Oliver Boot - Senior Recruiter

Oliver Boot - Senior Recruiter
Oliver card2

Hi! I’m Oliver, Senior Recruitment Advisor at Engenda Group.

I have turned my hand to many different jobs in just as many industries early on in life, but ‘fell’ into recruitment 14 years ago and haven’t been able to escape since. The path to recruitment and specifically engineering recruitment was a long and winding one but I have not looked back since!

After spending 2 years living in Shanghai with my family thanks to a work opportunity secondment for my dad; I had to return to the UK as I was too ‘old’ to be included on the family visa. I was desperate to return and eventually found an opportunity to teach English in Shenzhen (just across the border from Hong Kong). Unfortunately, I didn’t get on with teaching and teaching didn’t get on with me – patience was not my strong suit at this stage. Luckily, I had made good friends with the business owner and rather than send me back to the UK, put me to work in the office recruiting others to come to China to teach.

Although this was technically a ‘recruitment’ job, I didn’t know it as that. I was recruiting, arranging flights, arranging visa’s, doing airport pick up’s, running and organising training and onboarding, business development with new schools and clients, arranging housing… you name it, I probably did it. Between myself and the owner, we quickly grew the business – recruiting 100’s of teachers to work in private schools, language centres, state schools and eventually going in to private tutoring. Unfortunately, we did too well, too quickly and were told in no uncertain terms that our business would be being acquired by the local education department and we were surplus to requirement. That’s China for you!

I decided at that stage to return to the UK and find a ‘profession’ to work in. After much deliberation and many conversations with not-so-good recruiters who wanted to utilise my HGV license or landscaping experience; I finally spoke to a good recruiter who pointed out that I was also a recruiter and should be looking for roles as such in an agency environment.

I started working for a small recruitment agency in Manchester that specialised in engineering within the built environment – building services, civil / structural, environmental, transport, energy, CAD/BIM etc. Specifically, I was assigned to the building services desk and was mainly working with electrical and mechanical building services design engineers (and everything in-between) within the consultancy and sub-contractor environments. I took to the contract side of the desk particularly well and ended up taking that side of the business as my own. I then went on to build up and train a team to expand it further and also to look after the permanent side of the desk.

"8 years later it was time for a change."

8 years later it was time for a change. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the agency model and the recruitment industry in general. To me, I could see the benefits to clients and candidates but there were also a lot of pitfalls with it as well – in short – most of the time it was the recruitment agency benefitting more than anyone else in the process. Good for business, not so good for morals.

I couldn’t believe, when I returned to the UK and was looking through job adverts etc, the amount of time I ended up speaking to a recruitment agent, rather than the company that would actually employ me. It made no senses to me at the time. So, a move to ‘internal recruitment’ seemed a natural fit – recruiting people for one business, being able to see the progression of a business and the people you are recruiting first hand and also having the opportunity to get involved in more than just recruitment.

Engenda Group came up just as I was starting to look at options outside the agency world and I was sold on the role after the first meeting. Being able to carry on within the engineering sector with a diverse and varied business that truly valued its people but also had big plans for the future which would in turn open up lots of opportunities for me. Since joining it has been just that, we have been busy recruiting a diverse mix of engineering disciplines – lots for me to learn there – looking at and developing our early careers programs, and also working with the leadership team to implement and develop new practices and standards for our recruitment process.

I now get to work across lots of different disciplines of engineering in multiple locations as well as having lots of other projects to work on in the background. It is varied and rewarding in equal measures and I have never enjoyed a recruitment job as much. Much like the business in general and what they offer to each of our colleagues.

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