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Michael works within the Engineering and Technology division at CSG Talent, specialising in Automation. The team successfully delivers recruitment solutions to a variety of clients across North and South America and EMEA. Mike has been with CSG for over seven and a half years, during which time he’s developed a solid network and earned himself an admirable reputation within Automation recruitment. His areas of expertise include Warehouse Automation, Factory Automation and Industrial Automation. Michael has successfully placed candidates in a variety of companies from start-ups to multinationals. He is steeped in his industry and his knowledge runs deep. His hard work and commitment towards being an industry expert has paid dividends, as he is now the go-to guy for identifying the best talent in what is sometimes thought of as a hidden market.
Tell us about your role
I head up the Automation division which covers three main areas - Warehouse Automation, Industrial Automation and Factory Automation. Approximately 80% of my business is in the U.S. market and the rest is spread across mainland Europe, although I have placed candidates in some weird and wonderful places such as Sierra Leone, Mexico and Iraq! Pre-covid I used to travel extensively to different parts of the U.S. which was incredible. I can’t think of any other company where I’d get to do that!
How has your role evolved over the years?
I’ve gone from being a consultant to leading and nurturing a team of other successful recruiters. There are two distinct career paths at CSG depending on what your career aspirations are: managerial or non-managerial. Our Recruitment Academy has been a great addition, its intensive training programme has been designed to benefit new starters and the teams they join following completion of the academy. As a result, when a new consultant joins my team, they’re ready to hit the ground running.
What do you love most about your job?
There’s so much that I love about my role – firstly I love coaching and developing my team, watching them grow and succeed is fantastic! Pre-covid I really enjoyed the international travel, and I'm looking forward to being able to do that again soon. Through my role, I also get to work with some truly interesting and accomplished people - people who have graduated from Ivy League universities and people who are leading the way in their fields. They’re the true industry experts, and it’s so interesting to engage with them, hear their thoughts, and learn from them, this has helped me gain such a deep level of understanding in my market. I’m really grateful for this aspect of what I do. The types of companies I get involved with are amazing too, for example equity companies that are incredibly fast-paced and are continually evolving. I’ve loved seeing how different businesses operate and adapt, this has been particularly awe-inspiring throughout the pandemic – seeing the companies not only survive - but thrive! Out of everything, my main driver is the client development and account management side of things, building those relationships and delivering an outstanding service is what I love most.
What does an average day look like for you?
Each morning I catch up with the team to review what's happened overnight, as many of our clients are in different time zones. Then I tackle my emails, and work through the automated searches we’ve created on LinkedIn and our various CRM systems, to identify new candidates. My work is predominantly candidate led. 80% of the work I do is on a retained basis, so I spend a huge amount of time actively sourcing candidates, networking and liaising with people in the market. This approach to recruitment and sourcing talent is why we’re successful in a market that’s so short of candidates. We leave no stone unturned!
Are you back in the office now?
I’m primarily in the office, although I don’t have to be - that’s just my personal preference. I like to be around the team and we’ve got a great culture here. I’ve missed everyone! But it’s great to have the flexibility and the choice, as I have a young family.
What do you enjoy most about the sector you specialise in?
It’s dynamic, and it’s growing at such a rate. Since the start of the pandemic I’ve seen clients investing heavily in some exciting new technologies such as robotics and automation facilities. It’s really highlighted the importance of technology, digital transformation and automation, and businesses have realised these things are a ‘need to have’ now rather than a ‘nice to have’. What else do I love? I’ve mentioned this before but I love the people - the clients, the industry experts and the speakers that I follow, the candidates I get to know, all of them. They're truly great at what they do, they’re ambitious, and their passion for automation is infectious.
Consultants at CSG pride themselves on being true specialists in their particular industry sector. Why do you think it’s important to work in a vertical market?
You must match and mirror the industry you work in, or you’re just feeling your way around in the dark and hoping to get lucky by placing the right person with the right company. That’s not how we do it here. We work hard to build up a body of knowledge in our space, and to keep up to date with the industry as it changes. Being an industry specialist ensures we can speak to our candidates and clients authentically and confidently, knowing the specific market. We know what their drivers are, we understand their pain points, and we’re best placed to find them the greatest solution. We speak their language. I’ve seen recruiters cover a variety of industries and they end up spreading themselves too thin. It’s just not the level of quality we want to give our clients and we invest time and resources to allow us to do this effectively.
How would you describe the culture at CSG?
Entrepreneurial, dynamic, ambitious. Adult too - we’re basically given the opportunity to be entrepreneurial and run our own desks with full autonomy. Support is there if you need it, otherwise you’re free to forge ahead and run your desk as you see fit. It’s fun here, too. We work hard but we also make sure we enjoy it.
CSG continues to go from strength to strength. What do you think makes the company so successful?
Simply put, it’s our people. We’ve got a lot of people who have been here a very long time, and that speaks volumes. We’ve managed to retain some great employees through covid, start the recruitment academy, and work towards our growth plans! Our consultants have built some fantastic relationships with clients across the globe, and this is key. These solid relationships, the way we support our clients and deliver time and again, that’s what makes us successful.
What does the future hold for CSG, and what excites you most about it?
Growth, growth and more growth. We’re seeing a lot of new faces coming through the recruitment academy which is fantastic. I’m excited to see what they bring to the CSG family and to watch them grow. Establishing an office in the U.S. is imminent too. We are continuing to build our presence in the US, and we may potentially move into other practice areas, too. We go where our clients need us, so we’re continually scaling up. We’ll always keep developing key accounts, we’ll always keep delivering, and we’ll always keep up to speed with our ever-evolving industry sectors.
And finally, what would you say to someone who was considering a role as an Executive Recruiter at CSG?
Be prepared to put the hard work in. If you’re focused on the long-term, you’re dedicated, and you’re passionate about building genuine and long-lasting client relationships, you’ll see results. There are opportunities here to learn, to grow, to be rewarded generously for your work, to travel, to exceed your career aspirations, and then some. I personally don’t know of another recruitment consultancy where there are so many opportunities and paths to choose throughout your recruitment career.
Whether you’re a client looking for top talent for your business, a candidate wanting to explore a career move, or if you’d simply like to discuss how the automation market is shaping up right now, Michael would love to hear from you.
Give him a call, drop him an email or connect on LinkedIn:
Tel: +44 (0) 113 416 6484
LinkedIn: Michael Berry