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TDM Academy - Week Six - Update from our Trainees

05/07/18
Posted by: Christopher Ruddick

We are sorry for our previously delayed instalment of week 5 and week 6 effectively being in the same week. But, here we are as promised with the week 6 instalment on time.

This time the TDM Academy will be having another “drop in” from our trainee consultants as they cross the half way mark of their TDM Academy.

So without further delay below is the honest and open thoughts from our TDM trainees.

As much as I hate the cliché, these past 6 weeks have really felt like a rollercoaster. There’s been ups, there’s been downs, there’s been fear and excitement. And, of course I’m so glad that I’ve got through it. The weeks have gone so quickly, it feels like yesterday I was a bright-eyed newbie trying to become a sponge and today I’m here, 6 weeks in, now on the Sales team and getting used to the day to day of my role. Putting up job ads, calling and emailing candidates, connecting and messaging on LinkedIn, as well as formatting CVs, have all become part of my daily routine. Some of the tasks I find harder than others, but everyday I’m finding confidence in things that I found daunting a few weeks ago.  

Looking back, joining TDM with 3 other trainees was the best way to start the training process. With Louise overseeing our training for those first 4 weeks, we learned and progressed together, even sitting separate from the rest of the office on our own bank of desks. Although we were doing the same tasks, it was easy to find our own individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as our own slight variations of doing things. I know that how I speak on the phone to candidates is completely different from the other trainees, and that is absolutely ok. It has taken me time to feel comfortable speaking on the phone with candidates, especially with the number of calls we make, but I think I’m finding my own way and it is paying off. As well as these differences, we were also able to find our own preferences of which team we each wanted to be a part of. We spent time shadowing and working with each team during these weeks, exploring their differences and the type of candidates each team works with. On the surface, recruitment seems so similar for each team, but once I started doing tasks for different teams, I realised that that could not be further from the truth. The style of recruitment varies for each team, as well as how you speak with them on the phone. The pace of recruitment also differs within different areas of the industry and having spent time with each time, that now completely makes sense.

Having a say in which team we would join was huge for me to say the least. From that first week I think I knew I wanted to be part of the Sales and Marketing team. It just all seemed to click with me, and I could tell how fast paced it was and that I liked speaking with this type of candidate. This feeling was definitely reinforced once I started doing tasks on the other teams. There was even one team that made me feel so overwhelmed in week 3, that I really questioned if I was cut out for recruitment. I had to take a step back and really look at why this was making me feel so overwhelmed. I was open about this though and had a candid chat with my mentor that helped me in so many ways. That chat led to a meeting where it was decided to put me officially as a part of the Sales and Marketing team and I felt a big weight lift off of my shoulders. I don’t think I could have been that honest in my old job, and it opened my eyes to the type of company TDM is.

My biggest achievement so far has been getting my first interview. That was definitely one of the highest points on this rollercoaster, and I went home feeling like I can really do this. Now looking back at week 3 when I felt so overwhelmed, I am so relieved that I didn’t give up. Perseverance really is key with recruitment and I’m learning that you can’t take anything for granted but hard work and not being deterred does pay off. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time, I’ll suddenly get an email or LinkedIn message that turns my day around. Even this Friday, I felt like I was going nowhere and then poof, I had 2 candidates wanting call backs and 1 sending me over a CV. It’s these little highs that keep me going, and while they don’t all lead to an interview, it gives me that oomph I need to just keep going.

Last week, we had one to one meetings to evaluate our own style of learning and to see what our individual way of developing as a recruiter would be, for the months, and even years, ahead. You cannot fault the precision taken to help us grow within the company and this care about progression is so refreshing to me. I am really looking forward to seeing the results and having a plan in place to help me become a fully-fledged recruiter.  

Honestly, this week has probably been the best week so far for me. I’m finally starting to feel comfortable with the day to day and feel like I’m really settling in to my desk on the sales team. And, as it turns out, I am still trying to be a sponge and I don’t think that will ever stop. I’m learning so much every day and constantly realising things about the recruitment process I want to know more about. I know I have come so far since that first week in the Academy, and I can’t wait to see how I progress in another 6 weeks. 

 Serena Trebilco

When I was asked to write about my first six weeks with the company my initial reaction was, “Six weeks?!” The past month and a half has shot by so quickly this is the first time I’ve actually stopped to think about everything that has gone on so far.

Now that we have split from our training pod and joined our teams it’s all about putting our heads down and really getting to grips with our candidates, the industry and all the little differences that turn new recruiters into great recruiters. In the training pod it was sometimes difficult to see how all the theoretical knowledge might gel together, but every day at the desk a new challenge comes up that we can deal with because of the training we received. The continued learning now is less formal and more case dependent, little anecdotes and tips being passed over wherever needed. Learning through osmosis.

Of course, there is the chance to really mess up, get it all wrong crawl into a corner, ball up and cry; luckily this hasn’t happened yet and frankly it is a a very outside chance as everyone helps. Ask anyone in the office and they remember a time when they we sat at their desk staring at a screen full of names and numbers not wanting to call; everyone has one of these stories and they are pretty open about them, it’s a great reassurance to know that the people around you have been through the same highs and lows.  

Aside from the support and training the office is always busy, it’s never quiet and everyday someone will nonchalantly announce yet another placement made. It is a real boost to be part of a team that celebrates the highs but doesn’t take them for granted, we all know that you’re only as good as your last deal and sometimes they can be too far apart. When I secured an interview and subsequent offer for one of my candidates I was glad to see there wasn’t a bell to ring or big board to write it up on; too many offices focus on the wins and forget that we learn from the mistakes. The reward I got for my success was a chorus of “well done” from my team while I was being shown how to complete the next stages.

This week sees a slight change in the way we operate as we take on more and more responsibilities and start to learn the intricacies of the recruitment process. Working closely with out mentors we are looking at the key areas that we will be operating in and what expectations both our clients and candidates have of us. Once we have a good understanding of what is needed there should be no stopping us as we take on the real challenge of recruitment.

I can’t speak for the other Trainees but the support I have received from my team in the past week has shown me that there are lots of different ways to succeed in recruitment, but the best way is to put in the effort. As long as we are making calls, listening to the advice and continuing to grow our knowledge base, TDM will continue to make sure that we have the opportunity to thrive.

Rob Francis

Four weeks on from my last blog, and I’m already saying the word ‘fuck’ more than what I usually would. All for a good reason though, I’m getting to a stage at TDM where I’m becoming more and more passionate about the job as well as the candidates. I’ve joined the Commercial team, it was originally Design and technical, but I wasn’t really enjoying it so much, or getting the kind of results I was aiming for. I thought I had good patience, but to do Design and Technical, you need to have the patience of a Sloth, hats off to the guys who don’t mind that!

I’ve learned more about the job these past six weeks too, such as how to format a CV, certain things to say to people to get the call to go your way, and importantly there’s a lot of rejection involved in recruitment.

It can be very up and down, I had a blinding week last week, getting in four CV’s, one resulting in an interview. I went home feeling amazing about myself. However, this week I haven’t managed to get through a single CV, but it hasn’t deterred me at all, it’s only made me feel more determined to carry on. I find I get through the work fairly quickly so I’m constantly having to go back and ask for more.

This week we moved over onto the desks of our respective teams. Everyone seems okay, apart from the fact the air con makes it feel like it’s Antarctica, but that’s fine. Matt has been a massive help. He gives me the work to do and also encourages me along the way. I have learnt about myself that I can be a bit of a push over on the phone, especially if somebody tells me straight away that they’re not interested, before I’ve even had the chance to tell them what I was calling for. I need to work on trying to push the conversation forward a bit more without it being classed as harassment.

Overall, my six weeks of being at TDM have been really good for settling in to my proper team and learning different aspects about myself. I hope to progress even further and become even more successful in the next six weeks of my training.

Megan Smith

The first few weeks now seem so far away, time really fly’s away here. I feel I have had some high points in the time I’ve been here, but equally some low moments. I guess the peaks and pits come with learning.

I know I have a lot of learning to do and its exciting, I cannot wait for time to come in TDM. It still hasn’t sunken in that this is my job and I am so grateful for all the training and support given to help us settle in.

Now we are sitting in our own teams I feel I will learn more although, the office is defiantly colder over here. I am excited for the Academy part 2 to continue learning skills and techniques to become a 360 recruiter. I have learnt in the past 6 weeks that to be a recruiter you do need tenacity and determination because is not as easy as everyone at TDM makes it look.

Amy Williams