Four principles that have shaped my years at Talent
Sarah Bellis works in Talent’s Bristol team, as the Managing Director for Public Sector in the UK. Sarah shared her insights into her journey at Talent so far, what helps her break from the pack, her key principles, and what she believes is vital to becoming a successful consultant.
Breaking from the pack – my experience with Talent
I have been with Talent for nearly six years now and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of my time building our Public Sector Practice. Time flies when you are having fun!
I have over 25 years of Digital Data and Technology experience, starting my career as a Recruitment Consultant and then working my way to Team Leader, Contracts Manager, Director and now working as a Managing Director. I joined Talent because I wanted a new challenge but also wanted to work somewhere different that allowed me to build a large team, delivering managed service, as well as recruitment services.
What makes Talent different from the rest?
Talent isn’t like a lot of the other recruitment companies I worked for before. What makes Talent different from the rest is the ability to be entrepreneurial and creative and not needing to keep people in certain boxes. When I was coming up in recruitment there were a lot of stereotypes of a recruiter – the cocky attitude and the slicked-back hair. You don’t tend to get people like that in Talent; it’s a lot more kind, accepting and diverse.
Luckily, Talent believes that everyone should be given equal chances and don’t buy into preventing women from being on the board – something I encountered in previous jobs. Talent takes ‘Break from the Pack’ seriously, it’s not just treated as buzzwords and good PR. The proof is in the pudding and showcased with the diverse group of people within Talent itself, and that’s why we also only hire people who fit with our company culture and values. I think that is what keeps it a really great place to work!
Candidates and clients first
I manage the Public Sector Division, which has two strands. Firstly, there is the recruitment team – which aims to deliver contract and permanent resources to our Public Sector clients. My phenomenal team in Bristol work hard and care intensely about the services they deliver to our clients. That’s how I’ve always wanted my team to work and how I’ve worked over the years.
I am also proud to have developed Talent Consulting and work with our clients to add value to our managed service solutions. Talent Consulting delivers outcome-based solutions into the Public Sector, whilst utilising our permanent employees and over 500 associates across the UK. In the past 12 months, we have won over £25million new contracts, which I’m extremely proud of.
We have built our in-house capability and have a very strong Architecture, Development and Test Practice, as well as User Research, Product and Delivery Management. We build better, bolder, inclusive public services ensuring research-based outcomes that make digital easy.
Becoming a successful consultant
It’s hard to define really. Nothing for me has ever happened unless you work hard and I certainly have always put the hours in (possibly too many!)
I don’t think there is a ‘quick fix’ solution that works for everyone but I’ve always followed some loose principles.
My four principles would be:
● Work hard and put the time into everything you do.
● Focus on the quality of clients/candidates, not the quantity.
● Make sure you understand your market and clients inside and out, it will help you make great decisions going forward.
● Most importantly, treat all of your candidates very well and always get back to them with feedback!
Following one or any of these principles would serve someone looking to succeed. However, I feel that delivering the best quality service to our clients/candidates has been key. I’ve always prioritised making our clients happy and not striving for short term financial gain. If you build that bond and connection between your clients and candidates i.e. making sure to treat them like a person or a friend and not just a statistic that you will gain from, then you will succeed. Some of my clients and candidates I’ve worked with since I first started!
A consultant will only be successful if they find the best candidates for their clients. There are many consultants out there who just fling CVs at clients and they don’t care about the quality or about thoroughly screening candidates. Delivering a quality service is key to becoming a truly exceptional consultant.