Recently, our marketing team had the great pleasure of sitting down with Ryan Jones, our Business Manager here at Work Wales.
Having been part of our company for just over a year, Ryan has taken everything in his stride, and has become an integral member of our team. However, recruitment hasn’t always been in his blood…
Ever since he was little, Ryan has always had a passion for music. So much so, that he left the green, green grass of home (South Wales) to study an undergraduate degree in Music at the University of East Anglia – all the way in Norwich!
It was during this course that Ryan realised he wanted to spread his love of music through teaching, so after he graduated, he came back to Wales and completed a PGCE course at Cardiff Metropolitan University. We’re glad he did, because this decision was one of the first which led him to us…
Ryan’s patience and gentle understanding are qualities which make him such a fantastic Business Manager, and they were forged through 13 years of teaching. After all of that time passing on the gift of music to young minds, Ryan decided he wanted to progress his career in a different direction. This is when he first entered the exciting and ever-changing world of recruitment!
After working with a teaching agency which provides educational institutions across Wales & England with high-quality supply staff, Ryan’s flair for recruitment became obvious. He quickly excelled within the agency, and soon grew as much as he was able to within his role. Always ambitious, Ryan wasn’t content with resting on his laurels, so he began working with a different recruitment agency and set up his own education division within the agency, which soon became the preferred supplier of the Welsh Government for Welsh schools. How incredible is that?!
This journey, full of unexpected twists and cross-country moves, ultimately led Ryan to us one drizzly afternoon; where he saw a vacancy pop up on LinkedIn. The rest is history…
Ouma, our marketing team, boiled the kettle and sat down with Ryan to delve deeper into his fascinating past and discover why he settled here with us at Work Wales (no pressure Ry!).
Hi Ryan! Let’s kick things off by talking about your role as Business Manager at Work Wales. It sounds like a pretty important position to be in!
Hi guys, thank you for taking the time to sit down with me! I suppose it does sound like a serious title, but I’m not a serious person all the time! My job is basically a combination of managing people and managing the office.
When it comes to the office, I’m responsible for Health & Safety, compliance, licensing, and ensuring all of our policies are up to date and correct. For the people side of things, I’m heavily involved in both the temp and perm side of the business, and am directly responsible for every team member in the office.
However, I love problem solving and, thanks to my background in teaching, I have a great deal of patience and I understand that different people learn things in different ways. For example, when I onboard new members of staff and new clients, I have a variety of different ways to present the information. There are usually booklets, online presentations, video content and other methods so that each individual can absorb the information in whichever way works for them.
Not only does this make my job easier and more pleasant, it also means that my staff and clients have a more fulfilling experience too!
High pressure question alert! Your journey from teaching to recruitment is a bit of a whirlwind – what do you love most about working with Work Wales so far?
It has definitely been a journey, that’s for sure! I think that after the past 18 months that we’ve had, I have personally realised how important quality time with my family is. Luckily for me, Work Wales is a family-orientated company who really values their employees, and I’m not just saying that.
I have two children myself, an eight year old daughter and a thirteen year old son, and I know that if they are unwell or if I’m needed to do the school run, I won’t ever have to justify my reasonings.
When you have a family, that work/life balance is always quite hard to achieve, but Work Wales have done everything they can to ensure that we can work hard but play hard too! Every week we all have work from home days so that we can take the kids to school, do the laundry, answer the door for that delivery, or just spend the day in jogging bottoms!
I think COVID has made everyone realise that life is too short, and that the vast majority of the workforce can get their jobs done anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. I’m so grateful that Work Wales have embraced this new way of working, and are actively putting the mental health and wellbeing of their employees first.
The other thing I like about Work Wales (there’s an extensive list but I’m just giving my main points!) is the fact that they genuinely care about their clients. They support local businesses, which is something that really attracted me to them initially, and they will actively visit their clients on a regular basis, immersing themselves in their businesses to understand their pain points.
It’s something I was so drawn to when I applied for the role, and it’s now something that I love doing myself. Knowing that you have made a genuine difference to someone’susiness is a feeling I wish I could bottle!
That’s brilliant, having a good work/life balance is always important! What advice would you give to anyone looking to pursue a career in recruitment?
Firstly, be honest. If I can help someone, I will (which is 99% of the time). If I can’t help, then I’ll tell them. Honestly is absolutely key in this role, as you don’t want to lead someone down the garden path. It’s all about managing expectations.
Another little bit of advice I would impart is, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. There is an awful lot to learn, from processes and procedures to new systems. It’s OK to ask for help and ask as many questions as you need to – there's no such thing as a stupid question! This can be a high-pressure environment, and you need to look after yourself. Don’t rush, and you’ll be fine.
Lastly, what can we find you doing outside of work?
Well, you know I have a musical flair within me! I’m actually part of a choir based in Merthyr, and we’re currently practicing for Christmas Carol season!
Being involved in music has taken me all over the world and provided me with so many wonderful opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. I’ve even played for the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra!
When I’m not touring the quaint churches of South Wales and serenading people, I do enjoy my rugby and football. I’ve tried to share this passion with my teenage boy, but aside from dropping him off and picking him up from sports practice, he doesn’t want anything to do with his parents!
I have had more luck imparting my love for music to my daughter, but this quickly vanished when her instrument of choice became the Cornet!
Oh, how we don’t want to be a fly on the wall!
That’s our Ryan! We hope you’ve enjoyed virtually getting to know him, and we’re sure you’ll agree that he’s quite the character! He’s such a big part of Work Wales, and we’re so grateful to have him on the team. So, if you’re ever passing us and hear hearty singing coming from our offices, you know who the culprit is!