Be humble. People are hiring you to do a job for them, not to forward your career: Meet Jim Gervaise-Brazier, Ad Idem’s Head of Financial Recruitment.
Hi Jim. Firstly, congratulations on the safe arrival of your daughter. How is being a first time Dad?
It is amazing! To be honest, I am very lucky to have an amazing, tolerant wife who is allowing me to sleep in the spare room so that I am not shattered for work!
Can you tell us a bit about why you joined Ad Idem and what your day looks like as Head of Financial Recruitment?
I joined Ad Idem because I was aware of James’ and Ann’s reputation as excellent recruiters, the commission scheme is the best in the industry, and they allow me to work autonomously and run my team how I want to run it (so long as the results are there, which they have been!) They are also very flexible on how I work and when I work, which, as a new dad, is wonderful.
I know that you have formed some strong relationships with clients throughout your time at Ad Idem. What trends have you seen in regards to what clients are looking for when they approach you about a candidate placement?
We have seen a massive increase in technological demands from clients. Whereas in the past excel/VBA/SQL have been important, now these skills are essential, and unfortunately, we are seeing that candidates without these skills are struggling to find work. As the current uncertainty due to Brexit continues to squeeze the market, clients are being increasingly fussy on their requirements. At Ad Idem we take the time to prepare people properly for every interview that they attend, meeting every candidate wherever possible (unless they live miles away!).
You’re approached by a potential candidate that is looking to secure their first role since graduating. What are your top 5 tips on how to stand out from the crowd? And secure their dream job?
It is tougher than ever to get into the industry, so:
- a) Manage your expectations (you’re likely to be facing some tough competition).
- b) Be humble. People are hiring you to do a job for them, not to forward your career.
- c) Research the client thoroughly before going for an interview and find a way to show them that you’ve done this.
- d) Prepare at least 10 questions for the interviewer(s).
- e) If you want the role, make sure that you tell the client that you want the role!
Can you tell us why you think the financial services industry is an attractive area to work in? And what kind of people choose this career path?
The problem we have is that people see films like ‘The Big Short’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and think that this is how their life is going to be! It isn’t. Firms now require a 2:1 or a first-class maths, computer science, or core science degree to get into the most basic of roles. People think there is big money in this industry but the best money is definitely on the tech side of the industry nowadays. So, if you do want to be successful, my advice is study hard and increase your tech skills.
I know that you’ve played in a number of bands and are a big music fan, so this one may hurt a little – you’re stranded on a desert island and you can only have one guitar to play and three albums to listen to. What do you choose?
That IS a hard one. For one guitar to play, it would have to be my Gibson SG, that was given back to be my mate who I sold it to when I was skint in 2004. (It would mean I would need an amp too, but I assume I am allowed one of those. Go on then, we’ll allow you an amp.)
My three albums would be: The Wall by Pink Floyd, London Calling by the Clash, and There’s a Riot Going on By Sly and The Family Stone, so I can play over it!
What are your future plans in Ad Idem? Do you think they will change now that your daughter is with you?
Just looking to increase the team (We have another member joining us later in the year to get up to four people). As for any changes now that my daughter has arrived, I will just be working even harder now to earn as much money as possible to pay for things for her! Luckily, the flexibility at Ad Idem means that I am able to spend as much time with her as I can.