At 20 years old, I am the youngest person at Orama.
So when it came to thinking about careers and the future, the world was my oyster. But I’ll tell you this – whatever happened, I wanted to steer clear of recruitment.
And yet, here I am, business developing at a recruitment start-up…something doesn’t add up here, right?
And you’re right. It doesn’t.
But curveballs are what all good stories are made of.
I’m going to put my hands up and say I didn’t have the best impression of the sector – not many people do. I may be young, but I got the fair impression that recruitment’s one of those things people would rather avoid. Between templated InMails and the automated messages lacking authenticity, I didn’t think it traditionally understood people enough to meet their needs.
But me? I’ve been interested in people ever since I could remember. And I mean, genuinely interested. The way they talk, the way they present themselves, the way anyone you speak to could have a massive impact on your life.
The more I got involved in extra-curriculars at school, the more they fed into my natural talent for communication – at one point I was leading sixty boys as Head of House, and in the first teams for cricket, hockey and tennis. This all meant I was always working with people rather than solely for myself, working in a team to mutually solve a problem rather than doing only what I needed to do to survive.
So yeah, I thought I was any recruiter’s polar opposite.
I wanted to construct relationships, strengthen them and do right by them as much as I could. How could the recruitment that I’d heard about fulfill that when it was centred around doing anything you could to fill a role? How could becoming a consultant be a step towards mutual partnerships and strong networks if – as I’d personally experienced from being a candidate – the job was centred around sending generalised pitches to anyone you could reach, without a single thought about their specific needs?
Having seen this representation and no other, I wasn’t expecting any different when I was due to interview at Orama. I’d been to a few interviews prior to meeting Paul and Sam, and I thought this one would be more of the same.
But there was just something about Orama’s vibe…
I sat down for my first ever face-to-face with them. A couple of hours later, my preconceptions had been completely changed.
The team had this great way of relating to me whilst still being their own people. It wasn’t the usual stuff interviews are made of, all business-focused and full of jargon, but conversations built around finding out who I was and what I wanted to do. I’d been to so many companies that only wanted me to sell my skills to them – yet here I was, being sold the Orama brand. Of course, I had to buy into it.
This experience was just a taste of what I now know we’re about as an agency.
Orama’s recruitment’s curveball. The team inject energy into an industry that has a habit of sounding repetitive. We’re all taught to channel our personalities and understand the people we encounter to be just that – people.
Not numbers. Not walking, talking revenue.
People with needs and interests and ambition.
To the point where my entry into the business development world itself rests on this belief. I wasn’t merely pushed into doing what needed to be done to grow Orama – Paul and Sam latched onto the fact that I loved the idea of working with clients and finding exciting companies, took note of my wants…and here I am.
And because of this difference, because of the culture we’ve built from the ground up and the personalities I encounter both in the office and on the other end of the phone, my career here is just getting started.
I bought into the way Sam and Paul stripped away the swanky interview norms to have a real, human chat with me at our first meeting.
Into the way we fearlessly portray our image in a world where companies are worried anything that steps away from their crystal-clean corporate image will cost them their business.
Into the way we build relationships, and take time to understand exactly what makes a person tick before we even consider offering them an opportunity of any sort – and how we equally aren’t afraid to stop opportunities in their tracks if we know we can’t give a prospect the very best.
To me, that’s empathy at its very core: taking the time to understand people so well that you aren’t afraid to apply what you learn, even if it means starting from scratch.
And as we grow fast and strong, I know the way Orama interact so genuinely with everyone we encounter will give us an edge.
Because we’re not just doing what we need to do to get by or settling into survival mode habits; we’re investing ourselves, actually becoming the people and companies we come into contact with.
I thought recruitment lacked life.
Not at Orama.