Is recruitment for me?


Is recruitment for me?

Are you an enthusiastic and motivated individual who is passionate about people and the environment?!

Could this be a lucky break? I am a Geography graduate from Edinburgh University who spent my undergrad years socialising with friends, playing sport, going to talks about women in business, occasionally delving in Edinburgh’s nightlife ….amongst all the academia of course.

When all this came to an end, after eighteen years of education, it would be an understatement to say I felt lost… The common interview question ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ time’ would have been more appropriate rephrased ‘where do you see yourself next week’, and even then would be a struggle to answer.

However, as a positive and proactive graduate, LinkedIn was my daily scroll… and soon enough I came across a wonderful rec to rec who gave me a call. When I first spoke to Alex I did not understand the concept of rec to rec, let alone anything about the recruitment process at all. Being environmentally minded, I’d always assumed I’d get a job within the environmental sector – an environmental consultant or a sustainability analyst…. Recruitment had never occurred to me. After a quick google I wasn’t convinced – as google often does, it didn’t paint the best picture of the sector. I never saw myself working within the industry four months down the line.

Like most other millennials, having an impact was and very much still is something that is really important to me, both within my job and my personal life. After the initial conversation about the junior rec con role, I had wondered how it might align with my own personal values – would I be making an impact? Is this organisation working towards positive change? I still had the UN in the back of my mind….

Unlike my other friends who were slaving over online applications and assessment days, the recruitment process was relatively simple, and very personable – do you like working with people? Are you hard working, determined and committed? Tell us about your enthusiasm for the environment and sustainability?  I had two interviews with one trial day. This gave me a lot of time to reflect on the opportunity, learn more about the company, and ultimately try out what I’d be doing in the job! This was different to other interviews I’d had and felt much more consultative. As is often said, interviews are about how you like the company as well as how the company likes you. David left the ball in my court after each interview – ‘Give me a call once you’ve thought about whether you like us and can see yourself fitting in’. This left me with a good feeling about the company – my opinion would be valued.

I was delighted to be offered a trainee recruitment consultant role and after cluelessly reading, then inevitability sending the employment contract to my parents to approve, I headed off to Central America for a pre real life holiday.

My first day was equally as exciting as it was nerve-racking as I desperately tried to follow all the instructions for using the database, setting up (and then remembering) passwords and, on day one, speaking to candidates about their career aspirations. After the first week, I had even ventured to the kettle and had made my manager a cup of ‘pretty decent’ tea – thankful of my Yorkshire roots.

The six week intensive training programme included covering ABSOLUTELY everything about recruitment in week one, followed up by practical experience in the next five weeks. In my regular appraisals, my manager Ruth would ask me what else they could do, but quite honestly the way I was taught, by doing, was the only way to learn about the ups and downs of the recruitment world.

Training involved listening in on colleague’s calls, going to numerous client and candidate meetings and calling many air quality, ecology, sustainability and geotech candidates, who in most instances, taught me something new in every call. I also went off to London Bridge on a two day external training course with APSCO which gave me further development opportunity, a chance to share experiences with other new recruits and a certificate for my desk.

I was luckily enough to join at the end of Q2 which meant I was involved in the Q2 day out at races. The social side of a company is just as important for new grads, so it was great to get to know my colleagues in a much more relaxed environment with the help of six horse races and a few champagnes! This was a good start to what turns out to be a great social scene with weekly Friday drinks, Run Club and regular office baking and sporting competition. Working in such a fast paced environment, I’ve found it valuable to be able to wind down with colleagues, as we share our tips and tricks and reflect on a hard day’s work!

Reflecting on the last few months...What do I think is needed to succeed in recruitment?

  • Pick up the phone and talk to people
  • Think on the spot
  • Be honest with clients, candidates, colleagues and yourself
  • Laugh at colleagues jokes even when they aren’t that funny
  • Smile even when the client says they don’t like recruiters
  • Be a LinkedIn pro; prior experience of Instagram and FB research helps
  • Measure your performance and set your own targets
  • Make a good cup of tea

Don’t get me wrong, recruitment isn’t easy. But at Mattinson Partnership I feel supported in every step that I take. I’m still waiting to make my first placement (so if you have a recruitment need, help a gal out), but I have loved learning all about recruitment which really does come down to connecting people with people.

If you are a recent graduate who, like me, likes talking to people, has some sales experience and wants to work in a fast moving and exciting industry, I’d be happy to have a chat over a coffee!

In answer to the original question, is recruitment for me…. YES!!


I joined Mattinson Partnership in September 2018 as a Junior Recruitment Consultant on the Environment desk. After 6 months probation and training, I officially became a Recruitment Consultant in March 2019. Before joining Mattinson Partnership, I was studying Geography at the University of Edinburgh. I am excited about how the environmental and sustainability sector is growing, and I am motivated by connecting the most ambitious candidates with clients in this essential industry.

When I’m not in the office, I may be on the hockey pitch, or more likely I’ll be chatting to my teammates on the side-line. I also have an environmental Instagram where I post about little things you can do to live more sustainably.

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London Wildlife Trust.

We are proud partners of The London Wildlife Trust, a charity dedicated to protecting the wildlife and wild spaces of London by driving environmental projects throughout the city. Our team often get involved at ground level in Wild Workdays by helping to maintain and restore treasured spaces and land… we love to get our hands dirty! We also run multiple interactive workshops, providing their conservation trainees with invaluable career advice and insights into the environmental sector to prepare them for employment. Most recently, we worked with young people taking part in their Keeping it Wild programme, which engages young people from backgrounds currently under-represented in nature conservation.

Royal Town Planning Institute.

The RTPI represents planning professionals in the UK and Ireland and aims to encourage the development of vibrant and prosperous places and communities. Our Senior Consultant Freddie enthusiastically attends the annual Planning Convention, and we host several events throughout the year to show our support, including drinks networking and a literal pub quiz. We also keep in close contact with our friends down under, at the Planning Institute Australia and New Zealand Planning Institute. In addition, we sponsor the London Planning Summit, an event designed to address the biggest challenges facing the industry. This is our opportunity to stay on top of the latest changes in town planning by meeting with other key professionals in the sector, while celebrating our achievements.

Land Securities Group Plc.

One of our clients, LandSec, are the clever people behind Girls Can Do It Too, an initiative designed to encourage girls to consider a career in construction. Currently, only 11% of the construction workforce are female, and LandSec are attempting to increase this number by providing education and engagement projects and workshops for girls aged 11-13. Featuring workshops on demolition and tower building, as well as challenging the girls to design a planning project of their own (with a focus on budgeting and environmental considerations), LandSec have proven their dedication to addressing the need for diversity in this very male dominated industry. Ruth assists the project by sharing her fascinating insights into the industry and is even on the project judging panel!

Urban Land Institute.

In partnership with Urban Land Institute we are able to play an imperative role in creating a larger and more diverse pool of candidates within the planning & property professions. Working in schools we take part in the Urban Plan Educational workshops programme, which has now reached more than 2,500 pupils in 100 schools since its launch. Alongside more than 200 industry volunteers engaged across the country, we provide invaluable industry & careers advice to students while guiding them through their workshops and helping judge their presentations.

Carbon Footprint.

Carbon FootprintTM works to help organisations offset their CO2 through tree planting and community projects worldwide. By partnering with Carbon FootprintTM, we have planted native trees and shrubs such as Whitebeam, Hazel, Field Maple, Silver Birch, Rowan, Beech, Blackthorn, Holly and Dog Rose to create a Mattinson Forest that spreads across South East England. Carbon FootprintTM work in conjunction with the Florestal Santa Maria Project (FSM-Redd Project), designed to reduce deforestation in the Amazonian Rainforest. So, for every tree we plant in the UK we guarantee a tonne of CO₂ offset in Brazil too. Carbon FootprintTM have allowed us to not only do our bit for the environment but also commemorate moments of growth for our clients and candidates.