I had a few questions to ask Nicola Phamova, actuarial consultant at Eames Consulting in the UK, and she shared his advice for someone just getting into recruitment, the best advice she's ever been given and why she chose to work at Eames.
1. How did you get into recruitment?
I did my Masters in Organisational Psychology last year and spent the summer interviewing and speaking to professionals from different industries about their jobs and lives in general. I’m already quite an extroverted person and found that I really enjoyed having people open up to me about their lives and getting to probe into their drives and motivations. The next thing I knew, I was interviewing with Eames.
2. What is your advice for someone just getting into recruitment?
Bother your teammates all the time and then some more. I’m sure our actuarial team would testify that in my first few months I wouldn’t leave them alone and constantly had questions about everything. It’s all about creating psychological safety and feeling comfortable asking for advice and support.
3. What is it about recruitment that has kept you in the industry?
The amount of work you put in is what you get out, so there is a huge amount of personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment you get when your hard work yields positive results.
4. What is the proudest moment in your career to date?
Placing a very senior candidate into a role as an Associate Consultant. Just 5 months before that I had stuttered my way through my first phone call and only just begun learning about the market, so being able to hold my own with a seasoned professional and eventually placing them definitely made me proud of how far I had come.
5. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far and how have you overcome that
Definitely getting past the nerves and anxiety of calling candidates and clients. It’s easy to feel like you have no value to add to experts in the field, especially when you’re just starting out, but it all comes with volume and time.
6. What is your number 1 secret to success?
Be friendly and approachable. Always remain professional but there is no need for conversations to be cold and always straight to business. Getting to know your candidates on a more personal level will help build stronger long lasting relationships.
7. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Success isn’t linear. In recruitment especially, it’s a constant rollercoaster. Don’t let the lows keep you down and focus on getting to that next peak.
8. What are you driven by and how do you stay motivated?
The financial aspect is the obvious one, but outside of this, I feel a great sense of achievement in helping my candidates take the next steps in their careers. It’s also not hard to stay motivated when you’re surrounded day in, day out by highly driven people.
9. How do you keep a work/life balance?
I’ve always been quite good at separating work from my personal life because I know I’ll burn out really easily if I don’t. That being said, picking up calls or quickly responding to emails during weekends/holidays is something I’m happy to do, as it only takes a few minutes out of my day, but goes a long way with candidates and clients alike.
10. Why Eames?
The people. Everyone is always so supportive and friendly. We all sit together on the main floor, including senior management, so even if my team isn’t around I can turn around and ask anyone else for help, and they’ll happily answer my questions.