Five minutes with…
How did you get started in the recruitment industry?
I fell into recruitment by chance as I only went into register with an agency in Felixstowe after being made redundant from my first job in a ‘telesales’ role. At that time, the agency was called Sheldrake & Kersley – I was invited for an interview which I thought was just to be put on the register – but I was interviewed and was offered a job there and then to work with them as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant. During this time, the company re-branded to Sheldrake Recruitment, and I worked my way up to be the Branch Manager and stayed with them for 22 years, before moving on to set up my own agency A&S Recruitment.
Currently, what is your biggest business challenge?
The biggest business challenge now is sourcing good candidates. This is across all levels of the shipping/logistics, warehousing and driving industry in the area.
During the last year with Brexit and COVID, has there been a decline in vacancies?
The market slowed down only very briefly at the beginning of Lockdown but soon picked up as goods still needed to be distributed and transported and so on the warehousing and driving side, it was hectic. Less so for the office-based recruitment opportunities experiencing the uncertainty of Brexit.
All this changed when we came out of the EU in December, now the job market is very buoyant, and there are far more vacancies available than candidates to fill them.
How has A&s recruitment changed in the last five years?
Strategically we have always been forward-thinking to meet the invariable peaks and troughs. Our working systems and processes are streamlined, efficient and regularly updated, ensuring that we offer a quick and smooth response to any changes and challenges. Over the years, we have diversified to cover shipping/commercial placements, coupled with a strong presence in the warehousing and driving sectors. We are the only Agency in the area specialising in the Shipping/Logistics/Driving Industry.
Finally, what advice would you give to your younger self?
I am a great believer in life that you do not look back – only forward. The only advice I may give to my younger self is to have had the courage to set up my own business sooner than I did! I am so grateful that I fell into the recruitment business as after more than 35 years (I started when I was 12!!) I still absolutely love my job – to me, work is a pleasure and never a chore.