We recently sat down with Lucy Earnshaw, Executive Principal Consultant, to learn about her career path with Specialist Staffing Group (the US division of SThree plc).
When did you join?
I joined the company back in 2011 in the UK, as a specialist recruiter within the Oil & Gas market. In 2015, one of Specialist Staffing Group’s brands, Progressive, began to build out a new team in the Houston office to break into the Power market. Around that time, I heard our Global CEO, Gary Elden speaking about the massive opportunity and scale of the market in the US. I knew it was a prospect that I wanted to investigate further. The UK management team were extremely supportive of my ambition and shortly thereafter I found myself in Texas!
What are you most passionate about in your job?
Last year the company rolled out an update to our operating principles. The principle that really resonates with me is “Care then Act.” It nicely sums up what I do each day. It is my job to build relationships with candidates and clients by listening. I get to the root of their need and then figure out how to problem solve. I genuinely care about our customers and get a strong sense of satisfaction from helping them.
What support has Specialist Staffing Group given you in your career progression?
In addition to our strong training program, I have had some amazing managers that have helped me grow and develop. My Director, Stefan Hirniak brings so much energy to the team and is a wonderful source of support on a daily basis. Also, Rick Meese, who is the Senior Director our department provides constant inspiration and guidance. He has been remarkably successful in his career as a recruiter, and is always willing to share his best practices with others.
After a successful first year in Houston, I suffered a bit of a setback. I was primarily working with one large client and due to market changes they stopped hiring. I was determined to get my business back on track, and the guidance of my leadership team helped me refocus and find my footing again. By the end of 2017, I was named our company’s #3 contract recruiter in the US. The support I received from my managers has been instrumental in my achievements.
Do you have any favorite stories about your time working here?
One of my most reaffirming experiences of my career was when I placed a candidate that had immigrated to the US a few years earlier with his family. When he arrived here, he was working a security job at a big box store while going back to college and learning English. Upon finishing school, he wanted to break into the Utility industry and I was able to get him his first role in that space. It was truly life changing for him and his family. It put him on the career path that he truly wanted and helped his family gain financial security. They were so thankful; it was truly a touching moment for me. I still keep in touch with the family and they are thriving, living their own “American Dream.” The experience taught me that my work truly does have purpose and can impact people’s lives.
What advice would you give someone considering a career in recruitment?
I would recommend that they ask themselves if they are willing to invest their time and energy. A career in recruitment, comes with wonderful rewards personally and professionally for those that are willing to work hard and learn the business, but in order to get there it does take a significant level of commitment.
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