I had a few questions to ask Jo Frankham, associate director on the life actuarial team at Eames Consulting in the UK, and she shared how she got into recruitment, her number one secret to success, the challenges she's faced in her career and why Eames.
1. How did you get into recruitment?
My sister placed me! I was working for a big corporate company and feeling frustrated about being a tiny cog in a massive machine. She was working in recruitment and introduced me to one of her clients, an actuarial recruitment agency, and the rest is history!
2. What is your advice for someone just getting into recruitment?
Be resilient, and don’t lose faith! When you’re starting out, and things don’t go your way, it can feel like you’re never going to get there. You have to work hard, put the hours in, listen to how all those successful consultants around you are doing it, and maximise every possible opportunity.
3. What is it about recruitment that has kept you in the industry?
It can be such a tough job at times but I honestly think I’d be bored doing anything else. Every day is different, there are always new challenges to overcome and new milestones to achieve.
4. What is your proudest moment in your career to date?
Obviously there have been some memorable placements (and fees!), but for me, the real highlights have been where I’ve received positive feedback and recognition from clients and candidates for the work I’ve done, whether or not it’s resulted in a placement. I’m also extremely proud to have been given this opportunity to build the Life Actuarial division here at Eames.
5. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far, and how have you overcome that?
The 2008 Credit Crisis was the first tough one. The rapid shift from a super busy desk to most of my clients putting their recruitment on hold was brutal. You had to adapt quickly, putting in much harder work for far fewer rewards, keeping relationships going in the hope that things would turn. It definitely taught me not to take anything for granted in this job, and definitely stood me in good stead for when Covid-19 hit in 2020. Although the lockdown juggle of work and home-schooling was an extra level of challenge!
6. What is your number 1 secret to success?
Work hard and really care about what you do.
7. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Try not to take things personally! There are so many elements of this job that you can’t control, focus on things that you can control and do them really well.
8. What are you driven by, and how do you stay motivated?
I think as a recruiter, you are naturally driven. In this job, it’s rare to sit back and bask in the success you’ve achieved, you’re always thinking about what’s coming next. As a manager, it’s not just personal success that motivates you, it’s helping your team to realise their own goals and achieve their own success.
9. How do you keep a work/life balance?
I’ve worked from home for a big chunk of my career, and it can be tough to know when to stop working. Recruitment is not the kind of job where you will ever tick everything off a to-do list. It can almost become a bit addictive, especially if you love what you do. I think you need to remember that if you’re sending an email at midnight, the chances of the recipient reading it at midnight are very slim! You have to have a cut-off point. For me, it’s usually the non-negotiable sports and social lives of my kids - we can’t be late for football training!
10. Why Eames?
I’ve been in recruitment for a long time and can honestly say I haven’t worked anywhere quite like Eames before. High performance is encouraged and celebrated, but not at the expense of collaboration and teamwork. Not only is there a genuine desire for people to achieve success, but this is backed by an amazing support structure providing all the tools and resources to help them accomplish this.