In the Boss’ Chair…
Find out more about Bryony Gibson, managing director of Bryony Gibson Consulting.
An interview with Bryony Gibson, managing director of Bryony Gibson Consulting…
Briefly, what has been your career to date?
After graduating in law I joined Marks & Spencer’s management programme. It took me a little while, but I soon realised weekends were far too precious for retail to be my calling, and that’s when I moved to the North East and in to recruitment. After 15 years specialising in tax and accountancy, I decided to set up my own practice, which is where I am today.
Why did you decide to start Bryony Gibson Consulting?
Even recruitment consultants change jobs, and I’d been at the same company for a long time so felt I needed a new challenge. Being part of a PLC gave me a fantastic understanding of global recruitment, but I saw a gap in the market for a sector expert offering a flexible and personal service; one where developing long-term relationships was crucial to the success of the partnership, and so I thought why not just go for it!
What skills and attributes do you need to do your job?
Life’s too short to do something you don’t enjoy, so no matter what job you have, you have to love it and have a passion for it. In recruitment, it also helps if you have some tenacity, resilience and the ability to communicate, but more importantly to listen, so you can understand people’s needs. You also need to be confident and, if running your own business, have the ability to multi-task and spin lots of plates.
What’s been your biggest highlight?
It could be something as simple as a thank you card, or a client who recommends me. I recently had someone tell me they had “been blown away with your service and for once feel that we’ve had true value from our recruitment agent”. For me, that’s a highlight. It means I’m achieving what I’ve set out to do.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
Time is my biggest challenge; I simply don’t have enough of it! Finding the best candidates in the current market is often a challenge too. It can be tough, as these are often the people who don’t have to look too hard for their next opportunity, but that’s one of the things I love about it.
How has the recruitment industry changed since you began in the industry?
Whilst the aims and purpose will always remain the same, the ability to resource and communicate with clients and candidates has changed immeasurably. Back in 1999, most of today’s essential technologies didn’t even exist. There were no social networks or LinkedIn, and intuitive recruitment databases were simply filing cabinets full of CVs. It was hardly the most efficient way to work. That said you still need to know your candidates. The danger with modern technology is that people become reliant upon computer programs rather than getting to know the individuals behind the CVs.
What makes Bryony Gibson Consulting different?
Me! I’ve not only got a lot of experience in recruiting tax and accountancy specialists, but people who I’ve helped often comment that they’ve been surprised by my level of service and that I’m “not like a normal recruitment consultant”. To me it’s not just a job; it’s my career and passion. The truth is that I’m prepared to go the extra mile because I genuinely care – and that’s how I’m different.
What are your short and long-term plans for the business?
I don’t tend to plan too far into the future, but the business is going well and perhaps most importantly, I’m enjoying myself. For the moment, I simply want to continue working hard and growing my business by helping others to do the same. Recruitment agencies are often viewed as a necessary evil, and I’d like to change this. If you can partner with a good consultant who listens, understands and wants to work with you in the long-term, then they can really help you find the right people or role.
What do you do to relax?
I love spending time – ideally on holiday – with my family, my husband and two children (5 and 3). They keep me pretty busy, but I also try to make time for some exercise, whether that’s running, Pilates or simply fueling my love for bags by taking long walks around the shops!