News & insights

Katie Pilgrim - Recruitment Manager

Katie Pilgrim - Recruitment Manager

Posted by Gillian Farrell on Mar 5, 2015 9:00:21 AM

Today we have another great example of Women in Leadership in CPM.

Katie Pilgrim, who heads up our Recruitment department explains how she made her way to the position she's in today by using her transferable skills and not being afraid of changing her career path.

What does your current role entail?

I am responsible for the overall staffing and recruitment function within the HR team, including the management of recruitment consultants ensuring they are effectively trained and briefed to deliver, within the required deadlines.

How long have you been working in your current role?

For the last 3 years I have been managing the internal CPM recruitment team. This includes oversight of the recruiting process, ensuring focused and timely communications with the business. This oversight is inclusive of, but not limited to, performance, adherence to all contract related activities and responsibilities, and SLA/KPI delivery, with a continuous focus on quality and process reengineering.

What recruitment roles have you done to get to this position?

Selecture Ltd                        Recruitment Consultant

Consulting point                   Account Manager

Morgan McKinley                 Project Specialist

Hertz Rent a Car                  Recruiter for UK Market       

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Head of recruitment within a shared service global organisation

You’re a strong believer that people can change career throughout their worklife, is this through past experience yourself?

Yes, I have been lucky enough to have a varied work experience background. I began my career as a hairdresser and have worked in a number of varied positions including:

  • Youth Club Manager – working with young people aged 7-21
  • Sales Account Manager – Working in electrical wholesale
  • Project Management – construction and space
  • Recruitment

I believe companies are missing a great opportunity to have a high performing team as they are hiring in a conventional manner. Society has trained us to believe that the best hire is a qualified and experienced hire.

Hiring managers tend to base this on the candidates previous work experience, and try to relate the position they are hiring for to their previous work experience instead of looking at the competencies or skills required to be successful in the position.

For example a successful recruiter will have strong communication skills, multitask, be able to build fantastic relationships and close the candidate.  This could be a hairdresser, beautician or office administrator, the successful hire may not have worked previously in a HR/Recruitment environment.

For senior positions it is important that candidates have previous experience and knowledge in the required area.

How did you show that you had transferrable skills, which would suit your next career move when attending interviews?

Most interviews include behavioural questions, which are based on the philosophy that you’re past actions and behaviours will be a good indicator of your future behaviours. Therefore, how you acted towards certain circumstances in your previous job is a reliable indicator of how you will act in your new job.  It is important that you can provide strong examples when asked these questions, sector experience the majority of the time is not relevant when answering.

Motivation is another way of winning the interview you must be able to demonstrate your motivation, thirst and drive for the position. Hiring managers should know that a highly motivated individual can outperform a higher educated or more experienced individual.

Personality fit; ensure you are going for a positon in a company that suits your culture and personality. I would not want to work in a bank, solicitor’s office or the civil service as it would not suit my personality.I am expressive, full of energy and enjoy making decisions and changes without too much red tape therefore I suit an entrepreneurial environment, which has a business casual culture.

When interviewing I show my personality I do not want to work for a company that I will not culturally fit, therefore if they don’t think I am a good ‘fit’ that is ok with me as I probably would not be happy there long term and would end up leaving.

What advice would you give anyone who would like a career change and want to identify their transferrable skills to nail that next job interview?

Top 5 Tips from Katie

  1. Review the job description and speak with the recruiter to find out exactly what skills they are looking for and what the day to day position entails.
  2. Ask what the current team size is and the culture of that team.
  3. Review your previous experience and skills and relate each part of the job description to your previous skills & experience. Ensure you demonstrate these skills throughout the interview.
  4. Please ensure you are comfortable in the 3 areas highlighted above:
  • Behavioural questions
  • Motivation
  • Culture fit
  1. Be yourself, research the company and smile.


Topics: Recruitment, Sales