Jen, our Associate Director, joined the business in September 2017. Jen leads product management and executive search recruitment for leading scaling businesses within London and beyond. Jen genuinely loves her role, helping to understand what candidates and employers are looking for and working hard to find the perfect match for them.
Tell us a bit more about your role and what you do day-to-day?
I’ve been at Intelligent People for 6 years now and I love the role. It’s a real 360-recruitment role, leading our specialist product management practice. On a daily basis, I work with our research team to deliver amazing product leaders to our clients, making sure we meet the clients brief as well as finding our great candidates the next challenge in their career. My day-to-day role involves a lot of client and candidate liaison, managing multiple roles at the same time, as well as enjoying some office banter.
What do you love most about your job?
I love our client base and the spaces we operate within. My job allows me to speak to some of the coolest tech companies in the market, and it’s genuinely so interesting and fun – the clients we work with are all very impressive and inspiring! I also love it when you speak to a candidate about a role that excites them so much and will make a real difference to their professional lives. It really makes you want to make it happen for them and drives me forward each day.
If you had to describe working at Intelligent People in three words, what would they be?
Fun, interesting and rewarding!
What are the current trends within recruitment? Are there any trends specifically within the product management market?
It’s a candidate driven market at the moment, meaning there are more job vacancies than available candidates. It can make things a bit tricker for recruitment consultants in general to find that perfect candidate, but when you do find that perfect match for a candidate it’s often too hard for them to turn down.
It’s key in this market for employers to be realistic and competitive in what they are offering in terms of salary and benefits, as well as working hard to get their employer brand right. Candidates can be and are being more picky – the ball is in their court, often being in several recruitment processes at the same time. Employers need to move quickly through the hiring process to secure the best talent, and we as recruitment consultants can help keep the candidates engaged with our clients business through to offer stage and beyond.
For more senior, executive level positions, we are seeing more businesses leaning towards retained executive search – a great way to cut through the market and proactively headhunt the best talent out there.
We’re also seeing growth within the digital identity and ‘tech for good’ space at the moment (thanks to David Attenborough), with huge amounts of investment coming into the market. It’s very exciting times.
Why should an employer work with us as a client? What do Intelligent People offer that is different?
Quite simply, our expert knowledge and reputation within the product management sector. We have 20 years’ experience in this field and have access to the best product leaders out there. Also our clients love working with us because of our consultative processes, which allow us to meet and exceed the brief each time.
Do you have any expert tips for how a candidate can give a good first impression within a phone interview?
The 2 biggest things that I would recommend are:
- Ask intriguing questions. Show that you have done your research on the business, the market and the product. Show genuine excitement in what they are doing and what is in the roadmap for the future.
- Don’t waffle. It’s a thin line between making conversation and waffling. Make sure your answers actually answer the question that they ask, and that you are concise. The interviewer can get more detailed answers to questions at first and second stage interviews if they need to.
It’s currently a candidate driven market. What can employers do to make themselves attractive to candidates?
I’d recommend to clients to do these 3 things:
- Have strong company values, evidence of a good work/life balance and a solid benefits package
- Demonstrate the growth opportunities within the role and business as a whole, and how you have strong leaders in place to make this happen
- Showcase the products’ sustainability and be transparent with company investment
What advice would you give someone who was considering a career as a consultant in recruitment?
If you’re looking for a rewarding, challenging and interesting new role and you’re competitive with a drive to learn something new, I’d say recruitment could be a good fit.