Consultant Journeys

What can a career in recruitment lead to?

Tapley first joined Oyster in 2017, as a trainee, and has since climbed through the ranks until he was eventually managing his very own team. More recently, Tapley made the decision to move his career in a different direction, exploring a role in Learning & Development.

As with many Recruitment Consultants, Tapley has his own interesting story about how he ‘fell’ into recruitment: ‘Before recruitment, I was a football coach for Chelsea FC. My role was really interesting and an achievement I’m most proud of from my time at CFC, is a project called “Breaking the Cycle”.’

‘“Breaking the Cycle” was an outreach programme that I developed and ran. Essentially, we partnered with HMP Chelmsford, Bernardos, and the Premier League Charitable fund, to try and turn troubled kids lives around. With this project I would travel around to different schools, working with students, encouraging sport as an outlet.’

‘It was really rewarding, and I was incredibly proud of the positive impact that we were having. But, to put it bluntly, I wasn’t making enough money, and if I ever wanted to move out before the age of 50, I had to find a new career.’

‘That’s when I found recruitment. I had a friend that worked for an IT consultancy and I saw that he was earning great money. I asked him for some advice, and he put me in touch with a really good rec-to-rec consultant, who then arranged interviews at five different agencies, all in one day. Oyster was actually my very last interview that day; I was met by Hannah (Director of People and Operations) and Jas (Director), and the rest is history.’

‘Straight away, there was just a completely different vibe to what I’d experienced at any other agency. I still stand by this today, it’s the people at Oyster that sets us apart from any competition. It’s a feeling you experience as soon as you set foot in the office.’

‘As I had no previous recruitment experience, I really benefitted from the Oyster training academy at that time. With the support of the manager’s and my team mates, I learned my industry inside and out, quickly developing a great network of contacts with both candidates and clients. This resulted in me successfully securing my first promotion, before then going on to place 14 temporary workers, all within my first 12 months. I absolutely loved it.’

‘Of course there have also been some challenges along my journey, as well. The pandemic was a really difficult time, which slowed my progress down quite a bit. But shortly after lockdown lifted, the recruitment market was booming again. Following a great performance during the financial quarter, I was promoted to Team Leader in 2021, and then to Managing Consultant a year later.

Craving a new challenge:

‘After 4 amazing years, I’d got to the point where I really wanted to combine my passion for coaching with my experience in recruitment. I expressed this with my partner, who works in HR, and she suggested that I look at L&D positions. After looking at some of these roles, I knew this was the path that I wanted my career to take.’

‘I had weekly one-to-one meetings with Hannah and Sasza (Managing Director), so I was able to bring this up with them pretty quickly. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sasza and Hannah were both really receptive and supportive of this. They invited me to apply for an internal L&D role, which involved delivering a ‘mock training session’ for 15 minutes, followed by competency-based questions for 45 minutes. I really threw myself into the training session and used interactive props like game-show buzzers, mini-whiteboards and created an online quiz.’

‘I felt really positive following the session; I thought it was informative and engaging, similar to how we used sport to make education more engaging at Chelsea. However, I was sort of kicking myself after the competency-based questions. Nerves had crept in and I didn’t feel as though I’d answered the questions as best as I could. I’d mentally prepared myself for rejection, if I’m honest, so I was so shocked and grateful when they offered me the position.

‘I accepted the offer immediately, just buzzing to get started and implement the changes that I think the academy will really benefit from.’

The next chapter:

‘The core of the existing Oyster Academy is amazing, and there’s not anything that I necessarily want to take away, but there’s some bits that I’d like to expand on, that branch out from what we already do.’

‘You can expect a continuation of what I introduced during my interview; I want training sessions to be fun and engaging, as well as informative. I want to make them a bit more modern, more digital and more competition based. I also want to tailor the training to suit the individual and not just the group; we all learn differently, and we all have different strengths and experiences. The training should reflect this.’

‘I’ll be putting all my previous experience into this and, on a personal note, although I’ve had some incredible highs in my career, Ive also made a lot of mistakes. Im using literally everything that Ive learned over the years at Oyster, both personally and professionally, to make me a better deliverer, educator and coach.’

Upon reflection:

‘Oyster’s culture of growing from within, supporting the ambitions and goals of its staff, is completely unrivalled. It’s summed up really well by saying literally everyone at Oyster has a seat at the table. Everyone’s voice is heard. Everyone gets a say.’

‘I was able to imagine and realise my passion because Sasza is so passionate about what he does. This passion trickles down from the top down to people at every level of the business, from directors, to manager’s, to consultants.’

‘Oyster is such an amazing company to be at right now; everyone here wants everyone else to do well and succeed, and I’ve never found that in any other place that I’ve worked at before. Even at Chelsea where is was supposed to be a ‘team’ environment, there was still an undercurrent of jealousy and rivalry, but at Oyster it’s in our DNA to celebrate everyone’s wins as if they were our own.’

‘If we do well collectively, then we will individually as well.’

If you’d like to discuss a career at Oyster, whatever your previous experience within recruitment is, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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