Sean Fitzpatrick recently joined Azon Recruitment Group as an Associate Director.
He has 10 years of recruitment experience, with leading agencies in both Dublin and London and holds a Masters in Strategic Management from the Technological University, Dublin. He sat down with us to talk about what he wants to accomplish at Azon and why he is so excited to get started.
What brought you to Azon?
I think it’s an exciting time to be at the company. I’ve come into manage and grow several desks. I’ll be expanding our Accountancy & Finance team in both Dublin and Limerick, developing our Science desk and creating a new Sales & Marketing division. That covers short, medium and long term goals. It’s exciting, there’s a real variety to it.
With so much happening, what will your primary focus be?
I’ll be working with our Accountancy & Finance team primarily. The team is well established with a strong client base in both industry and practice. We have great presence in Dublin and Limerick; we’ll want to build on that.
We have a strong core of experience in the Science industry too and I want to expand in that sector. Our CEO Ronan Colleran has worked a variety of C suite roles in that space and Kathryn Whyte has had extensive recruitment experience in Pharma. There’s huge opportunities there. It’s a steadily growing industry and attracts talent from all over the world to work here.
You have 3 desks that you are looking to build out – from a recruitment industry perspective what is it like to do that in a very crowded market?
We’re looking to build out three desks with a range of experience in each: that variance of experience levels naturally creates a structure. It doesn’t mean you can’t ignore getting a balance of personality and skills. Each desk needs the right mix of both.
Then there are three key sources of talent that we are focused on to fill out those desks. Firstly, you want to be able to get experienced people to move across the market. Outside of this “standard recruitment” you want to be able to pick up Irish natives moving back here as well as new talent that want to relocate. Finally, we are always looking to hire fresh graduates, straight out of college, who can add a lot of energy and valuable new perspectives to any team.
A lot of people talk about hiring for a “cultural fit”
I think that’s becoming more and more important. If you just hire a person for the sake of it, instead of ensuring they are the right cultural fit, it can destroy a team, or at least really slow down the momentum. You try and have one message that everyone gets behind, whether it’s team, or company wide. Disruption of that can really get in the way of tangible progress or improvement.
Don’t get me wrong, people with diverse backgrounds and personalities are key – that’s what I was saying earlier about the mix and structure. Everyone does need to come to work understanding our company values and mission and want to be a part of that.
It really is the challenge of any company trying to scale up – do you just hire to fill the spot that needs to be filled? Can you afford to wait to find that perfect fit? Managing that tension is what recruitment is all about, really.
And for those people stepping into any one of the teams, what can they expect?
I said that from a personal perspective, it’s an exciting time to join. We have new clients, new areas, new jobs we work with nearly every week. Anyone joining gets to be part of that growth, gets to experience that variety and add value to the company as a whole.
Not everyone needs to hit the ground running or be a superstar from day one. We are more than happy to train people to be superstars. It doesn’t happen overnight, they need to learn, cut their teeth, develop skills, understand the market.
We have the scope to teach all that here. It’s something we are looking forward to doing, getting new people onboard and working with them. Added to that, we have the flexibility of not being tied down to just Dublin. Azon consultants can work nationwide desks from our Limerick office. We have people who hotdesk there, who work there on a Thursday and Friday, then head home, whether that’s Limerick itself, Galway, Sligo, Kerry. It’s a real quality of life boost for them.
There’s a lot of experience in Azon on both the recruitment and industry side.
We have a nice mix of people who have worked in recruitment, who are lifetime recruiters, and people who have had previous careers in industry. On the Accountancy & Finance desk we have qualified accountants, we have former bankers working in Financial Services, every desk has someone there to give that in depth industry knowledge.
Our consultants are very happy to work with one another, share this kind of expertise from both perspectives. It’s very collaborative and that’s what makes us more efficient than other agencies on the market.