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The Roller-Coaster of Recruitment

Posted on
February 18, 2020

We have recently interviewed Harry McNeill, a Senior Consultant within our Pensions & Benefits Division. He discusses the ups and downs of being a recruiter, BWD’s amazing incentives, and what he’s looking forward to throughout 2020.

What do you most enjoy about working in the Pensions & Benefits division?

The people. It’s important that we all get along, and we do. We all have similar interests, making our team fun and sociable. We have complimentary work ethics and the collaboration between us all is fantastic. Coming in to work every day is a pleasure, as everyone at BWD is very positive. Being surrounded by a positive mindset is infectious; the optimism is spread around the office, and this is very beneficial for a workplace environment.

Why did you decide to work in recruitment?

Like most people in the industry, I fell into recruitment. I completed a Planning and Property Development degree at university and worked in sales at a phone shop whilst studying, and I seemed to be pretty good at it. I was applying for a Quantity Surveyor role and I was told whilst going through the stages of application that I would be good at recruiting. I was quickly drawn in through the good money I was offered, and I’ve never looked back since, as I enjoy it immensely.

What motivates you on an everyday basis?

This is quite personal as everyone has their own career goals. You get used to a certain lifestyle that you need to pay for, so you need to be motivated to make the money to cover the bills and enjoy your time outside of work. I don’t want to look back in 40 years and think that I didn’t do everything I could have done to enjoy life and be successful.

What is the best thing about working at BWD?

The incentives here are excellent. I’ve been to both Porto and Palma with the BWD team. We stayed in 5-star hotels and I didn’t spend a single penny (not limited to holidays if you ask some of my cheeky colleagues). It was brilliant. It’s great to have a big holiday to look forward to at the end of the year, but the small wins are nice too. We get treated with activities like go-karting, treasure hunts and escape rooms, which are always a lot of fun!

What is the toughest thing about being a recruiter?

There are a lot of ups and downs in recruitment. Some months you’ll feel untouchable, like you’re flying. However, some months you just get a lot of bad luck thrown your way, and things don’t work out; it’s a roller-coaster. My advice to anyone coming into the recruitment industry would be to stay level-headed, humble, and always do your best. Sometimes, not everything will go your way, but it’s important to always keep your head up and move onto the next challenge with optimism.

What has been your most memorable or humorous moment at BWD so far?

The moment I have picked is a ‘you need to be there’ moment. If my eyes could record, I would watch this moment over and over again. Iain had just started at BWD as Pensions & Benefits Divisional Director, and one of my teammates had just made their first placement under his leadership. Iain went in for a high five, but the other recruiter went in for a fist bump. This happened for 10 seconds way too long, and they ended up just rubbing their hands together. To this day, it is the most awkward moment I have every witnessed, and definitely one of the funniest.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to watch football, go out with my mates, and enjoy a beer or two. I also like playing golf when the weather allows. I’m about to move to a new house too, so I have lots of paperwork and spreadsheets to fill in. It is fair to say, I’ve been quite busy recently!

Who is your idol?

As a kid, I would have said David Beckham, but now, I do not have an idol. I don’t look up to celebrities, but I do look up to people that I know. I always feel as if I can learn from my colleagues around me, and I always admire their efforts when they’re going through challenging times.

What does the rest of 2020 have in store for you?

This year, I will be moving to a new house, and more than likely getting a dog (probably a Labrador), which is very exciting for me!

Work-related, the Actuarial market is evolving and going international, which should be very interesting. This year, I will have more involvement in growing the DC and Employee Benefits division here, which I am looking forward to.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I don’t look that far ahead. I always take it day by day, or week by week. As cheesy as it sounds, I try to be a little bit better than I was the day before. Do what you can, and good things will happen to you. That’s what I believe.

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BWD Financial Services Earnings & Benefits Census 2021/22

This BWD Census is designed to be the definitive reference guide to salaries, earnings, and benefits in the UK financial services sector.

It is carried out entirely independently of any FS employer and embraces Advisers, BDMs, Paraplanners, and Compliance Professionals. Information was gathered from over 550 individuals via an online, confidential questionnaire issued in December 2021 and January 2022.                       

BWD Salary and Benefits Census
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