Planning for the New World: A Q&A with Mark Atkinson
1st August 2018 3 minutes read
Green Park introduces the fourth Q&A in its championing diversity and inclusion series, putting Natalie Cannon, a strategic account executive in its people solutions practice, in the spotlight.
Cannon has 15 years recruitment industry experience gained working in both in-house and supplier side capacities across the public and private sectors. She joined Green Park’s people solutions practice in January 2018 and manages the design and operational aspects of the recruitment process outsourcing, managed solutions provider and consultancy offering to Green Park’s clients.
What was your career path to your current position?
Following university, I took a temp job at a systems integrator organisation. Shortly afterwards, they won a high-profile IT transformation programme, requiring them to build the resourcing function to support it. The temp position turned into five years, working across a range of different roles covering all aspects of recruitment, from hands-on sourcing, supplier management to resource planning.
To gain some agency-side experience, I joined a small firm delivering senior hires for consulting and systems integrator organisations. Following this, I moved into the recruitment project outsourcing (RPO) and managed solutions provider (MSP) space as an account manager, where I later progressed to account director and grew the organisation’s offering in the public sector space.
I was looking for a new challenge when I came across Green Park. Its recent successes in the RPO and MSP space had meant it was building an entirely new people solutions practice to cater for its clients’ evolving needs.
What attracted you to the field of recruitment?
I love the challenge of recruitment because every client is unique in their needs. It means that as a consultant you are always problem solving and coming up with innovative solutions that take into consideration multiple requirements at once.
Recruitment has many different facets to it and you have to keep a lot of plates spinning, at the same time. You are always meeting and working with different individuals and organisations, all with different backgrounds, different specialisms and different goals, so no day is ever the same.
How have clients’ needs changed in the last ten years?
Candidate behaviours are changing and while money is still high on the list of motivators, work life balance is becoming increasingly more important to candidates. Additionally, in areas such as digital and technology, skills shortages mean candidates can afford to be more selective in where they work. As a result, clients are now having to put more thought in to how they present themselves to the candidate market and are looking to us to help support them in building their employee value proposition (EVP).
What does it take to be a successful modern recruiter?
The way people want to work is changing. Candidates want more control over where, when and how they work and increasingly we see people opting for alternative working models. Modern recruiters need to be agile. They need to understand their market and what drives the candidates in it if they want to be able to be successfully advise and support their clients in meeting these talent challenges.
What attracted you to Green Park?
Green Park is an ambitious and open-minded organisation, which takes an innovative approach to tackling new challenges and moving with the market to meet their client and candidate’s needs. The people solutions practice is a perfect example of the organisation’s adaptability, having created an entirely new service offering in answer to the bespoke needs of a client.
The flexibility of such a tailored solution is just part of the Green Park ethos that doesn’t expect any job or any individual to fit into one box. The organisation operates as a collective of diverse people who each bring something different to the table and are always willing to collaborate to get results.
What would be your advice to your younger self?
Network and maintain relationships. In so many industries we trade on our personal reputation; having contacts and having credibility with those contacts will help to open doors. Don’t be limited by your current job role. So many skills are transferable, just because you have started your career in a particular discipline, it doesn’t mean it’s your only path. Look for opportunities that will broaden your horizons. Always be comfortable asking for help. No one can manage everything single handedly and if you’re working for someone that expects you to, then you are probably in the wrong place!
This article was published in Recruitment International Magazine on Friday the 1st of August, 2018. To read the full magazine, click here.