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Full circle: The journey from Consultant to Associate Director

Posted on 23 February 2022 by Holly Hermance

Website Banner   Desktop (8)

Full circle: The journey from Consultant to Associate Director

Posted on 23 February 2022 by Holly Hermance

Danny has been involved in life science recruitment since 2012 with experience in both permanent and contract hiring. He joined SEC as associate director in October 2021 and has been heading up the contract team since. In that time alone, Danny has grown his contract team from six to ten, and has ambitious plans for further headcount growth. We sat down to talk to him about his first few months at SEC and to learn more about his plans for the future.

So this isn’t exactly a welcome, but a welcome back! What made now the right time to return to TeamSEC?

That’s right! My first ever recruitment role was actually at SEC way back in 2001. I started at consultant level and stayed for a while before leaving to pursue my own business, but I’ve kept a close eye on SEC since. Now, after 20-plus years of experience in the industry, I’m back again as associate director. Not to sound too cliché, but it really does feel as though I’ve come full circle!

SEC is kind of like a sleeping giant, in that it has a great reputation but has never reached its full potential. I came back to help in executing an ambitious 5-year plan, push out this “sleeping giant” notion and help the contract function and wider business become a go-to life science firm, globally.

The notion of what was on the horizon here was a huge draw for me to come back. When I looked at SEC’s growth plans together with my experience and skillset, I knew I was the one for the job. In my previous workplace I developed my team into 360 consultants. With that, when I left, my team were the top performing team in the business. That’s what made me excited about this role, I knew I could do exactly the same here, I’m starting fresh.

Give us a bit more information on your role, and what you’re aiming to achieve as associate director.

I’ve been brought on to grow and scale the contract side of SEC across multiple divisions. I’m going to be growing my team, not just in headcount, but growing the quality of my team, the businesses we work with and calibre of candidates we represent. We’ve invested heavily in our L&D recently, so my plan is to really utilise this and take the team all the way to the top.

I’m not saying that my team are going to be the biggest or the best contract team in the life sciences sector, or even in London, that’s immeasurable. But what I do want is for my team to be recognised as a successful one, a knowledgeable one, one that people want to work with and one that other recruiters want to be in. My aim is the same with our clients and candidates; I want them to engage with SEC as their number one supplier.

You mention the five-year plan in place - what’s going to keep that momentum going for you as we progress through this growth period?

The team.

The team I’ve inherited here, as well as the wider team I’m collaborating with too, is a really good one. They have the qualities that nowadays are difficult to find: enthusiasm, the want to do a good job, the pace, the thunder, the willingness to listen, and the willingness to learn.

They’re open to change, open to learning, and for me those kinds of people are the ones I want to teach and mentor. We have a range of consultants in my team from veteran recruiters who’ve been around the block to our early talent who are so hungry to make their mark.

The people we have now provide an ideal blueprint for the kind of recruiters we want to join us and share in this journey. That’s so exciting for me.

What are the core priorities for us this year?

Our people are the core priority this year. We want to solidify our early talent and get them to be the best consultants possible. At the same time, we want to make sure we have the right people in the right seats. By this I mean getting the best talent out there to come into this business while also nurturing the early talent.

We’ve invested heavily in L&D to create our own talent, but also to help elevate our experienced consultants. We want both our senior consultants and newer consultants to have constant learning and development opportunities so they can grow and achieve their goals. It’s in place right now with the Future Leaders Programme and Early Talent Development Academy, but it’s only going to develop and grow as we do.

It’s only been six months since you joined, but are there any success stories or core highlights you could tell us about?

My team have given me so many things to be proud of. One of the biggest things was when a member of my contract team did his first 360 deal. When I took over the team, he’d expressed to me that he really wanted to do a 360 deal but was tentative as to whether he could do the BD necessary to get there. But the attitude and energy that he has saw him push on, believe in himself, and complete his first 360 deal. I honestly felt like a proud dad!

At the start of 2022 my team also saw three double promotions. In my 20 plus years of recruitment I know this is a rarity. For it to happen in my own team not once but three times was something I won’t forget. The amount of hard work and dedication my team put in is second to none. I’ve found that in this job you can teach skill, and you can teach the recruitment process, but the willingness to get out of bed and do a good day’s work can’t be taught, it comes from within, and the team have that naturally.

And finally, what would be your top tips for someone who was looking to join #TeamSEC?

My advice is to always have a clear goal. When I look back over my career that’s probably when my performance wavered – when I wasn’t focused. When I had a clear goal, I achieved exactly what I wanted to every single time without fail.

No matter your age, recruitment experience, or personal circumstances, having a strong focus and a clear why about what you are doing will set you up for success.