Published on 22nd February 2017
Jahmmal Thomas started his career working in the insolvency industry before making a career change to recruitment.
He started his career at Ambition using his industry knowledge to help other insolvency professionals find their dream career before developing his area of expertise to also specialise in recruiting for Fraud, Forensics and eDiscovery positions. Here Jahmmal explains why he chose to make the switch to recruitment and what it takes to be successful.
Tell us about your background?
After university, I started working for a boutique Insolvency firm based in Mayfair, having previously interned there for a work placement. Shortly afterwards, I moved to a mid-sized accountancy firm, working within their insolvency department where I fully got to grips with the requirements of the industry.
How did you make the switch to recruitment?
I worked at the accountancy firm for over two years. As time went on, I found that there were certain parts of the job which I preferred to others. I enjoyed the more interactive aspects of the role such as corresponding with HMRC, calling creditors, meeting clients etc. I realized that whilst I had good Insolvency experience, I wanted a career that enabled me to be more interactive and client facing. Recruitment appealed to me for that reason. The fact that there was the potential to make a lot of money if I was successful also appealed to me.
What first attracted you to Ambition?
I was actually a former candidate of Ambition, so I already knew a bit about the agency and how they operated. Once I had made the decision to change careers to recruitment, I was aware that recruitment agencies operate in various ways. I had already made Ambition the benchmark in my mind thanks to my previous positive experience of working with them. They treated me like a real person rather than just a number and I had already built up a good rapport with the team.
Can you describe a typical day?
The days differ, so there isn’t a standard day - things can happen very quickly in recruitment. However, my days tend to consist of sourcing candidates, developing business with current and potential clients, organising interviews, writing job adverts etc. These are just a few of the tasks I undertake but the order in which tasks are done depends entirely on the demands of the day.
What do you like about recruitment the most?
I really enjoy the autonomy of the job. It is down to me to make things happen. I do have the support of my team but ultimately it is me that needs to be proactive. It genuinely feels like you have your own business which you are accountable for. Also, you see your hard work directly amount to financial reward!
How were your skills transferrable?
When I worked in Insolvency I did a lot of networking, meeting various professionals such as accountants, solicitors, partners etc. Also, during the role, I corresponded with various directors, creditors and shareholders, not always giving them the best news, however, I found these to be the parts of the job that I enjoyed the most. So in that respect, you do have to be relatively thick-skinned, personable, professional and have good communication skills.
What is your favourite perk?
On Friday afternoons we have “Beer o’Clock”. Always a nice, relaxing end to the working week.
What does it take to be successful in recruitment?
Proactivity, resilience and ambition. The work isn’t going to come to you. There will be many knock backs and you have to be able to take the news and keep pushing forward. Of course, if you aren’t ambitious to be successful, then proactivity and resilience is less likely to happen for you. There will be periods when everything is going wonderfully and other times when it can be more challenging than expected.
What would you say to anyone thinking of working in recruitment?
Research the industry extensively. It is important to fully grasp what would be required of you. Have a look at the different types of firms. There are many different recruitment agencies and they all operate differently, so it will be ideal to research which culture works for you. It is not a career you can come into half-heartedly or you won’t see the results and billings that you are hoping for.