At Home With Quest: Part 6 July 2018

Beginning his recruitment career in Quest as a Junior Consultant, Larry advanced through the business and is now Managing Partner, responsible for the day to day operations of Quest. First and foremost a Consultant, Larry specialises in recruiting for Fund Administration Professionals across every department from Global C Suite right through to more junior positions, carrying in depth market knowledge into every conversation and meeting.

 

  1. How did a career in recruitment catch your attention?

 

Recruitment is a marriage of many things that I’ve enjoyed in various roles throughout my career – working closely with people, nurturing relationships, developing solutions to problems, and working alongside like-minded people who are enthusiastic and driven. It really appealed to my entrepreneurial spirit as when you start in recruitment it really is like running your own small business.

 

As with many of my peers in the industry, I just “fell into it”. There isn’t really a mapped out career path from college into recruitment however this has been changing, thanks in a large part to the good people of the National Recruitment Federation. Through years of hard work, partnered with the National College of Ireland, they have created a new two year program named “Practitioner in Recruitment Practice” which is slated for commencement in September 2018.

 

 

  1. What is a typical day like for you at Quest?

 

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a morning person. That’s not to say I’m grumpy, I’m just not that talkative! If we take a Monday morning, I aim to get into the office by around 8.15am and have my breakfast at my desk. I first like to check for any priority emails that may have come in overnight and see if there is anything I need to add to my plan for the day. At 9.30am the team have our weekly “job meet” where Account Managers discuss the current vacancies with their clients and it provides an opportunity for everyone to refocus on what is important for our clients’ for that week.

At 10.30am I am in management meetings for about two hours where we discuss everything ongoing that is important to the business – thankfully, we try to keep this to once per week!

After this, I’ll have my weekly one to ones with the wider team where we chat about the week prior. What worked well? What didn’t? Why? What we can do about it? What are our goals for the week ahead?

Then it’s time for a quick lunch and to get more time on the phone to clients, job seekers and any vendors we use. As helpful as emails are, it’s next to impossible to develop any sort of meaningful relationships with anyone without speaking to them and meeting them as much as reasonably possible.

Around 6.30pm I will always plan the following day. It is important that when I sit down at my desk that I’m ready to hit the ground running. It pays to be organised.

 

  1. What is the best part of your working day at Quest?

 

Without hesitation, the best part of my day is when I spend it on the phone or out meeting candidates and clients. There is something special about gaining some insight from a client about an exciting upcoming position, and simply talking to candidates about it. Finding something that really matches the desires of a candidate is a marvellous feeling. Recruitment needs to be more transformational, not so transactional. As recruiters we have a duty of care to our candidates who are literally making a life altering decision and when people are happy, it makes me happy too.

 

  1. Tell us an unusual fact about yourself that not many people know.

I play American Pool as much as I can. I started playing it a few years ago as a way to spend some time with my Dad and just fell in love with the game. I joined a competitive league along with my Dad and later my younger brother so it became a family affair. For Christmas, I surprised them with a trip to Prague where the pool facilities are much better and we played for about 12 hours a day! Not exactly a trip with rich cultural experience, but it was bliss!

 

  1. What is your advice to candidates who are seeking a new position?

 

There is always an element of risk in changing your career and finding a new position. It raises so many questions. What if the role is not going to be what I think it is? What will it be like integrating into a new team? How will I manage a team of people I’ve never met? It’s ok to be selective, to take your time. Try to be open minded. Find a knowledgeable recruiter you trust who will give you an honest account of the job market, the good the bad and the ugly client base, and who is willing to give you transparent feedback on where you can benchmark yourself versus your peers in terms of responsibility and remuneration.

The bottom line is, the reward needs to outweigh the risk. Once you feel that’s the case, perhaps it’s time to take a leap of faith.

Connect with Larry on LinkedIn today or contact him via e-mail: lmccowen@questrecruitment.ie