Conversation with a Consultant: Oliver Steele

Conversation with a Consultant: Oliver Steele

February 8, 2022

One of the latest additions to the Nicholson Glover team, Oliver Steele opens up about his new role as an Associate Consultant. From running marathons to uploading daily on YouTube, Oliver talks about his personal challenges and achievements as well as his experience working at Nicholson Glover thus far. 

How did you get into recruitment?

The original plan was to pursue a career in the real estate industry. I attended Sheffield Hallam University to study Real Estate. I gained property-related work experience, built up my network, completed a placement year and accepted an offer to join Savills Graduate Scheme. So, all seemed to be going according to plan.

However, over the 4 year journey, I decided that the career path ahead of me was not one that I wanted to go down. This feeling started during my Placement year, and I began to research alternative career opportunities.

I spoke with a lot of people, from a variety of industries. One common theme was that the careers I was most interested in were sales-based roles. The meritocratic nature of the job and the fact that there was a clear beginning, middle and end to the work was what really caught my attention.

It wasn’t until I was at some after-work drinks in November 2021 that I got talking to someone who worked in recruitment. After that conversation I decided to bite the bullet and start looking for recruitment jobs.

How did you know you’d be a good fit for Nicholson Glover?

I had interviews and offers from several other recruitment companies. However, when considering if I should accept, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t enjoy working for them. They were mid-size companies with around 50-150 employees, and I feared that I would just be another employee where I wouldn’t have a direct and visible impact on the business. Leaving an established and respected Graduate Scheme, I wanted to find the right recruitment company.

I had a telephone interview with Nicholson Glover booked in. I thought it was going to be like every other first interview I had previously. Going into the interview, I was expecting questions such as: “How are you going to spend your money?” “Why are you going to be the biggest biller?” “What makes you competitive?” “Why do you want to join this company?”. But this call was different.

I was speaking with Francis Nicholson (Founder & Director) and there were the initial, and understandable, questions of “Why recruitment?”, “If you want a role in sales why not be an Estate Agent?”, “Why tech recruitment?”. But after that something different happened. Rather than me having to explain why I want to join Nicholson Glover, Francis sold the company to me.

He explained that NG is a small company but have ambitions to grow. He said that if I joined I would be part of developing the business. I would be joining the newly formed Data & Analytics team and that he would welcome me to set up my own desk in NG if I could identify a new area of recruitment. He then arranged for me to speak to Will Fitzhugh and Will Cuthell who confirmed Francis’ genuine nature and gave very promising testimonials about their experience at NG.

After these conversation’s I realised that NG was the perfect company for me. It gave me the opportunity become a recruiter, but also exposure to the entrepreneurial aspect of growing a small business. It presented a bigger picture as to why I would come to work every day.

Did anything surprise you when you joined the company?

When I told people that I was leaving Savills to join a recruitment company everyone was telling me horrible experiences that friends, and family had in recruitment. They told me I would have to go behind people’s backs to get deals done, cold-call all day long, get zero client exposure, and put up with a senior leadership team of borderline bullies.

But NG is the complete opposite of the stereotypical recruitment company. There is a genuine collaborative nature to all the work we do. We don’t spend all day cold-calling candidates and clients trying to shoehorn people into roles they aren’t fit for. We provide a genuine consultancy service where we find the best people for the role.

The team is amazing as well. From Directors through to Associate Consultants. Everyone has been so helpful and willing to engage in any questions I have. I have no regrets in changing careers to join Nicholson Glover.

What’s an interesting fact that people don’t know about you?

I uploaded 100 videos in 100 days to YouTube….Why?…I wanted to see if I could.

Check out my channel, “Holding Name Required”.

What is your proudest achievement?

I have completed numerous physical challenges. From running marathons, completing triathlons, and playing in sports teams. But for me my proudest accomplishment is losing my lockdown weight.

I put on a significant amount of weight whilst at university and during the lockdowns. Over a 1-year period I have lost it all and I am probably in the best shape of my life. The amount of sacrifice and mental resilience to not give up, far outweigh any physical challenge I have set myself.

What do you find most interesting about the data and analytics industry?

Just how important data and analytics is to businesses. Companies collect vast amounts of data on their users, customers, logistics etc and analyse to generate insights to find ways to make more money. A 2017 Economist article stated that the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.

Almost every aspect of a business can be analysed through data to create efficiencies, generate growth as well as money, whether its footfall in a shop, goods being purchased or email marketing.

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