Monday, 16 September 2013

Oh sh*t, I'm a recruiter!


Hi Colin,
I hope you don’t mind, Marcus James gave me your details and suggested I contact you. I’m a friend of his from London and he said you’d be a good person to show me around Sydney.
If you’re up for it, I’m living in Potts Point and am more than happy to shout you a few beers in return.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Hi Matt,
Nice to meet you.
Marcus eh? How is the little tart? Sure, hit me up and I'll show you around. I'm in Potts Point too, down near the bottom of Macleay Street.
Give me a call on 0400 123 124.
ps: what are you up to Friday night?

"Oh my god this view is amazing!"
"Isn't it? We're really lucky, the owner lives overseas and has no idea how much he could be charging us." Colin handed me a large glass filled with ice and alcohol and took a seat on the couch on the other side of the room.
"I mean you can see everything, the Opera house, the bridge, the gardens... It's beautiful.” I slowly savoured a mouthful of the cold vodka, barely tempered with fresh lemonade, “How long have you been here?"
"Three years I think... Hannah joined me about six months later. She's out with her boyfriend tonight, but you'll meet her soon no doubt. We're catching up with her brother Aaron later.” He grinned cheekily noticing my tentative sips, “How's your vodka, not too strong?"
"No, just fine thanks." I sat down on the opposite end of the couch and faced my host.
Colin was 5'7", stocky, shaven headed and impeccably dressed, in clothes that were obviously labels if you knew what you were looking for, but otherwise generated the air of his having thrown things on that just happened to work well together; a mixture of faded denim jeans suitably worn and frayed, a crisp white and blue shirt rolled up at the sleeves, all accessorised with matching belt, wallet with chain hooked into a belt loop and tiny ankle length socks which despite their being hidden by his footwear, still matched the colour of his belt and the pattern on his shirt perfectly. With small hands, a baby face and the largest brightest, pale blue eyes Colin looked fresh and innocent and totally disarming. Luckily for me, he was also a genuine, friendly person.
"So how's the job hunting going?"
I swallowed the vodka I’d been rolling around my mouth, "Pretty good. Actually, really good. I met with this recruiter on Monday at Hudson who recommended I get into recruitment, preferably within Retail or HR as that's where my experience lies," I set my glass down on the coaster at my feet, "...anyway he gets back to his desk to find a friend of his who heads up one of the recruitment teams, has just sent out a message asking if anyone has seen candidates suitable for Retail recruitment roles! He sends a message back all about me; I get a call within two hours of leaving the interview. Wednesday, I had my first interviews with the manager and then some of the guys I'd be working with  and I have to go back to meet the head of the division and some specialist or something on Tuesday of next week. If all goes well I'll do my psych test the following day"
Colin raised his glass, "Wow, that's fast. Looks like we have something to celebrate tonight."
"Well let's not get too carried away," I smiled, "but yeah, it is pretty hopeful."
"Hudson? I know someone who works at Hudson. Well, I say I know her, but she's really a friend of friends of mine, Damian and Justine. I could have sworn she works in the Retail section."
I sat up, "What's her name?"
"Kate. Kate Lascelles. You'd know her if you met her, stunning, great fun, couldn't miss her."
"No way! She was one of the team members I interviewed with on Wednesday!"
"That is a small world, maybe I should get Damian to give her a call, find out what your chances are..."
"No can do, she's gone overseas to London for a month, left yesterday I think. Anyway, I think it went well. I can't believe you know her, talk about coincidences, you living round the corner from me, knowing Kate and Marcus, although that's less odd really as that's who introduced us," I laughed.
Colin grinned at my continued rambling, "Remind me to tell you the story of how Marcus and I met, that'll keep you laughing," He raised his glass again, "Well here's to your new job," and downed the rest of his drink. Standing and stretching out a hand, he reached to pull me up out of the all-encompassing sofa "Come on, time to get you out into Sydney and show you what Fridays are all about." He walked around the room grabbing keys, slipped his feet into immaculately clean trainers, added my now empty glass to his own in the kitchen sink and turned all but the hall lights off. I joined him at the door. "I have a feeling you're gonna like it here, Mr. Ashby and I think Sydney might like you too," He raised an eyebrow and looked me over while pulling the door behind him, "I think we're gonna have a lot of fun."

“Matt! Welcome to Hudson.” My new boss strode into reception, grasping my hand with both of his and pumping it furiously. “Let’s get you upstairs and introduced to everyone”. I followed John, out of reception, through the shards of light being projected onto a large glass panel and back into the brightly lit, marble floored, sterile lobby.  
“We’re up on the twentieth floor. We take up five different floors here, non-exec are on the one above reception, Talent Management and Sales are the next up on sixteen, then there’s a gap of a few floors and exec are on nineteen and twenty.” Laughing at me obviously trying to remember these first facts, John smiled, “Don’t worry, We’ll drop off your bag and get you settled, then later after lunch I’ll give you the grand tour”
The lift arrived, mirrored doors opening to reveal a dimly lit, similarly mirrored interior, dark carpet and dull finished metal giving the impression of a warm, safe cocoon.
I leant against the wall, let out a breath and watched as John punched the button for our floor. His shirt was coming untucked at the back and he must have caught sight of it in the mirror as he quickly turned to face me, stuffing it back into his trousers as he blushed and asked, “Nervous?”
“Not as such, more unsure what I’ll find to be honest”, I fibbed, stomach tightening as the mention of nerves. Coming to a rest, the lift doors opened, bright light making me squint and I followed John out again and into a new lobby, the wall opposite reflecting the three lifts on our side and at either end, large glass doors out into the large open plan offices. John swiped his pass and opened the door and the noise of the floor bounded out, pushing me back a step.
John again registered the look crossing my face, “Did you not get a chance to come up here in the group interview?”
“Not so much.”
“Didn’t realise it was open-plan?” Registering the anxious frown on my face, he smiled, “Well not to worry, you’ll get used to it.”
Stepping through the doors, he held one open with one hand while directing me through with the other. Steeling myself I took my first step into recruitment.

The first thing to hit me was the noise. I walked in to see a large sprawling mass of desks, people standing up making calls, shouting, laughter, names being called out across the floor, TVs blaring news reports, stocks and shares out across the office, phones ringing, printers spewing out reams of marketing material and all set against an expanse of glass and the glorious, bright view of Sydney harbour from the 20th floor.
We turned into the room and headed for the far corner, John a good two strides ahead of me as I took it all in. Suddenly one of the guys backs his chair into my path, slamming his phone down in the same move, spins around in his seat, leaps up, punching the air, and takes off for the other side of the room over to a board where he grabs a bright red marker. He writes something illegible on a board along with a clearly written amount of $10,000, rings the dirty bronze bell hanging next to the board and begins a slow swagger back to his desk. The whole thing takes 10 seconds and he makes his slow stroll to a raucous round of applause.
“Way to go Moylan!”, one of his colleagues stands to pat his back as he passes.
“Nice one Lancey” the girl sat next to him says as he resumes his seat.
“Looks like beers are on me tonight, darl”, he drawls back, lounging in his chair and slowly spinning around again to face his desk.
John waited for me to catch up, “Accounting.” He nodded back at them, “Don’t worry, we’re not quite as brash as all that.” We turned a corner and the noise died away. “Welcome to Sales and Marketing”
John steered me to a bank of desks, six desks arranged as if facing into a figure of eight, three at the top, three at the bottom, making the most of the limited space they occupied. John points, “Rachel and Jenny you know from your interviews…” both on the phone, Jenny, small with long straight dark hair, brushed her fringe out of her eyes and mouthed hello while stabbing a figure at the headset she wore to indicate the call she was making.  She picked up a mug twice the size of her hands, blew into it, sipped and returned to her conversation “Oh I know, it’s a really hard decision to make, but Oroton are so going places, their expansion plans are just crazy, and to have been part of that, on your resume alone…”
Rachel didn’t look up from her screen. Her brow furrowed, she tapped her monitor “No we distinctly have an agreement in place for 23% at that level. You’ll just have to go back to the client and let them know you’ve made a mistake…” She ran a hand over her slicked back hair, patting the non-existent strands breaking form, her other hand coming to rest at the heavy silver choker around her neck, “There’s no point in us having an agreement in place if we’re not going to stick to it…” Her tone was formidable. I wouldn’t have wanted to cross her and I knew there and then that I’d be doing exactly as she said.
John pulled the chair facing Rachel out from its desk.
He whispered so as not to disturb Rachel’s concentration, “…we’ll leave them both to it for now. This is Kate’s desk. She’s in Europe for a month at the moment as you’ll remember, so we’ll just sit you here until we get something permanent sorted.”
I sat down, my feet kicking into a pile of something slightly resistant but at the same time heavy, pointy and sharp. I dropped my head down to see a sizable mountain of shoes under the desk, several pairs of heels, each dangerously high and fabulously expensive looking, two pairs of knee high boots, one brown, one black and an incongruous pair of smelly and worn trainers. I surreptitiously tried to nudge as many of them to the back of the desk as possible with limited success.
“Your log-ins are in front of you, … err, why don’t I let you get settled, y’know…” he raised his fingers in quotation marks “…logged in, then you can have a read of that,” he pointed uncertainly at the large bound book in front of me, “… your starter kit and err, we’ve got a meeting in an hour to go through day one and your targets an’ that…”
I’m plonked down in the chair, bag at my feet, surrounded by a sea of shoes and feeling less than confident. He beamed a smile reflecting my anxiety right back at me. “Right”
His smile faded by the barest breath, “So, yeah, err, you make yourself comfortable and I’ll be back over soon…”
He turned, nervously straightened his already perfectly knotted tie, pulled at the collar to make some more room and strode the three paces to the other end of the pod, sitting at the desk furthest away from me and hiding behind his monitor.

Rachel leant around the side of her monitor, face expressionless “Don’t worry kid; you’re with me for lunch.”