Paul White reveals his journey from charity shop volunteer to recruitment consultant at βerrisford Associates

Where did you grow up/go to school/university?

I grew up in Carnmoney then Ballyclare, attending Ballyclare High until 2011. I then studied Accountancy at Queen’s University, Belfast, graduating in 2014.

What was your first ever job?

My first ever job was volunteering at the British Heart Foundation shop in Belfast city centre during my second year of university. My first paid position was part-time work in Next during the busy summer sales period – a real eye-opening experience!

Describe your current position.

I joined βerrisford Associates in May 2015 as a recruitment consultant. In this role, I assist with many different aspects of the recruitment process; working with a number of clients, from SMEs to international firms to find the right individual to fit their business, and with candidates at all levels of their careers, pointing them in the right direction towards their desired career path. I’ve successfully recruited in both the legal and engineering sectors, while have experience working closely with candidates and clients in the accounting, banking and financial services sectors amongst others. My role has allowed me to work closely with some of Northern Ireland’s most recognisable firms and has given me the opportunity to recruit internationally in France, Germany and Latin America.

What have been your main challenges?

It’s always difficult when you can’t be of more help to someone. We’re unfortunately not magicians who can pull a white rabbit out of a hat. However, I always try to point people in the right direction towards an opportunity, rather than simply keeping my fingers crossed that a role will show up on our doorstep for them, this is core to the firms beliefs – Help in whatever way we can.

What personal qualities have helped you to succeed?

I believe being honest, professional, polite and caring to everyone who gets in touch, providing a consultative approach beyond the norm of the recruitment profession, makes a big difference and contributes to business success.

Who has influenced you most during your career?

To me, without the influence and support of my family, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They’ve really helped me to achieve my ambitions – financially or otherwise!

What do you define as your greatest success?

I think the small victories in life are the greatest successes, from your favourite songs playing on the radio to getting someone on that next step on the career ladder.

How do you switch off when not working?

When I’m away from work, I enjoy playing video games, reading, watching TV or spending time with friends and family. I enjoy trying new things when I get the time as well, making the most of an opportunity when possible.

What would you be doing if not in your current job?

I think I’ve taken most jobs into consideration at one point or another, from being a computer games designer to retail management. I definitely put some thought into joining MI5 at one point so I could very well have been a secret agent! Although, I already think I am one in this job!!

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