In today's people behind the brand, the series where you get to know the Orbis team, we sat down with Charlotte Barrett, Associate Consultant.
We chatted all about studying during Covid, what it was like studying for a maths degree, why being competitive is important in recruitment and becoming a florist!
Let’s jump in.
Tell us about your journey to Recruitment?
I went into recruitment straight after graduating from uni last year.
I literally had my graduation in July, and then I started recruitment in mid-July about two weeks after my actual graduation, so straight into the workforce. I was debating if I wanted to do a master's or not, but after four years of going through uni, and uni during a pandemic, I thought that I didn’t want to do a master's straightaway or even at all.
I started looking at different careers and recruitment was one of them that kept popping up and I was like, “I could do this”. I had previously had quite a lot of customer service experience so, I felt like that was something that I could probably transfer and see how it goes and then see if I can actually just get a job in it and see what happens.
Orbis was one of the companies that offered me a role, I accepted and now I'm here. And now I’ve been here almost a year later.
What's the best part of the job?
It's kind of rewarding seeing the whole process of recruitment and what it is like going through from talking to someone, to them getting employed. I’d say that it’s quite nice being on the inside and seeing the process of going through loads of job interviews etc. compared to last year when I was trying to find a job myself.
I think it's just interesting to see how everything's structured and how it is from a different perspective going through a job process.
What's the biggest challenge?
I feel like there are definitely hurdles in every part of the job and I feel like that's obviously just a given where nothing's going to be smooth sailing 100% of the time. At every point, but maybe more the initial hardest part, was when I first started.
I'd say that initially getting candidates on the phone and making sure I got enough information was difficult because I could leave a conversation, and it was probably the first couple of calls I ever did, and my managers would ask, “Did you get this?” and I was like, I didn't think to ask for that.
So, I feel like making sure that I have enough information from the candidate and then making sure I can have a friendly conversation with them without ever meeting them. I think it was really odd, I guess for me because I was told not to be so formal and to try and build a personal connection with people while also trying to get ABCDEFG from the call.
I feel like that was a hard thing trying to balance that out and I would say that it's still tricky now but I'm definitely more to grips with it.
What is something that you wish you'd known at the start of your career?
Probably how difficult it is to get in contact with people.
For example, I will have an initial call with someone and everything's going just fine and all of a sudden, I can't get ahold of them and in my head, I start to think, why are they just not answering me or picking up or messaging me? I didn't think that would be such a big hurdle.
I originally thought that if someone wanted a job, they would just respond or pick up, like what's the issue? I didn’t think that would be such a big thing that would happen where people wouldn’t get back to me for days.
I thought that I could just call people and when they wouldn't pick up, I would think “What am I meant to tell my manager or the account manager?” But then they reassured me that it was fine and those people would just get back to me when they were free.
You have a background in Mathematics, tell us a bit more about that and what made you decide to choose a career in recruitment?
I was always better at maths in school so I thought that I would just do it in uni but I never knew what career I wanted to go into. Going into university, I thought that maths would be a good stepping stone that would give me opportunities into almost anything I was interested in and could be tailored to almost anything.
Getting my maths degree was really difficult, as you could probably guess and a lot of people presume I’m really good at numbers when they find out what I’ve studied but in reality, we don’t really do a lot with numbers at degree level. It was a good but difficult degree, especially trying to study during the pandemic which was a big change. I know a lot of people may use COVID as an excuse when it came to university but for me, it was a complete 180.
When considering which career path to take, there were quite a lot of different options but I guess after a four-year maths degree, my brain felt completely fried and I needed a break. I decided that I wanted to do something completely different and after a few discussions with my career advisor at university, we discovered that recruitment was a career that didn’t require any specialist degrees but the structure and logical mindset that my maths degree provided could be translated into the recruitment process.
I wouldn't say that I'm fully using my degree at the moment but it did help me get the job at Orbis which I am grateful for as well as there being small attributes that I can translate into recruitment from my degree.
You played lacrosse for your University and are known to be a keen sportswoman who is very competitive. Do you think these skills transfer into your approach to work?
Yeah, I would say so.
I did lacrosse for two years during university before everything got intense in terms of workload and having to do my dissertation but it was actually so fun. I actually really loved team sports but I feel like now, I’m a bit too shy to join a city team sport with people I don’t know.
I do think my competitiveness definitely shows in the office, I’m very competitive with things like my roles, trying to be the first one to get an interview for this position, trying to make the first placement in this role or even at team socials. If anyone has to describe me in the office, I think one of the things they would say is competitive - I don’t think it’s that hidden.
What attracted you to Orbis, and would you say there’s something different about our culture?
What originally attracted me to Orbis was that they offered a graduate program.
I was mainly looking for graduate schemes to get into the workforce which I thought was a better adjustment for me whereas I knew of people that went straight into a job role and that just felt too daunting for me. I wanted to work in a smaller team and still be able to learn as much as possible which Orbis had offered with the Glasgow office.
The culture is always really nice and everyone is very friendly which was a really great transition from being scared and overthinking that everyone was going to be really corporate and formal to realising that I would be working in a really friendly atmosphere.
In another life, what do you think you'd be doing?
Honestly, I feel like this is so random but I would be a florist.
This may sound weird to some but I have always been very keen on plants and have about 40 at home. Every inch of my flat is covered in either giant plats or itty bitty ones and I am still adding to my collection. If I won the lottery, I would definitely open a store and have plants and flowers all over the place. On the flip side, I have really bad hay fever so I’ll have to be carrying nasal spray with me 24/7 to do this job.