An interview with Ben Long – specialist in Building Services Design Recruitment here at Solution.

Describe your career to date.

When I left school I signed with the professional football team Barnet FC before making a move to Scotland to play for Hearts FC. I played for 2 years in Iceland after this and then returned back to the UK to play. I got into recruitment over 2 years ago, where I worked to recruit candidates in sustainability in the built environment. I then made a move to Solution Recruitment where I now specialise in Building Services Design.

What do you do on a normal day?

A normal day consists of speaking to clients and assessing needs, arranging meetings with candidates, and booking interviews. There is a big demand for good candidates at the moment and a lot of companies want to meet to discuss their requirements, so I am normally out and about meeting hiring managers. As quality is key at Solution, we meet all of our candidates so you will see me flying around London grabbing many a coffee with my candidates!

How do you plan your days?

I normally plan my day the evening before. I will split my day into candidate generation and callbacks along with client business development. Work never really ends as a recruitment consultant though, I tend to be talking to people long after leaving work in the evening.

What do you enjoy most about working at Solution?

At Solution you get a lot of control of your desk; you can choose to develop and push it forward in the way you see fit. They are very client focused and we are encouraged to go out and meet people regularly which is always fun and worthwhile.

What challenges do you face on a daily basis?

Finding top quality candidates in a very candidate short market is the main challenge. You always need to have your ear to the ground as things change and happen very quickly in the world of M&E. It’s competitive and there are a lot of agents so keeping strong relationships is key.

What is an interesting story about a client/candidate interaction you had?

I was sitting next to a guy on the train and noticed he was holding a folder with the name of a company on it that I had previously done business with. I mentioned this to him and he told me he had just started working there. We had a good chat about the company and his previous employers. We still keep in touch now and he has been involved in interviewing candidates I have sent to the company.

What do you think are the most important skills needed to do your job?

You have to be very resilient due to the amount of knock-backs you get – you can’t let this affect your morale and drive. You need to be proactive; nothing comes easily to you in recruitment and you have to work hard. You get out what you put in.

What is the most difficult thing you have had to deal with in your role? How did you overcome it?

It’s never nice to tell someone they didn’t get the job. I tent to try and manage people’s expectations and keep things in perspective for them. I will only normally actively work with candidates I believe I can place, so I would manage to get them other options if they are unsuccessful with an interview.

Is there a client or candidate experience you are most proud of?

There was a new consultancy that set up an office in London called Low Energy Consultancy. I took over their recruitment team and let them use our offices to hold interviews, I subsequently placed 3 out of 3 of their new recruits.