After working in recruitment for the past 25 years, Sara Eke is pretty good at identifying what her clients want from potential employees.
“Often when I meet individuals for the first time my mind starts ticking away – ‘they’d be good at this role,’ or ‘they’d fit in nicely at that company’,” says Sara.
After gaining her grounding in recruitment at Alfred Marks for nine years and working her way up to management positions in both Pertemps and Principals, in 2004 Sara decided to set up her own independent recruitment consultancy.
“I had no burning desire to set up alone, but people kept on encouraging me, so I thought ‘why not – I’d done it for other people so why not do it for myself?’” she recounts.
“In my last role, I’d moved away from the core of recruitment into more organisational, fire fighting positions, and setting up on my own has allowed me to go back the grassroots of recruitment, which is really what I love.”
Sara’s dedication to finding individuals work is clear throughout our conversation. She really does take a personal approach to the process, and when asked what her favourite aspect of her job is, she replies without faltering: “The buzz of getting the right person into the right position, and the satisfaction of seeing that individual progress within that company.”
For potential employees, Sara’s infectious enthusiasm must fill them with hope for finding a job. However, as someone working closely with businesses suffering in the fallout of the recession, Sara is all too aware that this is not always possible.
“Lots of people were really desperate for work and were prepared to do anything-but you can’t just magic things out of thin air.
“However, this has also forced us to diversify our services, and we now offer temporary and interim positions and a CV service, so we can help them in some way.”
Indeed, as Sara explains the ins and outs of her business, it’s clear that she really does endeavour to provide the “flexible employment solutions” promised on her website.
“We try to work in partnership with our clients to put people in the right position first time,” she explains. “ It’s really important that we please the client and endeavour to exceed their expectations.”
Seventy percent of Sara’s business comes from referrals, and over the years she has developed some excellent relationships with her clients.
“Often HR departments come to me to ask for advice on candidates because they feel they can rely on my opinion – I see this aspect of my job as another arm of being a business ambassador.
“The fact that so many of our clients are willing to refer us makes me feel incredibly proud, and shows that they recognise how I take the time to understand their individual expectations to ensure they get the result they want.”