Tell us about your career journey so far
I did a psychology degree at an undergrad level. Then I did a stint in agency recruitment. That’s a transactional world where it was all about bums on seats. You call yourself a Recruitment Consultant but there wasn’t very much that was consultative about the process. I then went and did my Masters in Occupational Psychology.
When I came out of that and I was looking for a role that would kind of draw on some of the recruitment experience I had but at the same time was a little bit more interesting, a little bit more consultative, a little bit more in-depth, which is when I found the role at Cogito as a Researcher. That role was on the phones, doing the “in the trenches” research.
I developed a real interest in data and insight and being able to tell a story from what we found. I love being able to say “Well, here’s all the information. Here’s the story that we can tell from the data that’s going to help you find candidates and is going to help you engage with people”. I’m now leading the People Insights part of the business.
What does a typical day look like?
It really varies and it goes from scoping out a project, that initial point of sales, saying, “How do we provide a solution to the problem that you’ve got?” and “How would we deliver that?”, looking at the roadmap to get to that end outcome. I then put a project plan together that gets the right people in the team involved at the right stages.
Finally, I help with the delivery piece and the client partnership. In the end, we want to deliver it, present it, and say “What else needs doing? Has this fundamentally answered the questions that you’ve engaged us to find out?”
What project are you most proud of?
We undertook a research project out in Delhi, Mumbai and Jakarta. There was a huge amount of data and it was an unknown landscape. I’m quite proud of that one because it was a big project and we delivered some really valuable insights to the client.
What do you enjoy about the role?
The variety of it. So, if we flashback to when I was working in agency recruitment I would think “I know every day I’m going to be going into the office making 100 candidate calls and making 20 client calls and doing x number of minutes on the phone. Even if I’m talking to different people or doing different roles, it’s still basically the same format, it’s the same template.”
At Cogito, we have more of a mature working environment. Work is judged on deliverables and outputs – how you get there is up to you. That’s really significant.
But then I also love the variety of the work. So, one day it might be me speaking to a few different clients scoping out different projects and what we can do on the research front, and then another day it might have my head buried in ONS data, pulling out bits, thinking, “What can we get from that?”
So, it is that variety in my role that’s nice. It’s a bit of a cliché, but no two days tend to be the same really.
What does it feel like to work for Cogito?
In that recruitment agency space, it’s like a Wolf of Wall Street environment. I remember at one end of financial year party a bottle of Sambuca getting passed round the boardroom at two in the afternoon. It’s all right when you’re 21 for a couple of months. But then by month three, I was burned out. It wasn’t a sustainable way of working.
At Cogito, we do go out, we do have fun. But there’s no expectation for people to be there, it’s always up to you. It’s just the maturity of the people you’re working with and being deliverables focused rather than a focus on presenteeism that makes the difference. It’s not about being sat at your desk all day, it’s about being passionate, engaged and delivering great outcomes. That really suits how I like to work.
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