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Alex Biagioni

Farewell to HR Recruitment...

  • by Alex Biagioni
  • 10 Mar 2017

When I started at Career Moves 7 years ago as a Resourcer, I daren’t imagine that one day I would be heading up the whole team. Today, however, that is the role that I am leaving behind.

I’ve been on the most incredible journey thanks to the team at Career Moves.  During my time here we have evolved as a business while maintaining what is at the core of our beliefs – people first.

I have been faced with so many challenges, but for every challenge were multiple opportunities – not just in recruitment, but personal growth too. After chatting to Caroline, our MD, a few colleagues and in fact my predecessor, we decided that I couldn’t leave without a bit of a farewell and an “Ode to HR Recruitment”!

We’ve been lucky on the Career Moves HR team in that people tend to stick around on the team for at least 2 years – given that’s the average length of service and more than half of our team have made it past 3 years, we’re doing ok!  For those times that people have moved on, it’s always been a challenge to find good, experienced recruiters that get excited by HR recruitment. 

As someone that has only ever recruited HR positions, you may think that I am talking from the wrong vantage point, but I truly believe HR to be one of the most interesting and commercial areas that you can recruit for. 

I can, however, confirm that I am speaking as someone who has been lucky enough to work with some of the best and brightest HR professionals in London.

Why do I enjoy HR recruitment?

HR professionals are smart, commercial individuals who are passionate about their brands. They are driven by a desire to have themselves heard and impact their businesses in positive ways.  Whether they’re Recruiters, Reward specialists or People Directors, they want to know what’s happening ‘on the ground’ and make sure they get the right people on board and develop their skills to allow them to flourish. 

I have loved recruiting HR professionals because they challenge you every step of the way.  They know what questions to ask, what to search for and they know what they need to do to develop. They have a good approach to interview prep, and a better one to feedback – they’re not scared to be told where they went wrong in interviews. In my experience, they are more determined to seek out negative/constructive feedback than positive! 

HR recruiters also get to work with decision makers – other recruitment professionals often find themselves working with line managers who don’t always have decision making power.  For the times that they work with in house recruitment teams, they can often be met with process that does not allow them to connect closely with line management, meaning it can be harder to find the right candidates. When you’re an HR recruiter you have a direct line to decision makers and line managers all in one go. This of course bring challenges, but it has given me exposure that I would only otherwise get in house. I have been privy to conversations about wider business goals and growth, and how the roles we are assisting with will grow with brands or help shape them going forward. 

When you’re not working with HR, you are then working with FDs or MDs either hiring replacement roles or hiring brand new HR teams for their brands. This is one of the most interesting times we get to “do our thing”. I have been lucky enough to meet with members of senior teams for numerous clients who are looking for their first ‘proper’ HR person. During these meetings, I have been able to talk with the decision makers about their company growth plans, get to understand why they think they need an HR person and work alongside them to plan what level to recruit & why. I have written job descriptions, handled benchmarking and created detailed recruitment plans and timescales. On a handful of occasions, I have also invited clients in to hold their 1st stage interviews at Career Moves offices and sat in on interviews to take notes and assist in the decision making process.  

What can you get out of it?

When you’re an HR recruiter, you’re more than a consultant. You’re a true partner and extension of an in house Senior Management team/HR team/recruitment team. 

As an HR recruiter, your clients and candidates are involved in business conversations and work towards shared goals. They understand the company growth plans and play a huge part in getting a business where it needs to be through recruitment, training and retention.

You’ll become familiar with salaries and benefits, and will often take part in benchmarking and carrying out extensive market research for your contacts.  Time and time again I have connected people in my network so that they can share information – this cannot be said for all areas of recruitment. 

I’ve worked with candidates who are simultaneously interviewing for roles with titles that are all different, such as “HR BP”, “Senior HR Advisor” and “People Partner” – all of which are 45-55k roles depending on company size etc!  Being an HR recruiter helps you understand that there is always, always, more to securing the right candidate for a role than by judging their current title or the title of the role they’re looking for – it’s all about the content.

One of my favourite things about being an HR recruiter is the simple fact that your clients ARE your candidates, and vice versa. I have relationships with people that I have worked with on both sides of the fence, which is something that can only build even stronger relationships and ultimately has made my life as a recruiter not only a tad easier, but more enjoyable.   

Different roles you can recruit for…

I feel that there’s a real stigma around HR roles… “Aren’t all HR people the same?”, “All they do is fire people”, “They’re only there when you’re in trouble”…  I would imagine all HR professionals and HR recruiters are sick of hearing things like this, I know I am! I’ve already said how insightful HR professionals can be, and they definitely don’t all do the same thing.

I have heard an incredible array of job titles over the years. From Change and OD Consultants to ER Specialists and Talent Acquisition Lead, there is a never ending list of roles that I have worked on during my time at Career Moves HR. As a truly specialised team, we’ve learnt the ins and outs of all areas so as a team we cover:

HR Generalists at all levels | Talent Acquisition and Recruitment | Reward/Comp & Bens | Training and Development |  Change & OD

Why am I leaving?

This is a hard one to answer!  I think it’s safe to say that my colleagues, clients and candidates were all quite shocked to hear that I’m moving on.  I am very comfortable at Career Moves, but that comfort isn’t a lack of challenge or having hit the ceiling as it were. The comfort comes from knowing all my colleagues well and being able to have real conversations with them, knowing that they care about what’s going on in my life outside of work. It’s also the confidence in knowing what I’m doing and that I can impart knowledge to my team but also clients – and knowing that they trust what I say and come to me for support. 

I have had 7 years of being constantly pushed and challenged – no two days are the same and week in, week out, I have learnt new things.

I suppose, the reason I am leaving is purely that I was offered an opportunity that I would have regretted turning down. I am moving in house and will still get to work with Career Moves from time to time, so I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds. I am going to a company where I’m lucky enough to know the HR BP that I’ll be working alongside thanks to my HR network, and somewhere where the HRD has taken the time to get to know me and kept in touch with me while I’ve been working my notice. 

I’m going to be using all my skills that I’ve learnt from Career Moves when I move in house – how to build relationships, understand wider business goals, work on talent planning & succession pipelining and look at on boarding as well as training & development. These are all skills I’ve gained not just from being a recruiter, but because I have been an HR recruiter. These are also skills I now have, because I have worked in a place where my colleagues have always encouraged me to take on additional responsibilities where they saw I had a keen interest or skill. 

I am leaving my Career Moves family behind to go onto something new, and have been met with nothing but excitement and support from them.  This is who Career Moves are – they are kind, caring and passionate individuals who make up the best team I could have asked for!

I would urge anyone looking to get into recruitment or being asked about moving into HR recruitment to seriously think about this area as an exciting and demanding opportunity.  I wouldn’t have changed it for the world…

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