Kirsty Henegan has recently achieved the stunning result of being the top rated recruiter on Talentwolf, with 55 reviews collected in just one year. She is the Relationship Manager and Recruiter at Frog Recruitment in New Zealand.
As always, we start off with how you fell or actively got into the recruitment industry! Kirsty, what’s your story?
I am one of those recruiters who actively sought recruitment out and didn’t just fall into it and the funny thing was it was my partners ex-girlfriend who got me my first job in recruitment at Teaching Personnel.
I had been
doing my overseas travelling and one of my friends set up camp in Sydney
and she managed to land a job in recruitment. I had absolutely no idea
what she did and even after she explained it, I was a little confused,
but I thought I could do that! I came from a retail/ sales/ customer
service background, and it seems liked like a good match to my skills.
When we returned home Ross (partner) noticed an advert for a trainee
recruitment consultant at Teaching Personnel and reached out. I went for
an interview to join Jess’ branch where she would be my manager, a lot
of people were sceptical that this working relationship would work, so
in the end we decided to set up camp in Manchester where my application
was transferred, and lucky me I got the job!!
What tips do you have for those consultants starting off and questioning their futures in the industry?
We have just had Thomas starting the temp team and this is his first recruitment role, so I have warmed up a couple of words of wisdom. I think one of the main things is that recruitment is tough you are going to have some amazing days, but you are going to have some really hard days. In my first 6 months of recruitment, I hated it! I just couldn’t quite get it everyone else was making placements and I really struggled to make my first one, I had a great manager and team around me who were so supportive and one day it came together and clicked. I made my first placement and it snow balled from there, I managed to turn a school who used a little bit for recruitment into a school that used us for all their recruitment as well as expanding across other secondaries we already worked with.
Additionally, building a desk takes time as it is all about building relationships and trust with both clients and candidates, so don’t worry when you see others around you doing well, they have been doing this a lot longer and built those strong networks and market knowledge. Also, the training is great to see the structure and processes, but every recruiter has their own style and what works for one person may not work for another – so take the best tips and tricks from people but just make sure you be yourself and find your recruitment style as people buy into you!
How you recommend recruiters structure their day, to increase productivity and sales?
is a funny one as me and Shannon (manager) have been having this
conversation for the past 3 years to add some structure and organisation
to my days, I am probably more of the organised chaos type. It’s
probably best to work out when you are most productive in the day and
make sure you get those hard to do tasks completed in this time. For me
when I am doing business development, I like to do this in the morning
when I am most productive & interview candidates in the afternoon.
With a temp desk it's not always that easy as things can pop up at any
time so just being able to prioritise tasks and roles dependant on start
date and exclusivity.
What’s the most satisfying moment of your recruitment career?
I have had
quite a few to be honest, I do still remember the day of my first
placement and being so excited and ringing Ross like I finally did
it! We had a celebration that night. My other highlight is winning our
people2people Candidate Care award in 2019 it means a lot as I do pride
myself on my customer service – but let’s not talk about the speech
(this is an inside joke for those at people2people)
Kirsty, you are the Talentwolf top ranked recruiter, congrats! How did you manage to obtain such big success? How do you see recruiter reviews playing a role in the future of the recruitment industry?
Woohoo! To be honest we have had some large recruitment projects on the go so there has been some high-volume interviews, but It Is just having respect for candidates. With every candidate who is interviewing with a client, I like to coach them on what they did well and around how we could improve their interview skills and answers, so they are feeling super prepared and confident before walking into that interview.
I talk to them after
the interview and keep in contact throughout the process and if I am
told they are unsuccessful I call them and talk them through the
feedback so they can improve on it next time. I think just taking that
time to support someone with their career journey makes a huge impact!
In terms of reviews, I think they will have a huge impact on the
recruitment industry, before I buy a product or eat somewhere I look at
the reviews so it will be the same for recruiters, are you more likely
to work with someone who has strong or negative reviews?
Tell us, how do you manage your recruiter personal brand. What tools and advice can you give to other recruiters?
am probably not the best person to give out advice and tips on personal
brand, its something I look to focus on, but it falls off when I get
busy. I have the basics, make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated, I
take part on Frogs on Fridays (a market update), to talk about the
market or roles and I have been on several webinars to talk about the
We all have moments where we learn from mistakes and become far better at our jobs after. Is there any moment in your career that taught you how to be a better recruiter?
every day I have a learning moment to be honest, I think one of my
biggest mistakes was I had told a candidate that I would market them
into a couple of roles she had told me about and in the timeframe my
desk got super busy, so I ended up pushing out the calls to the end of
the week. When it came round to it some of the the jobs had closed and
the candidate has missed out on applying. I felt terrible I had to call
her and be honest about what had happened, I always knew don’t
over promise and underdeliver, but this now resonates with me if you
tell someone you are going to do something for them then do it! Or if
you think you may not get round to it let them know, communication is
everything in this role.
Everyone has a recruitment story. What is the most unexpected thing that happened to you in an interview or client meeting?
The most unexpected thing that happened to me was on the way to a client visit, I booked myself a meeting for first thing in the morning and was running a tad late, to make up for lost time I decided to grab an electric scooter to get me there quickly. I was wearing a black dress with a zip that went from the bottom to the top and when I pushed off to cross the road the zip gave way splitting the dress and leaving it clinging on for dear life from the top!
As you can imagine not the ideal
situation for anyone at anytime let alone being stood in a crossway
junction. A couple of strangers tried to come to the rescue, whilst
finding it all very amusing and managed to assist me to put my gym
leggings on underneath. I got back on my scooter and road in the wind
with my dress flying behind me like superwoman’s cape to get me to my
visit on time – I managed to make it with a couple of minutes to spare
and my colleague helped redress me, thankfully I didn’t have to explain
my lime scooter story that morning!
What’s left for you to achieve going forward?
as I mentioned earlier, we recently had Thomas join the temp team as a
para consultant, so we are starting to grow, and he has been given the
pleasure of reporting into me! So, I suppose the next steps are learning
and growing as a leader as well as building a successful team – there is
still heaps for me to achieve moving forward I feel like I have only
just scratched the surface!
Connect with Kirsty Henegan