People often move into a career in recruitment from all sorts of different industries. We spoke to Luke Arnott, the Manager of our Industrial & Technical Division, to find out why he moved from carpets and car sales to leading a team at our recruitment agency in Basingstoke.
Tell us about your career path so far and how you found yourself in recruitment
“I should really have been a carpet fitter! I started out working in my family’s carpet-fitting business straight from school, working alongside my father, grandfather and cousin in Aldershot.
But all this changed when I tore my cruciate ligament playing football. After surgery on my knee, I could no longer use a carpet stretcher or kneel for long periods, so I knew I needed to find a different career path away from the family business.
"I decided to apply for a role in automotive sales as knew that what I was good at was helping people, and working with cars was doing just that! I went to the local Audi and Vauxhall showrooms in Basingstoke and handed in my CV. The Sales Manager at Vauxhall invited me straight in for a chat and offered me a job as a sales trainee.
"I very soon discovered that my people skills meant I was good at sales. My natural skill was nurtured through excellent training from my manager at Vauxhall, and I soon progressed to become Assistant Sales Manager.
"In 2019, My partner and I discovered we were expecting a baby.
"While I’d thoroughly enjoyed car sales, it entailed working every weekend, so I decided to seek a role where I could still use my people and sales skills, but where I could have weekends off to spend time with my new family."
How did you get your job working for an independent Recruitment Agency based in Basingstoke?
"I heard about a vacancy for a Recruitment Consultant at Priority Appointments and was invited in for an interview.
"As soon as I arrived, I knew I was in the right place.
"I really bought into all Priority’s values. I had always done well in car sales as my approach was to be a consultant and offer people advice, which is exactly what’s needed as a Recruitment Consultant.
"Priority realised that my personal values, coupled with my transferable skills, made me an ideal candidate to become a Recruitment Consultant.
"And since joining the company in August 2019, my obsession with helping clients and learning all about their businesses has meant I’ve progressed to being a Lead Consultant."
How did you start learning about the Recruitment Business?
"I’ve been mentored by Priority’s Business Director, Tracy Welch, who has spent over two decades as a recruiter. When I first joined, Tracy taught me the ropes and introduced me to clients.
"Working for a consultancy that specialises in recruitment for manufacturing, precision engineering and distribution has given me an absolute passion for the sector. I love seeing how our clients’ companies work and understanding how they build products from scratch.”
Looking back, is there anything you would change about your career path?
”I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason - I needed to mature before I moved into recruitment. I have no regrets about the work I did before I became a recruiter as it gave me the skills I use to help clients today.”
What do you think are the three best things about working in recruitment?
“Firstly, I love the buzz - I was a striker before I damaged my knee, and get the same feeling from finding great people for our clients as I did from scoring a goal! There’s so much team spirit when we succeed.
"Secondly, I really enjoy building relationships and meeting new people. In fact, I have clients who have now become friends.
"The final element is the potential to do so well financially. In car sales, I had a very low basic with a heavily commission-based package. In recruitment, I earn a good basic salary and have the chance to earn a healthy, uncapped commission on top, plus other incentives.
"My partner and I have another baby on the way, so I need to keep doing well for my family.”
As your team grows, what are you looking for in the new recruitment and talent consultants who join the Industrial & Technical team?
“An ideal candidate doesn’t necessarily need to have worked in sales, but the qualities I’m looking for include:
- Being hungry for success
- Having loads of positivity and energy - having a ‘cup half full’ type of outlook on life
- Determination and the resilience to take the ups and the downs
- Warmth and approachability
- Able to build strong relationships
- Going above and beyond - making sure everything you do is to help both clientes and candidates.”
Why do you believe working for an independent recruitment consultancy is a better career choice than joining a large, corporate agency?
“We have so much fun here and everyone in the business has a voice. In some of the big corporates, you’re just a cog in a machine.”
“Choosing an independent partner is better for clients too.
"We’re very flexible and can tailor our services to fit the client, not the other way round. We also take the time to get to know people so we only put forward those who are really likely to be a good fit.”
If you think you have what it takes to build a career in recruitment, give Luke Arnott a call on 01256 334575 to find out if you could join our growing team.