As Totum continues its expansion plans into 2022, we thought it would be helpful to share the perspectives of two of our Consultants who have recently joined our team. What does it really feel like to become a member of Team Totum?
Consultants Briony Jenkins and Lara Mitchard share their thoughts.
Briony Jenkins, Consultant, HR & Operations
Earlier in 2021, I started thinking about returning to work after a break to look after my children. I went to a ‘rec to rec’ agent that specialises in recruitment roles with the thought that I might move into HR. I had previously worked for over ten years recruiting fee earners at a large, international recruitment agency but I was looking for a smaller firm where I could feel like I was a part of the team. They put me in touch with Totum.
Although Totum is smaller than some, it has such a strong brand as the number-one business services recruiter. I knew I would have a lot more visibility at Totum and that the work would push me out of my comfort zone. I was really impressed by the people, the family atmosphere and the professional approach – they encourage you to have your own ideas and to use your initiative. At the same time, you know you’ll have all the support you need.
I had a bit of imposter syndrome to begin with. I’d talked the talk through the interviews but could I actually do the job? The world has moved on since I was last in work – I had never used Teams and LinkedIn is massive now compared to when I was last recruiting. But from my very first day, I felt totally supported and settled in very quickly. Everyone made me feel so welcome.
I had a brilliant induction – it’s the little things that make a big difference. Everything had been set up for me – there was an induction pack ready and waiting, a locker with my name on it, my mobile ready to go…. I felt like I was already part of the team from the moment I arrived.
One of the things that really helped was that I knew I was walking into a firm where relationships with clients were already set up. In my first week, I was working on five active roles. I didn’t need to build anything from scratch.
I also really appreciated the flat structure – there’s no strict hierarchy here, just a sense of everyone working together, to a common purpose. You feel encouraged to talk to anyone and everyone makes time for you.
Working in the HR division at Totum has been fantastic – I’ve really enjoyed working with HR teams and individuals in law, you get a very different perspective and the links are amazing, every candidate is potentially a client, so you know every relationship is important. I think working in this function has been a real eye-opener into this vital business services function. During Covid, HR teams in professional services were so important to keeping their businesses going as everything shifted to working from home. It has been fascinating to hear all their stories and to know that they are now front and centre of their businesses having proved their value so completely through a time of crisis.
In the next year, I’m really looking forward to solidifying the relationships I have started to develop across the sector. I am hugely interested to see the different roles that are likely to come out of the pandemic – in areas like wellness, for example, which has become a priority for so many businesses in the wake of Covid.
Lara Mitchard, Consultant, BD & Marketing
Before joining Totum, I had been in recruitment for a long time, specialising in business services for professional services, including law, accountancy, real estate and management consultancy.
But I had got to a point in my career where the right culture was really important to me – and Totum really stood out for all the right reasons. I wanted to work in an environment that was switched on – that stood out for caring about the people who worked for them, as well as how they did their work day-to-day. I was looking for a firm that wanted to make a difference, whether that’s through diversity and inclusivity initiatives, ESG, charitable work or generally through having the right business values.
I also wanted to stay in professional services – I really love this sector. It’s a difficult space to recruit in but there are so many great things happening in this area now.
In the end, it was only ever going to be Totum.
I was so impressed by Totum’s Consultants. Their expertise is second to none, they so clearly know their market. And the firm’s reputation is amazing, there’s such a lot of good stuff being said about Totum – they do what’s right, not what’s easy.
From the day I started, I was struck by the depth of the relationships at Totum. I didn’t need a lengthy induction process – I’m so familiar with everything in recruitment. My immediate marketing & BD team were brilliant, they were right there with everything I needed to know and I found it so easy to find the right information. The wider team were amazing too, there’s so much transparency around what everyone is doing – there’s a real focus on knowledge sharing across all the teams, which you realise is so important to understanding the big picture.
They were very aware too of the extra challenges that might arise in joining a firm at a time when people are still spending part of their time working from home. They made a conscious effort to call me and maintain a good mix of virtual and in-person meetings (I have been going into the office once or twice a week). The balance has been just right.
It was also very important for me to know I was walking into a ‘warm desk’. There’s such a breadth of relationships and work that there was plenty to go around from day one. I hit the ground running and was making placements within my first eight weeks. It’s still early days but all this has really helped me feel like I am officially one of the Totum team.