Meet the MD: Jonathan Dobkin of Connections Recruitment

Meet the MD: Jonathan Dobkin of Connections Recruitment

As part of this weeks Meet the MD series, we caught up with Jonathan Dobkin of Connections to find out more about his role, what he believes makes a great leader, and to hear about his childhood dreams to play for Manchester City.

What does your role include?

My role is extremely varied and I get involved at some level in all areas of the business. In addition to overseeing a senior management team who deal with most of the day to day running of the business, I regularly speak with our clients, develop relationships, network and build our brand awareness in the marketplace.

I try to create a cohesive environment in which all members of staff can feel confident that they are fully supported to use their own experience and initiative to deliver great service to our clients.


What is it the company does?

Put simply, we find brilliant staff for companies. We work on a national basis, although we’re headquartered in the North West. We fulfil Temporary, Interim, Contract and Permanent personnel services across a broad range of sectors.

We’re proud to have been established for thirty years and during that time we’ve been always been an independent, privately owned business which gives great flexibility in terms of the direction we take the company. It gives us a huge advantage.

We are able to tailor our services; whether that be a blue chip client or SME and deliver a personal and professional approach that aims to match the right person to the right job.


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

After graduating I worked for several years in London and Manchester for a global insurance broker.

Connections was originally established by my mother who encouraged me to join the business in 1996.

I subsequently worked in both the Head Office and Manchester office until becoming Managing Director in 2014.

I am very fortunate to go to work each day feeling motivated and ambitious to continually grow the business, develop relationships and oversee a fantastic team which provides a brilliant service.


What do you believe makes a great leader?

Having a genuine belief in the ability of your staff to execute both the short and long term aims of the business is paramount to success.

Being approachable, passionate and leading by example creates a positive environment and goes a long way to earing the respect of the team.

Additionally it is always wise to be seen to be making considered decisions and keeping a clear head.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

Recruitment is constantly evolving and there are now so many ways to communicate with both our clients and candidates, whether that is through social media, direct mailings, open days or networking events.

It is demanding to ensure that we are consistently and effectively engaging on all platforms successfully. 

More generally the challenge is trying to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and stay one step ahead.

With the investment we’ve made recently in key people, technology and marketing we’re well positioned to continue growing over the next five years.


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

The majority of people that work in the world of recruitment will tell you that a major challenge is dealing with the frustration that is part and parcel of the job.

Stress can come from not accepting that recruitment is a service industry and that you are relying on individuals to represent your business.

Ultimately the team I lead at Connections have the expertise, experience and professionalism to ensure that stress doesn’t feature too much in the day to day running of things.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was younger I wanted to play for Manchester City. Alas my talent never quite matched up to my enthusiasm so instead I consoled myself with being an avid supporter and attending most home matches and some away fixtures.


Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

In a fast paced environment such as a recruitment business it is important to be able think on the spot and to take initiative where necessary.

Thankfully we place a lot of emphasis on investing in our workforce and regularly run training workshops for all members of the team. My pet hate therefore, would have to be people who are unable to think for themselves and who need hand holding.


Where do you see the company in five years time?

I would like to think that Connections will go from strength to strength with regard to increasing our reach whilst still maintaining our focus on corporate and social responsibility.

We are constantly investing in our infrastructure, developing our processes to make them even more proficient and expanding our team.

We have recently embarked on an ambitious five year plan which will see our turnover increase, the growth of our London office and the continuation of our ability to deliver a bespoke recruitment service at all levels.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Treating others in the manner that you wish to be treated would be a great tip for anyone who is starting off in business. Surrounding yourself with a strong, dedicated and resourceful team who are able to understand your vision for the business will go a long way in ensuring success.