February 13, 2020

One of the benefits of being a small business is that we put our personality into everything we do. Our Managing Director, Paul Jones, still plays an active role in the company – 17 years after its

inception. Paul co-founded Mackenzie Jones after experiencing recruitment in a wide range of positions in talent management and executive search, with each opportunity having taught a valuable lesson that would become a key business value for Mackenzie Jones.

“After graduating, the reality of life hit me quite hard and I didn’t have any sense of a career or even a plan. So, like many recent grads, I started to contact recruitment companies and (as I imagine like many recruiters out there!) was asked that familiar question “Have you ever considered working in recruitment?”

My initial response was no but, with no other firm plans, I was open to hearing more. Then came ‘the sell’… I was promised amazing opportunities to progress, unlimited earning potential and great training provided. Sold!

The next day I left my job as a Bar Manager and my life in recruitment began.

Quote from Paul Jones "My first recruitment role wasn't what i expected, but then again, what did I expect?"

Chapter 1 (Proactive)

After that strong sell, my first role wasn’t quite what I expected, but, then again, what did I expect?  The culture was very, perhaps overly, sales led and internal communication was, to say the least, direct. The job focus was exclusively on daily KPIs and bringing in quantifiable value. Still, I kept my head down, grafted and 3 years later I became a Managing Consultant.

What I learnt: I gained four years of recruitment experience in this very fast paced, if transactional, sales recruitment consultancy. Having achieved a decent level of success and a developing knowledge of the FMCG space, I wanted to start operating at a more senior recruitment level in FMCG so decided my future would be in executive search.

Chapter 2 (Integrity)

I secured a role as a Junior Consultant at a leading Search firm. My first 12 months, however, were an epic fail! I was completely lost and had no idea how to raise my profile or build relationships in this much more sophisticated space. Thankfully I was picked up and dusted off by an inspirational lady, who was Head of Practice at the time, and to whom I am eternally grateful. She offered to help me unlearn some bad habits I’d picked up, and embrace a new way of thinking. With her help, I learnt more about creating valuable relationships, networking, and developing my subject matter expertise.

What I Learnt: For 18 months I was, in essence, a bag carrier, however this proved to be one of the most formative and illuminating periods of my career to date. I attended meetings with individuals I would never have typically have access to – I listened, I learned, and I loved it. Being mentored in this way was eye opening and helped me start to understand how to truly partner with individuals and organisations. After this, I was offered the opportunity to remain with the firm as a Consultant, however I missed working in (and leading) teams, so it was time to move to the next chapter.

Chapter 3 (Collaboration)

From there, I joined TMP (now Hudson) with a brief to help build a Sales and Marketing recruitment proposition across their offices nationally which, at the time, specialised in Legal, Finance and HR sectors. This was a really exciting opportunity to build teams and shape a business within an existing infrastructure.

What I Learnt: Even though the business was present in a number of markets, this was not a rite of passage to introduce a new function into an existing customer base. Working collaboratively with Directors of other functions was key, but even more important was realisation that to be noticed in a crowded marketplace we had to be different and partner with our customers. This focus on our people, our approach and delivering a great customer experience needed to be key pillars of our success.

Chapter 4 (Conscientious)

After nearly 3 years, I was approached by Monster (then part of TMP) to lead the commercial function across the UK.  This involved leading a large field based team, focused on marketing digital resourcing solutions to all markets. It was a new, and very different opportunity that I decided to accept.

What I Learnt: From this position, I learnt that leading, coaching, and managing a home based sales function successfully demands time spent individually and collectively with a national team. In addition, it demanded I build knowledge in a technical space that was new at the time, in order to be credible and provide value to our customers. Remote management and technology selling were big learning points, requiring me to literally, and figuratively, go the extra mile and then some!

The Dénouement (Mackenzie Jones)

Having worked in this variety of roles, I wanted to combine and consolidate my experience to create a recruitment business that was committed to building connected networks that can share knowledge, insight, and opportunity. This was to be achieved by working in partnership with FMCG organisations, connecting high potential passive talent using an innovative and relationship driven approach. Our culture would certainly be proactive but, at our core, we had to have huge dollops of collaboration, integrity, and conscientiousness. From this experience and insight, Mackenzie Jones was created.

As with anyone, I am still learning and making mistakes but, fundamentally, we always remain true to our central purpose of nurturing great relationships and delivering exceptional customer experience.”

We’re currently searching for ambitious and driven individuals to join our team as recruitment consultants. If you come from a B2B sales background, or are a recent grad who’s passionate about recruitment and FMCG, we’d love to hear from you. Find out more about working at Mackenzie Jones.