Hi James! Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you worked for Paragon, and how did you get into recruitment?
Where to start…I have worked at Paragon now for 4 years this very month!
I couldn’t really tell you how I came to work in recruitment, I am sure a lot of people that work in this industry would agree that it is something you kind of just fall into! I have always had a strong interest in working in a people-oriented role.
Prior to returning to the Island to work, I studied for a Business & Marketing Degree at the University of Central Lancashire. I worked a couple of summers for a Life Assurance organisation whilst studying.
The structured, professional environment really suited me and it gave me a good understanding of International Life Assurance, which is one of the key industry sectors the team and I resource for here on the Island.
Shortly after returning to the Island as a graduate, an opportunity to undertake a HR/Resourcing role presented itself with an alternative life company. This was a great opportunity and one that taught me a lot in terms of personnel management and resourcing techniques, it was also in this role that I got to know the team at Paragon as we worked very closely with them as our preferred resourcing agency.
I built up a good relationship over a period of time and as luck would have it, an opportunity to join the team as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant presented itself and the rest is history!
And what is your role at Paragon?
I am a Senior Recruitment Consultant and I primarily look after the temporary and contract side of the business. On the candidate side, this ranges for those individuals seeking their first role full-time role after leaving education, i.e. graduates and school leavers, right the way through to experienced senior professional contractors such as Project Managers.
I work within many industry sectors including; banking, life assurance, e-gaming, telecoms, IT, payroll solutions and other forms of professional services. There is a lot of cross over in my role, which does see me get involved with permanent resourcing as well, we are a very close team and work together closely across all divisions of recruitment.
Ok so tell us…what did you want to be growing up?!
That’s a tricky one, I’d probably say I wanted to be Peter Pan, as I liked the whole idea of never really growing up! I still find it difficult to admit to myself that I am a fully-grown adult (…allegedly)
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like to keep fit – I attend the gym as often as I can! I also play football for Castletown Football Club (well, try to) it’s a good set up at the club and everyone involved are good friends. Socialising with friends is also massive for me, I have a tight knit group of mates who are always up for doing something. As much as I love the Rock, I also try to get away often, even if it’s just a weekend to the UK for a football match or a gig of some sort.
Favourite alcoholic beverage from the Paragon bar?
Anything alcoholic, I’m not fussy! It all depends on how the week has panned out I guess! The Paragon Bar is always well stocked, my go-to would usually be a G&T or a bottle of Punk IPA. Our Associate Director Dean can mix up a pretty good cocktail as well to be fair to him, so I’ll have one of them if they are going!
…and how do you take your brew?!
Coffee, every day of the week! Java sees a fair bit of my wages on a weekly basis. I don’t mind a tea, but the pressure of the tea round in our place is something I don’t want to get tied up in. Getting the brew round wrong – you might as well print your own T21!
Favourite holiday destination?
San Francisco, I went out to the West Coast of the US a couple of summers ago and visited a few different states, San Fran was by far my favourite! The pace of life, the people and the surroundings just did it for me, a place I will be returning to in the future for sure!
What advice would you give someone who’s not used a recruitment agency before?
They say it takes 10,000 hours to master something. I think this is important to remember when thinking about recruitment, at Paragon we have team of professional consultants, all highly qualified in our fields with years of cross industry experience!
Another plus point of an agency, is our diversity. We have sub-teams within our business, managing everything from Temporary & Contract Recruitment to general permanent opportunities, right the way through to high level Executive Recruitment.
We work with a multitude of organisations, across various industry sectors from large corporate organisations to small/medium entities.
There is a misconception that agencies are intimidating, which is entirely untrue! We love to help candidates and businesses, it’s what Paragon is here for.
Our door is always open for anyone seeking advice and we will always take the time out to speak to people and answer any questions or discuss opportunities.
Do you think people have a bit of a block in place when it comes to using recruitment agencies on the Island?
I would say there is a certain perception that can portray agencies in a negative light. I think a lot of this stems from the idea that an agency’s primary driving force is ‘sales’.
This may be accurate of the UK market, however in a smaller, local economy like the Isle of Man, in order for you to be a successful recruitment agency there are so are many other components required to achieve success.
Operating in a relatively small community you rely heavily on positive word of mouth, which is a key focus of ours and something we work very hard to achieve. Our strong reputation stems from the work we do with our clients, listening to their needs and finding the best fitting talent for them.
Confidentiality is at the forefront of everything we do, living on a small island, this is something that our candidates can be nervous about. We are very discreet and this is reflected across all touch points. Our office is slightly ‘off the beaten track’ and we have private meeting facilities.
We manage the expectations of our candidates and clients to a very high level.
We don’t always have all of the answers, and there are times when we can’t help everybody due to the type of businesses and vacancy options we are working with, however we do always endeavour to speak with everyone, and provide necessary career advice and job seeking tips to anyone that is looking for a helping hand, I think this ethos in itself goes a long way.