25/01/2019

Prior to joining the PROMAN team, Charles had worked for some major recruitment businesses in France where he gained valuable industry-related experience. Charles has been given the opportunity to join PROMAN in the UK in its time of growth and expansion. This was a huge step in his career and Charles demonstrated the belief that he had in the PROMAN opportunity as his new job involved re-locating to another country. Both himself and his family are now happily settled in the UK together. We wish Charles all the very best and many further successes with PROMAN. 

  • How long have you been working for PROMAN?

I started in April 2017 so almost 2 years now – Gosh, Already?

  • How long have you been in the recruitment industry?

I have worked in recruitment for 10 years. I started my recruitment career in May 2008 – and within 4 months, Lehmans Brother collapsed!! (Due to no fault of my own of course) Not the best timing to join the industry, however, I learnt so much from this difficult period within the recruitment sector.

  • What is your greatest achievement at work?

Without any doubt the role I am in at Proman currently: leading the teams from a strong regional footprint to a national business. Our expansion plan has been designed to deliver the targets year after year, but my main focus at the moment is about driving this cultural change, whilst also keeping our core company values. The values of integrity, mutual respect, and loyalty within the current deregulated recruitment market is what makes us unique. I truly believe this is why we have the client base we do and what will attract new clients to partner with us in the coming years.

  • When you think of the best employees who have worked for you, what makes them stand out in your mind?

Important! – I do not consider that my colleagues work for me. I work for them much more than anything. We form a working community in which everyone contributes by maximising his/her main skill set. I never forget that the value is generated within the teams (front and back office) not in my office. That`s why I encourage as much as I can for both personal and team initiatives. So to answer your question, I “value the values” more than anything, and especially initiative, courage and loyalty.

  • What is your funniest memory in work?

Without any doubt the 2 days in Paris last summer with Proman – So many vibrant memories. It was intense, very tiring (2 days is a long time in some circumstances), and also very emotional to see 1400 colleagues from 7 countries gathered in the same place to celebrate our company.

  • What do you enjoy most about your role?

The diversity of it – leading both sales and operations, dealing with short-term and more strategic matters, planning the expansion, driving the change and continuously learning from my colleagues… I also thrive off the diversity of the people I work with, there are a lot of skill sets within the business and by putting them together make it possible to be able to work as a team to achieve our common goals.

  • What was your first ever job?

I was the key account manager within Saint Gobain (construction industry). I was honoured to secure this opportunity and start my career within recruitment at Saint Gobain, as I met and worked with some great people, with strong core values and that made me the person I am today. This is where my passion and ambition to grow within the recruitment industry came from.

  • Why did you choose to go into recruitment?

Honestly let`s admit that it was much more by opportunity than choice at the beginning. Isn’t that the same for us all? It`s all about people, diversity of matters and the fast paced environment.

  • How do you take your coffee?

As an Italian would do – ristretto, no sugar, no milk of course.

  • Fish & Chips or Boeuf Bourguignon?

Cuisine is all about the chef. An amazing Fish & Chips will be much better than a bad Bourguignon– But if they are of equal quality, I will definitely go for a Boeuf Bourguignon especially with the weather we have in Manchester… And served with a very fruity red burgundy wine (let`s say a Volnay or a Nuits Saint Georges).

  • Football or Rugby?

Football for sure! I actually played from being 6 years old to my 18th birthday… However, since coming to England, I am more and more attracted to rugby, despite the poor results of our national team. A question of team spirit and values again…

  • What is the best advice you could give someone looking to use a recruitment agency?

A good recruitment agency relies on strong basics:

  • Experience and commitment of the people and the back office teams
  • Strength of the recruitment process (right quality, on time, every time)
  • Creative attraction methods (Not reliant on the standard approach)
  • Engagement internally and externally
  • Communication
  • True partnership

A good recruitment agency looks after their people and candidates all year round. This is not just throughout a client’s peak period or Black Friday. Also, it’s not about delivering thousands of doughnuts to staff just because we want to look good?! Engagement and retention is an ongoing process and not a one-shot communication campaign.

Engagement is the key driver within our industry, and I personally believe that the right recruitment partner is one that blends their strong internal culture with investments through innovation.

  • Beer or Wine?

Both of course. Beer (IPA or Guinness) for the time I spend with my friends, but with meals, definitely white Burgundy with the starters and a fruity Beaujolais or Cote du Rhone to come with the main.

  • Crossover from France to the UK. What have been the major differences that you have noticed?

By far the main difference is the people, they are much more detached and relaxed, approachable and open-minded than in France. The recruitment industry differs also through the style of ordering…. French clients typically order week by week, whereas in the UK this is typically daily.

Personally, for me, a key difference is, of course, the weather! I am sure you have all seen me wear my gilet under my suit jacket!

  • Where do you see PROMAN in 5 years’ time?

Definitely in the top 5 recruitment agencies in the UK (Hopefully the largest independently owned!).

  • Describe your work-self in 3 words

      Ethical, open-minded, resilient.

  • How do you spend your free time?

Having fun with my 2 daughters and my wife, cooking, finding the finest wines for my meals, surfing and jogging.

  • What attracted you to join PROMAN?

The curiosity! When I was working for Adecco, I was the 1st witness of Proman's success story because I was really struggling when competing against them. I was intrigued to understand the main drivers of the business, and when you first meet with Roland & Laurent, you understand and are instantly inspired!

  • Paris or London?

None of these beautiful and vibrant capitals. Manchester without a doubt purely because of the people and the way of life…

  • Was the weather in the English Summer of 2018 the most surprising information that you have delivered back to the board in France?

Could have been indeed. However, for the French, the main event during last summer was the second star on the jersey ;)

  • Why do you think PROMAN is the best choice as a Recruitment Partner? 

So many reasons! The main reason has to be the loyalty and integrity with both our employees, candidates and customers. Proman have the size and scalability to deliver any size client without compromise of the service. I believe our innovation and engagement is what makes Proman unique, we think outside of the box, and truly believe in what we do. We don`t need to promise, we simply deliver.


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