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Using the services of a recruitment consultant to help you to find your next job can be a good idea. But how do you know which is the right one for you, and what’s the best approach to take when getting in touch?

Exeter Works caught up with Sky Randall, from Sarah West Recruitment. Sky looks after IT and Technical roles at Sarah West, which means that if you’re looking for your next career in tech, she’s your woman!

What does Sarah West Recruitment do?

We’re an independent recruitment agency, with a team of six based in Exeter (our office is at Darts Farm), that specialises in permanent recruitment for positions within Sales, IT and Technical, Marketing, Office Support, Customer Service, HR and Senior Management.

We support many successful, growing south west organisations that are looking to build their teams.

What is your role within the company?

I’m a recruitment consultant and manage our IT and Technical Division. I recruit for a wide variety of roles including IT infrastructure, project management, development, testing, data and business analysis and more. I work with candidates at the start of their career, through to seasoned professionals and senior managers, looking to take on their next challenge.

What does your average day look like?

I wouldn’t say I have an average day as one of the joys of recruitment is the variety it offers! A large chunk of my time is spent catching up with candidates and clients. I’ll be talking to candidates who have applied for roles I’m working on and having more in-depth registration meetings with those who’ve got the type of skills and experience that I’m looking for. I’ll also be in touch with those who are in the process for roles – whether that’s a pre-interview chat, getting feedback after an interview or explaining why they’re not being progressed (the least favourite part of my role!).

It’s the same with the organisations I work with. I’ll be catching up with hiring managers to discuss in detail roles where they’d like my support, to follow up on candidates I’ve put forward to them, to get post interview feedback etc. I’ll also keep in touch generally – recruitment and otherwise.

There’s also a proactive side to my role where I actively search for candidates for the roles I have, or on the flip side, identifying and contacting organisations for candidates who have the skills and experience that I know they’ll be keen to hear about.

I also enjoy getting involved with other projects that complement my day to day role. I was recently involved with the Inspiring Girls Exeter initiative, designed to encourage young girls to think broadly about potential career and job opportunities. I was a mentor and worked closely with a Year 10 pupil to explore future opportunities and how they could work towards them.

What’s the most rewarding bit about your job?

The icing on the cake has to be making a job offer to someone for a role they’re genuinely excited and passionate about, however there’s so much work that goes in to getting to that point. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know the people I work with – both candidates and clients – and to delve a bit deeper than what’s on their CV or outlined in a job description. That’s how I know what’s really going to work for both – skills and experience are important but it’s an absolute must for me to match people with the right organisation (with the right team and culture for example) and likewise an organisation with the right candidate too.

What’s the best thing about working there?

Aside from enjoying what I do, it’s without doubt getting to work with the rest of the team. While we’re all different personality-wise, we share the same values and have the same approach to our work – we genuinely care.

What would you say to anybody unsure about whether to approach a recruitment agency to ask for help?

Do your research. You’ll find that there are agencies that’ll specialise in the type of work you’re looking for.

Take a look at their website and social media, as it’ll give you a good idea of how they’ll support you in your job search or recruitment drive. Google reviews are also a great way of hearing from people who’ve they’ve worked with too.

If you’re unsure about picking up the phone for a chat, send an email or connect with and message one of the team on LinkedIn. A good recruitment agency will always get back to you.

What top tip would you give to anybody currently out of, and looking for, work?

It’s currently a good time to be looking for a new role, as the employment market has really bounced back. My top tip would be to work out what you want from your next role, and sometimes more importantly, what you don’t. Whether that’s flexible working, a short commute, an organisation that’s going to offer you development opportunities or you’re looking for a great benefits package. That way you’ll quickly be able to spot the opportunities that are going to be a good fit, now and for the long term.

Thank you Sky!

For a list of recruitment consultants in Exeter, go to the Exeter Works website