end.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I play the guitar, and now I’m trying to learn the scales and more about the theory behind it. I’m also interested in politics and economics, so I do my best to stay up to date on current affairs and so on.
What is your philosophy towards work? You strike me as someone who is always level-headed, no matter what – what’s your secret?
Well, I think the key is thinking about where ‘B’ is – whether that’s financially, career-wise, relationship-wise, anything – focusing on that, and making it happen. Sometimes I’m guilty of taking a back seat and waiting for things to happen in life and responding to them, rather than doing what I want to do to get to where I want to be, but I try and think more strategically about my career.
What’s your biggest pet hate?
Fakeness. I like genuine connection, which probably means I have less friends than most, but I don’t like ‘fluff talk’. It’s probably one of my biggest weakness, though, thinking about it…
What’s your biggest fear?
Messing up, making mistakes. I read CVs over and over again before sending them over to catch typos, etc. but I still sometimes make mistakes.
What’s at the top of your bucket list?
Probably to travel Asia, or master the guitar.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Probably politics and economics. Does that count?
I don’t know, do you feel guilty about that? I wouldn’t…
Hmm… maybe pork scratching? Or normal things that other people feel guilty about like ice cream or bread. Actually, I think it’s probably rice. I love rice.
If you were speaking to a student or recent grad who was thinking about getting into recruitment, what would you say to them?
I’d ask them what you’d want to get out of it, and where they’d like to see themselves in a year’s time. Do you want to build your confidence and skills set? Is it money? Once you have a sense of direction and a goal I think you should try it. It might not be the long-term career for you, but it’s a brilliant first job. It can be quite difficult for people to leave once they’ve started earning commission and have become used to a certain lifestyle, though, so I think if it’s not right for you it’s better to leave after a year or two rather than staying longer than that.
Finally, how would you describe yourself with a picture?
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