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Jon Gibbs: An insight into my career at GCS

I have been hesitant to share a recent and significant career milestone internally or externally, for what I feel are obvious reasons. On Wednesday 1st April I became a Director of GCS Recruitment Specialists; having started as what was known as a Tele-canvasser nearly 10 years ago - a role where if you didn’t get blisters on your fingers then you weren’t dialling enough.

However, I thought now is a better time than ever to put ‘pen to paper’ and share my adventure with GCS.

Part of my reasoning for joining GCS was the fact that we were a privately owned and ambitious business. I was a fresh faced young man with little commercial experience, dropped in the deep end of cold calling and call times – every recruiter’s top 2 favourite things about the job. But I was keen to match GCS’ ambition and grow my career!

Christmas 2011 and a consultant handed in his notice on the Embedded Software market. I was offered the chance to change markets which I jumped at assuming I’ll be working on the next NASA space rocket, this still yet to happen.

I genuinely enjoyed (and still do) getting stuck in with the technical jargon and understanding why a company might use a certain microcontroller, what the application is, what  operating systems or communication protocols are being used and why. I’ll leave it at that before I get carried away.

By 2014 I had been promoted 4 times and was a Senior Consultant within the top 5 billers throughout the whole company. As well as the opportunity to eat at the finest restaurants with lunch clubs and visit places like Dubai and St Tropez on holiday incentives, I was driven because I wanted to and needed to succeed.

Within 6 years I was well and truly engrossed in the job often spending 12 hours in the office every day.

I had hit every target put in front of me, broke records, and brought in some of our best clients. However, the most important thing was the career opportunity that presented itself. It allowed me to buy my first property at 21, buy a second property at 25 and go on holiday beyond Europe. On reflection we should be proud of these tangible things because of the hard work it takes to get them, it was unimaginable 10 years ago. I feel the need to thank GCS for the chance to build these memories.

This brings us up to the present moment and the promotion. With the global pandemic, staff being furloughed and an overwhelmed NHS I felt there was no time to reminisce about my journey or revel in the compliments of others. So I decided to put a hold on all publications and focus on the job in hand. I think my exact words were ‘lets focus on the job and discuss the promotion when this is over’ – I think the majority of us thought this wouldn’t go on for beyond 2 months, Ah!

Having worked for GCS for nearly 10 years it was time to join an already outstanding Senior Management Team (I’m not usually one for compliments so keep this for the archives).

Over the last 10 months I have been in constant dialog with my mentor, friend and boss David Bloxham – GCS CEO -   debating a new direction for the business, one that could link to my promotion. More arguments and heated discussions than anything else but this is always down to myself and David both being very passionate about what we do.

We finally put our swords down and signed the ‘treaty’ in January 2020 ready for the new financial year. Now my efforts would be to lead our global client strategy, providing solutions and building on an already successful portfolio of leading technology companies.

This was a year that was going to break all records and be our biggest to date –this was a dead cert. Why wouldn’t it be after the tremendous success last year?  

So, Wednesday 1st April, first day in the new role and a new chapter and what were we dealing with?

  1. Global pandemic
  2. Country in lockdown
  3. Employees furloughed
  4. Signs of a recession

One of these is bad enough, let alone a combination of the 4. I’ve always fancied myself as the type to embrace pressure and work under difficult situations. So here we go then, head down and into the storm.

In all of this I have realised how important it is that your fellow comrades believe in you (and each other) in good times and bad. That each team-member truly believes in their leaders to guide them through to the other side.

Yes we are having a tough time and, yes, the timing could not have been more challenging to take on these new responsibilities but (a massive but), I have never been so proud to represent GCS and now help lead us through the next stage of our journey as a Director.

We honestly have great people around us within the business. I’m not just referring to the SMT. I’m referring across the worldwide GCS group and the customers and candidates that we work with each day - It makes me proud to see where the business is today even with the issues we are all facing.

It’s worth noting the phenomenal work that nGAGE has done with GCS since an MBO in 2017 taking us to become a prominent global recruitment company. I had a luncheon with Tim Cook – nGAGE CEO – and quickly realised that firstly, Tim is very old (his words not mine!) and secondly, he has the battle scars which shows we have someone with us who knows how take GCS to new heights and at the moment, weather the storm.

Finally, I am extremely grateful for those that have been a part of this journey which has allowed me to have the successes thus far; I can not thank you enough.

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