15 Jul 15 Staff corner
Welcome to the Burns Sheehan staff corner, where we introduce you to each member of the Burns Sheehan team.
This is an exciting time for us as we're growing at a particularly fast pace as a business. We're always looking for talented people to join us, so if you're looking for a new opportunity and Burns Sheehan sounds like the right place for you, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Louise joined Burns Sheehan in October 2011 and brought 18 months recruitment experience with her. She specialises in recruiting Project/Programme Managers, Business Analysts and Product Managers for UK startups and tech-led businesses.
With her no-nonsense attitude, unwavering work ethic and northern accent, Louise is clearly a force to be reckoned with in the recruitment industry. She's almost always immaculately put together, ahead of the game and in control. It's hardly surprising she has seen huge success at Burns Sheehan and has already smashed her target for the year, 6 months early.
I'll be honest, I've been a bit intimidated by Louise since joining Burns Sheehan. Not because she's mean - she's actually a real sweetheart! - but because she is just so impressive. But I decided that enough was enough; it was time to get to know the real Louise Smith.
So, Louise, how did you come to work for Burns Sheehan?
I was with my last company for just over a year doing investment banking recruitment. My team was made redundant and I was thinking about moving back up north. I loved living in London though so I got in touch with a rec-to-rec I’d been in touch with before to see if she could help me find something here. I told her I didn’t want anything like investment banking recruitment ever again and was looking for somewhere less corporate and more fun and relaxed, and then she introduced me to Burns Sheehan. When I interviewed here everyone I met was really nice and welcoming, and I was really impressed by the client list, so it just felt like the right company for me.
Who would play you in a film and why?
Probably Courteney Cox when she played Monica from friends; I think she’s brilliant. I love a list. I love planning and knowing exactly what I’m doing and when I’m doing it, so I think we’re quite similar.
What’s your biggest pet hate?
A couple of things. Ignorant people. And… I think it’s Yvonne who always leaves empty sweet packets on the desk, and that really upsets me because I’ll get up to have one and there won’t be any left [laughs]. That’s probably my biggest pet hate.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Reality TV. [Laughs] I love reality TV: Made in Chelsea, The Only Way Is Essex… and online shopping.
What’s at the top of your bucket list?
One thing I really want to do is go to America. But I’d want to make it a big trip and take 3 or 4 weeks off to go to Miami, Vegas, L.A., San Francisco …. It will be exhausting and expensive but I’d love to do that.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I used to work at a hairdressers on weekends. My dad used to get the same hair cut at the same place for years and he got me the job, but I didn’t like it at all. I’d make tea – which nobody would like because they weren’t very good – and washing hair and sweeping hair and yeh…it was not ideal. I think I worked there for about a year.
I used to work behind a bar too. I used to waitress all day Saturday in a restaurant and then Saturday night I’d work behind the bar. I used to hate it. Everyone would keep telling me to smile.
I can picture you being a bartender though – you’d be the cool, aloof one. Who has inspired you recently and why?
I watched the London Marathon this year and found that really inspiring. There were people who were literally in wheelchairs, and crutches, and quite old people who were running and it was quite inspiring. We were near mile 24 or 25, so fairly close to the end, and there were loads of supporters who were shouting and cheering complete strangers on and that was inspiring too. The atmosphere was unbelievable.
Were you tempted to get into running afterwards?
When I was there I thought maybe, but by the time I got home I was like: “no.” [Laughs]
What’s the best thing about recruitment?
The best thing is that every year gets better. And then there is the way you build relationships with your candidates and clients over time; the fact that no day is the same; that you never get bored; and then obviously when you work hard you get a financial reward.
What do you think is the worst thing?
People do let you down. People cancel interviews an hour before they had been arranged or change their mind at the last minute. Sometimes it can feel like a lot of hard work for little reward, but overall I’d say the good outweighs the bad..
Over the last six or seven months you have really been smashing it and it’s incredible that you have already hit your target for the year. But what I think is just as impressive is your consistency and ability to stay emotionally on an even keel even though recruitment is known for its ups and downs. What’s your secret?
Well, I don’t think you can expect to do well all year round, but I think the key is to getting ahead at the beginning of the year. It’s easy to think you might as well wind down for Christmas because everyone else is, but it’s much better to come back to work after the holidays ahead of the game than on the back foot. I’ve been there before and it’s not great. There’s nothing worse than starting behind and having to play catch-up for the rest of the year. This year has been great so far and I’m excited to go on next year's ski trip!
Say you have a terrible day at work where 4 of your candidates let you down… What do you do to de-stress and unwind?
I get some Ben & Jerry’s on the way home. [Laughs]
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Just the usual stuff: shopping, going for drinks, having a big night out and when it’s sunny I like going to the park. I also love eating out. I hardly ever eat at home.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A vet. I’ve always had pets. I got my first horse when I was three and have had horses until I was about 15, and then I’ve had rabbits, guinea pigs, birds … I also used to want to work in a morgue.
Yeh I wanted to do my work experience in a morgue but they said no and put me in a nursery instead! I’m not totally sure why, but I love going to mediums and having my fortune read and that sort of stuff.
Ok, so it’s a sort of connection with the spirit world that appealed to you?
Yeh, I guess so. Everyone laughs when I tell them that. [Laughs]
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t take things too seriously and take more chances. Baz says it all the time and it’s so true. The job we do is not rocket science, but if you take more chances you’ll probably see more success.
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 why they want to get into recruitment and tell them that those stories about fresh grads making loads of money in their first year isn’t true. It’s not a job where you can come in and things will fall into your lap. It’s a tough job and you’ll have to put in the hours, but if you give it time and put the hard work in it’s a great career. Particularly as a first job, because it has good earning potential and teaches you so many important business skills.
Finally, can you show us a picture that represents you?
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