As our Divisional Manager –Lezanne Oram- approaches 4 years with the Novo team, we took some time about to find out a little bit more about what makes her get out of bed in the morning, what her current role entails and what really makes her tick.
How did you first get involved in recruitment?
I was temping for a telesales company and the contract was coming to end. The owner suggested that I spoke to one of his mates who was running a recruitment company. I went to the interview and thought “Nope, no way. Never doing that. Sounds far too complicated”. Then Mr Gurney (one of the Directors here at Novo) talked me round and after a successful first month I never looked back. That was in 2006
When did you join Novo UK and what convinced you to join the business?
1st April 2013. The Directors Paul, Darren and Gary really went out of their way to make me realise that they would go the extra mile and could make my life better – they also dropped flowers round on my birthday which really sealed the deal!
What is it like working at Novo – how is it different from other companies you have worked for?
I don’t see this as work. I get up every day with something new to focus on and a new challenge. I adore the team and really see this as an extension of my family. It’s fun, hard work that keeps my brain ticking every single day. I wouldn’t work anywhere else.
How has your role changed since you first joined the business?
I started as a Senior Recruitment Consultant looking after a handful of key clients. I now have the honour of managing some of the best recruiters in the business. We have a wonderful new office and feel really empowered to do the job well.
What is your current role and what does that entail?
I am now the Divisional Manager which basically means I am directly responsible for the entire sales team including managers, senior consultants, consultants, resourcers and sales support. Each day and week is varied – from delivering training courses, running 1-1s, checking and assessing pipelines and sales activity, reporting to the Directors and being a neutral sounding board for all of the sales staff.
What would you say is the hardest thing about your current role?
Time management and not being able to spend as much time as I would like with each and every team member – but I am working on this. Switching off at the weekends is also difficult but because I don’t really see this as a job and I’m really passionate about it, that doesn’t really bother me.
If you could change one thing about the recruitment industry, what would it be and why?
Recruiters giving feedback to candidates after interviews, whatever the outcome. We are dealing with people and helping them make potentially life changing decisions, so to give feedback after interviews is the least we can do. This is something we actively promote internally but we are constantly amazed by how many candidates tell us other agencies still don’t do this.
What is the best thing about your job?
Training. I adore training and helping people get a better understanding of a new subject or just passing knowledge on. I love seeing a consultant’s face when they have headhunted the perfect candidate and they are interested in the role or when a trainee gets a real buzz from talking to a client/candidate for the first time.
What would you say are the 3 most important things to become a good recruitment consultant?
Great listening skills – people think this job is all about talking a good game and selling where in fact listening is far more important. Determination / Resilience – recruitment can be tough going at times and there will be times when you will need to find that something extra to help you battle through a difficult spell Emotional intelligence- to do this job properly and professionally, you must be able to connect and build relationships with people rather than constantly trying to sell
How do you think the sales team would describe you?
Fair, straight-talking, direct, helpful, high standards, hard working. The Mum at work.
How some of the sales team actually described you!
Passionate, Strong, Helpful, Supportive, Driven, Motivational, Enthusiastic and Dedicated.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
When I was younger I wanted to be a nun. Seriously, I really did!
In a parallel universe, if you weren’t in recruitment, what would you be doing?
A teacher for sure
You have some pretty wacky eating / dieting habits – what is your culinary specialty?
Ha ha – cooking is an area I need to work on. My speciality took me years to perfect. Basically it’s 3 egg whites chucked in to a pan with no oil which I then leave to burn before scraping it out and flopping it on to my plate. I call it “Burnt Cloud”
What are the 3 most important things in life?
Family, happiness and health
If you could sit down with your younger self 20 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
That life really is too short – most of the time I have worried about what people think rather than just getting on with what I want to do. I would tell myself to spend more time with my Nan just watching the world go by. I would tell myself to slow down, eat more chocolate and cheese and spend less time in the gym. Be less serious, don’t be in a rush to grow up and just have fun. I would also tell myself not to worry about wrinkles and confirm how brilliant Botox really is.