So here we have it. Our May TDM Talent Academy has come to a conclusion, and the overriding outcome is that it has been an amazing success. We started out in May with four new, fresh faced trainees and 12 weeks later, all four have passed their probation periods and are now settled, fully-fledged (and weathered!) members of the TDM team. Thinking back to that first week, it seems a mean feat to have achieved, however each trainee that came into the business had something special about them first off, hence becoming part of the business.
The thing with the Academy is that it builds people from no experience to full functioning consultants, hence allowing us to choose people to enter the Academy based upon their attributes, skillsets, effort and the interest they display on what we have on offer, as opposed to the knowledge they already possess, because even if they have some recruitment experience, we strip them right back to work in the ‘TDM way’.
The TDM Talent Academy for trainees is exactly what the future of TDM is about and based around. This is where we grow our own and promote from. It is with immense pride that I can say that 75% of the TDM team have started as trainees or junior Consultants, and a number of the Team Leaders and management team have risen from trainee Consultants to Principal or Associate Director roles. We are on track to consistently grow over the coming 18 months and have an exciting growth plan in place which can only make TDM better and better as a place to be employed. We want our consultants to be excited to come in every day and fundamentally believe in what, and how, we do things – the only way we can do this is to continue how we are with the success of the Academy and have the buy in from trainees from the start.
To see the transformation in the four trainees in the Academy has been amazing, truly transformational in many senses, and from where they started to where they are now has been quite a journey. They are all now high performing members of the business and have contributed so far to six successful placements over the 12 week period, so the proof is in the pudding that they are adding immediate value and providing candidates and clients alike with brilliant service and care.
The Academy has been working across the entirety of functions across the business and has been a driving factor in the core activities of candidate generation, including market mapping, head hunting, LinkedIn searching and presenting candidate CVs to clients. They are well on their way to being full, rounded recruitment consultants with exposure to a variety of situations and incidences. They are capable of standing on their own two feet without extensive handholding and daily support, instead focusing more on the personnel support that is available to them as the learn the intricacies and stresses of recruitment.
One aspect that has been particularly great to watch develop over the previous weeks has been all of the senior team wanting to help out and get the trainees up and running. Recruitment can be a lonely and self-consuming, self-absorbed role as you tirelessly tread water to the end path to complete your goals, but the team at TDM have gone out of their way to assist and pass on their infinite wisdom. Consultants within the business have become less selfish with their time and are willing to help others out; they want to train up the next generation and see them reap the rewards because they know that long-term it benefits the business, and them too. There have been characters within the business who have shone through, who we had no idea had such great management potential until now and it really has been a transformative tool. So many things have come out of the academy as a by-product, both directly and indirectly, and as we begin to roll these new approaches out, things will change and improve as a whole. The ‘Academy’ concept as a whole is no longer reserved for trainees, but is now a useful training tool in which different levels of the business can access to enhance their skillset and receive training; there are things we have set up which we are excited to see develop over the coming months.
I for one can’t wait to see the development of the four trainees over the next six months, as they decide where they want to take their careers and flourish beyond recognition of those first four, nervous at times, individuals who we first met over sixteen weeks ago at their assessment centres.
As we approach the end of the summer period, and move into the next quarter, we are starting our next Academy. September will bring a new flock of fresh faces into the business, and it will be interesting to see how the current ‘trainees’ (as they will no longer be known shortly!) interact, immerse with and teach the incomers; after all they have a new wealth of knowledge now that they can impart! Having been the most recent people in the shoes of the trainees they will have a different understanding to what we have, and will be able to input to the management team here the kinds of improvements we can make to the academy to ensure it is just as much of a success as the current academy.
The ultimate well done has to go to those in the academy; they worked hard, even when the going got tough, and proved themselves – to both the team and to themselves as individually – that they are hard-working, tenacious and dedicated.