Meet The Team: Introducing Adam Michaelson
In the first in a new series of ‘meet the team’, we introduce you to our friendly team at Charles McKenzie Associate’s headquarters. Each month we’ll ask different members of staff the same questions to find out a little bit more about who we really are and what we’re about.
We start with Adam Michelson, Team Manager.
- How did the idea for Charles McKenzie Associates first sow its seed? What was happening in your life at that time?
Previous to Charles McKenzie Associates I worked for a recruitment company for six years. Whilst it was a great place to work, the diverse nature of its recruitment area for me lacked focus. As we tell our clients to stay focussed, I wanted to do the same, and not only specialise in finance, but also offer that bespoke tailored service.
- How did you get your first clients and candidates?
We took a leap of faith and luckily for us, successfully gained clients and candidates through a mix of networking, advertising, website and job boards – all the ways we still look for clients and candidates today!Luckily for us, those first we worked with have stayed on to develop long and mutually beneficial relationships. But we always remember how important the networking element is, as today it’s all too easy to just rely on the internet and hope for the best, and it’s simply not enough for our industry (or any from a personal belief.)3. What were your first hurdles in business?
In the early days it was finding premises without our budget to settle. And the second issue was finding talented sales individuals we could work with, who had the right personality for account management.
4. Your highest moment?
Year 2007, four years into the business, we had over 12 staff and turnover hit one million. There was a fantastic energy for a company so young, and it was down to spending the initial time to work with the right personalities and build on a successful team, with the right clients and candidates we were lucky to be associated.
5. Your lowest moment?
Just a year later was probably our lowest moment, when the recession hit and it was a really tough period in recruitment. We had to make several redundancies, which is something I will never get over. I do feel really humble that the company stuck through this period and survived, with all the conditions now set for a full recovery.
6. You biggest lesson learnt?
This low period during the recession was a massive lesson for me, and making redundancies is something I never want to have to experience again. We therefore chose to work as a smaller team (and cave in to longer working hours!) to keep Charles McKenzie Associates smaller in personnel than perhaps it could be.
7. What is your main work strength?
Main strengths are people based, which is crucial in the industry – too many hide behind email and the internet. For me, human interaction, human-to-human marketing and networking will always be critical to success and something I am passionate about maintaining.
8. What are the main changes you have seen? What do you think to these – for better / worse?
The biggest change I have seen in my career is the use of the internet, social media and the way we find candidates. When I started we found candidates from referrals, recommendations, having high street offices and by using local media to advertise jobs.
With modern technology and the ease of transmitting information electronically, the business is now fast paced. Whilst we can reach a larger number of people quickly, the ability to receive digital details has taken away the opportunity to just book in an interview or a temporary candidate based on mutual trust.
It’s perhaps shifted the balance on client relationship building, hence why there is a need to keep going with personal networking.
9. How have skills sets changed over the years – what are the biggest transitions you have seen?
The biggest transitions again have been around technology, and the different job roles that have disappeared and been created as a response. Social Media has changed, no revolutionised, the way we communicate and recruit, the world has expanded through the wires around us.
It really is 24 / 7 / 365 to be constantly seen and heard, and we have to reflect this in our daily activity. It’s why we invested significantly in our website to ensure it’s mobile responsive and adopted social media to ensure we can always be found.
10. What is your vision for the next five years for Charles McKenzie Associates?
To learn from the past and look forward – to continue with the team to strengthen our clients case within the most desirable in London and be known for delivering excellent recruitment services. I also want clients to continue to feel they can rely on us to deliver all their financial recruitment needs.
Ultimately, my main ambition with Charles McKenzie Associates is to be known in London for being a cost effective but high end financial recruitment company, small enough to care and large enough to cope.
11. From your own experience, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a business in 2015?
Again, it’s like we offer advice to our candidates when job searching – the key to success is patience, to take your time and grow steadily into a job, and established into a career. At CV and interview stage, we make sure they do their research into a company so are fully prepared, the same is true for business, to have the groundwork in place to be confident in your pursuits.
No one has a crystal ball and although we can work with market conditions and predictions, it’s best to build a business slowly but surely, one step at a time.
12. Tell us something no one knows about you
I started working when I was 12 years old at the weekends as a market trader, even so early on in my life it gave me great insight and grounding for a successful career in sales and working with people!