Alexandra Vonthron is reaching 7 months in her career with Montash. She has flown through her probation period, has already been promoted to an SAP Consultant and is growing from strength to strength as part of the Montash team. What makes Alexandra’s story so interesting, is that she came over from France to pursue this role. We asked her to share some of her experiences so far, the cultural differences she has noticed and what advice she would give to others who are considering a career in recruitment. What made you choose a career in recruitment? And why the UK? My boyfriend has been working in recruitment for a long time and was convinced I would be great at the role because he’d seen how I did in the world of events sales and service. He kept telling me recruitment is the same - it’s about people. It’s just as fulfilling both financially and what it does for the people you serve. The move to London made sense, as I was keen to try something new and working in London has always been part of the plan. So far so good! What are the main cultural differences you have identified? I’ve definitely noticed quite a difference in management styles. Management styles seem much more one to one and personalised in the UK. In France, relationships between bosses and employees are a lot more formal. Also, in the UK it seems to be a more driven and competitive environment at work. In general, I have found the British to be ‘on the ball’. They are very driven and start their career at a young age with lots of focus. What do you enjoy most about your role? One of the things I love the most about recruitment is that the environment is so friendly. I work with a team and they’re all so friendly - we have good banter, yet it’s always respectful. My managers are supportive and very encouraging. It’s so refreshing to come to work when it’s about so much more than just paying the bills. I love the rush you get when you’re about to secure a role and actually let the candidate know that they got the job - it can be very addictive! As soon as I have found the perfect fit for a client, I am searching for the next one and always thinking of new ways to get to ensure that I am supporting my clients and candidates after that. It keeps it exciting and interesting every day. Moreover, I really like the incentives such as the Director’s Top Table and the trips abroad. It makes you work harder and want to go for all of the awards! What advice would you give to someone moving to the UK to become a recruiter? My advice would be to make sure you are willing to give it a go. To be honest, my first few weeks were not easy at all, but I was persistent. By the fourth, I had understood what I am doing. So, give it time. On a personal note, ensure you have planned it well so that you don’t have your personal circumstances making it difficult for you - learning and settling into the job should be the priority. Are you interested in becoming a recruiter? Find out more about what it’s like to work in Team Montash here.
International Women’s Day 2019 marks the celebration of women all across the globe. This year’s campaign theme is #balanceforbetter - ‘A balanced world is a better world.’ As we see the day bursting with social campaigns, activities and events, we take a look at the importance of women in the world of tech. There is no doubt that there is still a vast gender gap in the tech industry. According to a study by PwC, only 15% of employees working in STEM roles in the UK are female. So, why is there such a lack of women in the tech industry? Children's rights activist Marian Wright Edleman, makes a great insight: ‘You can’t be what you can’t see.’ When girls and women face such male dominated industries, they can be completely dissuaded from considering a career in that space. But women have made such a huge impact in tech and computer programming from the very beginning - women whose stories have been hidden in the background until more recent years (read our previous article on the history of women in tech). The good news is that we are starting to see a big change in recent years. There has been a surge of activity around encouraging women to enter tech roles. Around the UK and beyond, organisations such as #techmums, Girls Who Code and DevelopHer UK are equipping women with the digital skills, confidence and the opportunities to break into the space. The reason behind the efforts are broad, but the reality is that diverse teams perform better. “Individuals from different genders, races, backgrounds and experiences bring different perspectives that can lead to innovative solutions,” says the World Economic Forum. We spoke Suzanne Holtham (SQL Developer at Shawbrook Bank), about her experience working as a woman in the world of tech and recruitment. What have you noticed about women in tech during your years of work? “Over time, I’ve seen women progress into senior management roles and most recently seen women at the board level as IT directors in a company I have worked at. However, I’ve always had positive female role models in IT such as Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of lastminte.com in the early 2000s during the dot com boom. What has increased over time is the variety of different roles available as tech has evolved and specialisation has followed. I’ve chosen to pursue specialisation rather than progression to management and have found this rewarding to be recognised as an expert in my field.” Why did you choose this career path? “My father was an IT consultant and bought me a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128K one Christmas as a child. He had me typing in programs from the manual on Christmas day. My best friend also received the same and, together, we used to write games in Basic. The girls’ school I attended did not offer IT subjects at A-level at the time. Being good at science subjects, I very nearly went into engineering, but at the last minute I decided to follow my heart and pursued a career in what I enjoyed in my spare time. I went on to study Computer Science at Brunel University which included industrial placements, and made the transition to a full time career in IT as a natural progression.” What advice you would give your younger self? “Don’t be disheartened if certain opportunities don’t work out, when this has happened to me the new path has led to something even better working out in the long run.” Nandip Aulak is the Head of Marketing at Montash and is a strong advocate for women’s equality. We asked her to share her thoughts: “Do we need to see a rise in the number of women in tech? Yes of course we do, and that is across all industries. It is such a big issue with less than 7% of tech positions in Europe filled by women. We are aware that we play a part in delivering a pipeline of both men and women for the roles we work for. The advice we give to our clients is to consciously create that job description so that it targets both men and women. Sounds simple but it is a key part of the process. I have worked in marketing and tech for 15 years and the advice I would give to women joining the world of work is not to be afraid to ask questions. Work on stretch projects and upskill where you can, as tech is an ever-changing industry. Also, mentors are important. My mentors are a mix of men and women, who are all equally important to me, and they help me grow as an individual. Most importantly, don’t imitate the men around you to fit in. Be you, show your feminine side - empathy and nurturing are key skills that are imperative in any organisation.” So, the tech gender gap may be far wider than it should be but we are definitely moving in the right direction. We know that a more diverse workforce makes for an exciting future, and the women in the Montash team will continue to champion working in the industry and encourage others to join them in the space.
The Montash AGM is a day designed to inform, motivate and support Montash employees. Most importantly, it should display how, for us - it really is all about the people. Recruitment is a pressured environment; our consultants are working hard every minute, helping tech professionals to find the perfect job or candidate to join their business. So, it’s important that our employees feel happy in and outside work - that they are able to couple work goals with life goals. We wanted our AGM to reflect that and to ensure that the content of the day was relevant to everyone in the room. The best way to do that is to keep it real. On the 24th floor of the Shard, we launched into our theme of ‘Discover You’, focusing on three areas: identify your weaknesses, discover your potential and realise your ambition. Members of the team stood up to share their Montash experiences and alongside these were discussions around the company direction, plans and strategy - looking at how our everyday work fits into the bigger picture. Image: Managing Director, Roy Dungworth, presenting to the Montash Team DISCOVER YOUR WEAKNESSES Encouraging our employees to be open, honest, and to look at where they can grow is embedded in the Montash culture. Business Manager, Mat Wale, shared how he turned his weaknesses into strengths through his top tips; believe in yourself, have solid processes in place and, in cases of opportunities vs threats - communication is key. Image: Mat Wale (Business Manager) covers 'Discover your Weaknesses' DISCOVER YOUR POTENTIAL Roy Dungworth, Managing Director, provided an insight into how discovering your potential can really change your career and lifestyle, and that supporting employees in discovering their potential is a key contributor to job satisfaction. “We want all of our people to enjoy their job and to be successful. It is incremental changes in what we do everyday that makes the difference,” explained Roy. “Every part of the process and strategy present opportunities to increase potential; every negotiation with a candidate and client, every time terms are agreed, every time you shortlist for a vacancy or visit a customer and every time you set up your day plan and look at what your KPIs are for the day. That’s the great thing about recruitment - you can improve potential for success in so many ways. It’s a state of mind and a choice you own 100%.” DISCOVER YOUR AMBITION Harry Glover, Principal Consultant, shared that his main ambition is to, ‘Enjoy life!’ Through learning from his mistakes, persevering, having a clear focus and following processes, he was able to rise to the recruitment challenges in the journey of his career at Montash. And it took him all around the globe, as he enjoys holidays abroad - one of his passions in life. Acknowledging that we all have bad days, Harry encouraged that if people stick with it and be patient, the results will follow along. “The AGM enabled staff to understand the business from top to bottom, offering an open appraisal that not only highlighted the many successes of the last year, but also, refreshingly, some of the challenges. For me it was an opportunity to take stock, align my ambitions and measure my own performance and development.” Roddy Coltart, Consultant Image: Harry Glover (Principal Consultant) on discovering ambitions and 'enjoying life' UNDERSTANDING YOUR 'WHY’ CEO, Andy Larholt, delved into the ‘finding your why?’ - exploring ‘why recruitment?’ and what motivates us all. “Understanding why - both yours and others’ - can be extremely powerful and can lead to success, happiness and fulfilment. It’s a skill I use to be a better recruiter, friend, husband, manager, leader and father, although I’m still developing and learning in all those areas.” Andy shared. “Hearing from the CEO during this event, on a personal level, was really inspirational. Andy spoke about his own recruitment career plus his aspirations and how they have changed over the years.” Sade Ibrahim, Consultant. AWARDS & DINNER Montash believe in rewarding the success stories of our employees, and we were able to present awards to several members of staff on the day. Stand-out members of the Montash team were thanked for going above and beyond for: top billing, meeting the brand promise (service, knowledge, relationships), management and more. Winners received certificates, awards and some were even awarded with a trip to Cancun in Mexico. The fun didn’t end at the Shard that day. We continued into the evening with a trip to The Ivy, where we enjoyed a chance to mix with colleagues, catch up on the day and enjoy dinner and drinks. All in all, a very successful day. Look out for plenty more to come from Montash this year. “Some of the key takeaways from the day involved the speeches from colleagues. Although you see these people daily, hearing them open up about their struggles and how they overcame them is always inspiring and eye-opening. Montash know how to finish big and this year’s dinner at The Ivy really was the cherry on top of an excellent day.” - Ben Cockin, SAP Consultant.
In just two weeks time, Montash are opening a new Microsoft Dynamics office based in the heart of Leeds. In this exciting time of expansion, we spoke to Roy Dungworth (Managing Director), Mark Sweeney (Practice Lead) and Rob Moore (Talent Manager) about the vision behind the new space and how this office - and the people within it - will drive the business forwards. “As a specialist tech recruitment brand, we already focus on very niche markets - InfoSec, SAP, Cloud and Software - across Europe.” says Roy Dungworth. “Moving into Microsoft Dynamics was a natural transition for Montash, as it aligns and compliments our current portfolio of specialist areas.” With the Microsoft Dynamics (MD) market accelerating at such a rapid rate, focusing on this specialism at the Leeds office will allow Montash to strengthen the offering to clients through placing candidates with a range of skills for transformation projects. And the reach goes beyond the UK, of course, given the pan-European partnerships that Montash have built across the world over the years. “We want to broaden our EU footprint. MD is a global application and fits perfectly into an ever-changing technological landscape.” With this exciting new venture in the pipeline, Montash were keen to recruit a leader with the knowledge, know-how, passion and cultural fit to drive the vision forwards. Bringing 20 years of experience in the world of IT recruitment, and with a track record for building top performing teams, Mark Sweeney joined Montash to launch and manage the Leeds office. We asked Mark what it was in particular that attracted him to this opportunity. “There are several reasons why I was drawn to the Practice Lead role at Montash. One of the main appeals of Montash is that it is such a dynamic and agile business - a place where decisions are made quickly; a company with the ability to turn ideas into reality,” explains Mark. “Working so closely with Roy for 10 years in the industry was also a big pull for me. I have always appreciated and admired Roy’s approach to work and have watched the way he has grown Montash with interest. From a personal perspective, I felt ready to build on my previous successes to take on a project that I can own, build from the ground up and develop into a thriving part of the Montash business.” The spacious new office space in the centre of Leeds can fit a team of 18. Recruitment has begun and there are multiple recruiter positions still to be filled. Rob Moore, Internal Talent Manager, is the hiring lead for new recruiters and we asked him for the type of candidates that would be the best fit. “We are looking for smart and ambitious individuals with a taste for sales. A background in recruitment is not a necessity for us. If someone has worked in a sales environment before and are keen to step into a new challenge, they can utilise their skills, benefit from the extensive training we provide and work in a place where incentives and rewards come as part and parcel of the job. An entrepreneurial spirit is key, along with a resilient, can-do attitude. We are a high value tech recruitment company operating in difficult-to-fill niche markets - we are looking for the best talent, not only to get the job done, but to excel in their roles.” Read more on the qualities Rob looks for in his recent blog. As Nandip Aulak (Head of Marketing) has previously shared - culture is crucial in the workplace. She highlights that an open, collaborative and social team make for a happy workforce, who stick around. Mark - as Practice Lead - has echoed this, stating that in order for his new team in Leeds to be a real success, there must be a positive working environment from the get-go. “We spend so many hours at work each day and week, we want a hardworking team that also embraces the moments of fun. In order to do that it is critical to build trust in the office, to promote good work/life balance and to take into consideration the flexible working needs of the individuals we hire.” “Something I pride myself on is creating a space where people enjoy being at work - that they really want to be there. I am excited to be a part of this team and collectively drive this new venture forwards.” There are just 2 weeks to go until we open our Leeds office doors. Are you interested in becoming part of the team? Find out more about the open vacancies here.