Meet MERJE is a series of interviews with members of the MERJE team discussing their experiences of recruiting in their specialist market.
Meet Darragh Lee, a Consultant based in our Manchester office.
How long have you been at MERJE and what kind of roles do you recruit for?
I’ve been at MERJE for two and a half years. Since university 15 years ago, I’ve mostly worked in recruitment in the North West or London. In the early days it was Finance & Accountancy recruitment, and more recently in Customer Contact recruitment.
I recruit for mid-senior customer-focussed roles that you’d get in an organisation, such as Customer Services Manager or Head Of or Director. It could be other related roles such as Collections, Sales, Customer Experience, Resource Planning – anything that is either focussed on the customer or involves contact with the customer.
The types of roles I recruit are ever-changing as customers are changing alongside their expectations of the organisations they deal with, such as mobile phone companies or energy and water providers. The level of service expected is always increasing in my opinion, and the digital aspect of customer contact is ever increasing too. In many cases people prefer digital forms of customer service over calling companies on the phone, which was traditionally the norm.
How has the Utilities market changed recently?
Not that many years ago everyone would get their energy from a household name they recognised – what we call the Big Six (British Gas, npower, E.On, EDF, Scottish Power and SSE) – whereas now there are loads of challenger providers competing on price and claiming they offer a better service. Before, people were scared to go with a company they have never heard of, but I think that has completely changed. In addition, we are also seeing a growing number of council-run energy offerings which are effectively run as a social enterprise with the aim of giving the customer a fairer deal.
On the water side of things the B2B water market opened up for competition in April this year. It’s the first time that businesses can choose their water supplier and it’s not done purely on a regional basis. It’s an interesting change and I think it will follow that consumers will also be able to choose, just in the same way we choose out energy provider.
What advice do you have for people applying for senior Customer Contact roles?
I believe there is an increasing need to bring out your transformation experience. You need to show that the service your team provides for the customer is strong, but to stand out you also should highlight what strategies you have introduced and the technology you have embraced that has improved how your team operates and improved the customer experience.
LinkedIn is a great place for job seekers, to search and apply but also for networking. If you are looking for a new role there is no harm in being active in your feed by liking and sharing updates and posting your own updates and the odd news article. In addition, if you are interested in being found via LinkedIn, I would always recommend having a fair bit of detail on your profile much like you have on your CV.
I think MERJE is a great organisation. Of the recruitment companies I have worked for, it is easily my favourite – and I’m not just saying that because I work here!
It’s the right size of business than can be both entrepreneurial and agile, and it also has a lot of expertise and knowledge within its teams. People at MERJE are really focussed on the specific sectors and disciplines that they recruit in. We are a modern recruitment organisation that isn’t all about giving consultants a load of KPIs like how many calls to make and how many CVs they need to send. The emphasis is on giving a qualitative not quantitative service to Clients and Candidates.
To contact Darragh to discuss your recruitment or career needs in Customer Contact – Telecoms & Utilities, please call 0161 883 2754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.