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Meet Sarah Mitchell, RHL’s new director

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There couldn’t be a more exciting time to operate in technical and engineering recruitment.

Emerging technologies are opening up a new world of possibilities as businesses look for star players to join their teams.

Virtual reality (VR) alone is disrupting sectors including property and construction, automotive engineering and energy. It’s also fascinating to see how artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are creating shiny new opportunities for multiple industries.

Tackling the challenges

But of course there are currently some big challenges, too. Uncertainty over the UK’s future relationship with the EU means that many clients are finding it harder to plan their recruitment needs.

And certain sectors are having to adapt quickly to a changing landscape. The global automotive industry, for example, is facing huge shifts as the world looks to cut down on emissions and embrace electric vehicles, otherwise known as EV.

Lack of available talent is another obstacle facing many recruitment businesses. The technical and engineering clients we partner with are looking for very specialist skill sets and clearly this calls for new ways to find candidates.

Part of this involves embracing emerging digital technologies in recruitment as well as putting in the hours the old-fashioned way - on the phone. And when I joined RHL as director in April 2019, I quickly saw that our team of expert consultants are ideally placed to cope with this changing industry.

They live and breathe their specialist areas, using their decades of know-how and experience to find the highest calibre of people to join new teams. It’s thanks to them (together with the wider RHL staff) that this special company has massive potential.

Shaping my career

It’s no surprise that for over 40 years, clients have continued to select RHL for our specialist knowledge and expertise in professional technical sectors like infrastructure, energy, facilities, design and manufacturing.

I hope that I can use my deep understanding of the business of recruitment, gained over my 25 years in the sector, to help the company continue on this path.

Like many people now in senior management, I started my career in a small local branch of a recruitment agency.

Over the years I learned the ropes filling permanent and temporary roles in the public and private sectors, from driving to industrial, commercial, finance and education.

Mentoring off-screen

Someone who was a guiding force in my career was James Caan, the former investor on TV’s Dragons’ Den.

Caan is best known for his work as an on-screen entrepreneur but few people realise that ultimately he’s a recruiter - and before joining the show he’d invested in hundreds of recruitment agencies.

I was involved with mentoring some of his small companies, many of which hadn’t been getting the care and attention they needed. This was transformative work that gave me a rock-solid knowledge of what it takes to make a business thrive.

Recruitment expertise

I’m still a mentor for recruitment professionals and also part of a team of recruitment industry professionals who form the Examination and Awarding Committees for Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). The REC is known as the voice of the recruitment industry, the champion of high standards and for speaking up for great recruiters.

As an industry representative for the Awarding Organisation, I am part of the team who review new exam papers before publication to make sure they’re factually correct, fair and uphold the high standards that REC is known for.  

Just like you’d expect from a respected, professional technical and engineering recruitment agency, RHL is proud to be a member of REC and it’s just one of the things that helps us stand out from the crowd.

As we move through 2019 towards 2020, I’m excited about fleshing out my vision to ensure RHL moves through any challenges to greater things - and even bigger opportunities.