Life in recruitment: Competition and sports

Rhian Denton

Divisional manager in London

Rhian shares her experiences in working for Robert Half and how her background in sports has benefited her recruitment career. Explore what she found challenging, what she enjoys in her role and what advice she has for anyone considering a career in recruitment.

What led you to this job? What were you doing before you came here?  

Prior to joining Robert Half, I worked as a PE Teacher in a GDST School in Bath. After graduating from Bath University with a Sport and Social Science degree I thought that being a teacher would be the best career for me as I have a passion for developing and inspiring people. However, after a year I didn’t feel it was the right kind of challenge for in my long term career and I couldn’t see a future in Teaching. Deciding to look elsewhere I started to explore other roles in the sport industry, one being a Sport Recruiter. Knowing my brothers best mate Ian Powel worked for Robert Half in London, I sent him my CV and asked if that was the sort of profile they would consider. Ten minutes later I had a call from Sharif Omar (Ian’s manager – now mine!) to ask whether I would look into recruitment. At the time I didn’t know enough about recruitment, only the bad ones I dealt who would call me after graduating to see if I would take on a role. I took time to reflect and in speaking with my friends and family, they all told me I would be great at it. I even reached out to my cousin who worked for Robert Half for 8 years to get some inside knowledge and I decided that Robert Half as a company and recruitment was something I wanted to explore further. Not long after I contacted Sharif, I had two interviews and I was very pleased to accept a role to start in permanent recruitment for London West.  

What training and support did you find the most helpful?

I remember my first day like it was yesterday! I was a sponge, training started at my desk by the hour, and it still does to this day. I sat next to my line manager and I felt fully supported from day one. At the beginning it was great to go on two day course with other new starters to learn more about Robert Half, the candidate and client processes, and live time training. What I have loved about the support here is that everyone started where you are, so they are very open to answering questions and sharing their experiences. The constant support and development from my manager through role plays and on desk training is so valuable, and still applies to me today! 

What was the biggest surprise about working in recruitment?

There were two big surprises for me, one being how rewarding this job can be. Working with people and helping develop their career is very reward, I know it is cliché but you are changing lives! In addition to this reward of job satisfaction, although it is very hard at the start and sometimes you feel like you’re not seeing a financial reward from your effort, however after six months of hard work; wow it’s a game changer! It surprised me how rewarding this was.
Secondly was dealing with people and dealing with candidates or clients who don’t share the same values as myself. People shock me in how they go about their actions sometimes but I have learnt a lot and become more resilient and not to take this to heart.

What was your happiest moment at work and why?

This is a hard one as there have been so many that stand out, from making my first ever deal and banging the gong for the first time to walking up on stage at the Grosvenor Awards night to receive an award. Along the way, passing probation, hitting car allowance, being promoted to Senior Consultant and more recently to Division Manager have all been happy times in my career. If I had to choose one stand out it would have to be Winning Top 10 UK Biller at the Grosvenor Awards, as it was such a great event to be there with the top performers of Robert Half. It made me feel so proud of what I have achieved and inspired me to continue to get up there with the top performers and be part of a company who value their staff. 

What is one piece of advice you would give yourself if you could re-do your first three months at Robert Half?

Back yourself, ask questions and just get after it. Everyone doubts their ability at the start but the more you do, the more you learn. The more phone calls, meetings and candidate registrations you do the more you get out, never give up and never be afraid to pick up the phone! 

Interested in finding out more about working for Robert Half? Send your questions through to our internal recruitment team today.