I didn’t proactively try and become a recruiter, the job chose me. I had been overseas for 8 years, the last 5 years of which were in a software company in London. When I came home to Sydney, I was having a hard time finding a recruiter who could understand my value proposition. What I found was that most, not all, could not understand or did not care to try and understand what I actually did. I did not fit into the box. After a long chat with one recruiter, he didn’t put me forward for the role, however, he asked me if I wanted to work for him. To be honest, I burst out laughing, “What, as a recruiter?” my opinion of recruiters was not very good at that point. When he explained the details, it made sense. I was not sure if it would work out or not, but it was worth a shot, I had to be able to do a better job than…, so I met 2 other agencies and all three quickly offered me a job. There was something about who I am that fits with this job. I chose Mantech, because they have always focused on technology product development, they had ethics and morals relating to doing business and at 37, I was going to be the youngest consultant. Everyone had life experience and experience in the industry.
This is not an easy job to do well. Without the ability to conceptualise, visualise and relate to what people do, both Clients and Candidates, it is almost impossible to do this job properly. Keyword matching and buzzwords are a fast track to failure. If you think you know everything already, then you are at the beginning of the end. The keys to longevity are a passion for your subject matter, your ability and desire to learn and be a good Human. After nearly 8 years in the job, I am still learning, which is why I am still here. Every day I speak to interesting, talented technical people.
I learn about amazing technology, methodologies and approaches to development, which are constantly evolving, therefore I am constantly evolving. I talk to people who are pushing the boundaries of technology, which will in time become mainstream products and knowledge. I can’t think of another job which will give me such intimate knowledge of so many emerging technologies. I love it.
Do you love what you do?
Stephen Winnick is a senior consultant and recruitment team leader at Mantech.