I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I stepped into our then offices on Glasshouse Street and began my first day as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant at Oyster Partnership.
Anniversaries tend to be a time to reflect, so I’ve looked back through the photo archives of the last decade and what’s interesting is that although the photos below absolutely tell my story, they also show that although 10 years have passed, and we’ve moved with the times, the fundamentals of Oyster are still going strong!
Much has changed over the years, we’ve invested in our IT systems, we’ve utilised platforms like LinkedIn more, and we all love the convenience of a quick email, but for me, the one thing that has always (and no doubt will always) remain a constant in recruitment is the good old-fashioned phone – you can’t beat it!
I firmly believe that regardless of how technology progresses and how much AI gets involved in the industry, the phone will still reign supreme as the contact method of choice for recruiters but also for our clients and candidates – people buy from people (not robots!)
Individual holiday targets
Anyone who has worked at Oyster (past and present) will speak about how good the incentive package is, and the most sought-after incentives of all are the holidays! I have been extremely fortunate in my time to have visited some amazing cities but one that stands out more than most was Berlin – my first ever holiday with Oyster!
I had been set my quarterly target and knew what I needed to do to get on holiday, I remember the team around me buzzing about the thought of going away, but it was such an unknown to me as the company I’d been at before didn’t offer quarterly holidays (much less to every single person that hit their target!)
Lucky for me I hit the numbers I needed and off 7 of us went. February 2012, 6 months into my time with the company and we landed in -16 degree temperature, it was here I learned a valuable life lesson; stilettos and ice do not mix well together!
Looking back, I can genuinely say that some of my favourite holidays of all time have been with Oyster, and although I may have “retired” from the company holiday scene, I genuinely love watching those around me hit their targets, go on their first holidays and come back with memories that will last a lifetime.
Company holiday targets
Although the quarterly holidays are amazing, the company’s yearly holiday targets are nothing short of incredible! Being told a year in advance that if we hit a certain target within 12 months we would all be off to Vegas was insane (but also seemed a little unimaginable!)
As the year drew to an end, we could see the numbers coming in, we knew we were close! I will never forget the extra hours we all put in, the help, the encouragement, the motivation we all gave each other to make sure it happened – and it did! I couldn’t believe it – not only had I already been to Berlin and Barcelona at this point, but I was also now off to Vegas – staying in The Wynn no less!
Looking back, this was absolutely my favourite Oyster incentive memory, not only because of how unbelievable the holiday was but because of how hard we had all worked to make it happen.
Once the world opens up again, I know there will be more opportunities for trips like this, but if there was ever a holiday to tempt me out of retirement – this would be it!
Achievers, a monthly event that precedes my time at Oyster. The concept is simple, hit a certain target in the month and you are out for the afternoon! The target isn’t easy, but it is achievable, after all, you need to demonstrate you’ve achieved it.
One of the perks of working in Piccadilly Circus is that when you’re ‘out’, you are out in Soho, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Fitzrovia, and not only that you’re with your colleagues who like you have worked exceptionally hard that month to be there.
I couldn’t count how many of these lunches I’ve been fortunate enough to attend but the excitement never changes. I do remember my first-ever Achievers though, 5 of us went to Gaucho in Piccadilly and spent the afternoon enjoying the amazing food (and drink), and playing many games of fingers in (if you know, you know!).
Although the holidays have had to take a back seat due to what’s going on at the moment, achievers is back and I can’t wait to get on one soon!
One of my favourite parts of my job as a recruiter was going out to see my clients, not only was it so valuable for me to be able to find out more about them, how they worked, where they worked, and what they would be looking for, but it also let me say thank you by offering to take them for lunch, taking some biscuits for the team, etc.
My ‘patch’ as a recruitment consultant was London, so normally it would be myself and our now Head of People, Hannah Clarke, that would set out together a couple of times a week to all parts of the capital, from Ealing to Wembley, to Bromley, to Walthamstow and everywhere in between we would turn up with goodies, CVs, (and of course our heels in our bag for a quick shoe change outside the offices!).
Since 2020 we have used Teams and Zoom as a way of replacing these in-person meetings but as we and our clients start heading back into the office, I look forward to meeting people face to face very soon!