Our marketing team sat down with Kim Simpson, our wonderful Perms Recruitment Consultant, who has just celebrated a whole year with the company. Here's how the interview unrolled:
With an incredible 27 years' experience within the recruitment industry, Kim is an absolute fountain of knowledge and is full to the brim with advice for those who want to pursue a career in recruitment.
Born and raised in Gloucestershire, Kim has always wanted to help people achieve their true potential, and it's this very passion that led her down the exciting path of recruitment, where no two days are the same!
Kim began her recruitment journey when she was given the opportunity to help find new roles for staff who had been made redundant from her employer, a large insurance company in Gloucestershire. Kim soon started to yearn for her next adventure, and it would prove to be one of the most exciting times of her life.
Moving on to pastures new in South Africa, she secured her first permanent recruitment role and worked her way up within a large organisation, learning to recruit for many industry types, taking on management roles and eventually becoming a National Manager. If this wasn't impressive enough, Kim further went on to found her own recruitment agency, where her stellar reputation went before her, and she attracted many loyal clients. Although she loved having her own business and the freedom that came with it, the twists and turns of life led Kim to her next adventure, New Zealand! Here, she spent an impressive 12 years working as a recruiter for an automotive recruitment agency.
Kim would have stayed in New Zealand permanently as she loved it so much. However, the universe had other plans, which eventually pulled Kim to South Wales. This stroke of luck brought her to Work Wales, who have thanked their lucky stars ever since!
Kim has been with Work Wales for just over a year, but she has quickly become an integral part of the team. She brings so much to the business, both in terms of her expertise and some delicious recipes that she picked up on her travels!
Ouma, our marketing team, grabbed a coffee and sat down with Kim to find out how Work Wales shapes up compared to her more exotic working locations (no pressure Kim!).
South Wales is a huge step away from South Africa and New Zealand! How have you found your time at Work Wales so far?
I have loved every minute! I think one of the key things about Work Wales is that they are worlds away from many other recruitment agencies, in the best possible way. You hear horror stories about other agencies who completely rely on numbers: how many calls each recruiter can make in one day, how many CVs can be sent to clients, how many people can be placed in jobs; it’s all a numbers game for some companies.
At Work Wales, we value people as human beings – these are lives in our hands. It's a serious job, and Work Wales enable me to work within my core values of quality and respect. We really take the time to get to know our candidates and clients in order to place them in suitable, long-term roles. Happiness is at stake here, and we do our utmost to ensure total satisfaction for both candidates and employers.
I think this is what really attracted me to Work Wales. Their way of thinking and their values are completely aligned to mine, and I love that I have the freedom to work in my own way. We aren’t encouraged to fit into one standard mould; Work Wales recognise that all of their employees and clients are individuals and they treat us as such.
I can also confidently say that Work Wales are probably the most generous employer I have ever worked for. We're always treated to delicious cakes, gift vouchers, and even bottles of champagne and hampers on special occasions!
I've personally experienced this generosity first-hand, when my husband's job unexpectedly relocated to Haverfordwest. I couldn't see how I could live there, yet work in Swansea, so I considered the need to hand in my resignation. I went to see founder, Christina, and explained that I would regrettably have to resign, but she wouldn't hear anything of it! In fact, Work Wales went above and beyond to ensure that I could retain my position and gave me everything I needed to work from home and extend our geographical exposure through to West Wales.
This is something I’m really very grateful to Work Wales for. They didn't have to adapt so that my role could fit around my lifestyle, in fact, I know that many companies wouldn't do that. Even though I’m remote, I still feel like an integral part of the team with daily catch-ups and little treats coming through the post. Distance has been no barrier to my working relationships and I believe that's down to our positive workplace culture.
What’s your advice to those looking to pursue a career in recruitment?
First of all, your background doesn't matter at all. I have known recruiters who have come from all walks of life; engineers, nurses, receptionists, you name it! Personal traits needed are compassion, respect, and to bring quality to your work.
Round off your edges before becoming a recruiter – you'll need to rely on your experience and life skills to manage certain situations. Travel, work in several different jobs, experience new cultures – all of this will transform you into such a knowledgeable and valuable recruiter.
If you come from a specific career path, use it! For example, if you were a nurse in a previous role, look at recruiting for nurses. Your first-hand industry knowledge will be essential, and you'll be more than qualified to impart the best advice possible.
Lastly, don't be afraid to ask questions! Questions lead to growth, and there is no such thing as a daft question, so ask, ask and ask some more!
One last thing, what do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Well, this last year, like many, COVID has scuppered all of my plans – I had created a huge list of all the places I would like to visit in my local area, and so far, nothing has really been ticked off. Luckily, my husband and I can still enjoy all of the beautiful Welsh scenery around us through cycling – I don't do large hills though! We also enjoy walking, and combine this with my husband’s passion for photography. He really does capture some beautiful shots.
What else? I suppose I do love a good murder mystery book! I'm really into that genre of suspense and drama at the moment, which has definitely made lockdown more interesting.
Gardening is the latest thing I’m digging my fingers into – literally! Our new home has a lovely garden, but was left a little neglected by its previous owners. I’ve taken it upon myself to restore it to its original glory – wish me luck!
Good luck Kim!
Any last words for Work Wales and our readers? Maybe just a heartfelt thank you to our Directors. After a year with Work Wales, I would like to thank Christina and Sophie for all they have done to make this year an enjoyable start to my Work Wales career. They had long since created a solid reputation for quality recruitment in South Wales which provided me with the perfect foundation to build a new desk with clients both old and new.
I feel fortunate to have found an employer who shares my recruitment principles of quality and respect and provide excellent support and flexibility for all their staff. They have created a formidable team of professionals that I am proud to be part of. I'm looking forward to many more years to come. #Teamworkwales
There you have it, Kim in a nutshell. We hope you'd agree that she's an absolute superstar with some incredible stories to tell. We’re so grateful to have her on our team, and we're looking forward to many more exciting years of working together.