This week, we sat down with Consultant Jo Sanderson to discuss more junior roles across the Front-Line Talent (FLT) market. Here, Jo also provides us with an overview of her career to date, her ambitions and what it’s like to be part of team MERJE.
First off, please can you tell us about your role and specialism at MERJE?
I have extensive knowledge across a variety of managerial and customer service roles within the contact centre recruitment arena. As part of the Front-Line Talent team, I focus on entry-level positions right through to team managers, as well as PA roles across customer experience, sales and telesales, administration, collections, recoveries and more.
What's your experience in this area?
I knew from an early age that I excelled in customer service because I instinctively understood how to prioritise and deliver results in pressurised environments. My experience in managerial and customer service roles has enabled me to naturally build relationships with both candidates and clients in this area, always tailoring my approach accordingly.
What are the latest insights from the junior end of the FLT market?
If clients aren’t getting back to us within 24 to 48 hours of sending CVs, we’re finding that the candidates have lost interest. In the current market, they have the choice of so many jobs right now, so we need to move fast to keep them engaged. Also, since Covid, an increasing number of people are attracted to hybrid working opportunities.
What does the future hold for your team?
I think it’s a positive time for FLT and the candidate market right now. Our team is growing and we continue to deliver the very best talent, all while maintaining high standards of service to both candidates and clients.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out and looking for a job in this area?
Make your CV shine. If you don’t tick every box that’s required, that’s ok and it’s still worth applying. If you have strong transferable skills, most companies are happy to teach you the rest and allow you to learn on the job.
Sell yourself. Candidates know their experience and background the best, so don’t be shy in sharing your strengths.
Make it clear from the start what you are looking for and what’s important to you. It might be salary, progression, the office environment, hybrid working options, the right benefits package or the company culture. This helps us ensure that we source the right match sooner.
What are the types of FLT roles available right now?
Contact Centre Claims Advisor
Customer Relations Case Specialist
Collections and Recoveries Officer
Customer Service Advisor… just to name a few…
What advice would you give to employers who are recruiting in the current market?
To be fast! Within FLT, candidates have the choice of so many jobs right now. I think that 24 to 48 hours is a realistic time frame to go back to candidates. Some screening calls can be anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes so to lose good candidates after the groundwork the team has put in is a shame.
What will be your main focus moving forwards?
It’s early days in my MERJE and recruitment career, but long term I’m hoping to build a niche desk of different roles using my experiences in the Aviation and Hospitality sectors.
Before MERJE, you had a varied career path. Why did you decide to make the switch to recruitment?
I was a cabin crew member for 11 years. After enjoying the sunshine life, I wanted a change and knew from an early age that I thrived in customer service.
It was around that time that Sally Cordwell - our FLT Managing Consultant - wouldn’t stop bothering me and asking me to join MERJE!
Joking aside, I said I would never get into recruitment as I’d always heard how pressured and micromanaging it can be. Not here though. You are encouraged to manage your own time and workload, working the way that’s best for you to ensure you are supporting the business to keep growing month on month.
How have you found settling into MERJE and starting your recruitment career from scratch?
I have honestly felt like I have always been here. Settling in has been a breeze. Everyone is so supportive and the office environment is relaxed, so there are never any Monday blues.
I feel I have made a good start in recruitment and was billing from my first month, which I am proud of, and I was thrilled to win the Business Development Initiative for Q2 within my first three months of joining. It seems like I’m doing something right!
Describe MERJE in a few words
Enjoyable, supportive, hardworking, and hilarious.
What's the MERJE culture like?
Bonkers, like no other, and very relaxed, yet everyone works hard. We have an approachable management team who promote a transparent, open-door policy.
What do you like best about working here?
The freedom to be yourself and be personally disciplined. Hard work is recognised and everyone is genuinely pleased for each other when they are doing well.
What's your favourite MERJE memory so far?
Our trip to Rudding Park in Harrogate to celebrate MERJE’s 10th birthday was a brilliant day/night of fun, dancing, and great food.
What are your key career takeaways?
To never let our office neighbour and character David Raines know what my previous job was. He is a big fan of anything aviation related and has an endless amount of questions for me…
Desert island disc?
Can’t call it I'm afraid. I’m a 1990s pop girl
Favourite box set?
Sex and the City
Celebrity dinner date?
Are you looking for a new role in contact centre, sales, or administration? Or are you hiring for your contact centre or operations team? Either way, get in touch with Jo to find out how MERJE can support - firstname.lastname@example.org