5 Minutes with Justin Carpenter, Senior Consultant - Technology & Engineering

Welcome to Collingwood. Can you tell us about your career to date, how have you ended up with Collingwood? 

Thank you! I started working in recruitment in 1995 in technology recruitment. Like a lot of recruiters, I focussed initially on candidate acquisition but worked my way up to developing client relationships, account management and finally into a leadership and coaching role. I have focussed mainly within Technology, and since 2018 recruited Artificial Intelligence professionals. Technology for recruiters has advanced tremendously over the past few decades, but nothing has replaced that consultative discussion with the client about a role and an agreed plan to move forwards with a search. The main reason I joined Collingwood is that I share the values that Collingwood has in the way in which they operate and interact with clients and candidates alike.

What specifically attracted you to Collingwood? 

I remember reading their website and was immediately drawn to them. Their values align incredibly well to mine and how I conduct myself. Everything on the website made sense and was logical and they put the client first. Having operated in the Technology market for over two decades I saw Collingwood as the perfect organisation for my experience and most importantly the way in which I like to work. I had two meetings with Doug and Claire prior to joining. Time flew by in the meetings and, whilst it was an interview, it felt more like a discussion with friends. This further reinforced my feeling that Collingwood would be the perfect place for me to work.

Why do you and your clients prefer to engage in a retained search rather than conventional contingent recruitment methods? 

A retained search is all round a better solution to engaging and onboarding the right talent for a company. The search approach allows for a closer and more open working partnership. It enables a healthy discussion about the role, the candidate market, current availability of talent and the client’s value proposition. Once an agreement on the approach has been reached then the client can rest assured that we (Collingwood) will be working hard to deliver against that brief. Close communication to update the client and discuss candidates means that we will deliver efficiently, and stakeholders enjoy the process. Ultimately, we aim to deliver the very best talent for the vacant position as efficiently as possible.

What do you look for in a client to build a successful partnership? 

A successful partnership is often born out of shared values. A client that invests time to discuss the brief, talks about solutions, listens and understands the current candidate market will all help expedite a successful search. Communication is key to update on progress, to provide feedback, discuss any blocks and agree the path forwards. Retained search doesn’t have to be a drawn-out process and a close working partnership is the key. 

What has been your proudest career achievement to date? 

A career in recruitment is unlike most. It is rewarding on many fronts. You cannot, and should never, underestimate the impact you have on people’s careers and the part you play when helping a candidate search for and secure a new role. I recall helping a CTO and a Head of IT find new roles and I still smile when I recall phoning them with the good news. We also help companies grow, scale their teams and solve problems with them. There is still no better feeling than taking the client brief down and the excitement of starting the search and identifying a strong qualified list of candidates. There is also the potential of our own personal career development and growth. I have had the pleasure of working with some very talented Recruitment professionals and seen my career grow beyond any of my expectations. My proudest achievements will always be the calls and messages to thank me for the work we put in and the part we played in the recruitment of the new person or the new role we helped the candidate secure. 

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How can prospective and existing clients find out more?

By calling the team at Collingwood on 01829 732374.