What is it the company does?
Founded in 2011, MERJE is an independently-owned recruitment consultancy, with offices in London and Manchester and 32 employees. MERJE focuses on senior appointments across financial services, property & construction, public practice and within commerce and industry.
What does your role involve?
All three of the co-founders and directors are still responsible for generating revenue which is quite rare for a company of our size in the recruitment industry. My specific responsibility lies with managing the London office, leading on client engagement, developing the MERJE brand and overseeing marketing and communications initiatives.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
After leaving university I worked at a local recruitment firm in Warrington to save up some money to go travelling. When I returned, I joined AXA Insurance and spent more than two years in their Manchester office as an underwriter. I then made the decision to move to London and was offered the opportunity to fill a position in the compliance division of a global recruitment consultancy, PSD Group. It was during my four plus years there that I learned about the recruitment industry and met my future business partners. We left to set up MERJE five years ago and the company has since gone from strength to strength.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I believe that great leaders first and foremost require a strong work ethic and the ability to lead from the front. Secondly, a true leader needs to genuinely care about their employees; be interested in the people that work for them; help them, support them and give them the time to develop.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Our biggest challenge as a business is to make sure we hire the right people to work for us. Recruitment consultancies can typically have an aggressive sales-focused environment but we try to take a more mature approach and develop self-sufficient, self-motivated staff that want to do the job the right way.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Professionally, we have created a pleasant, social environment and we relax as a team; socialising, playing sports and taking trips together. Personally, I enjoy spending time with my family, playing football and going to the gym.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was young, my real passion was tennis and my dream was to eventually turn professional. I played for my school and represented the county, often spending weekends travelling to competitions around the UK. I still enjoy watching the sport and am amazed by the ability of the top professionals.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Badly written emails - poor grammar and spelling mistakes really annoy me. I often want to rewrite them but that’s just not feasible. They are important, as every time a client or candidate is contacted by the company, they need to know that we are the best in the business and first impressions go a long way. I deal with this issue by creating thoroughly managed processes and supporting our people to continually improve.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
We are still a young business but we’re growing fast and in five-years’ time, I would hope that we would have 50 plus employees and a turnover in excess of £10m per year. I also want us to become well known as specialists in the recruitment sector, the market leader in our core areas and well-regarded by the wider business community.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Make sure you are well organised and prepared. Know the risks that you could be potentially facing. Believe in yourself and be confident in your ability to do the things you’re good at. But most importantly, make it happen.