“When I finished sixth form, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go to University or straight into work so whilst I was deciding I took on some bar work. I really enjoyed working in a bar but kept finding myself interested in what was going on in the kitchen. At the time I didn’t have any particular ambitions or plans so I started to look into what it would be like working in a kitchen. I watched Gordon Ramsay shows and researched the classic route of cooking with Marco Pierre White. I decided I would go for it and found a full-time apprenticeship to be a Trainee Chef in Sevenoaks.
Towards the end of my apprenticeship, I started to think about what I would do next and began talking to people in Michelin Star restaurants in London. I was lucky enough to get a trial shift at Chez Bruce, previously owned by Marco Pierre White, this involved a 4am start and the potential of a 60+ hour week if I was successful. At the time I was living in Hildenborough and the commute into London was tricky so, when I was fortunate enough to be offered the position, I decided I would move to London for the job. I wanted to finance this on my own and not turn to my parents for help, but London prices were just too much. It was getting closer and closer to the start date, and I started thinking to myself whether the move to London was right for me but also whether I wanted to commit to working anti-social and extremely long hours for the rest of my career. I worried I would miss out on a normal social life and I decided it was not the right opportunity for me. I was 20 years old and needed to work out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I knew I wanted to work hard and do the best for myself but had no idea what that looked like.
Around this time, a friend of mine got a new job through Helen who works for the TN Recruits Group, he suggested I give her a call to help me get some direction on my next step. I was booked in for an interview with Helen to discuss roles she was working on, but on the morning of she was unable to attend so said I should still come in and would be meeting a colleague of hers. I went in for my interview and met with Neil Simmons, the MD. He was smiley and welcoming, we had a long interview in which we discussed my skills, my experience and what mattered to me moving forward in my career. Neil always buys into the person behind the CV and the transferrable skills, so we were able to discuss the customer service and other transferrable skills from my kitchen and front of house experience. Neil asked me if I knew anything about working in an office or recruitment, which I didn’t, so he explained what a career in recruitment could be like. I was excited about the opportunity to be paid a basic salary plus commission based on working hard and being successful in the role – it sounded too good to be true after being so used to working extremely hard for no extra reward. Neil took me on as a temporary member of staff for two weeks, I loved it and was offered the chance to join the TN Recruits Group as a permanent member of staff, supporting the team as a Recruitment Resourcer.
So, January 2020 it all started, and it got moving very quickly, I was resourcing various roles for different members of the team and learning the recruitment process from the ground up and I was hungry to learn more and take on more responsibility.
TN Recruits had historically only really worked on office-based roles so when Neil took on a vacancy for a Car Technician, he thought we would give it a go and he asked me to resource candidates for this position. I was able to fill this role successfully and very quickly despite the client trying to find staff off their own back for several months prior to engaging with TN Recruits. I enjoyed the process, so we thought we would try working on similar positions to see how we got on. Throughout the pandemic it was the hardest time in the role as I was doing a hybrid of resourcing for the team and starting to build up contacts and knowledge of the Automotive sector. I was set up working from an office shed in my parents’ garden and was on the phone all day calling potential clients and ensuring I was becoming an expert in the field. This hard work has since paid off.
I was working on a number of Automotive vacancies which were all Vehicle Technicians and Neil pitched to me the idea of TN Recruits Automotive, I was so excited and thought it was a brilliant opportunity. From there we have developed some exceptional relationships with Automotive clients across the UK and have worked on vacancies such as Service Managers, Service Directors, Dealer Principals, Service Advisors, MOT Testers and of course Vehicle Technicians. It is exciting to work on such a variety of vacancies as I get to speak to a diverse range of clients and no two days are the same. We are now in a strong position to be able to provide a consultative service to candidates within the automotive sector and can tailor their job search to suit their career aspirations. We have also built a strong database of Automotive candidates which enables us to find the right people for our clients.
I am currently working on around twenty-five live vacancies which is a lot of work but is extremely rewarding to be getting these roles on as a direct result of the hours and hours of calling out to clients when I was working in the garden shed.
I am proud to say I feel well established as part of the TN Recruits Group now and I find the job extremely rewarding when you really know your clients, understand what they want and can work hard to find suitable candidates to help them grow their businesses.
In my previous jobs I was physically drained which I was used to, but this role obviously involves a lot more work on the mental side of things rather than the physical which was a big change, but I work in a relaxed and organised manner which works very well for me. I am proud to have been a huge part of building TN Recruits Automotive and am excited to see where we can take it in the future”
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TN Recruits Automotive is our specialist division offering recruitment to the automotive industry, both locally in and around the TN postcode and to national chains across the UK.
Our dedicated team cover both temporary and permanent positions within this sector, recruiting for a full range of roles from car technicians, vehicle technicians and auto-electricians to office support staff such as accounts, customer service and admin.
Our clients include some of the leading national car dealerships and online sellers throughout the UK. With our focus on personal ser