Meet the MD:  Michelle Lownie, Eden Scott

Meet the MD: Michelle Lownie, Eden Scott

People are the name of the game at Eden Scott. At the top, Michelle Lownie enjoys a varied set of responsibilities but her passion for ‘being in charge’ means management suits her…

What is it the company does?

Put simply we match amazing talent with brilliant organisations. We deliver performance centric recruitment solutions specialising in professional, technical and executive markets across permanent, contract and temporary roles. But we're not your standard recruitment business. Our team can also design and deliver assessment centres, create compelling digital recruitment campaigns and provide services specifically crafted for start-ups and early stage companies.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words

My role is wide and varied which I greatly enjoy.  I design and deliver assessment centres for clients which is a passion of mine.  I mentor a number of people in the business at various stages of their careers which is great particularly seeing them develop and grow.  I interview potential new hires which is key for our continued growth. We have recently been through a graduate recruitment scheme hiring 3 raw grads to integrate into the business. Eden Scott also sponsor and support Informatic Ventures & Converge Challenge helping aspiring and budding entrepreneurs on their journey to success

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

I have worked in recruitment my whole career and I think like most people in this industry I fell into it, I started at 17 making the tea and doing the filing.  Looking at the recruiters in the office I thought hey I could do that and so I did. I have worked in a variety of different sectors across all levels.  I wanted to be the best and I wanted to help others achieve their goals so followed the management route and really just worked hard to push on. My OPQ states that “I like to be in charge” so I guess management was a natural path for me.

What do you believe makes a great leader?

The same thing that generally makes great people – honesty, passion, attitude.  I think great leaders know how to play to their strengths and when to pass thing to others who are more capable.  You need to create and inspire confidence in yourself and your team, sell your dream and take people on the journey. Easy to say, difficult to achieve.

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

I think probably over the years there have been various different challenges. 2007/2008 and the global financial crisis is obvious, along with the oil crash, but to be fair these are business cycles and whilst sometimes they come upon you very quickly, and your reaction times aren’t as quick as you would like because you think it’ll bounce back – they are sadly inevitable.  For me the biggest challenge I think lies in the changes and pace of our sector, keeping things fresh and offering a service that continues to be valued by our clients and customers. 

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

I don’t tend to find I get very stressed to be honest, I walk to and from work so I find by the time I get home I have worked anything out my system.  I have 2 young kids 7 and 3 and they don’t really give you any time to stress or dwell on things.  I think owning your own business it’s important not to stress and panic I don’t tend to find it productive for you or anyone else.

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

Police Officer – I fancied myself as a Juliet Bravo!

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

I guess my biggest pet hate would be people who don’t care.  There is no barrier to entry in our industry and we can help people develop all the skills they will need to be great recruiters and all the trappings that brings but if they don’t care, or have the right attitude and passion, then they won’t succeed. 

Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

Continuing to offer a great service to our clients and candidates.  We are and always have been an ambitious company we have continued to grow year on year since our inception in 2003.  We listen to the market and try to offer what our customers are buying.  We launched TalentSpark to support to start-up tech sector which is huge in Scotland.  We will always look at new areas for the business and continue to recruit in those we currently have established.  Eden Scott enjoys a strong reputation in the market place, something we are all very proud of and work hard to maintain. 

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Believe in yourself, think big.  Take advise when you can, you may not always like what you hear

It is important to get the basics right in terms of legal and finances and of course picking the right team is essential – that’s why Eden Scott and TalentSpark exist.  Learn from mistakes move on and don’t dwell, do everything with passion and full commitment otherwise there is no point.

What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?

That we should have believed in ourselves and had the courage to start out on our own before we did but hind sight as the say a wonderful thing.  If you want something - just go for it.